Hot-Rod Products and Trends

SEMA News—June 2011

Nostalgia Meets Technology…and Likes It

 
The hot-rod market—the granddaddy of the automotive specialty-equipment industry—has seen some significant changes over the last few years based on both demographic and economic factors. The desire for modern amenities and advanced technology has increased with the aging of the Baby Boom generation. Styles and equipment have evolved to match those desires. From air suspension to classic gauges fitted with modern movements, and from keyless ignition to drive-by-wire throttle controls, the hot-rod world is keeping pace with developments in the rest of the automotive universe.

The accompanying compilation of hot rod products that debuted at the 2010 SEMA Show in Las Vegas provides a fair overview of where the market is headed, and we’ve supplemented it with comments about current trends from executives who manage industry-leading companies. The overwhelming consensus is that musclecars and sophisticated equipment in every system are now in demand.

View More than 100 Hot Rod Alley New Products and Expert Comments from the 2010 SEMA Show on PDF.

 
         

American Autowire
Headlight Low-/High-Beam CControl Module
856/933-0801
http://www.americanautowire.com/
PN: 510196
Headlight low-/high-beam control module

 

Beam’s Seatbelts
Seatbelt Doctor
877/435-6363
http://www.seatbeltplanet.com/
PN: Seatbelt Doctor
SeatbeltPlanet™ is now offering
seatbelt refurbishing services


 

American Autowire
’69 Mustang Classic Update
856/933-0801
http://www.americanautowire.com/
PN: 510177
A ’69 Mustang classic update wiring kit.


         

Billet Specialties Inc.
Throttle Billet Steering Wheel
800/245-5382 http://www.billetspecialties.com/
PN: 29299

Billet Specialties innovative Throttle steering wheel is precision machined from 6061-T6 billet aluminum with either a polished or a hard-coat black-anodized finish and features your choice of nine top grain leather colors for the half wrap and your choice of rivet finish. Horn buttons also have multiple finish options for a truly customized personal look.

 

Billet Specialties Inc.
Boost Billet Steering Wheel
800/245-5382
PN: 29244

Billet Specialties innovative Boost steering wheel is precision machined from 6061-T6 billet aluminum with either a polished or a hard-coat black-anodized finish and features your choice of nine top-grain leather colors for the half wrap and your choice of rivet finish. Horn buttons also have multiple finish options for a truly customized personal look.

 

Billet Specialties Inc.
Billet Hood Hinge
800/245-5382 http://www.billetspecialties.com/
PN: 873610

Billet Specialties billet hood hinges feature precision 3-D machining from 6061-T6 aluminum, stainless hardware and a stainless gas shock. Precision-sealed bearings offer smooth operation. Available finishes include polished, black anodized and raw machined. Current applications include ’67–’69 Camaros with more to come.

         

Bed Wood and Parts LLC
BedWood EZ Seal & Shine
877/206-9663 http://www.bedwoodandparts.com/
PN:BWEZ101

Bed Wood and Parts, LLC offers you the option to choose from a significant number of beautiful domestic and exotic species, with each having their own distinct appearance, grain pattern, and character. This will allow you to enhance both the appearance and attitude of the final build, and to further personalize your truck.

 

Billet Specialties Inc.
Impact Road Wheel
800/245-5382
http://www.billetspecialties.com/
PN: SLCXX

Billet Specialties Impact wheel is precision milled from rotary forged 6061-T6 aluminum for superior strength and light weight. Available in 17 through 22 in. and bolt patterns of 5x4.5, 5x4.75 and 5x5 in.

 

Billet Specialties Inc.
GTO Road Wheel
800/245-5382
http://www.billetspecialties.com/
PN: SLC31

Billet Specialties GTO wheel features aggressive style and pro quality. Precision milled from rotary-forged 6061-T6 aluminum for superior strength and light weight. Available in 17 through 22 in. and bolt patterns of 5x4.5, 5x4.75 and 5x5 in.

         
Billet Specialties Inc.
Draft Billet Steering Wheel
800/245-5382
http://www.billetspecialties.com/
PN: 29263

Billet Specialties innovative Draft steering wheel is precision machined from 6061-T6 billet aluminum with either a polished or a hard-coat black-anodized finish and features your choice of nine top grain leather colors for the half wrap and your choice of rivet finish. Horn buttons also have multiple finish options for a truly customized personal look.

