SEMA News—March 2011

SEMA Sets July 8 as Collector Car Appreciation Day

Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) and Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) councils announced July 8, 2011, as Collector Car Appreciation Day
Collector Car Appreciation Day recognizes the vital role that automotive restoration and collection plays in American society.

SEMA and its Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) and Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) councils announced July 8, 2011, as Collector Car Appreciation Day. The date marks the second commemoration in what will become an annual event to raise awareness of the vital role automotive restoration and collection plays in American society. SEMA and its councils are now working to secure a congressional resolution to recognize the day’s significance.

“Last year, the U.S. Senate helped launch the first national Collector Car Appreciation Day by passing Senate Resolution 513 at our request,” said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald. “As a result, thousands of Americans gathered at car cruises, parades and other events to celebrate our nation’s automotive heritage.”

Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus members Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) sponsored S. Res. 513. They have been strong advocates for the automotive hobby in D.C., and the resolution reaffirmed their understanding of the cultural importance of collector cars. The caucus is an informal, nonpartisan group that pays tribute to America’s ever-growing love affair with the car and motorsports. The caucus recognizes the integral role collector cars have played in fostering our nation’s appreciation for the automobile’s unique place in our history.

SEMA will maintain a list of scheduled events to commemorate Collector Car Appreciation Day. Individuals, car clubs and business owners interested in publicizing events should contact SEMA Action Network Director Mike Dingell at 202/783-6007 x38 or


Boost Your Installer Skills at the Technical Skills & Training Conference

SEMA Technical Skills & Training Conference. Set for Monday, March 28, at WyoTech Blairsville in Blairsville, Pennsylvania
Restylers, installers and truck-accessory retailers can boost their employees’ technical proficiency and learn the latest in new products and installation techniques at the SEMA Technical Skills & Training Conference.

Diversify your business, learn about new products and installation techniques and take the next step in enhancing your employees’ technical proficiency at the SEMA Technical Skills & Training Conference. Set for Monday, March 28, at WyoTech Blairsville in Blairsville, Pennsylvania, the event features hand-on training and workshops and is sponsored by the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO), a SEMA council dedicated to addressing the challenges facing the restyling market.

Conducted by PRO-member companies, the workshops will cover an array of product categories, including inbuilt and spoiler sunroofs, leather interiors, mobile electronics, graphics, wraps, paint protection film, chrome accessories, spray-on bedliners, stainless-steel accessories, towing equipment, shaker hood systems, spoilers and more. The conference agenda also includes a sales-training workshop geared toward business owners, which will offer valuable tips on selling dealer-direct.

The manufacturer roster includes Artlux, Cequent Performance Products, Classic Design Concepts, Eagle Enterprises, Innovative Creations, Katzkin Leather, Restylers’ Choice, Roadwire, Rosen Entertainment, Signature Automotive Products, 3M and Webasto Product North America.

For complete information on the 2011 Technical Skills & Training Conference, including the attendee registration form and a list of area hotels, visit here.


SICE USA Raises $5,000 for SEMA Cares

“We had never donated in the past; I guess we’re picking up where someone else left off,” said Robert Donato, president of SICE USA. Donato’s company recently made an incredibly generous donation to the SEMA Cares foundation, contributing a Teco 28TI/UPH/BPS/PO tire changer valued at more than $10,500 for an eBay auction. Shipped direct from Italy and prominently displayed at the 2010 SEMA Show, the machine included a pneumatic bead assistant to handle tough tire/wheel combinations, including low-profile and run-flat applications.

“The charities (Childhelp and Victory Junction) are going to have some good results from our participation, and I feel good about it,” said Donato. “And that’s important. If somebody else wants to feel good like I do, here’s the way.”

The tire changer auction raised $5,000 for SEMA Cares, and Donato couldn’t be happier about the funds raised or the exposure generated by the auction. To learn more about SEMA Cares and the annual fundraising activities the committee sponsors, e-mail

A Teco 28TI/UPH/BPS/PO tire changer—donated by Robert Donato, president of SICE USA—raised $5,000 at auction for the SEMA Cares charity foundation.


