SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) was founded in 1963 by a small group of manufacturers producing automotive performance parts. This association was formed to set standards, promote the industry and develop programs that would support aftermarket products. The organization has expanded to include additional interests of its members – government legislation, foreign trade, education, market research, etc. And, the membership has grown to comprise all aspects of the business, which now includes retailers, warehouse distributors and publishing companies.

To bring the stakeholders from the performance aftermarket together, the first trade show was organized in 1967. The event was held in Los Angeles – it attracted just under 100-manufacturers and approximately 3,000 attendees. In 1977, the SEMA Show moved to Las Vegas, which was better equipped to handle the growing requirements of manufacturers and attendees. Today, the show is at the Las Vegas Convention Center and the numbers are impressive.

  • over a million square feet of floor space is dedicated to the show
  • the annual event boasts over 2,400 exhibitors
  • more than 170,000 people with ties to the automotive performance aftermarket attend and participate in the show
  • and, this is not just an event for North Americans - visitors from 140 countries come to see the hottest automotive products and attend demonstrations, educational seminars and special events

The show also serves as an opportunity for SEMA members to meet individuals employed by the Specialty Equipment Market Association, who work on initiatives that support the automotive aftermarket industry. Such as the:

  • SEMA Data Co-op – this group provides members with catalogue support
  • SEMA Garage – has special high-tech tools to get new products off the drawing boards and into production
  • SEMA Government Affairs – serves as the voice for SEMA members and their interests in Washington
  • SEMA Market Research – the association, collects data and provides reports which monitor industry trends
  • SEMA Fest: At last year’s Industry Awards Banquet, SEMA introduced SEMA Fest. This enthusiast-focused experience connects automotive enthusiasts with the aftermarket industry for a celebration of car culture and automotive lifestyle.

While the association offers many services to its members, for many attendees, it is also about the vehicles at the show.