  Chassis Tech
’03–’09 Dodge Ram Inboard Tow
Assist Kit
800/842-8789
http://www.airbagit.com/
PN: TOWKIT-DO-DUA-02

A 5,000-lb. towing kit; 100% bolt-on under the frame; and replaces original bump stops.

  Billet Specialties Inc.
Fury Road Wheel
800/245-5382
http://www.billetspecialties.com/
PN: SLC17

Billet Specialties Fury wheel features 3-D machining and Billet Specialties’ pro quality. Precision milled from rotary-forged 6061-T6 aluminum for superior strength and light weight. Available in 17 through 22 in. and bolt patterns of 5x4.5, 5x4.75 and 5x5 in.

         

Billet Specialties Inc.
Billet Deck-Lid Hinge
800/245-5382
http://www.billetspecialties.com/
PN: 875610

Billet Specialties’ billet deck-lid hinges feature precision 3-D machining from 6061-T6 aluminum, stainless hardware, Delrin bushings
and precision gas shocks. Available finishes include polished, black anodized and raw machined. Current applications include ’67–’69 Camaros with more to come.

Runner-Up Best New Street-Rod/Custom-Car Product

  Chassis Tech
Smart-Ride Digital

Air-Suspension Controller
800/842-8789
www.airbagit.com

Digital air-suspension control module with smart compressor control and auto leveling with five programmable presets. Interacts with digital height sensors to monitor air pressure and suspension travel position.

 

Our customers have become much more sophisticated over the years, and they are much more demanding. A basic Chevy Malibu off the showroom floor today has four-wheel disc brakes, a climate control system that works really well and very good sound deadening. The performance of your hot rod should at least surpass the performance of your everyday street car. In both street rods and musclecars, people want the latest technology so that they can drive and enjoy their hot rods rather than just throwing them on a trailer and taking them to a show. The numbers-matching musclecars aren’t bringing the same money as the cars with good brakes, a good suspension system and updated climate controls. People want a car that looks like a ’60s or ’70s car but handles and drives like a newer vehicle. The greatest opportunities lie now in increasing the number of complete packages you have—all-inclusive kits so that the customer is not sourcing one part here and another part there. Whether it’s brakes, air-conditioning or gauges, if you can provide a complete kit that is going to give the customer everything he needs, he’s going to be much more satisfied.

 

—Rick Love

Executive Vice President, Vintage Air

 

         

Chassis Tech
No O-Ring Air Shocks
800/842-8789
http://www.airbagit.com/
PN: AIRSHOCK-01

No O-rings to wear out and leak. Eight-position compression and rebound dampening adjustment.

  Chassis Tech
VC Air Compresors
800/842-8789
http://www.airbagit.com/
PN: COM-VICLONE

This is a light-duty-cycle compressor that is ideal for motorcycles, airhorns and towing packages.

 

Chassis Tech
Air Force 7600 Combo
800/842-8789
http://www.airbagit.com/
PN: COMBO-DC7600

Complete air-management solution. Comes with 1/2-in. or 3/8-in. valves, a five-gallon aluminum tank and a DC 7600 compressor.

         

View More than 100 Hot Rod Alley New Products and Expert Comments from the 2010 SEMA Show on PDF.

 

 

It’s significant that Ford has released the Boss 302 Mustang and Chevy has announced the ZL1 Camaro in the face of the media-hyped doomsday over the economy and environment. From what we hear, Camaro will be launching as many niche special models as Mustang has (such as Bullitt, California Special, GT500, Boss 302 and so on).

The retro trend shows no sign of slowing down and is continuing to broaden into the designs of rods and customs.

Modern engine swaps continue to gain mainstream acceptance, especially those using GM LS engines and, to a lesser extent, Mopar Hemis.

The introduction of the new 5.0L Coyote Ford engine will create an increase in the interest of modern Ford swaps into older cars, and turbocharging continues to grow as a mainstream method of supercharging.

The situations in the Middle East and Japan are going to challenge our economy and oil supply. SEMA and its members should choose an alternative-power solution that is performance friendly and find ways to support it within the government while also providing speed-friendly answers for enthusiasts. It strikes me that E85 is the best option.

—David Freiburger
Editor in Chief, Hot Rod

View More than 100 Hot Rod Alley New Products and Expert Comments from the 2010 SEMA Show on PDF.

 
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