Hot-Rod Products and Trends

SEMA News—June 2013 

Hot-Rod Products and Trends

Function Fused With Performance, Comfort and Drivability

Aftermarket Business, Automotive Trade Show, Automotive Business, New Products, New Products ShowcaseThe hot-rod market has always been predicated on performance. It’s where the niche—and the entire specialty-equipment industry, really—found its genesis. The listings of hot-rod components and systems unveiled at the most recent SEMA Show and now found on these pages continue in that vein, though there is also an increasing emphasis on making rods not only hot, but also comfortable and drivable.

As in previous years, we’ve interspersed the product listings with commentaries from industry professionals who are in touch with the marketplace. We asked them to focus on overall trends as well as specific vehicle types, and their responses reveal a melding of the traditional and the innovative.

View more than 150 HotRod Products and expert testimonials debuted at the 2011 SEMA Show.

 

Automobile Events, Automobile Trade Show, Auto Show, Automotive Trade Show, Automotive Trade ShowsAblaze Grilles Inc.
Special-Edition Mesh Grille for Fifth-Generation Camaros
951-549-1555

www.ablazegrilles.com
PN: 120-0-51-2-CM

A premium line of grilles made up of three components: a .25-in.-thick structural frame, an inner frame and a formed stainless-steel mesh. The standard special-edition grille comes in a gloss-black powdercoat. The grille displayed has the color-matched option. User can color match the inner frame, outer and/or mesh to the vehicle’s paint job.

 

Automobile Events, Automobile Trade Show, Auto Show, Automotive Trade Show, Automotive Trade ShowsWheel Vintiques
Mopar Road Wheel
559-251-6957
www.wheelvintiques.com
PN: 84 Series

Wheel Vintiques introduces the Mopar Road Wheel. A Magnum 500 wheel with a black powdercoated outer. Made in steel in the U.S.A. Available in 14- and 15-in. sizes.

     

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DuPont Custom Finishes
Basecoat Candy Colors
800-GetDuPont
www.refinish.dupont.com
PN: Basecoat Candy Formula

DuPont Custom Finishes basecoat candy CFX colors provide the same vibrant color and dimension of a candy with the ease of application and color match of a two-stage basecoat.

 

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Vintage Air Inc.
ProLine Tridant Louver
800-862-6658

www.vintageair.com
PN: 499124

Vintage Air, the inventors of performance.

     

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DuPont Custom Finishes
IntelliMist Spray Booth
Humidification System
800-GetDuPont
www.refinish.dupont.com
PN: IntelliMist System

The IntelliMist spray booth humidifier improves shop productivity, makes it easier to use waterborne and solvent paints. Automatically controls the spray booth during the spray cycle at the optimum level for humidity and provides an extremely productive spray booth climate.

 

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Gear Vendors Overdrives
Muncie/Saginaw Three-Speed Overdrive Kit
800-999-9555
www.gearvendors.com
PN: 3D0FMS3

Bolt-on Gear Vendors overdrive kit for popular three-speed Muncie and Saginaw cars and trucks. Great ratios to provide performance of six gears and overdrive for 25% better fuel economy and less engine wear.

     

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Winner—Best New Street

Rod/Custom Car ProductVintage Air Inc.
ProLine Penta Louver
800-862-6658

www.vintageair.com
PN: 499120/499124

Vintage Air, the inventors of performance.

 

Automobile Events, Automobile Trade Show, Auto Show, Automotive Trade Show, Automotive Trade ShowsVintage Air Inc.
ProLine Spyder Louver
800-862-6658
www.vintageair.com
PN: 499122/499124

Vintage Air, the inventors of performance.

     

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Vintage Air Inc.
’55–’59 Chevy Pickup Gen IV SureFit Heat/Cool/Defrost System
800-862-6658
www.vintageair.com
PN: 941155

Fully electronic bolt-in climate control system featuring new state-of-the-art, fly-by-wire slide control panel. Separate coils with a temperature-blend door for instant just-right comfort.

