Eye Candy: 2014 SEMA Show

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SEMA signage

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.

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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.

 

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

3 COMMENTS

  1. It is very, very true that you see some truly horrendous so-called “custom” cars at SEMA. Sometimes, eye-wateringly so. There are also some fantastic restorations (the Boss 429 Mustang on the Ford stand, with all the pre-delivery tags on it..). After a while you just accept that somewhere out there a guy really WANTS a pink Camaro with 30 inch wheels….really.

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