2006 SEMA Show by TCC Team (10/30/2006)
All our coverage from the Las Vegas aftermarket extravaganza.
by Rex Roy
Photos by Rex Roy
Above all, beyond everything else, SEMA is about selling. Exhibitors set up booths to entice retailers to carry their products. Names you've heard of continue to exhibit (Crain, Edelbrock) alongside newcomers who hope to make it big by starting the aftermarket's next new trend. With similar dreams, vehicle customizers bring their wildest creations with the hopes of being recognized as the next Chip Foose or Boyd Coddington.
As you walk the five miles of SEMA's aisles, you begin to see the automotive aftermarket differently. Things fall into categories. The following attempts to make sense of the four-day event and what it all means.
We'll start by looking at this crystal-encrusted Mercedes shown here. It is actually covered by hundreds of thousands of true Swarovski crystals. It did its job of stopping traffic at the company's display. Their goal is to peddle genuine automotive bling via http://www.dad-co.jp. If they're back next year with a larger booth, we'll know they made it.
In another hall, we came across these mobile marquees. Think for a moment and you can imagine the potential for Motionzcannar's programmable LED scrolling display. Teenagers will be flashing hormone-infused messages to one another while cruising, and angry adults will use them to diss their fellow motorists in rush hour traffic. Does this represent an important new technology? No, but neither did the "Baby On Board" caution signs…remember how popular those were?
Just in case a friendly LED message such as "Back Off" doesn't work for those pesky tailgaters, the new flame thrower from AutoLoc should take care of things. Like many of the products at SEMA, it's designated for "off-road" use only. Sure it is. If you happen to be running a vehicle without catalysts, flames of up to 20 feet are possible — just right for melting the front fascia off those following too closely. Catalyst-equipped powertrains can't blow the flames as far, but the system still claims a three-foot torch effect.
You've probably never seen one of these up close. It's a door hinge that transforms regular car doors into the "Lambo" scissor-opening variety. This particular hinge expands on the design by enabling the door to move out from the body about five inches and then rotate a full 180 degrees after opening. Seems like a great way to smash in the top of your door to us. Look for them soon on a teenager's Scion, Cobalt, Focus, or Civic near you.
In-car electronics are a huge business. At SEMA, it's easy to see the trends. A few years ago, just a few manufacturers offered in-car video systems. Today, there are dozens. A fresh product trend at SEMA 2006 included reverse safety cameras. Last year there were fewer than five vendors offering such a product. Now, just as vehicle manufacturers such as General Motors, Volkswagen, and others are providing in-vehicle reverse safety cameras, a dozen guys from the
Beyond products that actually go on cars and trucks, SEMA also includes products for installation on drivers. Motocam360 is literally one of those products. While other mobile video recording systems are out there, Motocam's is fully integrated with components that have no moving parts. Video is stored on an SD memory card contained in a ruggedized digital recording device. Equipped with this, you're ready to make your way onto America's Funniest Home Videos.
2006 SEMA In Pictures, Part II by TCC Team (11/8/2006)
Hot rods, including a Volvo and a Foose original.
2006 SEMA In Pictures, Part III by TCC Team (11/8/2006)
Chrysler's Challengers and GM's EcoJet.
2006 SEMA In Pictures, Part IV by TCC Team (11/8/2006)
Hyundai nightmares and a VW Thunder Bunny and GTI R.
2006 SEMA In Pictures, Part V by TCC Team (11/8/2006)
Oddballs and odds and ends from SEMA.