 

Automobile Events, Automobile Trade Show, Auto Show, Automotive Trade Show, Automotive Trade ShowsMSD Performance
MSD Atomic LS, EFI for LS Engines
915-857-5200

www.msdperformance.com

MSD’s Atomic LS is a breakthrough EFI system for LS. Integrated fuelrails and
ECU with patent-pending Wiredless technology, eliminates the wiring harness. System self-tunes and auto senses reluctor wheels. Supports sequential fuel/spark, variable valve timing, superchargers, single/dual e-throttle and customizable with
popular injectors, cams, etc.

     

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Bed Wood and Parts
EZ Flip D-Ring Light-Load Securing Mechanism for Classic Trucks
877-206-9663
www.bedwoodandparts.com
PN: 955/956

EZ Flip D-ring light-load securing mechanism for classic trucks. Available in two mounting options: inline strip mount and surface mount. Sold in pairs.

 

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GT Performance
Mustang GT Steering Wheel
818-847-9611
www.gtperformanceproducts.com
PN: 35-5457

On March 9, 1964, the first Mustang rolled off the assembly line. Inspired by the GT version, GT Performance offers its GT-inspired design. Patterned after the original, including four-hole spokes, 18 rivets and a billet Mustang GT horn button.

     

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RideTech
Monotube Struts
812-482-2932

www.ridetech.com

RideTech monotube Camaro and Mustang struts bring performance-proven racing technology to the street with modular mountings, adjustable valving and direct bolt-in fitment.

 

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Wheel Vintiques
15x4 OE Chrysler Wheel
800-505-4900
www.Tubelite.com
PN: 63-541202

Wheel Vintiques offers its OE Chrysler wheels in front runner size 15x4. A hard-to-find application. Made in the U.S.A. and available in satin black finish.

     

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RideTech
Smooth Body Shocks
812-482-2932
www.ridetech.com

RideTech RQ series monotube shocks feature a 1.5-in. body diameter and ride-quality tuned valving to allow a simple performance upgrade for all hot rods.

 

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Wheel Vintiques
GT Rallye Wheel (Four-Lug)
559-251-6957
www.wheelvintiques.com
PN: 53-460404

Four-lug bolt pattern. Ford-style GT Rallye wheel. Available in 14- and 15-in. sizes. Steel construction with chrome finish.

     

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The musclecar and street-rod crowds continue to gravitate toward products that make their cars perform as well as or better than a new one. Brakes, suspension, air conditioning and EFI are all hot items.

The musclecar group has a firm grasp on the difference between price and value, and they aren’t opposed to spending money on the better parts. Custom and lead-sled hot rodders are starting to pay a lot more attention to using quality parts under the car as well as in all the normal, visible places. You’re now seeing sleds with full chassis, big brakes and professional suspension systems under them.

Getting parts is starting to be a challenge. Most retail customers do not understand the challenges of inventory and delivery, so managing those issues is crucial.

The proliferation of information (and misinformation) on the Internet has made that job even more important. Still, the business that is here now is more stable and more profitable than it was five to 10 years ago. Customers are better informed; parts are better designed and manufactured; and marketing and promotion are more efficient than ever. It’s a good time to be in the hot-rod market.

—Bret Voelkel
President,
RideTech

 

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Younger guys and gals are taking the time to study traditional hot rods and are building period-correct cars that are safe and can be driven. We have seen this with our line of Lakester pedals and some of our more traditional-looking shifter levers.

We are also finding new colors and textures used everywhere in street rods and musclecars, especially with interior options such as gauges, pedals, window and door handles, air conditioning vents and custom consoles. The materials and paints used inside some of these cars will blow you away.

There was a day when a street rod just had to have some power and look cool, but comfort, power and drivability are all trends now. A mix of modern technology with traditional bodies and parts has started to come back, such as computer-controlled transmissions and engines that improve performance, fuel economy and longevity.

