SEMA Member News—November/December 2011
TORA New Product Showcase 2011
More than 60 products from TORA member companies were on display at the second annual TORA New Product Showcase in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA) member companies once again showed off their latest products at the second annual TORA New Product Showcase. The event was part of the Carlisle Truck Nationals on August 5–7, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The Carlisle Truck Nationals hosts one of the largest gatherings of truck enthusiasts in the country. In addition to hands-on exposure in front of this crowd, each product entered in the showcase is professionally photographed, and the photos and product descriptions are posted in a gallery on the TORA webpages. The photos are also presented in a video in the TORA booth and during the TORA Fall Nationals Awards Reception at the SEMA Show.
All of this product exposure is free to TORA members as a membership benefit. The only cost incurred is for shipping the products back and forth from the event. SEMA and Carlisle Events staff unpack and set up each product for display and then repack everything for return shipment.
Wish you had participated? Not yet an TORA member? Visit the TORA webpages, and download an application today. You don’t want to miss another TORA New Product Showcase!
TORA Fall Nationals at the SEMA Show
TORA will once again host the TORA Fall Nationals Pinewood Drag Races to benefit Victory Junction Camp at the 2011 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The event will be a featured attraction at the annual TORA Industry Awards Reception.
“The TORA Industry Awards Reception has long been recognized as the social and networking event of the year for light-truck industry professionals,” said TORA Chairman George Lathouris of Keystone Automotive. “Adding the Fall Nationals element last year only added to that reputation. We are all so excited to do it again and look forward to this being an TORA event for years
TORA members have long supported the Victory Junction Camp children’s charity through donations and fundraising activities, and the Fall Nationals continues that tradition. Fall Nationals reception attendees have the opportunity to “rent” a pinewood race car in exchange for a $20 donation to Victory Junction.
“We had 76 cars available last year,” said TORA Chair-Elect Melanie White of Hellwig, “and they were all rented within 20 minutes of opening the reception doors. This year, we should have around 100, and I fully expect them to sell out just as quickly. The cars are already numbered, so when you rent a car, you know which one is yours and can track it
The “rental cars” were all built at a Childhelp charity facility in Virginia and were used in the SEMA Pinewood Drags at the annual Gala Banquet in Long Beach, California. They are brought to Las Vegas by TORA’s Tom Brooks of Truckin’ Thunder. The cars are weighed and “tuned” by Brooks prior to the event to ensure that they are as equal as possible.
“It all happens pretty quickly, and it’s very exciting,” White said. “We track the eliminations on a ladder on the wall, and it’s fun to see how animated people get. A race is a race, I guess!”
In addition to the Fall Nationals, TORA will also present its annual industry awards, including the TORA Hall of Fame and Retailer of the Year honors. The reception takes place on Wednesday, November 2, at 5:30 p.m. in the Renaissance Hotel, which is directly adjacent to the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Be sure to also stop by the TORA SEMA Show booth #34127, in the upper South Hall. TORA will have five custom trucks on display, with each one representing a $1,500 donation to Victory Junction.
“Thanks to SEMA and ConVexx, we have a huge island spot this year,” said White. “To go with the new space, we’ve gone for a new look as well. We’ve minimized the meter panels and opted for several flat-screen displays and high-boy tables.”
TORA and SEMA eNews
TORA members will want to check out the TORA section of SEMA eNews each week, as the council has implemented some new elements to the column in an effort to provide fresh content. SEMA Vice President of Vehicle Technology John Waraniak provides a weekly “tech tip” aimed at informing members of emerging vehicle technologies and the opportunities afforded to SEMA members to address them. Interviews with various TORA members and a Member Spotlight section are also being incorporated. Make a part of your weekly routine to read about TORA in SEMA eNews.