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It Happened In Vegas - 2012 SEMA Show

Posted in Events on March 1, 2013 Comment (0)
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It Happened In Vegas - 2012 SEMA Show

It doesn’t matter how many times we attend the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, we’re always astonished by the sheer size and scope of this automotive event. Quite simply, it’s a fascinating, gargantuan happening that has no equal.

Now for those of you who have no idea what the SEMA Show is, or why you should care, we’ll tell you. The SEMA Show is a four-day show that began in 1967 and it’s held annually by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). SEMA is an organization that is involved in a variety of aftermarket areas and the organization works diligently to protect your rights to drive accessorized, customized, and vintage vehicles. We think you’ll agree that’s a very important mission. The SEMA Show is an industry-only trade show where manufacturers (the vast majority of which are SEMA members) exhibit their latest offerings to international and domestic buyers (more than 60,000 of ‘em this year), distributors, and the press.

The 2012 SEMA Show featured 12 themed sections including, but not limited to, Tools and Equipment; Mobile Electronics; Wheels and Accessories; and Trucks SUVs and Off-Road. The show also featured a huge New Products Showcase, packed with over 2,000 newly introduced parts, tools, and components (you can read about some of those new products elsewhere in this issue). There were also demos, seminars, celebrity appearances, and special events. Oh, and of course there were hundreds of display vehicles that ran the gamut from trail-ready to chrome-slathered.

One of the most talked about vehicles at the show was in the Optima booth. It’s an ICON ’65 Dodge D200 that’s sitting on an ’06 Dodge 3500 chassis. It’s part of ICON’s Reformer line, which are quality restorations on modern chassis engineering. The truck has a modified Cummins turbodiesel engine that is said to spew approximately 440 horsepower and a dyno-proven 975 lb-ft of torque. ICON’s Reformer line is built to be driven, and this truck will eventually end up in the hands of its new owner on a working Wyoming ranch.

Couldn’t be there? No worries. We’ve assembled a huge collection of rigs as well as scenes from the SEMA Show to keep you up to speed.

What Is the “Hottest Truck” and “Hottest 4x4-SUV?”

For the past three years SEMA looked at the vehicles that SEMA Show exhibitors showcase to determine the SEMA Award for top trending vehicles. Two of the four awards are of interest to truck and 4x4 fans. This year, the award for “Hottest Truck” went to the Ford F-Series and the award for “Hottest 4x4-SUV” went to the Jeep Wrangler. For the record, these two vehicles are undefeated in their respective categories since the SEMA Award was introduced.

Mopar trotted out the Jeep Wrangler Sand Trooper, and it was designed to showcase Mopar’s new portfolio of hardcore Jeep performance parts. Among other things, this rig is equipped with a 5.7L Hemi conversion kit, portal axles, prototype 8-lug beadlock wheels, prototype full-length underbody skidplate, and 42-inch tires. Do you hear it calling your name?
View Slideshow

Celebrities at SEMA
SEMA has a reputation for drawing big name celebrities. Some are just wandering around, checking out the show, while others are brought in to appear in booths for autograph signings. This year we ran into Lisa Kelly of “Ice Road Truckers” and “The World’s Deadliest Roads” fame. She was at the Lightforce booth. We had the chance to chat with her for a bit and we learned that in addition to driving her semi, horses, and dirt bikes, she’s often behind the wheel of her 6-inch-lifted ’04 Chevy 2500 pickup.

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