If you’re familiar with the aftermarket world of the automotive industry, you know that SEMA is basically the Mecca for anything and everything automotive. From a basic wheel and tire swap to a full frame off 10-year restoration project, you can find just about anything you ever needed to see (or didn’t need) at the SEMA show. So SEMA is the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association which is fancy speak for, “just cool stuff everywhere” and this was our third year heading to the show to explore. So roll along here with us as we take you on the tour of the show!

Outside Off-Road/Truck Portion

After visiting the outdoor Baja section of the show the potential to become a truck guy is a great one. There’s something about the ability to go full speed on road, then cut straight into a ditch and keep going at the same speed in a trophy truck. These Baja built trucks are absolutely insane and so are the people that pilot them (hopefully me someday). The American Force wheel company which seems like the “go-to” wheel for almost every single one of these outrageous jacked up trucks also had a crazy display. I found myself asking, “what is this for and why do I want one?” multiple times while outside. They must cost an arm and a leg to build and might not even be street legal? I’ll never know what they’re for, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t appreciate the build quality and insane about of customization and parts put into each build.

Outside “around the Show” Stuff

Other stuff found outside was drifting cars, truck jumping, over-fender anything, and so much more. There’s so much stuff to look at and so many people to run into while you’re looking over your shoulder at something, it makes it a bit insane. It’s sensory overload to the max, especially when you hear the cars drifting in cycles, and Ford Raptor’s going airborne over a jump. The Hoonigan crew was in full force making a mess of a tiny parking lot, and Ford had the center display again this year which is always cool to see. One of the coolest things we saw that wasn’t a car was that little retro looking model T sort of kid scooter. Not only can the kid ride, but the parent can hookup behind on a small platform piece and roll with! We were immediately looking to buy one of course (for no reason) but between that and all the other amazing stuff outside it’s hard to settle for just one amazing build to choose as the best.

Inside Racing

The racing hall is amazing. Enough said. It’s like walking through a pit lane at a racetrack, but everything can be bought and used to build your own racecar at home (sort of) for the most part. The DTM style APR Audi, a real Formula 1 car, and crazy drift machines were just the start. Suspension, brakes, mufflers, intake systems, it’s literally everything you could think of, and then some. A few factory race-built Honda’s and Toyota’s really were neat to see compared to a non-factory setup car. It’s amazing what a corporate budget can do for a race build as you’d assume, but everything we saw was top notch adefinitelytly makes you want to spend all of your money on racing parts.

Inside Customs

This is a tough one. Custom built, one off, and things that you aren’t even sure what they are or suppose to be filled the convention center from top to bottom. Rod Emory, renowned “outlaw” Porsche builder had a couple amazing builds this year, and this one just below has to be a favorite of mine from the show. It’s a twin-turbo 356 outlaw that can only be described as, “bonkers” and when it’s done will be terrifying to drive I’m sure. Snowmobile tracked truck hauling things (I don’t know what to even call them) and these rock crawling UTV’s of sorts are all over the place. Then some RWB’s placed all around the show and a Datsun 240Z with a V10 stuffed under the hood?! Yeah, I didn’t even notice until I got home and looked back at photos! All and all this is really what the show is all about and a large part of what makes going to SEMA so much fun.

Best stuff Ben Found

I documented Ben exploring things because he only had about 7 hours at the show which isn’t nearly enough time to see it all. He claimed multiple times that I was, “moving too slow” and I had to agree. With taking photos at an event with 150,000 people it’s hard to be patient and get that right photo. So I followed him around documenting what he liked (Porsche’s), what he didn’t understand (anything over a 19″ wheel), and why exotic cars need roof boxes.

Favorite Build of the Show? 

What was the best car I saw at the show? The winner is…. I CAN’T DECIDE! I went with two “euro-trash” picks because I just couldn’t decide. I’d maybe give that edge to the mk2 VW because the build quality was insane. It’s an extremely cool and clean build for a customer in Canada and I loved everything about it. So stay tuned for more posts throughout the week of all the stuff we went crazy for!