Jim’s Blog: ACC Heads to SEMA

Every year, the automotive aftermarket gets together in Las Vegas to show off its latest and greatest products and show cars. It’s a one-of-a-kind event, closed off to the general public and yet still well-known by most in the car community. This is where annual styling trends are set, where influential new products make their debut, and where the industry gets together — all in one place — to show off skill and look at what’s to come in the next 12 months.

Because of all that, SEMA tends to be a week of overkill, with companies and builders bringing high-end crazy cars and hot rods into their booth areas to draw foot traffic. It’s the kind of event that has you walking 12 miles a day without even knowing it — because just around the bend, you’ll find something you’ve never seen before, or something you never thought you’d see. Last year I bumped into Jay Leno in front of a stretched Ford Econoline truck powered by four rear-mounted supercharged Ford engines. Stuff like that just seems to happen at SEMA, and it keeps you moving through the Vegas Convention Center’s nearly two million square feet of indoor floor space well after your feet have expired for the day.

This week, I’m heading to SEMA to check out new items that ACC readers might find useful on their own classic cars. We’ll also be shooting photos of our favorite show cars, too, as well as meeting with auction houses and other companies. Watch for our coverage in an upcoming issue of ACC, and if there’s a product or car that’s on display there that you’d like to know more about, let me know in the comments below.