SEMA News—July 2014


SEMA Garage: What’s In It for You?

Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO The compelling image you see on the cover of this issue was a byproduct of a visit by the world-famous SO-CAL Speed Shop crew. They came by to check out the newly completed SEMA Garage and to touch base with one of their celebrity clients—rock guitarist and legendary car collector Billy Gibbons. SO-CAL was among the first of many SEMA-member companies that will use the tools and facilities we have assembled in the SEMA Garage.

The SO-CAL team took advantage of the SEMA Garage FaroArm laser scanner to capture the exact curvature of the ’34 Ford’s sleek body panels to quickly fabricate a new custom trim piece. It’s an example of how the latest scanning and rapid prototyping tools can revolutionize the way our industry develops products. While we generally think of laser scanning as a process that speeds the development of a part for a new-model car, these tools are also very useful for custom shops that need to produce only a single part. The scanner and rapid prototype equipment are just a few of the new tools and services available to SEMA members from the SEMA Garage.

If you have not yet had a chance to experience the SEMA Garage, please accept this invitation to join us for the upcoming open-house reception. This event will be a chance to tour the facilities and consider what this new product development center might offer your business. We plan to show visitors how the Garage is a space that allows a member company to develop a new specialty part from start to finish using state-of-the-art equipment. The Garage will also be home to SEMA’s new CARB EO Compliance Assistance Center (details coming in the next issue of SEMA News).

The open house will be held on July 17, the evening before the annual SEMA Installation Gala. With so many SEMA legends and leaders in town for the Gala, the open house will be informative as well as a great networking opportunity featuring cool cars and a lot of fun. SEMA members will receive details about both events shortly—and if you can’t attend, we’re preparing some video shorts so that you can still experience all that the SEMA Garage has to offer.

Many of the tools and services of the SEMA Garage are already open to SEMA members. We’ve been hosting measuring sessions, product development conferences and emissions lab tests for several months. Now, with the completion of the photo studio cove, the Garage has four cells. One is a complete emissions-certification lab and chassis dyno; cell two is a working garage that includes a lift and a full array of tools to accommodate vehicle measuring sessions; cell three is the photo cove; and cell four is a large training room and welcome center.

The newest cell, the photo cove, contains a photo/video bay large enough to shoot a lifted truck. Lighting equipment and extras such as go-jacks are already on hand. There is also a smaller cove perfect for shooting individual products, such as wheels or engine parts. Use of the photo cove, the FaroArm scanner, the rapid prototyping equipment and the dyno center is not limited to local companies. We welcome SEMA members to send us requests or ship parts or vehicles to the Garage to be handled by our on-site staff and contracted local professionals and then returned. The services of this association-owned and -operated facility will be offered at special SEMA-member reduced rates.

Still under construction is a website with a scheduling function that will allow members to book time in the installation center or plan a scanning job or an emissions certification project. But for now, the best way to tap the Garage facilities is to contact Mike Spagnola at Elsewhere in this issue is a feature story that tells more about the Garage, but we hope you’ll join us at the July 17 open house or just drop by soon to see the SEMA Garage for yourself.

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