Andy Leach of CAL Automotive Creations won this year’s SEMA Battle of the Builders, but it was not without drama. The four class winners for the overall title were lined up behind the Convention Center (LVCC) for a police motorcycle escort to the main stage. Unfortunately, it was delayed as Leach’s 1960 Buick Invicta Custom was out of gas. Fifteen minutes later, Convention staff arrived with fuel and as they say, ‘the rest is history.’
The SEMA Show wouldn’t be complete without some drifting demonstrations. The Gold Parking lot at the Las Vegas Convention Center, previously used by Ford to demonstrate their products, has been taken over by Shell and is called Shell Performance Unbound. The company used the space to entertain attendees. The Orange Parking lot was used for the Optima Ultimate Street Car Challenge events and drifting.
Another vehicle garnering a lot of attention in the Toyota area was this 1966 Toyota FJ45 pickup called the FJ Bruiser. The truck's chassis is a tube frame unit built by Motorsports Garage. The modified trailing arms with Fox shock absorbers and Eibach springs ensure the Bruiser will never get stuck. The truck sits on 42-inch BFGoodrich Krawler tires. Power comes from a 750-horsepower engine used in Toyota's NASCAR program.
The Toyo Tires Treadpass included the 612 Teppista. The car sports bodywork similar to a 1958 to 1961 Ferrari Testa Rosa. Built by S Klub LA, the Teppista sits on the chassis and powertrain from a Ferrari 612 Scaglietti. The car utilizes the 5.7 liter V12, which produces 533 horsepower. The project took twelve tradespeople over four months to complete. Among Ferrari purists, the 612 Teppista is viewed as blasphemous.
Another vehicle in the Battle of the Builder's compound was Jared Hancock's 1978 Jeep Cherokee Chief S. The drivetrain was replaced with an L96 6.0-liter crate engine matched to a 6L80E transmission. The frame was replaced with a fully linked, coil-sprung Art Morrison chassis. Each corner uses Baer disc brakes – 14-inch rotors with six-piston calipers. Hancock was one of the finalists after winning the Off-Road division.
The Ringbrothers, Mike and Jim, are multiple-time Battle of the Builders winners. This year, they brought a different vehicle from their traditional builds. The car is a 1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II called "Paramount," The outward appearance remains stock; however, the drivetrain is highly modified. The Rolls-Royce is equipped with a supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V-8 engine, which produces 640 horsepower and 635 lb-ft of torque.
Tusk, a 1969 Dodge Charger, is what you expect from the Ringbrothers' shop. The centerpiece of the Charger is the 1,000 horsepower supercharged 426-cubic-inch (7.0L) V8 crate engine that Mopar calls the 'Hellephant.' The Hellephant wasn't a simple bolt-in; the wheelbase had to be lengthened, the firewall moved back, which resulted in new fenders, rockers, and quarter panels. Tusk uses HRE wheels with Michelin tires.
The SpeedTech Motorsports Collection includes this 1961 Bubble Top Chevrolet Impala. A 771 billet super stock engine appears under the hood of the Impala. Incredibly, the 1,250 horsepower motor runs on pump gas. The power is transferred to the road through a 4L80E transmission and 9-inch Ford differential. The interior includes a 1959 dash with custom gauges and a speedometer that reads as high as 200 mph.
This 1953 Ford F100 qualified for Battle of the Builders. Ryan Dyer of Dyer Motorsports built this Ford truck. It is powered by a turbocharged 427 big-block engine from Texas Speed. The F100 uses a Crown Victoria front suspension and the rear employs a four-link with Ride Tech coilovers. The body includes several subtle modifications, such as a smoothed tailgate, running boards and deleted drip rails and vents.
Nissan commissioned a tribute car to the winning 1971 East African Safari Rally Datsun 204Z that Edgar Herrmann and Hans Schuller shared. The Nissan 370Z included many off-road enhancements, which included a custom two-inch suspension lift accomplished with NISMO and KW Safari components, a reworked bumper for improved clearance, underbody skid plates, and a set of 17-inch NISMO Safari wheels.
At the 2023 SEMA Show, Toyota displayed the X-Runner Concept. The truck is powered by a 3.4-liter i-FORCE V6 borrowed from the Tundra, which provides 421 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. The engine management system is the TRD Performance Package in the 2024 Tundra. Mated to the engine is a 10-speed automatic transmission. The truck sits on Michelin tires mounted on Lacks Carbon-fiber wheels.
Also being showcased by Nissan was a NISMO Sentra DET Concept. The Sentra had a list of enhancements. Beginning with the engine, which was built with Eagle Connecting Rods and Manley Pistons. The induction system included a Garrett G25 660 turbocharger and intercooler. Engine management is controlled by a Motec M122 ECM. Handling is improved with NISMO's B18 coilovers and sway bar kit.
The Miller Golden Submarine was built by Harry Miller and Fred Offenhauser. It was driven by Barney Oldfield in the 1919 Indianapolis 500 but did not finish after the engine failed. The car at SEMA was a resto-mod version of the Golden Submarine. The body is hand-formed from 0.063-inch aluminum. It is powered by a 1275-cc British Leyland engine. Twin 1-1/4 SU carburetors are used for the induction system. The car weighs 962 lbs.
Another SEMA Show standout is this 1956 Mercedes 300SL Tesla Gullwing Widebody that appeared in the EV compound. The Mercedes, built by S-Klub LA, rides on a Tesla Model 3 platform. The Model 3’s unibody frame was modified to accommodate the slimmer profile of the 300SL. The Mercedes uses many features from the Model 3, such as the sensor cameras, parking sensors, self-driving features and climate controls.
