SEMA 2011 - Days 3 & 4

Days 3 & 4 wrapped things up for this year's SEMA Show. Being my first show I stumbled around in a daze most of the time but I managed to get through all three halls plus. My impressions and thoughts are after these pictures.
Team Vesco Streamliner

Toyota iq
Toyota FT-86
The man. Remind you of anyone?
This may look huge but it's really kid size!

Exomotive booth
How to make an old M-B fly.
Is this a beautiful M-B or what?
From the new products showcase.
Not sure why you need to flare a line in a rush but if you do ...
That's silver lame on the roof.
Justin Bieber's ride or how to make a good-looking Cad ugly.

Willys Coupe
Applying graphics to a Fiat 500
Impressive portable, 6,000 lb. lift -
Lexus GS350
Lexus CT Hybrid
Cool '29 Ford w/Nailhead Buick

Tricked out '65 Mustang

Another New Product Showcase item.

Cord reproduction
Hotted up Honda CR-Z
As the sign said, "Yes it's got a Hemi."

That's a flattie in there.
Hey, it's never been a Poncho since they put Chevy engines in them.

My favorite Cobra, the Daytona Coupe

Galpin's Fiesta
Galpin's '70 Ranchero underhood

2012 Chevy Sonic - hate the name but the car's cool.

I hate this matte paint.
Radio Controlled rock crushers!
To those who think 1995 is old school, think again.

I've always wanted to go to the SEMA Show but the timing was never right - I was either working or broke (sometimes both). So this year I was delighted when the stars aligned for me.

Many writers focus on the auto makers and their stuff. But when it's all said and done, SEMA is a trade show. Of the 2100 + exhibitors the vast majority are companies hoping to find outlets for their products. You will find some large companies but you'll also find small companies with the next great product. There was one man, just this man and his truck, that impressed me not because the product was great but because he exhibited the true spirit of SEMA. This man had transformed his Ford Ranger pickup into a workshop on wheels. He was trying to sell the concept. I have no idea how successful he was but I thought back to the pioneers of SEMA, back when it was the Speed Equipment Manufacturing Association, men with an idea. I think the world needs more people like this man.

Even Balloon Boy's dad, Richard Heene, deserves credit for trying to sell his idea to the world. You may not like him or see the need for his product but it was obvious he believes in it.

I impressed with the technology involved in so much of the equipment being shown. Alignment equipment is all computerized. It's all easier to use but never forget that you still need to understand all the angles and how to actually correct what's wrong. Nothing, no matter how computerized, takes the place of a well-trained tech.

I was blown away by the number of companies from Asia, especially those companies making parts for the enthusiast market and not just the Asian car market, I'm talking hot rods and muscle cars. I had no idea there were so many tire makers in the world. I would say, and this is just a rough guess, that for every tire company I recognized there were 3-4 that I'd never heard of before. 

Perhaps the most ridiculous thing I saw was a few people taking pictures with their iPad. I'm sure it takes great pictures but the sight of someone holding up a large rectangular, thin "camera" was almost absurd. Just sit back and try to visualize it. Almost as strange was watching someone point their cell phone at something ten years ago. Times have changed.

There are a few trends that I'd like to see go away. Trends seem to hang around too long now. Think of pants on the ground; how long has it been with us? Too long. I feel the same way about "22s", those humongous wheels that seem to be on everything now. Remember when a Deuce Coupe had big 'n' littles? Now they have huge and gargantuan. I saw some tires at the show that must have stood 4" tall and their sidewalls were maybe 1" at the most. I'm sorry but it just looks stupid from my vantage.

I feel the same about the craze of flat, or matte, paint on cars. I don't know if it's still true but the Grand National Roadster Show didn't allow primered cars on the show floor. We all craved a beautiful paint job. You might see primer on a local rod but never at a show. Primer indicated a work in progress. Now flat paint seems to be de rigeuer on even high end cars. I can only imagine how the skilled painters of the world feel, their craft reduced to the effect of spray cans.

So am I showing my age? You tell me.

It was a great show. Below is a list of companies that I grabbed information from. It by no way is representational of anything except my interests. Remember that not all these companies sell retail. Check their websites for more details.

AFR (Air Flow Research)
Atech Motorsports
Blue Print Engines
Bob Drake Reproductions Inc.
Bug No Stick
CFR Performance
Chris Alston's Chassisworks
Cool Cap
Drake Automotive Group
Dynacorn International Inc.
Factory Five Racing
Galpin Auto Sports
Gear Vendors
Global West Suspension
Hotchkis Sport Suspension
Hutchison Photography
International Rectifier
Mechanix Wear
Moon Eyes U.S.A. Inc.
Mott Community College "Factory Five Build School"
Northern High Performance Products
Odor Science
P.U. Tech Spoiler LP
Powermaster Performance
Real Deal Steel, LLC
Rev Tec
Superior Glass Works
Team Vesco
The Auto Moto
U Coat It
V Moto USA
Yukon Trail


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