Eastwood SEMA Experience
Here you will find all of the coverage of Eastwood's trip to SEMA. This includes the hot cars, coolest products, and anything else interesting we find!
Winning a new product award at SEMA is pretty exciting and every company at the SEMA show is eager to receive any type of recognition for their new products. Here at Eastwood we work every day to try and get you new innovative products you can actually use.
This year at the 2012 SEMA show one of our items in the new product showcase was picked for an Editors Choice Award by Popular Mechanics Magazine once again. You may remember last year our Aerosol Injection won an award. This year our product designer Mark R accepted the 2012 award for our MIG Spot Weld Kit.
Mark and our R&D crew developed this product just like many of our products; he found a problem while working on his own restoration project and designed an affordable solution. Now you can save money and space by keeping the MIG spot weld kit on your welding cart. Just thread it onto your MIG gun when you want to use it without having to drag out another tool.
We're honored to win the award two years in a row, and while many product designers would be feeling the pressure to go for a three-peat; we're just doing the same we've been doing for years.. bringing you affordable, innovative products to solve problems in the shop.
Getting noticed at SEMA is very important. Show cars, trucks, and motorcycles are there for only a couple reasons. Either to show off products the company sells or to draw attention and get foot traffic through their booth (this is a trade show after all!). Whatever the reason is, everyone is trying to a different approach to draw attention. If you want to figure out which cars or booths are the best at the show, all you need to do is look for crowds around a booth. There you'll find either an exceptionl car, a celebrity, or an attractive model; regardless you won't be disappointed if you take a peak.
Shooting pictures of some of the high profile cars at SEMA is really tough. There's always crowds surrounding the cars and often people are so excited about checking the car out, they're oblivious to the line of photographers waiting for that small window when they can fire off a few shots of the car. I can tell you from personal experience, it takes a mix of patience, skill and luck! The custom ford above is a perfect example. It had the performance of a super car and the looks of a classic muscle car all blended together to create what I'd call a "retro super car". The crowds were relentless around this car and we had to make our way into the show early just to check it out beforehand.
Then there were cars and booths that were built just for shock value to get the attention of the thousands of cameras in attendance. The typical formula for a busy booth is to get a vehicle with some flashy/shiny paint, lots of chrome, some giant wheels, and a beautiful model standing next to the vehicle. Hyundai and an artist teamed up to take this idea to the next level and they built a Zombie support vehicle out of a new Hyundai. They then employed some attractive (is that possible?) zombies to pose with the car and show-goers! This idea was pretty cool and timely for the SEMA show taking place around the Halloween holiday each year.
Aside from the gimmicks and crowds, there were some really nice classic cars at the show. We tried to catch some of our favorites shown below in the Mopar display. They put together one of the nicest selections of Dodge, Plymouth, and Chrysler classics we've seen in a while! Check the rest of our favorites from this portion of the show in the gallery below.
Traditionally a lot of show cars, especially SEMA cars were known to be mostly all "show" and not a car you could drive on the street or the track. Many people even joke that these cars never see the road and are even pushed on and off the trailer (some still are but we won't point fingers!). For instance if it was a paint company they would have a stock car with beautiful paint and shiny wheels.. but underneath and inside nothing was done to enhance the car, while speed parts companies had cars that had a insane engine in a car that didn't run or couldn't even drive.. all ends of spectrums had cars that showed off their specific niche, but few had the "complete" package.
These days the overall quality of show cars has risen and many of the cars are streetable-borderline race cars with a show car exterior and interior. It isn't uncommon to see a muscle car with the full suspension, wheel and tire combo, and big brakes to allow it to go around a road course as fast as an Italian sports car. It's quite mind-blowing when you look at how much fabrication, engineering, and design work has gone into these cars to allow them to be winners on the show field AND monsters on the track. The buzz term these days seems to be "Pro-Touring". Many classic cars are themed this way.. but I mean who wouldn't want the best of everything!
Here's another batch of show vehicles from SEMA. Stay tuned as we dig through more pictures and video!
Every year I'm still amazed at how many hidden "gems" there are in the show. You could walk rows and rows of products, models and through thousands of people, and suddenly you turn a corner and there is a beautiful car tucked in a booth. It's almost like a treasure hunt for us. We try to cover a lot of the show floor and find some of these hidden gems for YOU.
Day 2 we seemed to stumble upon a lot of these types of cars. In fact right under our nose I found a small booth that was really different then the others.. no flashy lights, half-naked models, or an eager sales crew trying to lure you in with freebies. Just a beautiful deep red retro hot rod. After finding the builders, we got to talking and this very car is a true show car from the '50's that was found in sad shape. They brought it back to its former glory and added some additional custom work to get it looking as good or better than it did in its glory-days. This car is featured in this months HOTROD Magazine and we'll be doing a video feature on the car with the builder. Stay tuned!
Even leaving the show walking outside, I found some amazing rides hiding in every corner and inch of the lot. This beautiful Kustom Ford is a Gene Winfield creation and he worked with his crew until hours before the show to get it ready and entered in the show. He had great things to say about Eastwood and we're honored to be doing an exclusive video feature on the Ford.
Here's some of the best rides we found during day 2 of SEMA 2012 show. We'll do our best to keep seeking out the best rides for you!