For a better experience please change your browser to CHROME, FIREFOX, OPERA or Internet Explorer.

SEMA 2010 – Las Vegas, Cool Cars & Beautiful Girls! Featured

Written by  D Brian Smith

The Chrysler Corporation had an immense Mopar muscle display at the SEMA Show. The engine in this ‘Cuda was larger than life.

SEMA 2010 – Las Vegas, Cool Cars & Beautiful Girls!

By D. Brian Smith

Photography: D. Brian Smith

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is a trade organization for the automotive aftermarket arena that contains a varied group of manufacturers, distributors, retailers, publishing companies, auto restorers, street-rod builders, car customizers and auto restylers, car clubs, race teams, automotive journalists and more. Every November, SEMA hosts the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV at the immense Las Vegas Convention Center. At the first SEMA Show some 46 years ago, the founding companies had a tiny, yet enthusiastic and successful tradeshow.

We probably took more photos of the Cobra Seating spokesmodel than any car at the show. She’s from Germany, so we practiced some college German while admiring her with the camera.

Several years have passed since I’ve been to SEMA, and I’ve never been there while working at the editorial helm of Redline Review, so I decided to make a road trip. With the exception of an ineffective air conditioning system, my 1990 Mazda Miata provided reliable transport and even enabled me to fly under any highway patrolman’s radar, despite wearing its original hue of Easter Egg Blue. I arranged my trip to enable me to do a minimum amount of driving while in Sin City by staying at an off-Strip hotel that was reasonably priced and within walking distance of the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Strip.

Gear Vendors recreated the famous Sox & Martin 1968 Plymouth Super Stock Hemi ‘Cuda 426ci drag racing car for the SEMA Show, as part of its Legacy Series of recreated show-circuit machines.

Arriving at mid-day on second show day Wednesday, I was able to check into the hotel and drop my luggage in my room before making the jaunt to the Convention Center. On Wednesday and Thursday, I must have walked 20 miles during my stay.

Incase you hadn’t heard, Ford came out with an all new 302ci small-block V-8 that produces more than 400 horsepower. Welcome back the Boss 302 Mustang and the 5.0 Mustang!

I’d have to say that the 2010 SEMA Show was almost as big as ever, which is a noteworthy achievement in our recovering economy. There were companies big and small showing their new products. I enjoyed seeing creations from well known car builders, like Chip Foose and the Ring Bros. Several new automobile manufacturers had their first foray of displaying some of the company’s freshly customized machines. Indeed, Audi had a nice exhibit for the first time. From talking with several of Audi’s employees, I learned that the top flight German carmaker was ecstatic about the enthusiasm the show goers had for the Audi brand. With a multitude of automotive buyers from SEMA companies around the globe, the show was exceedingly well attended.

Bob Tasca III, the drag racing phenom and multi-Ford dealership proprietor, has a wicked nice ’33 Factory Five Racing Ford roadster replica. Tasca Ford is building ’33 Factory Five Racing hot rods for customers and provides other FFR kits and Ford Racing components to those who wish to build their own FFR performance cars. Whether as digi-art or as normally exposed photos, the car in real life is even better than the artwork before you.

I saw several former colleagues and fellow automotive journalists, visited with many automotive aftermarket companies that I’ve worked with over the years and was taken out to dinner by CarTech Books Acquisitions Editor, Paul Johnson. In fact, Paul took Tom McBurnie, who owns Thunder Ranch, a Porsche replica company in El Cajon, CA, and me out to dinner at Gordon Biersch Restaurant & Brewery on Wednesday night. Tom is writing a CarTech book on building Volkswagen engines, while I’ve been hired to pen one on building the ultimate Cobra replica, which I’m creating in the garage with my Dad and brother.

Seen as digi-art the sea of people at SEMA was a sweet sight to behold.

Speaking of that awesome C. car replica that is underway at home, it’s a Factory Five Racing Mk4 roadster. Of course, I did have an opportunity to catch up with FFR’s President, Dave Smith, at the Factory Five Racing booth. Dave kindly introduced me to Bob Tasca II, Bob’s wife and Bob Tasca III. The Tasca’s are famous for owning the largest Ford dealerships in the country, and Bob III is a mightily talented and successful drag racer.

Easily the most awesome machine in the General Motors display was actually a 1963 Corvette Grand Sport Coupe replica, created by Ford Cobra, Daytona Coupe and Ford GT40 replica manufacturers Superformance, of South Africa, Irvine, CA and Superformance distributorships throughout the country. Like the Shelby licensed Ford replicas, the Corvette Grand Sport Coupe and Roadster re-creations are under a license agreement with General Motors and Chevrolet.

Even though I missed working on the Cobra with my Dad those days I was away in Sin City, I have to say that it’s the most fun I’ve ever had at SEMA. My main mission was to get people I’ve worked with in the past on several magazines introduced to and excited about Redline Review, the new automotive magazine on the ‘net. Thanks to all those who wish Redline Review well. We’ll keep you coming back for more of all that’s fast and cool, with special emphasis on the automotive enthusiast arena.

