This month, a change of pace as we spotlight a newcomer to the world of custom car building. Meet Frances Farnam, age 13, who explains the origins of her upcoming project. “It started with me saving up money for my first car. I picked grapefruit and veggies from our garden and sold them through a local farmer’s market, and I saved up enough money to buy my first car, a ’76 Porsche 914.” Not content to simply build a Porsche from the ground up, she also plans to electrify it and display it at SEMA Electrified during this year’s SEMA Show. While she acknowledges the build won’t be complete by November, she aims to have it finished by the time she can legally drive it, and in the meantime her project can be followed at her You Tube channel, Tinkergineering.
That voice. The honeyed baritone was so distinctive, immediately recognizable whether he was addressing thousands at an NHRA drag race, hundreds at a SEMA Banquet or in one-on-one conversation. And it wasn’t just the tenor of his voice; even when he was behind the microphone, Dave McClelland sounded like he was talking to just you, car guy to car guy (or gal), fully engaged in the passion he shared with fans and friends.
With a two-pronged strategy of catering to niche markets and maintaining a full range of partner-manufacturer product lines, Turn 14 Distribution has emerged as a major player in the warehouse distributor space, and few have been as responsible for the company's success as Daryl Sampson, who joined Turn 14 Distribution in 2009 as the company’s business development manager. As a relatively new player in the WD arena, the company needed to establish a strong national brand identity, and Sampson was tasked with the assignment of building Turn 14 Distribution’s marketing department. Under his guidance over the ensuing decade, the company launched numerous initiatives across print, digital, and social media, combined with event marketing and motorsports sponsorships.
Each year the industry eagerly steps up to nominate young people representing a broad range of disciplines. Engineers, product developers, builders, marketing and communications professionals, racers, sales people—you name the category, and there are young experts pushing our industry forward with fresh answers to traditional problems and novel (often high-tech) ways of reaching new heights.
It seems simple enough to elect three industry leaders from an organization that boasts more than 6,500 members. But as the SEMA Board and its Hall of Fame Task Force members will testify, it’s no easy job. How does one—much less a group of many—choose just a handful of people to induct into its annual Hall of Fame? It’s an unenviable task, to say the least.
The SEMA Board of Directors is composed of industry representatives who volunteer their time to lead and guide the association. They are elected by SEMA-member companies and reflect the trade association’s key membership categories: manufacturers, distributors/retailers, manufacturers’ representatives, and services.
The reporter who broke the news of the Ford SVT program that produced the F-150 Raptor, Sean P. Holman has relentlessly covered the pickup truck and SUV beat. His work has been featured in the pages of Truckin’, Four Wheeler, Diesel Power, Recoil and numerous other publications, and he’s currently the Truck Trend Network’s content director at Motor Trend. He’s also the co-host of the long-running, highly rated “The Truck Show” podcast.
In 2016, Marisol Herrera, then 23 and a self-professed “non-car person,” applied for a receptionist’s job at the Zimmerman Automobile Driving Museum, a small private collection in El Segundo, California. Six years later, Herrera now serves as the museum’s executive director, overseeing a collection of more than 130 vehicles and a full schedule of public events, including car shows, children’s programs and weekly cruise-ins and ride-and-drives. Her community outreach efforts have been credited for quadrupling the museum’s annual attendance over the past three years. In recognition of her accomplishments, she was named one of SEMA News’ “35 Under 35” rising industry stars for 2021.
At just 21 years old, Christopher Polvoorde added some new hardware to an amazing trophy case. He passed by friends, competitors, and some of his heroes on his way to taking first place in the 2022 King of the Hammers Toyo Tires Desert Challenge in the T2 class. SEMA News caught up to Polvoorde to talk about his experience.
Growing up in Ohio, Chris Kersting had five older brothers, “and they were all bigger than me,” he recalled. One morning as he played outdoors with the older boys swinging on vines, he fell and broke his wrist, earning a trip to the hospital. Returning that afternoon with a cast, he again joined his brothers, this time climbing onto a platform in an apple tree. When he got knocked off the platform, he broke the other arm and went right back for another cast. “I think the same shift was still on at the hospital,” he laughed.