Thu, 01/28/2021 - 10:00

By Ashley Reyes

SEMA EducationSEMA Virtual Education includes a comprehensive library of on-demand sessions that members are invited to access anytime, anywhere. Available at, the program includes live, simu-live and new recordings that feature leading experts talking about the most current topics and trends.

Upcoming live and debut sessions are listed below, with more sessions to be announced throughout the year. Stay tuned to SEMA eNews as new events are announced weekly.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021 – How to Protect Your Brand’s Online Reputation

Track: Marketing & Sales

Your online reputation can make or break your business. The challenge is that people are more motivated to post online when they’re unhappy than when they’re happy. How should businesses respond when they receive negative feedback? How can you create a process for acquiring more positive reviews? All this and more will be answered in this session.

Register here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021 – Facebook Live Chat with Kathryn Reinhardt

Track: Industry Talks

Tune into a Facebook Live Chat with Kathryn Reinhart, SEMA Board of Director and Senior Marketing Manager at 4 Wheel Parts. Named SEMA Person of the Year in 2015 for her dedication and accomplishments in the industry, Reinhardt will share details about her start in the industry, inspirational stories about women she met along the way, and give advice on knowing what you want and how to ask for it.

Location: SBN Facebook page

Wednesday, February 10, 2021 – Replica Car Program Finalized: Everything You Need to Know

Track: Legislative & Regulatory

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has completed a rule allowing low volume vehicle manufacturers to produce and sell replica cars, vehicles that appear to be at least 25 years old. Join a panel of industry experts as they provide an overview of the new program and practical considerations if selling replica cars, engine packages, or vehicle parts.

Register here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021 – Facebook Live Chat with Lindsay Hubley

Track: Industry Talks

Hear from Lodestone Events’ managing partner Lindsay Hubley as she talks about challenges in the events industry during Covid-19 and what her company has planned for 2021. Lodestar Events is an event production company that specializes in event planning & logistics, marketing & communications, and sponsorship & exhibitor sales, and oversees the world’s premier overland and adventure travel event, Overland Expo.

Location: YEN Facebook page

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 – Classic Cars, Modern Markets  

Series: SEMA Industry Insight Series

Track: Trends & Research

Classic cars and trucks represent a $890 million market. Find out how you may be able to capitalize on this market by learning about new research that shows what types of parts are bought for classic vehicles, what the vehicles are primarily used for and the behaviors of the vehicle owners. Presented by SEMA Market Research, the information represents new data and findings that will help you better understand the opportunities available.

Register here.

Thu, 01/28/2021 - 09:57

By Ashley Reyes

Cathy ClarkThe SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) named Cathy Clark as this week’s #SheIsSEMA Spotlight Member. Clark is the chair-elect of the SBN, and a sales representative at Bob Cook Sales, a leading sales, marketing and consulting company for manufacturers and resellers of the automotive aftermarket.

Having not always wanted to work in the automotive industry, Clark now has a career that she thoroughly enjoys with a strong work ethic that is noticed by many. Get to know what drives her passion in her Q&A with SEMA.  

SEMA: How many years have you been with your current company and what do you enjoy most about working there?

Cathy Clark: I have worked for Bob Cook Sales for 12 years. What I enjoy most about my company is the people that I work with and the freedom that I have to do my job. Our owners expect a great deal from us but they give us the flexibility to accomplish our goals however we see fit.

SEMA: What is most challenging part of running your business or job?

CC: The most challenging part of my job is preparing and responding to circumstances that are out of my control. The economy, new ownership of client companies, etc., can all have an impact on my job even though I may not have any say in the matter.

SEMA: Being a woman in the industry, what have been your biggest challenges and accomplishments? Do you have a specific situation that comes to mind?

CC: Being a woman in the industry does bring with it some challenges. Some believe that I am not as knowledgeable about the industry. I love when I prove them wrong and they thank me for my hard work and what I have helped them accomplish.

SEMA: Who are your role models or mentors in the industry? How have they helped you along the way?

CC: My father is my number one role model in the industry. He worked with Bob Cook Sales for almost 30 years and he still to this day gives me advice. He showed me how to do this job on every imaginable level.

SEMA: Have you always wanted to work in the automotive industry? What keeps you here?

CC: Absolutely not. If you had told me I would be in this industry when I was growing up, I would have laughed at you. What keeps me in this industry is the people and the challenging work that changes daily. I thoroughly enjoy what I do!

Do you know, or are you, a woman with a career in the automotive industry? Fill out a #SheIsSEMA spotlight form to submit a self-nomination or nominate a colleague and highlight how you or she is contributing to the specialty-equipment industry. Selected candidates are automatically eligible to be considered for SBN’s #SheIsSEMA Woman of the Year award, featured on SBN’s social media, SEMA eNews and recognized on the website.

