SEMA Member News—January 2020

HRIA in the Limelight

HRIAThe HRIA Reception celebrates the progress and strength of the hot-rod industry.

It’s hard to miss all the hot-rod-related activities during the SEMA Show. From Hot Rod Alley to the Hot Rod Builder’s Panel to the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) reception, a spotlight shone brightly on HRIA throughout the 2019 Show, both on and off the exhibit floor.

As seasoned Showgoers know, Hot Rod Alley and the Restoration Marketplace are cheek-by-jowl adjacent to one another in Central Hall. In a booth adjoining the two niche-market sections, a feature vehicle display known as Central Park is traditionally shared by HRIA and the Automotive Restoration Market Organization.

While the display area is always a central gathering spot for HRIA members to relax and mingle with select committee members, colleagues and SEMA staff, the prime focal points are six featured vehicles. The three hot rods chosen for display didn’t just represent the best of the best but also shone a light on the talented builders who created them and helped to raise the profile of the products in Hot Rod Alley and the hot-rod industry overall.

Saluting Leaders

HRIAHRIA booth shared with ARMO creates inviting space for SEMA members to learn more about the council and how to get involved.

One of the most highly anticipated council receptions is the event hosted by HRIA on Wednesday evening of the SEMA Show. The lively, fun-filled reception, held at the Westgate Paradise Center, brought together more than 400 hot rodders for a night of celebration and good fellowship.

In keeping with HRIA tradition, the evening began with an honor guard trooping of the colors, followed by the national anthem. As guests gathered to greet friends, enjoy snacks and beverages, and take in the display of knockout rods, emcee Tim Strange of Strange Motion Rod and Custom took the stage to kick off the awards program.

Three awards were presented last year: Hall of Fame, Industry Recognition and Business of the Year. The awards recognize industry leaders for their exceptional achievements and outstanding contributions to the growth and progress of the hot-rod industry.

As an enthusiastic crowd looked on, the three honorees were announced. Troy Trepanier of Rad Rides by Troy was honored as the newest inductee into the HRIA Hall of Fame. John McLeod of Classic Instruments received the Industry Recognition Award; and American Autowire was named HRIA Business of the Year.

Becoming a Builder

Another high-profile HRIA tradition is the ever-popular Hot Rod Builder’s Panel, held on Thursday afternoon. For those who dream of one day having their rods featured at the Show or competing in the Battle of the Builders, the event is a good place to get insider tips, learn about trends and interact with the experts.

The panel was moderated by Tim Strange and included veteran street-rod journalist Brian Brennan of Street Rodder as well as some of the industry’s top builders: Bobby Alloway of Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop; Kyle Tucker of Detroit Speed; and Rad Rides’ Troy Trepanier. As always, the event was well attended, and the guests eagerly soaked up all the stories and information that was shared.

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