SEMA: OMFG what a whirlwind of sensory overload.
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The whirlwind week at the beginning of November each year in Las Vegas, Nevada usually equates to the annual SEMA show. This year, the organization had expanded the events to include SEMA Ignited and the off-location autocross at the Strip organized by the Ultimate Street Car Association, sponsored by Optima Battery. Unfortunately, we did not make plans for the Friday through Sunday events as we had other obligations back at home with our real full time gigs.
We did meet Jimmi Day from USCA and he explained what the race sanction is all about and how to get involved with different types of racing offered by the group. Nice guy and a pipe dream for us as we don’t really have a car prepped for such an undertaking. Maybe William can get his big block powered Galaxie or perhaps Project Nickel and Dime can get to the course in 2015 when they have an event in Southern California, most likely Fontana.
We also met with new friend and spokesperson for the SEMA Action Network, Colby Martin, who is currently working on a 1931 Ford coupe with a Chevy 409 engine. Since our last meeting and interview with him back in March, he has come a long way with its progress and we look forward to do some test-driving with him in Long Beach in the next few months. Time seems to get the best of all of us with these car projects. I noticed that aspect the more I spoke to people at the show.
Industry-leading manufacturers like Lokar, Hedman, Pertronix, and Borgeson all spoke with us about the increase in business and especially the foot traffic at this annual tradeshow. It seemed most time was spent just cutting through the crowded halls and walkways throughout the convention center. Add the constant eye candy of show cars and female models, you’ll find yourself rubber-necking wherever you walk.
As it would seem, the 2008 depression may be dimming with new products from the guys over at Classic Industries who are expanding more into Mopar and Cadillac parts. We also got a brief showing of Hellwig’s new frame stiffening kit for A-body GM cars. We look forward to more of this as well as Hotchkis’s TVS (Total Vehicle System) suspension kits for first generation Mustangs and GM cars. John Hotchkis was excited to get these products on the autocross circuit and their sponsored events in Fontana coupled with the NMCA, has been a sell-out every time. We look forward to more autocross in 2015 for sure.
The New Product Showcase at SEMA seemed to be flooded with high tech suspension and EFI electronic conversion kits for late model engine swaps. The prevalence of the LS engine and the growing number of aftermarket parts makes conversions more appealing to the baby boomers wanting to get back into hot rods and muscle cars, but still enjoy the non-fuss with naturally aspirated induction systems. Time will tell more in the aftermarket trends for 2015, but we’ll keep an eye on what’s being built and created as we travel more next year.