Thu, 01/28/2021 - 09:45

By Ashley Reyes

Anthony HostetlerAnthony Hostetler is the SEMA Young Executives Network’s (YEN) newest Spotlight member. Hostetler is an industrial designer at Oracle Lighting, manufacturers of designer lighting products and technologies for the automotive powersports, motorcycle and marine markets.

SEMA: What is the best advice you have ever received?

Anthony Hostetler: Do what you enjoy, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

SEMA: What keeps you in the industry?

AH: Ever evolving cars and products. Design language is constantly changing, and it’s a blast to be a part of it!

SEMA: Where can you be found on a Saturday?

AH: Exploring local scenes and traveling to new places.

SEMA: How do you prepare for an important meeting?

AH: Prepared to contribute to the best of my abilities—whether that is expressed through visual ideations or through product presentations. Collaborating and gaining feedback can help direct the way I approach designing a product for the industry.

SEMA: If you could go to lunch with one industry leader, living or dead, who it would be?

AH: Jordan Meadows. He is an incredibly talented car designer with solid aesthetic principles in the automotive industry. 

Thu, 01/28/2021 - 09:36

By Kyle Cheng

Future TrendsThe pandemic has been challenging for everyone. Now that 2021 is here, what’s the path moving forward? How does recovery look for the country, the economy and our industry? How are consumers reacting? When can we expect to move past COVID-19?

The new “SEMA Future Trends—January 2021” provides insight on these trends and maps out potential paths for the specialty-equipment industry moving forward.

In this report, SEMA Market Research has pulled together the latest data, information and forecasts to help your company make better business decisions in 2021 and beyond.

In the report you’ll find:

  • The likely scenarios for economic and industry recovery.
  • Projections for the automotive and specialty-equipment industries.
  • Timelines on when we can move past the pandemic.
  • The latest economic forecasts.
  • Consumer spending behavior and industry outlook.

To learn more, download the new “SEMA Future Trends—January 2021” report today at

For regular snapshots of the economy and our industry, make sure to also check out our monthly “SEMA Industry Indicators” report.

Thu, 01/28/2021 - 08:52

By Jay Carpio, Fredy Ramirez & Carr Winn

"Carr Parts" is dedicated to builders. It's about quick tips and tricks and the newest must-have products. It's about visiting with a fellow builder, walking around their project and getting an up-close look at their handy work. It's also about our industry sharing their passion for turning a wrench and taking time to give advice to fellow gearheads. Episode two features another extremely talented Young Gun, Matteo Medoro talking about braking systems.

For more information about Matteo and all the Young Guns visit

SEMA's video team is currently in production on future episodes of "Carr Parts" and we'd love to hear from you. Do you have a tip, trick or advice you can share with our audience? Drop us a note at and we'll connect with you.

We can't wait to find the next guest for "Carr Parts." And finally...keep building.

Wed, 01/27/2021 - 13:58

By SEMA Editors

SEMA Show management announced the launch of the
2021 Exhibitor Space Rental Agreement, which
is due May 7.

Show your products to SEMA's worldwide network of media contacts and qualified buyers at the 2021 SEMA Show. Put your company and products in front of the audience they deserve, and reconnect with the industry.

Take advantage of the opportunity that the SEMA Show provides for in-person interactions with customers, colleagues, leaders and legends. Reserve you booth at

Here are essential deadlines for the 2021 SEMA Show:

  • Exhibit Space Reservation Application Deadline: Friday, May 7
  • Early Space Selection: Monday, June 7–Wednesday, June 23
  • Full Refund Cancellation Deadline: Wednesday, September 1
  • Show Dates: Tuesday, November 2–Friday, November 5

The SEMA Show takes place November 2 - November 5, 2021 at the Las Vegas Convention Center located at 3150 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV 89109. For complete Show information, visit

Wed, 01/27/2021 - 13:34

By SEMA Editors

Platinum status represents SDC manufacturers that have achieved the pinnacle of product data by putting in the extra effort to provide resellers with the most complete data sets available.

Mod-Twin Kit
Mod-Twin Kit

ACT’s new Mod-Twin Kit is a performance break-through for the Evo VIII, IX, X, and Subaru WRX applications! These vehicles are making lots of power and with great power comes the ACT Mod-Twin! A well-defined problem is half solved. The problem: The disc splines would strip out due to the extreme torsional vibration traveling down the input shaft. A great improvement would be a sprung hub. The space is so small, that in the past you could not adequately get two sprung hub discs to fit. If they did have springs, they would be very small, and not very effective. ACT has the solution! The new MOD-TWIN Series offers either a completely modular spring-centered or rigid Mono-Drive Hub design. Holds 700-1376 ft. lbs. of torque!