We shouldn’t fear technology. Electronic injection, drive-by-wire and computer-controlled transmissions are going to be the rule. The shops that embrace these things are going to be that much further ahead. Retailers should also reach out to markets they didn’t think they had anything for. There is a good chance that they may find a diamond in the rough!

—Brian Downard
Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Lokar Inc.

     

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Wheel Vintiques
17-in. Steel Artillery Wheel
559-251-6957
www.wheelvintiques.com
PN: 17 Series

Wheel Vintiques offers the Artillery wheel in a 17-in. diameter. Made in all steel in the U.S.A. Available in various bolt patterns and finishes; a perfect application for a custom, street rod or classic truck.

 

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Flaming River Industries Inc.
’69–’74 Nova Power Rack-and-Pinion Cradle With Key Column

440-826-4488
www.flamingriver.com
PN: FR368PW

A direct bolt-in steering system that utilizes a power rack-and-pinion engineered for Novas. The power rack-and-pinion provides a quick steering ratio with full turning radius, installs easily (within hours) using the existing chassis hole locations and is available with or without steering column. Made in the U.S.A.

     

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Flaming River Industries Inc.
Banjo 1 Steering Wheel
440-826-4488

www.flamingriver.com
PN: FR20128BJ

Banjo-style steering wheel designed to fit seamlessly with a Flaming River tilt column. The hand-stitched Italian leather steering wheel is 15 in. in diameter and includes a horn button. Available in black, light gray and light tan.

 

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Flaming River Industries Inc.
Tilt Key Column Direct Tilt Series
440-826-4488
www.flamingriver.com
PN: FR30009

These street machine tilt columns are designed to fit the original dash mount and even accept the original rag joint flange or factory steering shaft. The classic applications use Flaming River’s 2-in.-diameter column to match the existing mounting holes and can be built with 1-in. DD, 3/4–36 in. or 1-in.–48 shaft for a custom fit. Made in the U.S.A.

     

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Flaming River Industries Inc.
New Shock 361 Design
440-826-4488

www.flamingriver.com
PN: FRPKSH

Attractive four-color design showcases features and benefits of the product. Includes styling geared toward the hot-rod industry. Sturdy packaging protects the product and clearly identifies the product as made in the U.S.A.

 

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MBM
BCK8536-1
800-231-4125
www.mbmbrakes.com
PN: BCK8536-1

MBM introduces an all-new Bendix-style power disc brake booster kit that fits ’66–’69 B-body Mopars. Includes the firewall reinforcement plate, the new booster, the brake pedal swivel and a new disc/drum master cylinder.

     

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VDO Instrumentation and Accessories
Camera Systems
610-289-0488
www.vdo-gauges.com
PN: A2C59519821

Flexible enough for all applications, VDO camera systems provide drivers with enhanced visibility. Rear backup cameras along with side-mount and mini cameras communicate with a display easily mounted in the cockpit. Each camera can be wired with a trigger function that makes transitioning to other views as easy as flipping a switch.

 

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VDO Instrumentation and Accessories
GPS Speed Sender
610-289-0488

www.vdo-gauges.com
PN: GPS 347-786

The VDO GPS speed sender offers up to 25 times more resolution than similar GPS speed senders. No buttons/switches to activate; just hook up power and ground, and it’s ready to go. Waterproof design so it can be mounted on exterior. Backward compatible with all electronic speedometers. If bought in a kit, there’s no speedometer programming required.

     

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Coker Tire Co.
Firestone Non-Skid All-White Tires
800-251-6336

www.cokertire.com
PN: 805976

Coker Tire’s line of Firestone non-skid tires has expanded to include all-white tires. All-white non-skid tires are available in 10 sizes.