Fast Facts

Rusty Bishop
Rusty Bishop
Federated Auto Parts’ CEO Rusty Bishop accepted a position on the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) board of directors. The Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium board helps ensure the continuity and financial security of the annual symposium. The 2011 GAAS is scheduled for May 18–19 in Rosemont, Illinois, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare and will bring together industry leaders and experts to examine the issues and trends affecting the worldwide automotive specialty-equipment market.

Stronghold Motorsports reached an agreement with Roush Yates Engines to provide engines for the Pro 2 Unlimited short course road-racing program for seven-time Supercross champion Jeremy McGrath. “This is a fantastic opportunity to align ourselves with an engine builder who has won at the most elite levels of motorsports,” said Stronghold Motorsports Managing Partner Scott Bailey. Roush Yates Performance Parts, Mooresville, NC; 704/662-6982.

Classic Motorcar Auctions will return to the John S. Knight Center in Akron, Ohio, for its Ohio Spring Classic Car Auction, set for Saturday, March 26. Event facilitators stated that the CMA auction draws buyers from as far away as California. In addition to automobiles, the auction will offer a large assortment of automobilia to open the sale.

Line-X Protective Coatings is supporting the Eco Trek Foundation and its Best of America Tour by spraying its protective coatings on the truck bed and wheelwells of EcoTrek’s specially designed Ford F-250. The tour consists of American vehicles fueled on cellulose ethanol and equipped with American-made products. It will make appearances at historic sites and events around the United States to help raise awareness for renewable fuels, materials and the preservation of natural resources. Line-X, Anaheim, CA; 714/850-1662.

Vibe magazine launched a partnership project with Revolution Racing in support of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity Program, which was launched during the 2011 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, California, January 28–29. The multi-platform partnership includes Vibe signage on a car driven by Darrell Wallace Jr., brand presence at the speedway and editorial coverage in Vibe and on

Perfect Equipment Inc. appointed Johannes Michalski as its CEO, succeeding President Mike Astorino, who will remain involved as a business consultant. Michalski joins Perfect Equipment from a leading provider of mechanical and electronic key systems, lock sets, steering locks and remote control systems for the automotive industry. Michalski served as chief operating officer for the North American division.

SEMA past chairman Corky Coker of Coker Tire was elected chairman of the board of directors of the Collectors Foundation for 2011. RTM Productions’ Jim Cozzie, also a past chairman of SEMA, was elected to the foundation’s board of directors. Collectors Foundation is a member of SEMA and the association’s Automotive Restoration Market Organization and Hot Rod Industry Alliance. Visit the Collectors Foundation’s website,, to learn more about the organization. Coker Tire, Chattanooga, TN; 800/251-6336. RTM Productions, Franklin, TN; 615/503-9700.

SCCA Board Chairman Tom Campbell
Tom Campbell

With an executive search currently underway, Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Pro Racing announced that SCCA Board Chairman Tom Campbell will serve as the interim president and CEO beginning January 17. Campbell will oversee the day-to-day operations of SCCA Pro Racing until a permanent successor is found for outgoing President and CEO Bob Wildberger. A committee comprised of SCCA board members is currently working toward establishing a replacement.

The Scotts Valley (California) Police Department became the first law-enforcement agency in California to receive a Zero DS electric motorcycle to assist in local patrols and traffic enforcement. The acquisition of the Zero DS, which features an all-electric drivetrain, serves as a benchmark for evaluating the motorcycle in law-enforcement situations, such as responding through traffic and on local bike trails.

Chris Fairless of Fairless Sales & Marketing announced that the company has merged with the SS Sales & Marketing Group. With this merger, Irv Cohen (one of the current principles) and Fairless will be equal partners in SS Sales & Marketing. SS Sales & Marketing, Murrieta, CA; 949/697-1174.

