Automotive Industry News

Pumping Up Consumer Excitement

Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO The first-ever SEMA Ignited event may have looked like a great party and car show, but Ignited was actually much more than that. The event was a way to show off the incredible cars, trucks and specialty equipment that our industry brings to the SEMA Show. It was also a means to interact with consumers, both on-site and through the media. The immediate social-media coverage was awesome, and now we have the longer-lead media pieces coming to fruition.

One important consumer-facing program is set to debut March 8—the one-hour, SEMA-sponsored Velocity Channel special called “SEMA Battle of the Builders.”

SEMA Show Ends With an After Party

For the first time in its long history, the 2014 SEMA Show ended with an “after party” called SEMA Ignited, where the general public viewed hundreds of cars and trucks from the trade-only event. Thousands of enthusiasts came out to get up close with one-of-a-kind cars, trucks and SUVs. Reporters flocked to SEMA Ignited as well to witness the thrill and excitement of this brand-new venue. Read on to see what reporters had to say about the first-ever SEMA Ignited. And tune in to the one-hour TV special scheduled to air on the Velocity Network in March 2015 to see footage of the event and the Battle of the Builders competition that culminated at SEMA Ignited.

The Los Angeles Auto Show

A beautiful exercise in glass and metal, the Infiniti Q80 Inspiration Concept is a stunner from every angle. The concept car features lots of intriguing ideas, including a new hybrid powerplant that pairs a twin-turbo 3.0L V6 engine to an electric motor, making a combined 550 hp. Infiniti spokespeople say that the car is an indication of where they would like to take the brand in the future.The Los Angeles Auto Show has developed a reputation as a “green” show that strongly focuses on alternative fuels and novel forms of propulsion. This may have been the case in prior years, but the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show had more to offer enthusiasts than in recent years, as a burst of “track-ready” performance cars and creative variants on existing platforms came to light. That made it more like the SEMA Show—an optimistic environment in which OEM exhibitors launched fun-to-drive new models and showed off interesting concept cars that may very well enter production. Among them were several vehicles that could be of special relevance to SEMA members.

Wild Outdoor Headers

Hot Rod magazine’s LeRoi Smith took this photo in the spring of 1963 outside of Barr’s Muffler Shop in Studio City, California, for an article on building a cost-effective exhaust system for an Olds-powered hot-rod roadster. That’s Bobby Barr in the foreground talking to Jerry Eames by the tube bender. This photo is an outtake from the shoot; in the photo that appeared in the magazine, Barr and Eames are far more intent on their work. Hot Rod magazine’s LeRoi Smith took this photo in the spring of 1963 outside of Barr’s Muffler Shop in Studio City, California, for an article on building a cost-effective exhaust system for an Olds-powered hot-rod roadster. That’s Bobby Barr in the foreground talking to Jerry Eames by the tube bender. This photo is an outtake from the shoot; in the photo that appeared in the magazine, Barr and Eames are far more intent on their work.

According to Smith, the whole exhaust system—the open headers plus cut-outs to glasspack-filled pipes running under the car—cost just $150.

Fast Facts

Breaking news from SEMA member companies, including Wes-Coast Marketing, Truck Accessories Group, Air Lift Co., VP Racing Fuels, Challenger Lifts and more.

Another Closing of Another Show

While the 2014 SEMA Show is now in the history books, highlights from the annual event live on as media coverage continues to highlight the vehicles, products and activities from the event. One consistent theme year after year is that the SEMA Show is a place for the industry to discover new automotive aftermarket trends.

From Hot Rods to Choppers

For instance, Hot Rod magazine published an article in its June 1963 issue called “Wiring Made Easy” to illustrate the basic tools, hardware and steps needed to wire a hot-rod project. But the car in the opening photograph wasn’t just any hot rod. A car’s electrical system can be a challenge for a do-it-yourself hobbyist. That’s why car magazines—for about as long as there have been car magazines—have covered the topic to help enlighten shade-tree mechanics.

For instance, Hot Rod magazine published an article in its June 1963 issue called “Wiring Made Easy” to illustrate the basic tools, hardware and steps needed to wire a hot-rod project. But the car in the opening photograph wasn’t just any hot rod. The subject car was the XR-6—a futuristic, built-from-scratch roadster that was the brainchild of Hot Rod’s LeRoi “Tex” Smith to “investigate the uses of modern ideas in hot-rod design,” as Smith described it. The XR-6 would go on to appear on the cover of Hot Rod’s August 1963 issue and also nab the coveted America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award at that year’s Oakland Roadster Show.

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