 

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VDO Instrumentation and Accessories
ALAS II Fuel Sender
610-289-0488
www.vdo-gauges.com
PN: ALAS2 226-946

Adjustable lever arm sender (ALAS) is said to be ideal for late-model applications. The VDO ALAS II fuel sender simplifies fuel tank installations by incorporating draw and return tubes directly into the fuel sender. Each tube can be trimmed to length (from 6 to 16 in.) and can be rotated a full 360° for optimum installation angle.

     

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Coker Tire Co.
American Classic 185/55R15 Whitewall Radial
Tire
800-251-6336
www.cokertire.com
PN: 530286

The American Classic 185/55R15 radial is the world’s first whitewall tire designed specifically for the new Fiat 500. Retro styling is mixed with modern performance.

 

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Coker Tire Co.
Adjustable-Spoke Model A Wire Wheel
800-251-6336
www.cokertire.com
PN: 7514195

Coker Tire’s new Model A adjustable-spoke wheel offers authentic looks and a more convenient design than the old welded-spoke configuration.

     

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Tuff Stuff Performance
Accessories Ltd.
Tuff Torque Gear Reduction Starter
800-331-6562
www.tuffstuffperformance.com
PN: 13510A

Tuff Torque starters feature high-torque gear-reduction motors in small, lightweight profiles. They have heavy-duty coils, ball-bearing construction and are available in chrome plated or gold zinc finishes.

 

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Runner-Up—Best New
Engineered New Product

Detroit Speed
’64.5–’70 Mustang Aluma-Frame
704-662-3272
www.detroitspeed.com
PN: 32050

All-aluminum front suspension for ’64.5–’70 Mustangs featuring DSE’s unique suspension geometry with 6 in. of suspension travel for the ultimate ride and performance.

     

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Enthusiasts want modern horsepower levels and driving manners from traditional hot-rod vehicles. People are just as in love with hot rods as ever, but they’re not willing to give up modern conveniences to enjoy the classic car “cool factor.”

Easy EFI conversions are the biggest trend in musclecars and street rods. Carburetors are great, but nobody has the time or patience to constantly tune a carb when they are lucky to even find the time to drive the car in today’s fast-paced world.

Retailers must focus on making their businesses be the best they can be. They’re not going to help us grow the market into the future if they are not financially stable and in business five years from now. Many don’t make it over the long haul because the owners don’t spend enough time focusing on running an efficient and well-managed business.

We also all need to do more to make sure future generations of customers are exposed to everything that makes the automotive aftermarket so special. We’re competing with other industries (video games, stick-and-ball sports, etc.) that are pretty damn savvy, so we’d better make sure we’re ready to compete for our next generation of customers.

—Chris Douglas
Vice President of Marketing,
COMP Performance Group

 

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As Baby Boomers begin to retire and build the cars they’ve always wanted, there is demand for the melding of performance and reliability through the adaptation of modern automotive technology. EFI conversions, overdrive transmissions, complete turnkey modern chassis swaps and iPhone integration are becoming standard in the latest hot-
rod builds.

The companies and segments that have international distribution and product lines adaptable to modern global platforms are experiencing tremendous growth. Young enthusiasts around the globe are buying cars for the first time. They want to personalize those cars, and that’s why high-end wheels, car-care products, synthetic oils and cold-air intake kits are flourishing.

Hot-rod parts retailers will be chasing both the Boomers, who now have a few extra dollars to spend to build the car of their dreams, and the Millenials, who are the Boomers’ kids. We can connect with Boomers through traditional means—print media, car shows, aspirational builds, etc.—but the Millenials view our industry as entertainment, not transportation. We need to show them that our form of entertainment provides more long-term enjoyment than a piece of tech or a night out on the town. We have to get creative with content marketing—cool relevant social-media content, peer-to-peer reviews and more.

—Dan Kahn
President, Kahn Media Inc.

     

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Livorsi
OBD2 Gateway
847-752-2700

www.livorsi.com

Livorsi’s new OBD2 gateway translates data from a GM engine controller to drive its Vantage View CAN gauges with pinpoint accuracy. Compatible with late-model stock GM controllers, ERod engines, Speartech controllers and wire harnesses. Said to be the only gauges that will show current gear without external components. Custom gauges available.

