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2011 SEMA Show – Blinglishious
Story by Lance Clifford
Photos by Renee Clifford

I ran across a new word at this years SEMA Show… Blinglishious.  Yea, I was in the tire and wheel hall when it was being rapped around an Audi with diamonds accenting the symbol in the grill, steering wheel and shifter knob.  REAL Diamonds.  This is SEMA.  Was thinking about doing that to my Truck emblem…but may settle for the aftermarket bedazzle kit.  What do you think?

Builders work for a full year to produce a one of a kind vehicle that will make people stop and awe.  Companies plan all year to release new products.  Legends of Motorsports know they must be at this show to sign autographs. International as well as domestic travel is planned and booked a year in advance. Beautiful ladies stand at the corner of booths working to catch the eye of the next prospective buyer.  Deals are made at the show and at the extravagant after parties.  If you are part of the Automotive Industry, you are at SEMA.

The SEMA show brings all of your senses into play.  The amazing colors of each precision polished vehicle and wheels shine brightly under the Vegas sun or the bright lights of the halls.  The constant buzz of people talking business and bench racing hums though the air with an occasional air horn or loud bang from a demonstration booth.  The desert air was cold and dry and lacked the smell of the high horsepower race gas, but no one questioned any of the vehicles capabilities.

SEMA stands for Specialty Equipment Manufacturer Association and there is never a short coming of Specialty Equipment in Las Vegas during the first week of November when all the who’s-who of the Automotive Industry gather to show their latest and greatest creations.  The history of the SEMA show began in the late 60’s with about 100 booths at the first show and now features more than 2,000 exhibiting companies.  It is said that there were over 60,000 domestic and international buyers at this years show. The displays are segmented into 12 sections, and a New Products Showcase featured nearly 1,500 newly introduced parts, tools and components, all of which are like picking a needle out of a haystack.

Some of the hot products that caught our eyes ranged from the big DynaTrac Dana80 to lots of companies with little new billet aluminum mount hardware like Ventura Speed Center. WARN introduced the addition of synthetic rope on their winches with UV protection and Smittybilt introduced a 5CFM 12 volt portable air compressor around the $150 price point.

I always find myself in weird scenarios…this time shooting a Bazooka gun in a convention hall! Don’t worry, it had an offroad purpose as a Tire Bead Seater that has 3 gallons of 30-115psi air released in milliseconds!

Ford Raptors, Chevy Silverados, Audis, Bentleys, BMWs, Cadillacs and Lamborghinis were everywhere but the most popular vehicle of the show was hands down was the Jeep JK!  The newest trend that I could pick up on was the custom car guys that typically had hot rods or tuner cars in the booths also had a Jeep JK!  It is certainly hip to have a JK. 

There were many roaming the SEMA halls from the Pirate4x4 board.  It is always fun getting to see everyone outside of the middle of the desert, or could that be considered Vegas too?  So maybe we should say with a shower and clean clothes?  One of the many announcements of the week was the winner of Levi Shirley’s Lucky Dog Racing Rock Buggy that had been the focus of a year-long fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

It is hard to explain the vastness of the SEMA Show.  It is impossible to talk about what every booth had to offer.   Truly, every booth is a masterpiece of art with tires as its easel.  May I wish you all the opportunity to be able to experience the SEMA show, and until then take time and enjoy a selection of pictures and featured products.

CLICK HERE FOR THE PHOTO ALBUM

The SEMA Award honors those vehicles that specialty-equipment manufacturers believe are the best platforms for accessorization and that showcase this year’s coolest products.

Hottest Car: Chevrolet Camaro www.chevrolet.com/camaro-performance-cars

Hottest Sport Compact Car: Fiat 500 www.fiatusa.com

Hottest Truck: Ford F-Series www.ford.com/trucks/superduty

Hottest 4x4-SUV: Jeep Wrangler www.jeep.com/en/2012/wrangler

 

The 2011 New Product Award Winners include: 
Best Engineered New Product  

  • Winner: Baer Brake Systems, Full Floating Rear End Conversion
  • Runner Up: Aeromotive Inc., Camaro Stealth Fuel System
  • Runner Up: Fuelab, Electronic Fuel Pressure Regulator 

Best New Exterior Accessory Product  

  • Winner: Cargo Ease Inc., Cargo Ramp / Brake System
  • Runner Up: Bestop Inc., TrekStep Side Mounted Step
  • Runner Up: Rhino-Rack USA, Roof Mounted Cargo Basket 

