The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) 45th annual trade show was held in Las Vegas, NV during Halloween week. The SEMA show has been held in Las Vegas since 1977 and typically lasts four days. Last issue we looked at the vehicle manufacturers and this issue we’ll look at the aftermarket vendors.
Tuesday morning starts the official events with the New Products Awards where manufacturers vie for first place in 12 categories, with over 2,000 submissions. There are always some new, well-engineered products that snag the honors. Some software “apps” and electronic gizmos were winners as was a camshaft to show the breadth of products showcased. Afterwards, SEMA announces the four new “Hottest” vehicles at the show, based on the cars being displayed by all the vendors, with this year’s winners being the Ford Mustang named Hottest Car, the Scion FR-S was the Hottest Sport Compact honors, the Ford F-Series won Hottest Truck and the Jeep Wrangler received the Hottest SUV trophy.
I always look forward to the PPG paint display, as they not only bring out some awesome cars but their whole display is creative and fun. This year’s Western theme hit the mark with cars and also some finely detailed hoods and guitars painted by master craftsmen. They spotlighted a green 1953 Chevy Pickup, a ‘56 Ford Ranch Wagon and a gold ‘54 Chevy 3100 pickup.
The tool companies come out with a swath of new items that you just have to get! Gear Wrench showed off a ratchet with a minimal swing arc of only three degrees. That could come in handy in some tight spots and will be on many upcoming lists to buy your favorite mechanic! Their booth was spotlighting a clean 1957 Cameo that had been restofied!
Over 2,200 exhibiting companies were on hand this year setting a new record. To give you a sense of the magnitude at the show; there were 208 vendors for wheels, safety equipment had 116 displays and there were 69 folks with just filters for you to view!
One car celebrity who seemed to be all over the floor and on Twitter was car designer and star of Overhaulin’ – Chip Foose. He snagged one of twelve Chevrolet Design Awards given out by GM this year. His restored ‘48 Cadillac “Eldo Rod” was just awesome and actually had been his first design as Chief Designer at Boyd Coddington’s shop. He made numerous appearances for his sponsors and companies and always drew a crowd. So did John Force and his fellow NHRA drag racers at the Castrol oil booth at the AAPEX show and with the Traxxas radio-controlled cars and the Ford display at SEMA.
See ya’ on the road.
Mark Bach ©