 

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Dakota Digital
PAC-2750 Electric Cooling-Fan Controller
800-332-6513
www.dakotadigital.com
PN: PAC-2750

Compatible with nearly any temperature gauge and sensor and offering full control of one single- or dual-speed fan or twin cooling fans. User-settable on and off points for each fan and the option to run fans after key-off. One-plug connection to Dakota Digital instrument systems offers temperature and speed input for high-speed deactivation.

     

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Dakota Digital
GPS-50-1 GPS Speedometer/
Compass Interface
800-332-6513

www.dakotadigital.com
PN: GPS-50-1

Engineered particularly with specialty vehicles in mind, GPS-50-1 offers lightning-fast startup, no bothersome external antenna and extremely accurate speed readings. Provides a high-resolution speed signal for cruise-control operation. When used with Dakota Digital instrument systems, compass and altimeter information are also available.

 

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Dakota Digital
STA-1000 OBD-II Speedometer/Tachometer Interface

800-332-6513
www.dakotadigital.com
PN: STA-1000

Plugs into ECM diagnostic port to read OBD-II information.

     

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Dakota Digital
VHX-55J ’55–’86 Jeep CJ Direct-Fit Analog Instrument System
800-332-6513

www.dakotadigital.com
PN: VHX-55J

Blue or red LED backlit faces and needles in machined housings with carbon fiber or silver alloy faces bring the ’55–’86 Jeep CJ into the 21st century. Supplied solid-state sensors and intuitive control box simplify installation. Designed for harsh off-road environments, the system affords a wealth of information with room to grow.

 

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SSBC Performance Brake Systems
Tri-Power Quick-Change Caliper Kits
for 3/4- to 1-Ton Trucks
800-448-7722

www.ssbrakes.com
PN: A193-6

Heavy-duty three-piston billet aluminum quick-change caliper kits that enhance the performance braking on 3/4- and 1-ton Ford trucks. Front and rear applications available.

     

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Dakota Digital
VHX-40F ’40 Ford Direct-Fit Analog Instrument System
800-332-6513

www.dakotadigital.com
PN: VHX-40F

Blue or red LED backlit faces and needles with highly visible LCD message centers in a show-chromed, machined aluminum housing set this six-gauge instrument system apart from the pack. Supplied solid-state sending units connect to a user-friendly control box for unsurpassed instrumentation, all without cutting a classic dashboard.

 

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Classic Performance Products Inc.
Early Chevy Nova 400 Series Power Steering Box
714-522-2000

www.classicperform.com
PN: CP50005NV

The compact 400 Series box utilizes late-model steering technology for classics. This is a direct replacement for the original manual steering box and keeps perfect alignment with the OE or aftermarket column. It has a 13.6:1 ratio, 3/4-in./30 input shaft, uses inverted flare hoses and factory manual steering pitman arm. Fits ’62–’67 Novas. $379 each.

     

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Classic Performance Products Inc.
Mustang II Modular Spindle
714-522-2000

www.classicperform.com
PN: CP30111

This modular-designed spindle for Mustang II suspension with easy-to-use single-plane anchor points for caliper mounts will allow an easy way to provide a host of brake options. Smooth design is ideal for coating or chroming. Forged steel like the OE design and matches all original ball joint and tie-rod mounting locations.

 

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SSBC Performance Brake Systems
Competition-Series Racing Brake Kits
With Aluminum Hubs
800-448-7722
www.ssbrakes.com
PN: W123-Comp Series

Racing-series competition brake systems include lightweight four-piston, billet-aluminum calipers with machined stainless-steel pistons and billet-aluminum hub assembly. Made in the U.S.A. by SSBC.

View more than 150 HotRod Products and expert testimonials debuted at the 2011 SEMA Show.

 
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