The SEMA Show truly has something for everyone; from the monster truck to the mini truck, from the lifted 80’s sedan to the slammed coupes of the future. If you are even remotely into cars, trucks, bikes, tools, or anything automotive, then SEMA is the place to be. However, it’s only open to industry professionals. Sorry to get your hopes up.
I’ll skip a long introduction on what SEMA is, what it stands for, how it came about, etc… as there is a slim chance you’re reading this and don’t already know what SEMA is. It’s been on countless “docu-drama” style TV shows where cameras follow the most recent pseudo-celebrity of the automotive realm. If you don’t know what SEMA is, Google it. Why waste space on that when there are the Falken Tire girls and the Mobile models to drool over.
This year’s SEMA show seemed to be dominated by American Muscle and big boy toys like jacked up Ford pickup trucks, Internationals, and other monster pickup’s that could easily parallel park over the cars we are used to seeing at euro-themed shows. Large auto manufacturers’ booths like Hyundai and Subaru were surprisingly well stocked with modified versions of their production vehicles, and of vehicles yet to be released. The rest of the show was jammed packed with innovative products and top-of-the-line accessories to satisfy any enthusiasts’ tastes. From RC cars to RVs and everything in between. Suspension setups, Air Bags, Brake Kits, Garage Flooring, Performance Parts, Software Components, Wheels, Tires, more Wheels, Electronics, Interior Accessories, and the list goes on and on.
After having worn holes in my Puma’s at last year’s SEMA show, I made a point to download a Pedometer app for this year’s SEMA show so I could track the amount of miles I would walk in a day. After too many hours at the craps table and not a long enough nights sleep before the first day of the week-long show, I forgot to set the counter. Each of the other days I was just too damn tired to remember to turn it on. Despite that, I am going to guess we walked close to 100 miles in 4 days and I am probably not off by much.
Just when you think you have exhausted the show floor at SEMA, there is AAPEX at the nearby Sands Convention Center. This show brings whats seems like every automotive accessory manufacturer into one place from the fuzzy dice guy to the pine tree air freshener guy. So log another half-day walking that show. Now it’s time for a break right? Hit the buffet. Blow some dough at the Blackjack tables.. Nope. Now it’s time to hit the manufacturer sponsored cocktail parties, press release conferences, SEMA awards gala, and to visit other high-end manufacturers like ADV.1 Wheels at their decked out suite in the Encore Hotel. The fun never ends.
Most people go to Vegas on vacation. Not many of them end up like Nick Papagiorgio winning a half-dozen cars at the slot machines, but none-the-less, most visitors end up having the time of their lives. We, on the other hand, are dead tired. Our feet are sore, our backs hurt, and we smell like second-hand cigarettes and cheap casino booze. Even though we did not catch the famed Bellagio fountain show, or watch pirates duke it out at the Treasure Island show, we did still have the time of our lives. That is, until the 2012 SEMA Show.
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