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The 51st Annual SEMA Show

Posted in Events on December 13, 2017
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Photographers: Deanna Scanlon

The annual SEMA Show roared into Las Vegas on Halloween, and for the next few days the world got to see all of the newest parts and pieces designed for literally everything automotive. From suspension to engine/drivetrain performance, wheels and tires and everything imaginable that can attach to a motorized vehicle, the SEMA Show did what the SEMA show does — and does it in a huge way.

Held in the cavernous Las Vegas Convention Center, there are (no kidding) miles of aisles that were filled with products from companies that came from around the globe to be in Vegas for the fun. Some of the products were ingenious, and some left us scratching our heads as to why and for what purpose.

It was over 50 years ago a few companies got together to see if they could sell more parts if they actually worked together. The resulting cooperation has turned into the massive entity that’s now SEMA and the resulting show. And while it’s true that the selling of parts continues to be the driving force of this event, for many attendees, SEMA isn’t so much about the new parts as it is about the vehicles that have been built to display those parts.

There was a lot happening inside too.

Some of these builds are full-on customs that feature many of the best products on them, but are usually featuring one product in particular. It’s quite an honor to be chosen to display there, and one that nobody takes lightly. Though SEMA isn’t really a place where there are a lot of prerunners (Off-Road Expo and Sand Sports Show is better for them), there was still a ton of great race, off-road, and even overland vehicles to ogle over.

A while ago, we covered both the Off-Road Expo (Pomona edition) and the Sand Sports Super Show and said that they may be eclipsing SEMA as the must attend show for off-roaders. We still tend to lean that way, but there’s no disputing that SEMA has a lot of stuff that you may not have seen yet. This is especially true of performance parts. The engine guys still view SEMA as the place to debut new parts, and there was a lot to look at and add to out wish lists.

We’re keeping this intro short so we can get in as many pictures as possible of the cool (and some so not cool) vehicles that were found at the show, but know that you’ll be able to see more if you go to our website at We have the SEMA New Products elsewhere in this issue, so look for those too.

In addition to many vendors booths, the SCORE/BFGoodrich area was the staging area for the race trucks that were going to be qualifying Tuesday night.
As always, the Ford booth had a ton of great trucks.
Now this is a great Bug, compliments of the Radflo crew.
It wasn’t exactly the Sand Sports show, but there were some mighty fine UTVs at SEMA this year.
Trucks like this Tacoma have been lovingly built throughout the year just for the chance to be accepted by SEMA.
Not all companies chose new trucks to be the standard-bearer, as Raceline went with this vintage Bronco.
The weather was great, and it seemed that the crowd couldn’t decide on shorts or pants.
Textron had a small course in one corner where their drivers took enthusiasts for a fun-filled spin.
As usual Ford went all out with their Ford Out Front area. Their trucks and cars were sliding and jumping their way around it all week.
As large as outside is at SEMA, it pales in comparison to inside. To say that the place is gigantic is an understatement.
Now that’s a Power Wagon.
Al Unser Jr. was on hand signing autographs. Maybe next year Valvoline will get him an E-Z Up so he doesn’t have to stand out in the sun.
A more unusual build was this very cool off-road Mustang.
This EarthRoamer had it all for those who want to get away. And who have a Mil-5 to spend on a truck. Yes, we said 1.5 million dollars.
Rigid had this beautiful, gunmetal gray Chevy prerunner in their booth.
There were a lot of overlanding rigs on display. Everything from trucks to trailers like this had all ready to go extreme camping.
This Ford “F22” was just one of the great trucks they had in their booth.
Kibbetech had their latest creation on hand. They’re always building great prerunners, and they’re made to be driven hard.
And then we came across this. To whoever built these: just don’t. Please.
KMC Wheels had the right idea with this Ram overlander.
Porsche rally cars were forces to be reckoned with back in the day, and this beauty looks like it can still turn a fast lap around Morocco.
This killer Dodge was the star of the Maxxis Tire booth.
This four-door vintage Bronco was very well done.
One of the more interesting off-road vehicles was this ’46 Plymouth Deluxe.
The BFGoodrich display near the SCORE area had some great old race cars.
This Buckshot sitting in the Raceline booth was beautiful.
The pit contest “pitted” contestants against the clock and each other.
Body Armor showed that the Overlanding craze is a real thing.
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