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.