PN: T1S-S05

Bull Ring
Flush Fit Tie Down Anchors
Bulll Ring

The Bull Ring #4025 fits the 2020-21 F Series trucks better than ever before. The cover material matches the color, grain texture and fit of the Ford Factory Rail Cap exactly. They install in 30 seconds with no special tools or cutting or drilling. Snap them up for use with ratchet straps or rope, then snap them back down to store flush in the rail. The stainless, eye ring holds 1000 pounds and comes with a lifetime (No Bull) no-hassle, warranty. A super-strong, flush fit, retractable truck bed tie down with a factory look, corrosion resistant chassis, mounted on the rail-for easy access-and a perfect match.

PN: 4025

Leed Brakes
Power Disc Conversion Kit
Leed Brakes

Add the safety, reliability and performance of power disc brakes to your factory manual transmission '64-'66 Ford Mustang. With our drum to power disc brake conversion kit, you receive everything needed to mount factory style 4 piston disc brakes to the original drum brake spindles currently on your vehicle.

The disc brake conversion kit is an easy installation with step-by-step instructions. All components used in these front disc brake kits are new high-quality, precision-machined products, making this a great front disc brake kit with a factory look.

PN: FC0001-H405M

Oracle Lighting
Underbody Wheel Well Rock Light Kit
Underbody Wheel Well Rock Light Kit

Oracle Lighting the market leader in innovative LED lighting solutions for the automotive aftermarket, is proud to announce the debut of its new White Underbody Wheel Well Rock Light Kit. Now available, these new highly durable and intensely bright white LED rock lights easily install for applications on trucks, Jeeps, trailers, powersport vehicles, and more. Featuring more than 2,400 Lumens of output making them brighter than most headlights, you can drive with confidence using these white rock lights with high quality components that withstand any terrain you put them through on the streets or off-road,” explained Justin Hartenstein, Oracle Lighting director of development. With multiple options on the market, you want the best quality for a good price when choosing white rock lights.

PN: 5875-001

28-inch Rear Facing LED Chase Bar
28-inch Rear Facing LED Chase Bar

Rigid introduces the world’s most advanced Chase LED Light Bar. The Chase Bar is a 28” rear facing light that adds safety and functionality to any UTV, rail, buggy, Jeep, or other off-road vehicle by combining running, brake, reverse, turn signal and more into a single package. Pre-programmed features include strobe, scroll, flash, and can be fully customized to any vehicle trigger. This light has programmable triggers: running and three auxiliary triggers. The user can program each trigger by choosing from 27 pre-programmed modes for a completely custom setup. The running and auxiliary triggers allow for the selection of one of the pre-programmed modes or customize your own for over 300,000 possible configurations. Compliant with multiple race series requiring strobing blue, amber, green and red.

PN: 901801

Wed, 01/27/2021 - 13:18

By Fredy Ramirez

SEMA eNews highlights new products from industry companies each week. To have your product considered for upcoming issues, send product press releases to

Suspension Controller

DiabloSport has launched its Suspension Controller for 2015+ Dodge Charger SRT and Hellcat. The Suspension Controller replaces the factory controller with a Plug-N-Play installation. The upgraded calibration featured in the controller is engineered to improve handling and traction across the board by controlling the OEM shocks electronically to optimize performance.

PN DS1000

Heat Shield
DEI Heat Shield

Design Engineering Inc. introduces its Stainless-Steel Pipe Heat Shields. The shield is designed to prevent burns while protecting drivers and passengers from uncomfortable heat. The shield is engineered to be utilized in a wide variety of applications, including turbo down pipes, headers or any component of the exhaust system.  Available in two sizes, 4.5-in. x 8-in. and 6-in. x 12-in., each features a stainless-steel heat barrier material on the outside surfaces and an insulating inner layer, plus welded seams constructed for strength and durability.

PN: Vary

Mac’s Tie Downs
Engine Lift Adapter Plate
Mac’s Tie Downs

Mac’s Tie Downs announces its Engine Lift Adapter Plate for the 7.3L Godzilla engine, which is available both in crate form and as a factory offering in the Ford Super Duty truck chassis. The plate temporarily replaces the intake manifold for engine removal and installation. The made-to-order plate is produced from laser-cut steel and powder coated.

