The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) held their yearly trade show at the Las Vegas Convention Center this last November, and drew over 2,000 auto parts and equipment companies and more than 125,000 attendees during the four day event. The show had anything and everything that you could imagine for the automotive world, as the industry’s top designers all enjoyed the chance to display their latest creations and merchandise.
Lowrider Magazine looks forward to participating in this show every year, and we eagerly set up our Semi-Trailer as soon as we got to the show. Aztec served as our calling card, as we featured two of the nation’s top rides under the Lowrider awning. The first on display, hauled up to Vegas from Baldwin Park, California, was Luis Lemus’ latest Impala. The car, nicknamed “Sinful Sin,” is a ’64 Impala that has been customized from the wheels to the paint. This ’64 had everyone talking and taking pictures, thanks to its custom grill and custom panels from undercover innovations. Mike and Ulani Thiessen from Good Times C.C. proudly displayed their custom ’63 Impala under our awning as well. The Pearled-out, Candy-painted Impala represented for the Good Times Vegas chapter and the Lowriding community as well.
The show had a few Lowriders that were spread throughout the show; one of them was Michael Grey of UCE Car Club’s “Sin Sixty.” The fire engine-red convertible was the envy of many of its beholders as it stood on display at the Car Crazy stage. Vegas local Adrian “Big Hefty” Damian of the Desireable Ones C.C. brought out his ’82 Cadillac Brougham which showed off the luxury side of Lowriding thanks to its fine wine taste and even finer lined pinstripes that accented this Pearled-out Caddy. David Georgette’s ’62 Impala also made the Motor Trend proving ground, which was organized by Elliot Moran, who took on the task of displaying nearly 100 of the magazine’s best cars in the market.
Another first for House of Kolor was the invitation of legendary artist, Fonzy, who hung out with the industry’s best, and put out some classy airbrush panels using all the newest-to-code HOK paints. On the subject of firsts, the Meguairs Company chose to use a Lowrider, which was a first for the 100 plus-year-old car care company. The car that they used was Jose Alvarez’ ’72 Monte Carlo, “Fatal Attraction,” which was displayed at their a custom platform that really accented the elegance of the custom Monte Carlo. This car set the bar in standards for their booth, as it helped show that Lowriders are all about the 5.20s and the deep-paint finish.
This year the 2010 Camaro dominated the floor as one of the show’s favorite cars on display throughout the booths. With that said, LS technology has grown quite a bit in a year. We saw items that included all new wiring harnesses and computers from manufacturers like Holley, who took the bull by the horns, and casted a six quart aluminum oil pan that was shallow enough to allow users to keep their oil filters. March Performance stepped to the plate with LS brackets, and by offering some of their line up of fully chrome plated products for the Lowrider market as well. Dakota Digital always has new products that apply to our market, and when we spoke to them, they gave us the heads up about their plans to make gauges for the first gen Rivieras.
In the past, you’ve heard us talk about how some cars have turned into kit cars, including Cars Inc’s ’57 BelAir convertible or the first generation Camaros. In response, GM has stepped in with a crate engine system, designed to help old customs with their new engines pass even the strictest of smog laws, including California’s. The LS3 is equipped with catalytic converters and a canister, required to help the modern engine pass the smog laws and keep your classic running smoothly. They also launched a 5.3 engine with the same concept, giving the builders the choices that they desire.
Other items that were new and hot included the re-invention of the 5.20, as Coker redesigned and created a whole new tire for our market. The new 13 and 14-inch 5.20 was improved, as it went from a two-ply tire to a four-ply tire, allowing it to have less stress and a safer ride. The 13-inch was also modified to look like the 14-inch model, giving you more traction with its new flat top surface. The whitewalls will be staying white and clean, as the better materials are used on this tire which will be sure to be a favorite in our community.
There were so many exciting new products at this show, including those made by MSD, who introduced their line of coil packs for the GM LS engines. Be Cool also introduced a whole new line of entry level aluminum radiators to fill a big void in that market. If you’re getting into metal fabricating, then the Miller Plasma that was introduced at the show is a must-have. This compact cutter is perfect for the weekend enthusiast or for use at the professional level.
This year’s Las Vegas SEMA show came and went as quickly as it usually does. It’s crazy how this show has gotten bigger and bigger, ever since the first year I attended, and it seems as if you miss a year, you’ll miss out on quite a few things. Now, take a look at some of the latest products that caught our eye at this year’s SEMA Convention.