Photos by Larry Edsall
You don’t go to the SEMA Show to see pristine classic cars, though there were at least a couple among the 1,500 vehicles on display this year in and around the Las Vegas Convention Center. But the annual trade show staged by the Specialty Equipment Market Association is where you need to be if you’re involved in the personalization, customization or restoration of vehicles, old or new.
Speaking of new, 13 original-equipment automobile manufacturers had displays at the show earlier this month, in most cases showcasing ways in which their vehicles can be modified within some limits of good taste. In many cases, these modifications are done by the automakers’ own design and engineering departments, sometimes hinting future options but first being trotted out at SEMA to gauge reactions from car enthusiasts.
But back to the classics… Yes, you see at the SEMA Show some horrible things done to classic cars. But you also see the care taken by such car customization experts as Dave Kindig in the careful restoration of one of the original GM Futurliners, or the work by off-road parts supplier Omix-ADA to collect and restore historic Jeeps, or new suspension components so your classic muscle car will turn and stop as well as it accelerates, or the many parts and pieces needed for any restoration project.
In fact, you see the brand-new bodies being produced for vintage Mustangs, Camaros and Broncos, should you want to build your own from scratch.