PN: 701501

Champion Oil
Chapion Oil RX454

Champion Oil announces the release of its RX454 penetrating oil to assist engine builders with rusted and hard-to-free mechanical parts such as nuts and bolts. It is designed to help metal components by penetrating the narrow space between the threads of two parts. It can also be used as a cleaner; however, it should not be used as a general-purpose lubricant or a corrosion stopper.

PN: 4244M

LS1 & LS3 Rocker Arms
RPC LS1 & LS3 Rocker Arms

Racing Power Company introduces its LS1 and LS3 Rocker Arms. The arms feature caged roller bearings and 8620 steel trunions constructed for durability and performance over the stock units. The arms are engineered to handle higher spring pressures and high engine RPM’s. The kit includes one set of 16 rocker arms and new mounting bolts.
PN: Vary

Tue, 01/26/2021 - 16:19



SEMA News—February 2021

By Douglas McColloch

SEMA360 Launch Pad Selects a Winner

Launch Pad
Competitors vying for the $25,000 Grand Prize package at
SEMA360 were (left to right) Matt Rafield of Beachcomber
Offroad; Eric Rivera of Dirt Dynamix; Justin Bradshaw of Rever;
Khanjan Desai of Alchemy; and Roland Hence of FrontLane.
SEMA’s Virtual Showcase Spotlights 2020’s Brightest Young Entrepreneurs

SEMA Launch Pad, Presented by YEN, started in 2013 as a partnership between SEMA Education and the Young Executives Network (YEN). The goal was to promote entrepreneurship in the automotive aftermarket by giving young innovators and builders a chance to showcase their products before a panel of judges at the SEMA Show. Out of hundreds of aspirants who entered this year, five finalists were chosen to pitch their products at SEMA360 before a panel of industry experts.

The panel of judges for SEMA360 Launch Pad was composed of five industry leaders who cover a wide range of the specialty-equipment aftermarket. They were Daryl Sampson, director of marketing for Turn 14 Distribution; Dan Kahn, president and CEO of Kahn Media and a member of the SEMA Board of Directors; Jonathan Mill, executive producer and general manager at Alloy Studios and the 2013 SEMA Launch Pad winner; Brian Reese, CEO of The Retrofit Source; and Melanie White, president of Hellwig Products and a member of the SEMA Board of Directors. This year’s host was master builder and star of Discovery Channel’s “Shifting Gears” Aaron Kaufman of ArcLight Fabrication.

Launch Pad
Judging the competition at Launch Pad 2020 were (left to right)
Melanie White of Hellwig Products; Dan Kahn of Kahn Media;
Daryl Sampson of Turn 14 Distribution; Jonathan Mill of Alloy
Studios; and Brian Reese of The Retrofit Source. Joining them at
far right was Launch Pad host Aaron Kauffman of Arclight

Available to business owners, executives and entrepreneurs under the age of 40 who are launching new automotive products, the SEMA Launch Pad supports young innovators and encourages future industry growth. This year’s finalists pitched products to improve vehicle safety, convenience and the overall driving experience.

Competitors and Products

For competitors, the eligibility rules are simple and straightforward. Applicants do not need to be SEMA members but need be under the age of 40 at the time of the closing of SEMA360. The actual presenter must be the owner, president, CEO or a majority shareholder of his or her company, and the product being presented must be functional, whether as a concept, a prototype or a production model currently for sale.

The followng are the finalists who competed in SEMA360 Launch Pad 2020.

Justin Bradshaw, Director of Rever
Product: Rever Mobile App

Justin Bradshaw

Rever is a mobile app and website for powersports enthusiasts to discover, track and share routes. The company has thousands of recommended roads for sports cars and off-highway users as well as turn-by-turn directions, tracking to view other people in the users’ preferred groups in real time, and the first CarPlay-compatible app of its kind for this specific audience.

“Millions of people around the world buy vehicles to get out and escape,” Bradshaw explained. “But unlike Strava for cyclists or maybe All Trails for hikers, the powersports community lacks a common place to get together and do these things—until now.

“Rever is the world’s largest app and website to discover, track and share your powersports experiences. We do this in a few ways with a bunch of really rad technology that fits in the palm of your hand. Our Twisty Road algorithm will spit out the best way from A to B, and it’s not the shortest time or shortest distance like Google, Apple or Waze gives you. Also, features such as our Friend Tracker can keep group rides together, and our Weather Overlays lets you know when to put the top back up.”

Khanjan Desai, Director of Alchemy
Product: ExoShield

Khanjan Desai

ExoShield is a thin, transparent film that stops rock chips through increasing the impact resistance of the windshield by a claimed factor of six. It is powered by Alchemy’s proprietary nanocoatings, which allow it to be both impact- and scratch-resistant and prevent expensive windshield replacements for vehicle owners.

“Advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS) with safety features such as lane-keep assistance and pedestrian collision avoidance will be in 75% of all new vehicles sold in the United States this year,” Desai noted. “Forty countries are already mandating that all new vehicles sold have this, which means that there will be 900 million ADAS-equipped vehicles in the world in the next 10 years.

“The sensors that power these safety systems are mounted behind the windshield, so when the windshield gets a stone chip and must be replaced, the sensors behind it must be recalibrated. The recalibration process is so expensive that the price of replacing a windshield has gone from $500 to $1,500 for vehicle owners. We’re solving that with ExoShield.”

Roland Hence, Director of FrontLane Inc.
Product: Impulse—Emergency Brake Light

Roland Hence

The Impulse is a wireless, battery-powered emergency brake light that reduces rear-end collisions by pulsing eight ultra-bright LEDs under extreme braking situations up to a claimed 50% quicker. The Impulse can be installed on any passenger vehicle with a standard rear windshield in a matter of seconds.

“We looked at how brake lights are 40 years old in design, and while we keep upgrading our phones and every sort of distraction you can imagine, our brake lights haven’t changed,” Hence explained. “So we thought that it was time for an upgrade.”

The result is “an ultra-bright, pulsating brake light that makes the driver behind you react faster. It acts specifically when you brake hard,” providing an LED pulsing of red lights to attract the attention of trailing drivers.

One appealing element of the Impulse is its simplicity of operation.

“It’s completely stick-on,” Hence said. “It has no wires, because it uses a motion sensor and a battery, so you can simply stick it to the rear window of nearly any vehicle, with a four-year battery life for the average driver.”

Matt Rafeld, Director of Beachcomber Offroad
Product: Stowaway Door

Matt Rafeld

The Stowaway Door is designed for Jeep owners to enjoy door-free days without worrying about rain, cold or a little mud on the seats. When not in use, the soft door folds to fit under the rear seat or anywhere you could store a small tent.

“Almost every Jeep owner at some point takes the doors off their Jeep,” Rafeld said. “But what happens when the sun goes down or it starts to rain or maybe it gets a little bit colder? All of a sudden, the only thing between you and the elements is a sunburn and maybe a pair of wet swim trunks. I’ve lived that situation, and I can tell you that’s not fun.

“The Stowaway Door was designed to solve the problem that has plagued Jeep owners for generations. It’s a lightweight alternative to the heavy factory doors. When not in use, it can fold up and store right underneath the rear seat, and it’s ready for you if the weather goes foul or you need to make sure that you’re protected from the elements.”

Eric Rivera Director of Dirt Dynamix
Product: DDX Universal Truck Bed Mount

Eric Rivera

Established in August 2019, Dirt Dynamix designed and brought to market its Universal Truck Bed Mount—a simple and cost-effective way to offer shade via umbrella and/or mounting any flagpole in the bed of any truck.

“The DDX Truck Mount is a universal truck bed mount that’s a simple and effective way to add a tailgate umbrella or a flagpole to the bed of any truck,” Rivera said. “Officially, it’s the first of its kind that’s universal to all trucks, and it takes only three tools and 15 min. to install. It’s compatible with bedcovers, bed racks, bed slides and toolboxes for late models and old models.”

Rivera also called out the mount’s potential use as a commercial marketing tool beyond its basic functions.

“What better way than a 9-ft. canvas or a 3x5-ft. flag to be even more visible?” he said. “It allows you to protect yourself, your tools and your products quickly and effectively, all while branding your company.”

Judging and Verdict

The panel of judges agreed unanimously that the product offerings from this year’s contestants were uniformly strong. “All of them are solving a problem in our industry,” White noted. “I’m glad that I wasn’t competing this year,” said former Launch Pad winner Mill. “Every year it gets stiffer and stiffer, with a lot of good products.”

First up, competitor Hence was scored highly for his presentation skills.

Right out of the gate, he was calm,” Kahn observed. “He had a lot of self assurance. He knew his product. That wasn’t a memorized pitch so much as a guy on stage talking about something he’s passionate about.” On the downside, judges expressed concern that his product’s price point might be a bit too high to be competitive.

Competitor Rivera was judged highly for his product’s already-existent enthusiast appeal.

“Unlike the others, he has a product that doesn’t have to go out and convince the consumer that there’s a market for it,” Kahn said. “There is a built-in demand, and people already want it. All he has to do is make it and get it into distribution, and it’s going to sell.”

