It is the Holy Grail of car enthusiasts, the Mecca of the automotive aftermarket, it is SEMA.
This years SEMA show has now come and gone just like all the ones before it, but not before leaving its mark on the automotive industry. Before we can talk about this years show I should get you all caught up on what exactly SEMA is. SEMA is an acronym which stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association. The annual SEMA Show is the premier automotive specialty products trade show in the world! It draws the industry's brightest minds and hottest products to one place, the Las Vegas Convention Center. As part of AAIW, the SEMA Show attracts more than 100,000 industry leaders from over 100 countries and the exhibits cover over 200,000 square feet.
Now that we know a little of what SEMA is, let's take a look at what was there at this years show. The best way to describe this year's show is the year of the FJ and JK. The 2007 Jeep Wrangler JK and the 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser that is. It seems like every off-road aftermarket manufacture had one (or more) of these vehicles in their booths showing off the new products that they will have for sale in the coming months. All of the major lift companies, including Rancho, ProComp, Superlift, Trail Master, Skyjacker, Full Traction, and Rubicon Express had a lift kit, either long arm or direct bolt on short arm, for the new Jeep Wrangler JK. Not to mention every bumper fabricator I can think off was there with their new winch bumpers for the JK, and even the FJ. The Toyota FJ lifts were not quite as abundant as the JK but there were still plenty from companies such as ProComp, Skyjacker, and many more.
It wasn't only the year of the FJ and JK, though it seemed like it with every turn. All of the major automotive manufacturers were there with some amazing new products and concepts. Ford brought out the big guns by showing off their all new 2008 Superduty truck, sporting the all new 6.4Liter Twin Turbo Diesel Engine. Ford also had an absolutely amazing F-650, which you can see photos of in this story. Not to be out done, Chevy/GM also had some awe inspiring vehicles. A few of these being the 427 Silverado sporting an LS-7 V8 (427ci for those that don't know), they also had a Colorado Z-71 concept, a 5.3Liter V8 Flex Fuel Hummer H3, a stunning Silverado designed for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the amazing LS-X block, the engine of the future. Oh but the fun didn't stop with GM. Toyota blew us all away with the vehicles they brought out. Toyota had on display two newly redesigned 5.7Liter Tundra's, a TRD V8 Tacoma, the limited edition 2008 TRD FJ Cruiser and the TRD Concept FJ Cruiser pickup soft top.
SEMA is not all about the new vehicles, but the vehicles accessories as well. We already talked about lift kits, but what about the gadgets that make shopping fun? Warn Winch showed off their all new Power Plant air compressor winch combo on several vehicles, two of which were the FJ and JK. This new winch looks to be a real winner, if you don't mind its size. Ramsey Winch was also there with their new 9500UT winch, which automatically locks the spool when you start reeling in the line. This will save lazy spotters like me from having to run back to the winch to engage it after running the line out. Possibly one of the coolest new products on the market, yes there is a pun intended, is the new refrigerated center console by Daddy Cool. Daddy Cool is a company from New Zealand that has revolutionized mobile refrigeration. Drawing only 6amps on start up and then only using 2 amps to keep cool your trucks charging system won't even know that you have a cooler running. And trust me, it work very well and looks good doing it!
The time that I spent at the SEMA Show wasn't enough to see nearly half of what they had to offer, literally. We have barely scratched the surface of the cool new vehicles and products that the SEMA show had to offer this year. But I sure did get a lot of cool photos of the new products and neat accessories. So follow along as we explore the 2006 SEMA Show!
Be sure to check out pages 2 and 3 for more photos than you can handle!