What’s makes a show like SEMA unique is the massive variety it has to offer. No matter what your part in the auto industry is, there is an angle that will connect with you.
Too often us car enthusiasts get completely bogged down by our own little car scene. Week in and week out we do our thing in our own little world with our own circle of friends not realizing the vast expanse of the car enthusiast world. The car enthusiast universe encompasses layer after layer after layer of all kinds of different people and all kinds of different niches.
You also have to realize, many of the car guys RallyWays caters to are weekend warriors and dedicated car enthusiasts with a very serious hobby. But for most, it’s a hobby nonetheless. At SEMA, most of the folks here are professionals. Not professionals in the sense of the word that means, “They know what they are doing” but rather, “they do this for a living.” Yes, yes. They love cars. Most of them at least. Otherwise the geniuses behind some of these brands would be surgeons or astronauts or US Presidents. But they are car people. Car people that do cars for a living.
Unlike our typical car show coverage here at RallyWays where a bunch of dudes polish up their daily-drivers or garage queens on a Friday night to bring them out to the local car meet on Saturday morning, these guys are at a whole other level. At SEMA, cars are not based on a few extra aftermarket parts and a couple of performance upgrades worth 15% of the sticker price of the car. No, like I said earlier, these are true professionals. The stuff built here is built to showcase a line of product in a way that far surpasses real-life expectations. This equates to mods who’s total worth is way higher than the sticker price of the car itself!
Some of these builds are so over the top that they are not even practical for street use. But who the heck cares?
This “hold nothing back, money no object” approach to car building crosses all the car niche boundaries. From race cars, to street tuners, to luxury vehicles and offroad trucks, the builds at SEMA are unreal. Some of these builds are so over the top that they are not even practical for street use. But who the heck cares?
It’s about the pantomime, the shock-factor and the desire to create something that’s unique – even if it means the build will only ever be a show piece.
You’d have to be numb mentally to not be impressed by each and every vehicle present. Unfortunately, numbness is not an uncommon site. Many car guys suffer from it. It happens when they take their surroundings for granted, given their connections or their location. Being surrounded by amazing cars all the time has some profound effects on people. But if numbness to the car world is a bi-product of it, then you need to stop and rethink things for minute.
The automotive professionals that attend SEMA are surrounded by cars day in and day out. Those that learn to appreciate their line of work and avoid taking it all for granted truly enjoy their work and their contribution to the auto industry. This applies whether it is selling cars, detailing, designing custom parts or tuning. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. It’s not simply a job.
The works of art on display at SEMA Show 2013 are testament that it’s not simply a job. It’s a passion to create and to innovate. The paycheck is just a matter of allowing these people to keep doing what they do. They’d probably be doing the same thing anyway.
While no industry is perfect and many can find themselves stuck doing something they don’t love, the auto industry is one where, chances are, you are here because you love cars. And, because you love cars, you can appreciate what the other guy is doing – what he’s building. Whether it’s your cup of tea or not. Great craftsmanship and creativity speaks volumes and cannot be denied even in a piece that doesn’t necessarily fit your personal tastes.
At SEMA Show, the cars and the parts are there for the professionals. Those that buy to sell or to build. The core of the show it crystal clear. The pudding, or the meat and potatoes if you will, is right in the middle.
What do I mean by middle?
You trim down the fat and remove most of the econo-boxes targeted at people who would just as well drive a washing machine to work and will never buy an aftermarket exhaust for their washer/dryer. Then, sprinkle a little bit of the high-end car scene that only the 1% can afford. Then you look around and realize, the bulk of it all lies in what you and me can identify with. The cars we love and can afford. The specialty parts and tuning gear we can imagine putting into our own cars. The same parts some of these automotive professionals will be happy to talk to you about and distribute to you.
That is SEMA.