Vantage Mobility International was awarded a patent for an innovative rear suspension on a wheelchair minivan from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This invention, when applied to a lowered-floor Honda Odyssey or Chrysler Town & Country minivan, helps physically challenged consumers gain additional freedom and independence.

Shell Racing Solutions named Hyperfuels as a direct distributor for Shell Racing Fuels new line of Unleaded Racing Technology (URT) fuels. Shell Racing Solutions is now offering Shell URT fuels in the United States, and Hyperfuels will carry the entire line of Unleaded Racing Technology fuels and distribute in Illinois, Texas and Indiana.

RK Motors Charlotte named collector car veteran Jamie Wiehe as its new marketing director. Wiehe will be responsible for all marketing activities for the company. She will develop marketing strategies based on studying economic indicators, tracking changes in supply and demand and identifying customers’ current and future needs. Wiehe moved to RK Motors Charlotte from Barrett-Jackson Auction Co., where she managed events and marketing-related tasks for nearly six years.

Veteran racer and motorsports industry professional Jill Canuso
Jill Canuso

S&W Race Cars & Components Inc.
appointed veteran racer and motorsports industry professional Jill Canuso to be its new director of marketing. She will work with the team at S&W Race Cars from the corporate headquarters in Spring City, Pennsylvania, and will focus on executing marketing plans and strategies. Canuso, formerly of M&R Products, has spent more than 17 years in the industry, including positions ranging from product design to sales. S&W Race Cars & Components Inc., Spring City, PA; 610/948-7303.

Johnson Controls signed a purchase agreement to acquire Keiper and the automotive sport and specialty seat business of Recaro. The acquisition includes approximately 4,750 employees globally in seven countries. Excluded from the transaction are Keiper’s operations, business and entity in Brazil. With the acquisition, Johnson Controls expects to strengthen its competitive position in key seating components with expanded opportunities to develop new differentiating products and technologies.

DuPont opened a new $30 million R&D facility dedicated to coatings science at the company’s global research and development headquarters, the Experimental Station. The new coatings technology center, established by DuPont Performance Coatings, will focus on DuPont Refinish Systems products, which support the automotive collision industry, and DuPont Industrial Coating Solutions, which markets a wide range of liquid and powder industrial finishes. DuPont Hot Hues, Wilmington, DE; 800/338-7668.

Steve Jones of Banks Engineering
Steve Jones

Steve Jones
was named Banks PowerHouse manager for Gale Banks Engineering. He will manage the retail and wholesale sales operations and supervise the company’s installation and quality-assurance departments. Jones has been with Gale Banks Engineering for more than six years and has a broad base of experience in retail sales and management. His immediate focus will be to integrate a number of newly released and upcoming Banks Engineering products into the wholesale system and retail marketplace. Gale Banks Engineering, Azusa, CA; 626/969-9600.

Driven Public Relations announced a strategic alignment with Ride and Drive Communications and Events, a collaboration that both agencies report will allow them to work collectively to bolster their unique client offerings and services while working across multiple industries on an international scale. Both Driven and Ride and Drive have a strong automotive focus, but they also have many clients in the powersports and alternative energy industries. The organizations plan to meet regularly to exchange information on trends in their respective markets and supplement work within specific areas of expertise.

The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum of Pomona, California, named industry icon and SO-CAL Speed Shop founder Alex Xydias its chairman of the board. Xydias has served as a board member since the museum opened in 1998. He is a member of the SEMA Hall of Fame and a recipient of the notable Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award.

Leonard Edwards was hired as director of sales for the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). Edwards will report to Tony Driscoll, vice president of sales and business development. Both are based in NHRA’s Charlotte, North Carolina, office. Edwards, who has more than seven years of experience in sales positions within the sports field, most recently worked at International Speedway Corp. as manager of partnership sales. NHRA, Glendora, CA; 626/963-7695.

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