SEMA Heritage

Growth Spurt

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Forty-two years ago, the SEMA Show was born in the dark, cold aisles beneath Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. A year later, the Show enjoyed its first growth spurt as it moved south to the spacious Anaheim Convention Center.

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Star Power

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At the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger received a two-hour, behind-the-scenes tour of the environmentally friendly vehicles that filled the Show’s halls, led by the Green Car Journal’s Ron Cogan.

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Mines Field

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Years before Bill France Sr. organized stock car racing on Florida’s most famous beach, stock cars of a different sort went wheel to wheel on tracks around the country. The idea was to pit cars in showroom-floor tune—primarily Fords, as it turned out— against one another to demonstrate their performance chops for prospective buyers.

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Spirit Unbowed

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Craig Breedlove’s Spirit of America was arguably one of the prettiest land-speed racers to tackle Bonneville, but it certainly met an ugly end. While chasing Art Arfons’ 434-mph speed record in 1964, Breedlove found himself unable to bring the rocket-powered Spirit to a stop while traveling in excess of 500 mph.

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Why Is This Man Smiling?

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It’s been said that Joe Lunati built “some of the ugliest cars ever raced,” but competitors who failed to take him seriously did so at their own peril. Ungainly as it may look, Lunati’s Devinbodied “Trouble Maker” was a strip terror. He won the Street Eliminator title at the 1964 NHRA Nationals at Indy and repeated the feat in 1966. That would be the last year he raced the Devin, as Lunati entered the emerging Funny Car ranks in 1967 with a Corvair.

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