Best New Interior Accessory Product  

  • Winner: Auto Meter Products, Universal 3 Gauge Mounting Solution
  • Runner Up: LOKAR Performance Products, Billet Aluminum Tremec Shifter Levers For TKO 500 and TKO 600
  • Runner Up: Bully Dog Technologies, RAM Mounting Systems for Bully Dog GTs and WatchDogs 

Best New Merchandising Display  

  • Winner: MacNeil Automotive Products Ltd., TechFloor™ Retail Display
  • Runner Up: Flex-a-lite Consolidated, Flex-a-chill - Radiator Coolant Additive (POP)
  • Runner Up: Access Roll-Up Covers, Access Truck Bed LED Light Display 

Best New Mobile Electronics Product  

  • Winner: Escort/Beltronics Radar Detectors, ESCORT Live!
  • Runner Up: Del City, Sealed Window Crimp Connector
  • Runner Up: Metra Electronics Corp., ASWC 

Best New Off-Road/4-Wheel Drive Product  

  • Winner: MSD Ignition, Atomic EFI
  • Runner Up: Daystar Products International, Can Cam Fuel and Water System
  • Runner Up: ProRYDE Suspension Systems, SuperBLOK 3-in-1 Leaf Spring Blocks 

Best New Packaging Display  

  • Winner: MacNeil Automotive Products Ltd., TechCare™
  • Runner Up: Auto Meter Products, Auto Meter Custom Shop Gauge Set
  • Runner Up: Preval, vFan Portable Airbrush System 

Best New Collision Repair & Refinish Product  

  • Winner: Eagle Abrasives Inc., Super Assilex
  • Runner Up: Plio Grip by Valvoline, Like90 Turbo Pad for Bumpers
  • Runner Up: Gema, OptiFlex®2 

Best New Performance-Racing Product  

  • Winner: COMP Performance Group, COMP Cams Sprint Car Front Drive Kit For LS Applications
  • Runner Up: Auto Meter Products, Ultimate DL Playback Tach System
  • Runner Up: Ace Fuel Systems, Adjustable Fuel Injector

Best New Performance-Street Product  

  • Winner: SCT Performance, SCT iTSX for iPhone
  • Runner Up: COMP Performance Group, Inglese EFI Throttle Body Insert Hidden Metal Screen Filters
  • Runner Up: COMP Performance Group, FAST EZ-EFI Jeep 4.2L/6 Cylinder Kit 

Best New Powersports Product  

  • Winner: Auto Meter Products, Universal GPS Speedometer Interface
  • Runner Up: Skyjacker Suspensions, 10-12 Polaris Ranger Crew Rear Winch Mount Kit
  • Runner Up: Warn Industries Inc., 1700 XT Portable Winch 

Best NewStreet Rod/Custom Car Product  

  • Winner: Classic Instruments Inc., SkyDrive
  • Runner Up: Billet Specialties Inc., Billet LS Valve Covers
  • Runner Up: Eddie Motorsports, Billet aluminum Under-hood kit for 1955-1957 Chevys 

Best New Tire and Related Product  

  • Winner: Continental Tire the Americas LLC, Continental Cross Contact LX20
  • Runner Up: Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Discoverer A/T3
  • Runner Up: Continental Tire the Americas LLC, General Tire G-MAX AS-03 

Best New Tools & Equipment Product  

  • Winner: PH2 Solutions Inc., PH2 Validator
  • Runner Up: Las Vegas Tool LLC, EASYPULLER by Las Vegas Tool LLC
  • Runner Up: Schley Products/SP TOOLS, Air Hammer Ball Joint R&R Tool 

Best New Van/Pickup/Sport-Utility Product  

  • Winner: EZ Connector Inc., EZS7-02
  • Runner Up: Daystar Products International, Shock and Steering Stabilizer Armor
  • Runner Up: Specialty Products Co., Leaf Spring Silencer™ 

Best New Wheel and Related Product  

  • Winner: Topline Products, Verde Custom Wheels | V39 - Parallax
  • Runner Up: iForged Performance Alloys/Forgestar Wheels, CF10 Rotary Forged Carbon Fiber Edition
  • Runner Up: MGP Caliper Covers, MGP Caliper Covers