How’s this for injustice: the world’s biggest automotive expo, the SEMA automotive show, is held annually in Las Vegas – AKA Party Central, USA – and features hundreds of the hottest show cars and booths catering to all aspects of vehicular customisation.
And you Regular Joes and Josephinas can’t attend.
That’s right. Not only is the SEMA show an invite-only event, you can only get on the door list if you’re involved in the automotive aftermarket industry or are a member of the motoring media.
The good news for those that can get through the doors is that the scale is immense. The variety of cars, parts, accessories is mind-boggling, and any direction you look, you’ll find something captivating. It takes at least two full days to do the place justice.
But SEMA is a trade-only show. There no public days, so unless you work in the car-building or car-modifying business, or are very good friends with someone who does, you’re unlikely to experience it. So you’ll just have to take out word for it: SEMA rocks.
The show first started back in 1967, but quite some time ago, it moved from the realm of the pure aftermarket and OEM suppliers to an event many major manufacturers take very seriously. This year, for example, Jeep built the CJ66 concept -- a striking mash-up of old and new Jeep Wrangler --- to showcase the addition of the 5.7-litre Hemi crate engine and all associated ECUs, wiring harnesses and control modules to the Mopar parts catalogue.
Then there was the Dodge Durango Shaker concept, a Mopar-muscled SUV configured to seat six in individual Viper bucket seats while showing a Porsche Cayenne Turbo how the Americans put the ‘hard’ into softroader.
Up front the Durango Shaker runs a custom Shaker Hood that feeds air to its 6.4-litre Hemi V8 engine, with deep breathing further enhanced by a Mopar cold-air intake and customised chrome Mopar cat-back dual exhaust system. Then there’s the three-inch lower suspension, custom flared guards to accommodate the huge 22-inch Mopar wheels, and oversize six-piston brakes from SRT.
And that’s just a taste on what was on offer at SEMA this year; check the video for a quick walk-around some of the other eye-catching attractions.