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SEMA Hall of Fame: What You Might Not Know About the Prestigious Honor

By Ashley Reyes

HOFAs the aftermarket industry began to grow, so did the need to recognize the pioneers who contributed to it and to the formation of the association.

Established in 1969, the SEMA Hall of Fame began and was referred to as the “Old Timer’s Memorial Award” at the time. Few people realize that it was not until 1986 that the program came to be known as the SEMA Hall of Fame.

Here’s more about the program that few people may know:

The First Inductee

When Paul Schiefer returned from serving in the Navy during World War II, he resumed his hobby of working on cars and began experimenting on his flathead Ford V8-powered “T,” and eventually produced the first ribbed-type, lightweight, cast aluminum flywheel that would not wrap or distort under serve load.

As horsepower increased, so did the danger of flywheels exploding into dangerous shrapnel. Schiefer developed a process that provided the ultimate in coefficient of friction and wear of resistance and went on to develop the first bonded bronze clutch facing a new aluminum flywheel called the “Albro.”

Paul Schiefer
Paul Schiefer

During the ’60s, Schiefer guided his company to become the largest specialty drivetrain manufacturing company in the world.

In honor of being named the association’s first inductee in 1969, subsequent inductees received the Paul Schiefer “Old Timer’s Memorial Award.” In 1986, the award came to be known simply as the Hall of Fame. Though the name changed, the original intent did not. To this day, the award continues to honor and pay tribute to the leaders and legends that help make the automotive specialty equipment market a thriving $44.6 billion industry.

In any given year, it’s not unusual for three or four people to earn SEMA Hall of Fame induction. If you know an outstanding person in the industry who has enhanced or significantly contributed to the industry and associations growth, nominate them to be inducted into the 2021 SEMA Hall of Fame class.

Nominations are being accepted until March 19.

To learn more about the SEMA Hall of Fame and for a list of inductees, visit or contact Lindsay Bianco at or 909-978-6692.