Superformance’s Corvette Grand Sport Coupe is equally compelling coming or going.

Bet you didn’t know that Redline Review has its own Motorsports race team, did you?

The Transformer Camaro was a big hit at the 2010 SEMA Show.

Chrysler Corporation’s immense Mopar musclecar exhibit at the SEMA Show was as impressive as ever.

Bob Tasca III’s Factory Five Racing ’33 Ford hot rod roadster looks every bit as awesome from any perspective, including the 7/8 rear view.

K-Daddyz Kustomz created this super cool and customized 2011 Ford Focus, which was proudly displayed in the Ford exhibit at SEMA 2010.

A participant favorite was the Ford Fiesta rally car simulator, which was available to take for a test spin.

Ford’s designer of the recent Ford GT supercar painted this vertical Ford Fiesta canvas. Is it art or a mess? You be the judge.

Drag racer and Ford multi-dealership proprietor, Bob Tasca III, happily autographed his racing posters for his fans.

Thank goodness the California Highway Patrol doesn’t have any cruisers equipped like this. Our only hope of outrunning ’em would be the Cobra being created in our garage.

The Bilstein Shocks 1935 Ford pickup truck looks to be powered by a Chevy small block V-8.

Coming to North America in 2012 is the Chevrolet Spark. At SEMA 2010, GM dispalyed the Chevy Spark Z-Spec concept, a custom creation replete with a rear spoiler, Z-Spec graphics, high flow grille with body color surround trim, 17-inch wheels, interior trim kit, leather-wrapped flat bottom steering wheel with Z-Spec badge and polished exhaust outlet.

For obvious reasons, GM named this particular custom Camaro the Chevrolet Camaro Red Flash concept. Those are 21-inch diameter wheels on the Camaro.

Do you get a jolt every time you see the Chevy Volt extended electric vehicle?

The Superformance Corvette Grand Sport’s mill will get the job done.

It’s easy to spot a Corvette GT2 American Le Mans Series racecar.

Redline Motorsports’ Camaro appears ready to take the checkered flag.

Did you know that the Datsun 240Z is called the Datsun Fairlady in Japan? Now you do.

Tasca’s FFR ’33 hot rod has a great cockpit.

Have you heard the news? Fiat is bringing the wilding successful Fiat 500 to North America. How cool is that?

Everything about this 1936 Ford three-window coupe street rod is sublime, with the possible exception of the rolling stock.

New Mopar muscle cars and old lined Mopar Alley at SEMA 2010.

Ditzler Paints displayed some stunning show cars, including a 1959 Cadillac.

I’m guessing you’ve never seen a wrapped Bugatti Veyron. There was one at SEMA in the Epson exhibit.

How much fun would it be to campaign a Mazda Miata in the ever-popular Mazda spec racer series?

Audi, Stanford University and several technology companies collaborated to build a computer and GPS guided Audi Quattro. The computer controlled all-wheel drive rally car conquered the Pikes Peak Hill Climb unmanned without incident.

The Audi Quattro’s brains are in the trunk.

Back in Mopar Alley, a Dodge Charger was seeing Monster Energy Drink green.

Someone will be starting with a super nice 1969 Mustang fastback body for creating a clean Ponycar.

A Scat crankshaft will be part of my Factory Five Racing Mk4 roadster’s rotating assembly in the Dart aluminum 351W/427 stroker engine.

As always, there was a wide variety of new automotive parts and components in the Best New SEMA Products section of the 2010 SEMA Show. From neon Corvette signs to a ProCharger Intercooled Supercharger system for a LS Powered Camaro (as shown below).

There is so much to see at the SEMA Show; I wear sneakers. Imagine being a spokesmodel and wearing high heels. Ouch!

Fittingly, there were two Zoom Zoom models in the Mazda exhibit.

The MyNetWheels.com spokesmodel agreed to model for Redline Review. Thank you!

When I mentioned to this beautiful SEMA model that every Redline Review article is dedicated to finding a missing child and that we’ve already helped locate a missing youngster, she said I gave her goosebumps. Admittedly, she may have gotten goosebumps due to being cold from not having much clothing on.

These two SEMA models were graciously giving away botttled water to thirsty SEMA show goers. Thank you ladies.

Performance Autosound had a trio of pretty spokesmodels onhand at the 2010 SEMA Show.

Fuel Doctor had two gorgeous brunette models promoting the Fuel Doctor brand.

If you think about it, using a helicopter to promote XInsurance is pretty clever. The XInsurance models clothing is also eye-catching.

The Galpin Auto Sports model wanted to make sure the Galpin brand was prominently publicized. Go Galpin!

Here’s the second photo of these two lovely SEMA models.

Elegant and classy are the best two words to describe how the Nitto Tires model looked.

What do you suppose those two Hankook Tires models were cooking up in their brains at the moment I took their photo?

SEMA models are always omnipresent, especially in the Wheel & Tire Exposition hall of the show.

How do you like those gloves?

Can you think of a more appropriate goodbye than being blown a kiss from an exotic German SEMA model? I sincerely hope to see her next year at SEMA 2011. She’s very photogenic!

Featured Cars