Conversely, the judges felt that his marketing plan was the weakest, suggesting that he look for a partner with high marketing acumen. Competitor Bradshaw was scored highly for his product’s innovation and appeal.

“I have actually been in the situation where I need to find a road or trail,” Reese said. “I’m a Strava user, so his product really resonated with me. I think it’s a great idea.”

On the flip side, the judges felt that his presentation could have been a bit more passionate and his monetization strategy could have been more thoroughly explained.

Competitor Desai earned high marks for his product knowledge and presentation.

“He came right out of the gate stronger than probably any other pitch we heard,” Kahn said. “He knows his product. He clearly developed it in the lab, but I think he’s also approaching it like an engineer,” stressing the need for good marketing skills as well as technical wizardry to bring a product to market. Additional concerns included potential high installation

Finally, competitor Rafield was judged highly for his authenticity and entrepreneurial spirit.

“Of everyone who presented today, he is the most representative of our core consumer, “ Kahn noted. “He was a guy who loves his Jeep, had an issue, and he wanted to fix that problem.”

The judges found his presentation a bit rough and regretted that he hadn’t brought an actual sample of the product for them
to examine.

After careful deliberation, the judges reached their final decision: The winner was Roland Hence and the Impulse emergency brake-light system.

“The first thing that stood out about Roland was how well-spoken he was,” Mill said. “The guy knows this product. He knows himself, and he’s very, very confident.”

“Roland is so polished, and he nailed it,” White added. “He just seems like someone really determined, willing to take feedback and ready to apply it.”

Hence’s fellow competitors were equally supportive.

“It’s awesome to see that Roland’s product saves people’s lives,” Rafield said. “That’s exciting in itself.”

“There’s a crash every three minutes in the United States,” Hence said. “The Impulse prevents up to 50% of crashes, and it’s a true breakthrough. As an entrepreneur, you dream about this moment. I am incredibly proud of my team and grateful to SEMA for the platform to showcase our hard work and life-saving product. I hope that we can take a meaningful step toward reducing rear-end crashes with this incredible result.”

For his winning effort, Hence received a prize package valued at $25,000, which included a 10x10-ft. turnkey exhibit space at the 2021 SEMA Show, a free full-color advertisement in SEMA News, up to three hours of free custom scanning services at the SEMA Garage, a one-year subscription to the SEMA Garage Tech Transfer program, and a host of other prizes—including a check for $10,000.

“What we’re going to do [with the $10,000] is put it into our marketing efforts,” Hence said. “But ultimately the question is getting to the point where we’re ready to go for it and just scale.”

Turning Launch Pad Dreams Into Reality

One of the most important purposes of SEMA Launch Pad has been to provide greater public exposure to the best new specialty-equipment products from the latest generation of entrepreneurs and innovators to better assist them in turning their concepts into reality and their prototypes into retail-ready products. It happened to one of SEMA Launch Pad’s finalists this year.

Only a few days after the conclusion of Launch Pad 2020, Comoto Holdings (parent company of leading motorcycle enthusiast brands RevZilla, Cycle Gear and J&P Cycles) announced that it had acquired Rever, the technology company started by Launch Pad finalist Justin Bradshaw that connects the global community of powersports enthusiasts via an app and website.

“One of Comoto’s core values is to ‘Share the Road,’ a commitment to putting people first,” said Ken Murphy, CEO of Comoto Holdings. “With the addition of Rever, we now have the opportunity to literally do this—to help people share their favorite roads with their fellow riders.”

Commenting on the acquisition, Launch Pad finalist Bradshaw observed: “We think life is better when there’s a motorcycle in it, and we use thoughtful technology to make powersports more enjoyable, accessible and safer for everybody.”

Entries for Launch Pad 2021 are set to open later this spring. For more information, visit


Tue, 01/26/2021 - 15:24



Compiled by the SEMA News Staff

Outstanding Custom Rides From SEMA360

Builder Showcase 2020

One of the featured attractions at last November’s SEMA360 virtual event was the Builder Showcase, which featured the newest custom builds from SEMA-member companies around the world. More than 330 vehicles were available for participants to peruse at the Showcase, each with its own page of photos, video and specifications. From those, 40 were invited to participate in SEMA’s Battle of the Builders competition, with 12 selected as event finalists. We’ll have in-depth coverage of the finals in next month’s issue, but in the meantime, we thought we’d show you a few more entrants that were representative of the Builder Showcase entrants at SEMA360.

