The SEMA Show does for car enthusiasts what Art Laboe does for music lovers, in short, they provide everything you've ever wanted and will ever need. From rims and tires to replacement body panels and the latest in performance parts, the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show has become an annual tradition for the Lowrider staff and we're here to share with you the highlights of this phenomenal show.
With over 2,000 exhibitors and more than 150,000 attendees, SEMA has become a central hub for the industries finest to showcase their latest and greatest. So just how big is this show? SEMA has become the largest gathering of aftermarket retailers and they remain the pinnacle show which represents an industry which hit $31.3 billion in 2012, up from less than $28 billion during the depths of the recession in 2009. That said, this is the mother ship of all shows and the governing body which helps push new products, legislation all while having fun doing so.
After perusing the hundreds of cars showcased in the parking lot our first stop was the CFR Performance booth to check out their classy '66 Impala from the Majestics on display. The Impala sported their chrome pulleys and high polished radiators and one look at the craftsmanship of each piece made it clearly evident that lots of love was put into the crafting of each piece. Outside of the main hall, we then paid a visit to the Axalta booth. Inside, they had a custom painted '64 Impala which was also displayed in full effect. The car created plenty of traffic for the Axalta booth and when it comes to paint and custom cars, it's a no brainer that lowriders still remain unmatched in terms of complexity, shine and organized chaos.
Outside of SEMA, Axalta also had the Jae Bueno project wagon on display and a custom '63 convertible. Among the other lowriders in attendance was a candy green '68 Impala from Lifestyle in the PPG booth as well as about a dozen more lowriders which were scattered throughout the show. As each year passes the popularity of lowriding has become clearly evident and it's good to see that it has also influenced other industries in terms of styling cues. Take for example the Anest Iwata booth which hosted a few lowrider artists along with several painted guns and accessories. The intricate paint schemes have become an art and it's good to see our culture being embraced with open arms.
This year the LS market exploded as most of the top builds featured LS base engines. Manufactures also developed parts for that growing market. One of them was Classic Performance Products that featured an adjustable motor mount. These new motor mounts will allow you to bolt your LS engine in place without having to guess which motor mount adapters to use. In addition, the kit is built in the USA and each piece is laser cut and backed by plenty of R&D thus insuring a trouble-free install.
RestoMod Air had their new billet drive kit for the LS as well as March Performance and EMS. MSD showed off their new LS management control kit, while other companies like Painless Performance show cased their own. Holley was not to be left behind as they announced bolt-on brackets to make the stock pulleys usable on most engine transplants. With all of us realizing that the LS engine will be the next small-block it is time to look into the future with any of these companies that stepped it up for the LS market.
If motors and heavy breathing add ons weren't your forte then the South Hall was sure to get your wheels turning. Inside, the South Hall was packed with the hottest wheels and tires for 2014 but rather than bore you with more text we'll let the pictures do the talking. That said, the SEMA Show never fails and once again it showcased the strength of the car culture not only as a hobby but as an industry which will continue to evolve while influencing new enthusiasts and styles each year.