The annual SEMA Show (where SEMA is short for Specialty Equipment Market Association) kicks off on Nov 3, 2009 in Las Vegas. As a lover of muscle cars, this is something that sets a big tone for your next year. Why? Because even though it’s in Las Vegas, what happens at SEMA doesn’t stay at SEMA!
If you’ve never heard of SEMA before, don’t worry. The Association and their annual show isn’t intended for the general automotive consumer – it’s for the automotive industry and press. Each year representatives from the major automakers and the entire specialty parts and restoration industry get together, show off their new products, and try to one-up each other to get the most notice possible in doing so. Why does this matter to you? Easy – because some of the most innovative and neatest parts for your muscle car have been premiered by people trying to be the “Coolest and the Baddest” at the SEMA show! Whether you’re building a pro-touring car, doing a coucours restoration, or are just maintaining a beautiful classic, SEMA matters to you (you can also thank them for keeping vehicles older than 25 years out of the Cash for Clunkers debacle, but that’s a story for another day).
What are some of the cool things you may find premiered at the SEMA show? How about paddle shifters connected to a modern automatic transmission….that bolts in to your ’71 ‘Cuda, or a brand new ’67 Mustang….or ’69 Camaro (see video below from the 2008 show). Bolt in modern suspension systems. Subframes with provisions for modern engines. Full length floor pans. Newly manufactured parts for Mopars (finally) – you name it! The show itself has provided a competition to put out the best products…and we the consumer are the winners. We get the best products at the best price as a result. (Just compare the ease of restoration and modification we enjoy now with the atmosphere 10 years ago!)
In addition to parts, information about up-and-coming items of interest to muscle car fans is front and center as well (such as what will happen in 2010 for the “Yenko” brand, which is currently owned by Classic Industries.) It’s also a place where innovators get to show off their products…on the track. This year the 2009 OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational will be held immediately following SEMA and is an invitation only event to the best in the pro-touring industry (and our previous podcast guests Larry Callahan and Randy Johnson will be competing)!
All in all, SEMA has a lot to do with the face that there may never be be a better time in history to be a muscle car fan. We really do have everything at our fingertips to restore a car to factory status or build an all out racer….and it just keeps getting better!
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