Join SEMA in celebrating Bob Larivee Sr.'s formal induction into the SEMA Hall of Fame during the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, Friday, July 27, at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center in Pomona, California.
A car show can be as simple as placing a few eye-catching vehicles on display and then selling tickets to local enthusiasts. In fact, when Bob Larivee Sr.’s car club, the Motor Modified Auto Club (MMAC), participated in the Michigan Hot Rod Association’s (MHRA) first Detroit Autorama in 1953, it featured only 45–50 vehicles parked at the University of Detroit Field House. While the event was modest in size, it was a hit with attendees and the first of many successful car shows for Larivee Sr.
By 1959, Larivee Sr. had formed a partnership with his brother, Marvin Jr., calling the company Promotions Inc. He produced his first two shows in conjunction with Canadian car clubs, such as the Piston Pushers in Hamilton, Ontario, and the Tecumseh Hot Rod Association in Windsor, Ontario. Though he didn’t quite break even, the events were well received, and his reputation was building.
In 1960, Promotions Inc. hosted its third show, this time in Toronto. Taking advantage of local radio and print media as well as a sponsorship with the Corsairs Car Club, the third time was the charm. With a profit of $10,000 to split with his brother, there was no longer any doubt about Larivee’s future or the success of Promotions Inc.
Fast-forward 20 years, and Promotions Inc. was producing 100 shows annually, publishing books and souvenir programs and maintaining sponsorships with many of the most dominant specialty-equipment manufacturers in the world. As a promoter, Larivee Sr. continued to innovate, incorporating the biggest names in hot-rod building, music, TV and film under one roof. Detroit’s Big Three were also involved, opting to use Larivee Sr.’s stage to debut vehicles, such as the Mustang, and high-performance buildups, such as Chrysler Corp.’s Rapid Transit System line.
As an entrepreneur and a publisher, Bob Larivee Sr. has literally written the book on car shows, titled simply Show Car Dreams. As readers turn through each page, it’s apparent that Larivee Sr. was passionate about creating an opportunity for enthusiasts to come face to face with the greatest hot rods ever built.
SEMA is eternally grateful for Bob Larivee Sr.’s willingness to redefine car shows and for making them something that families, generation after generation, continue to enjoy. It may be hard to define a car guy, but you can start by studying SEMA Hall of Fame member Bob Larivee Sr.
Larivee Sr. will be honored and formerly inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame during the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, Friday, July 27, at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center in Pomona, California. In addition to Larivee, the inductees into the 2012 SEMA Hall of Fame are Nick Arias Jr., the late Bill France Sr. and Mark Heffington.
SEMA's Hall of Fame designation is the most prestigious honor that the association can bestow on an individual. In addition to the induction of the 2012 SEMA Hall of Fame class, the Gala celebration will also feature the introduction of the newest SEMA Board of Directors, and the outgoing Board members will be officially recognized and thanked for their volunteerism and service.
The SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser is part of the association's Leadership Days—a three-day gathering of industry leaders, volunteers and SEMA staff working together to identify and address industry and business challenges, while celebrating the specialty-equipment industry and the spirit of volunteerism. Leadership Days also includes the SEMA Pinewood Drag Races, where mini pinewood drag racers built by SEMA members, staff and children from the Victory Junction and Childhelp children's charities race against the clock for bragging rights. A worthwhile cause, proceeds from the SEMA Pinewood Drag Races benefit both Victory Junction and Childhelp.
All industry professionals are invited to attend the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser. The event begins with cocktails at 6:00 p.m., where attendees are able to mix and mingle with industry icons and celebrities. Proceeds from ticket sales will also benefit Childhelp and Victory Junction.