’56 Pontiac Star Chief Convertible
Submitted By: Tim Kilkeary
’56 Pontiac Star Chief Convertible

Open the hood of this ’56, and you’ll find a Whipple-supercharged LS motor sourced from Don Hardy Race Engines. It’s backed by a TCI transmission, and the powertrain rides between the frame rails of a Roadster Shop chassis. Evod Industries rims are controlled by Wilwood brake components, while Relicate Leather provides a touch of luxury for the interior, and the exterior is adorned in a coating of lustrous BASF Glasurit paint.

’20 Toyota Land Cruiser 79-Series
Submitted By: Bree Henry
Submitted By: Bree Henry

Ready for the outback, this ’Cruiser is actually unlifted, but extra room is afforded in the wheelwells to clear a set of 35-in. Mickey Thompson tires via a pair of portal axles sourced from Marks 4WD. Bumpers, sidesteps and a snorkel kit from TJM give the Toyota extra measures of backcountry durability. In the back, an all-aluminum bed from PCOR contains side-mounted work lights and slide-out storage boxes. Xray Vision lightbars provide greater illumination, and a Dometic fridge keeps perishables fresh. A roof-mounted solar panel has been plumbed into the electronics, and a Redarc TVMS passes along the extra charge to an auxiliary battery under the hood.

’64 Chevrolet Corvette
Submitted By: Tony Arme
’64 Chevrolet Corvette

Ready to hit the open road, this classic C2 rides on a Roadster Shop chassis and rolls on a set of Toyo tires. It is halted by Wilwood brakes and steered with the aid of Ididit parts. Under the hood, Holley components assist with aspiration, while Heatshield Products provide protection against high temperatures. Vibro Solutions offers an extra measure of soundproofing, and Dakota Digital gauges monitor engine functions inside. Vintage Air keeps the interior cool, and Ceramic Pro PPF helps protect the BASF Glasurit paint.

’07 Pontiac Sorrari
Submitted By: Lee Burkhardt
’07 Pontiac Sorrari

The list of modifications and upgrades to this Norm’s Fiberglass-bodied vehicle is extensive, and it starts with a GM LM4 427 aluminum V8 and Tremec TR6060 transmission. Power flows to a Ford 9-in. rearend running Porsche CV axle shafts and a Wavetrac LSD. A set of Michelin Pilot Sport tires and CCW SP20 rims are slowed by Rotora Street Challenge brakes and damped by BC Racing ER Type Racing coil-overs with Swift Lightweight springs. Components from Kenwood, Dymamat and Braun Racing enhance creature comforts inside, while SaddlX leather trim provides comfort and visual appeal.

’17 Ford F-350 Diesel
Submitted By: Aaron Aldrich
’17 Ford F-350 Diesel

A former SEMA Launch Pad competitor, this entrant’s ’17 Powerstroke rolls on an adjustable-height Any Level Lift that works in tandem with a four-link to clear room in the wheelwells for a set of American Force Wheels wrapped in Nitto Mud Grappler tires. Inside the cab, EZ Link diagnostics allow adjusting the suspension height. Outside, a Transfer Flow toolbox/fuel tank combo enhances work functions and cruising range, and a B&W gooseneck hitch allows the Power Stroke to pull a hefty trailer behind it.

’66 Dodge Charger
Submitted By: Mike Rutter
'66 Dodge Charger

Awash in a shimmering coat of Axalta Sahara Bronze, this ’19 Hellcat-powered ’66 is backed by a 4L80 transmission. The car rolls on a set of BFGoodrich tires paired with custom Wheel Smith wheels that are damped by a Rallye Motorsports suspension. MOPAR accessories enhance underhood performance, and Painless Wiring provides electrical upgrades. Vintage Air and Lokar components afford extra levels of performance and comfort in the all-custom Paul Atkins interior.

’20 GMC Sierra
Submitted By: Bryson Clark
’20 GMC Sierra

Already equipped with the capable AT4 package, this high-riding Sierra is given even more off-road capability with a complete Kelderman suspension system and bracketry. Hostile Forged and MKW wheels provide the rolling stock, and MGP aircraft-grade caliper covers help keep dust out of the brakes. The bed has been treated to a Line-X spray-on treatment. A variety of Truck Hero accessories enhance functionality, and a Horn Blasters air horn announces the truck’s presence far
and wide.

’71 Ford Maverick
Submitted By: Jesse Greening
’71 Ford Maverick

Custom bodywork abounds on this Maverick, starting with the 3-in. rear fender extensions to accommodate extra-wide Pirelli tires. Between the rails of the Roadster Shop chassis resides a small-bock Ford running twin Precision Turbo turbochargers. A DEI heat wrap and C&R cooling components keep underhood temperatures manageable, and a Bowler 4L80 transmits power to the rear wheels, which are stopped by Baer Brakes. ididit steering components point the Ford in the
right direction.

