SEMA History

Dick Wells

The specialty-equipment industry lost of one of its most dedicated and active volunteers, Dick Wells, who died January 18 from complications following heart surgery in November.

Not Fade Away

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The old familiar sight of several roadsters at a Southern California drive-in is fast fading away,” wrote Tex Smith in the July 1959 Hot Rod magazine. That’s right. As long as 50 years ago, rodders were concerned about changes in the car hobby. “The car that wrote hot-rodding history is giving ground to its newer cousins from Detroit,” said Smith.

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A Happy Grumpy

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In August of 1969, Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins and his Grumpy’s Toy IV Camaro walked all over the competition at the Super Stock Nationals held at the York U.S. 30 Dragway in Pennsylvania. This Camaro was the latest in a string of Chevy dragsters Jenkins built and named his Toys, though anyone who lined up next to him at the strip knew he wasn’t playing around.

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The Don

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The big man in the Milodon T-shirt is none other than Don Alderson, Milodon’s cofounder (and the “don” in Milodon). Though this archive find came with no information, the location is obviously Bonneville, and the man in the Autolite shirt and what looks to be a ’66 or ’67 GTO in the distance leads us to believe that the shot was taken in 1967.

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United by Their Passion

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It seems like everyone gets a trophy these days. Our children’s sports teams don’t keep score anymore; everyone’s a winner just for showing up. The entertainment industry spends so much time staging awards and honors presentations, it’s a wonder that films, TV shows, music and theater still get produced.

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Growth Spurt

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Forty-two years ago, the SEMA Show was born in the dark, cold aisles beneath Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. A year later, the Show enjoyed its first growth spurt as it moved south to the spacious Anaheim Convention Center.

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Star Power

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At the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger received a two-hour, behind-the-scenes tour of the environmentally friendly vehicles that filled the Show’s halls, led by the Green Car Journal’s Ron Cogan.

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