A Day In The Life of A SEMA Exhibitor

By | November 6, 2014

I’ve been in the automotive industry for several years now, an editor at The Daily Derbi for just about as long, and an enthusiast from the womb.  Despite all that and good intentions I have never attended SEMA until this year.  Kids, vacations, moving, and family obligations have all prevented the much coveted trip to the mecca of the automotive aftermarket.

Now that I’m working for a distributor of performance products I’m at SEMA for the week and will be every year for the forceable future.  Unfortunately, when you’re working the show you have to come early, before the show opens just to enjoy the cars that are at the show.  Just to put it into perspective, I spent 9 hours at the show the opening day and only made it to seven booths.  It was like a prison with no doors and giant windows.

I came in early today to catch some cars.  Staying true to last year, there were lots of custom FR-S and BRZ’s.  I still want one.  We’ll be coming out with an overview of our favorite cars from the show later but for now, here’s a list what struck me on my first walk through.


Similar to Honda, Toyota has been on a performance car hiatus for years (excluding the Scion FR-S).  The Celica is long gone and the legendary Supra is a relic of the past.  The FT-1 has been tantalizing the Supra faithful for a long time now.  As the Supra’s spiritual successor, the FT-1 has a lot to live up to and as gorgeous as it is in concept form, a lot of potential to disappoint should it make production.  I say disappoint because the FT-1 is a work of art on so many levels but many of those heavenly aspects would never make it into production.  Connecting pillars would have to be widened to accomodate air bags, DOT approved signal and safety lights will have to be added (causing blemishes to clean lines) and those beautiful side mirrors are probably worthless.  The 1950′s and the beauty over safety mentality will forever be missed in the enthusiasts world.  Still, with all those obstacles ahead the FT-1 is a top attraction at SEMA in 2014.

918 Front

The Porsche 918 Spyder is a shoe in as well.  It’s the hybrid hyper car, the halo Porsche, and successor of the Carrera GT.  The 918 is one of the most beautiful Porsche’s ever made (made easier because of the Panamera) and its performance is staggering.  From an exhaust point of view, it’s one of my favorites around.  Duel exhaust, exiting from the top of engine compartment is magical.

Without hi-lighting a specific one.  Just know that there is a butt load of 2015 Mustangs at SEMA this year.  The 2015 stang has received its fair share of criticism but let me tell you that the car is far more impressive in person than in pictures.  Clean lines and, muscular shoulders, and one of the best rear ends in the business make the new Mustang one of the most appealing pony cars yet.

911 LS Front

Crazy one off cars are always expected at SEMA.  Hawk Performance hasn’t disappointed this year with their custom 911.  While it does have a one-of-a-kind wide body kit and wheels that you won’t see anywhere else, this German autobahn blaster is powered by American muscle.  It’s a tight fit but yes, this baby has an LS Chevy hanging over the rear axle.  Säuglinge zurückkamen!!

We’ll be at SEMA the rest of the week and will continue to provide coverage on what catches our eye.  Pardon the crummy cell phone pics.  Stay tuned for our top pics from #SEMA2014


AJ Wilcox on November 6, 2014 at 9:15 am.

Oh! A 918 and an FT-1! The two cars that make me SO sad I missed the show this year! So many tears… Thanks for sharing!

Chad Waite on November 6, 2014 at 12:20 pm.

Bah, the green on that 911. I want that as my color on every car I ever own.

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