’67 Pontiac Lemans
Submitted By: John Wargo
’67 Pontiac Lemans

Under the hood of this bright-blue Pontiac rests a GM Performance LS3 conversion, and it’s backed by a Bowler transmission. A CTEK charger and an Odyssey battery help optimize electrical performance. The car rides on Continental tires and American Racing wheels, and Wilwood brakes stop the combo. Inside is a Sony audio system and an Enduratex-coated interior treatment. The paint is an attention-getter on this ride, and it’s aided thanks to products from ProSpray, Por 25, Presta and Sata Spray Guns.

’20 Toyota Tacoma
Submitted By: Ashley Lazarus
’20 Toyota Tacoma

It may look unassuming, but this Tacoma’s got the gear aboard to take it deep into the backcountry for a weekend of outdoor adventure. A slew of parts are on hand from Front Runner Outfitters, including a Slimline II roof rack kit and a ratchet-mount spade/shovel and track-style recovery device. A Wolf Pack drawer kit provides in-bed storage solutions. An LED lightbar enhances night vision, a Pro bike mount enables safe transport of mountain bikes, and a 42-gal. water tank ensures that dry-camping adventurers have ample H2O.

’68 Chevrolet Nova
Submitted By: Dylan Goacher
’68 Chevrolet Nova

This twin-turbocharged Nova runs a Dart-prepped 632 big-block equipped with JE pistons, a pair of Precision Turbos to provide additional boost, and a custom fender-exit exhaust to expel spent gases. An M&M Transmission-built TH400 sends power to the Weld Racing V-series wheels, which are stopped by Brakeman brakes. QA1 suspension components keep the ride under control, an Aeromotive pump assists with fuel delivery, and an XS Power battery and Painless Performance wiring provide electrical upgrades.

’39 Oldsmobile Two-Door Coupe
Submitted By: Rodney Black
’39 Oldsmobile Two-Door Coupe

Awash in a coating of House of Kolor Brandywine, this ’39 restomod sports a host of custom bodywork, including shaved door handles. A raft of new products brings old-school tech into the modern age. Dakota Digital gauges monitor engine functions, Vintage Air provides climate control, Dynamat sound-deadening materials keep the cab quiet and cozy, and American Autowire products optimize electrical performance. Holley induction components help generate power to turn the American Racing wheels.

’70 Ford Bronco
Submitted By: John Cole
’70 Ford Bronco

An homage to the Stroppe “Big Oly” Baja Bronco, this frame-up prerunner runs a Cobra V8 and JBA headers. A twin-stick transfer case shifter from JB Fabrication helps transfer power to all four wheels, which turn Federal Couragia M/T tires wrapped around a set of U.S. Mags rims. Energy Suspension components keep the ride squeak- and rattle-free, and Baja Designs lighting enables greater trail visibility. Thermo-Tec insulation keeps the engine bay cool, Aeromotive assists with fuel management, and Painless Performance wiring provides electrical upgrades. Additional support for the build came from 4-Wheel Parts and Wild Horses 4x4.

’35 Custom Pickup
Submitted By: Frederick Simmons
’35 Custom Pickup

A modern-day kit car, this ’35 is powered by a Blueprint Engines-sourced LS3 with a Procharger that provides extra boost, along with additional support from Holley and Deatschwerks components. Backing the engine is a 4L65 automatic transmission that spins Moser axles and a set of Nitto Tires. Electronics from HP Tuners optimize engine performance, Vintage Air keeps the interior cool on hot days, and a custom Speedhut all-in-one gauge cluster rides in the dash.

’70 Pontiac Trans Am
Submitted By: Riley Stair
’70 Pontiac Trans Am

Resting atop a custom tube chassis, this Trans Am runs a Dart-prepped LS conversion with a trick header setup that utilizes an eight-into-one collector tube and side-exit exhaust. The power is transferred to G-Force Engineering high-strength axles. The independent front and rear suspension was designed by the builder, with Ohlins coil-overs providing additional control. Aeromotive components optimize fuel flow, and MOMO seats enhance the ride inside. Also contributing to the build were parts from Vibrant Performance.

’50 Chevrolet 3100
Submitted By: George LeGrice
’50 Chevrolet 3100

Under the hood of this “raw metal” Chevy rests a 383 stroker that receives help with aspiration from Holley components and is cooled via a Griffin radiator. SCAT engine internals provide strength under load, and a CVF Racing serpentine kit keeps engine-driven ancillaries operating properly. A ’bagged suspension gives the Chevy its low-rider stance, and parts from Lokar and Dakota Digital bring the ’50 into the digital age inside.