There it is, an 11,000 horsepower NHRA Top Fuel Funny Car engine. The displacement of the motor is 500 The block is forged billet aluminum adapted from the Chrysler 426 Hemi and fitted with billet aluminum cylinder heads. The engine’s compression ratio is 8.5:1 and the induction system is a 14-71 roots-type supercharger. A Funny Car runs on a mixture of 90% nitromethane and 10% methanol.
Binh Nguyen brought this 1973 Datsun 240Z to the SEMA Show from Calgary, Alberta. He was also responsible for the build. The car retains the original L24 and has a factory four-speed transmission. The Datsun has Nismo Gotti wheels and Advan HF Type D tires. The yellow paint code is Nissan’s 112. LDC Special components are used throughout the car, such as billet strut tower bars, shift knob and throttle arms.
Pearl, the name of this truck, is another EV conversion using the ‘guts’ of a Tesla. A 1956 Ford F-250 is the basis for this build by Tony Quinones. The powertrain is from Tesla’s Model S. The 600-horsepower motor is powered by a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery. The Ford uses a Custom EV Chassis and the rear suspension is from the Tesla, while a custom design was constructed for the front. Brembo brakes stop Pearl.
I'm unsure if this is a Subaru BRZ or a Toyota GR86. Either way, it has undergone a significant transformation. These vehicles were initially equipped with a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder boxer motor, which produces 228 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. The car currently sports a GM LS engine with an eight-into-one exhaust system. The unibody has been replaced with a tube-frame chassis and a new body kit.
This car began as a BMW Z4 GT3 (E89) race car. However, Florida-based Gooichi Motor’s transformed the Z4 into a street vehicle. They didn’t stop there and replaced the P65 naturally aspirated V8 with a Mercedes V12. Added to the Mercedes engine is a supercharger. The transmission was replaced with an HGT six-speed sequential gearbox. It is believed that the motor should produce 1,500 horsepower.
This is the highly modified 1949 Buick Super Sedanette. The Buick won this year’s Custom D’Elegance at the Sacramento Autorama. The body has been sectioned 2 inches, chopped 1 inch and the roof was pancaked 1-inch. The fenders and doors were reshaped, while the door handles were shaved and bumpers tucked. The headlights are now located in the grille. Powering the car is a reworked 401 Nailhead V8.
The BMW 02 Series was produced between 1966 and 1977. This 1974 BMW 2002 turbo was initially equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that produced 168 horsepower at 5,800 rpm. However, the original drivetrain was replaced with an E36 M3, boasting a horsepower rating of 600. Very little of the original BMW remains. Additional upgrades have been added to accommodate the power and weight.
The RAESR Tachyon Speed resembles a Batmobile but is an all-electric hypercar. The car was designed and manufactured in Southern California by RAESR. The Tachyon Speed is just 39.5 inches high and 81 inches wide. The Tachyon Speed features a six-motor 1,200-horsepower proprietary electric powertrain. Prices start at $750,000 and, depending on the options, can be $1,500,000.
South City Rod & Custom is responsible for building a 1934 Ford Five-Window Coupe owned by Coby Gewertz. The engine is a 1954 331 Chrysler with Boby McKray 392 cylinder heads and Enderle fuel injection converted to EFI by Spud Miller. Mounted on the back of the motor is a Tremec T5 transmission. However, the first to capture everyone’s attention is the House of Kolor paint, with pinstriping by Eric Reyes.
The 2023 NTT IndyCar championship-winning Dallara IR-18 of Chip Ganassi Racing appeared in the Ridgeline Lubricants booth. The No. 10 Honda-powered Dallara was driven by the series 2021 title holder Alex Palou. Palou dominated the season with ten podium results, of which half were victories. He secured the crown in the penultimate round at Portland International Raceway. Palou’s teammate, Scott Dixon, finished second in points.
Ruffian Cars builds and sells wild, one-off, turn-key classics inspired by vintage racing and supercar styling. This 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback was made with FIA period rules used as a guide. The Mustang is powered by a 500 horsepower, 364 aluminum small block Shelby motor. Mated to the engine is a TKX 5-speed transmission. Avon CR6ZZ tires are mounted on 15-inch diameter X 10-inch wide wheels.
The second car appearing in the Ruffian Cars booth was this 1964 Ford Galaxie. The Galaxie uses a tube-frame chassis. The front suspension is a double wishbone and the rear is a three-link design. Penske adjustable coilover shock absorbers are used on each corner. The Ford is also equipped with air jacks. Stopping the Galaxie are StopTech rotors and calipers. It is powered by a 700 horsepower, 526 aluminum block Ford FE.
Jordan Henke created this 1987 Merkur XR4TI. Henke and his team 3D scanned the body to make a custom wide-body kit and carbon fiber hood. The original suspension was re-engineered to accommodate Corvette C6 hubs and QA1 coilovers. The original engine was replaced with a turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost. Henke won the Battle of the Builders Sport Compact/Import category.
The Minniebago was parked in the Mothers’ booth at this year’s SEMA show. Toy Factory Fabrication was responsible for this build. It has the chassis from a Yamaha G29 golf cart and the design is based on the classic Winnebago motorhomes of the 1970s. On the top is a squirt gun system with some cameras that can be used to squirt victims and can be used as a backup camera. On the rear is an electric minibike.
This 1961 Volvo PV544 is called the Iron Maven and was built by the Girl Gang Garage. The Volvo uses a chassis and powertrain from a 2019 Volvo S60 T8 Hybrid. The modern platform was shortened by 18 inches to accommodate the PV544 body. The all-female team added a twin-turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder in the front and a rear-mounted electric motor. The combination produces 400 horsepower – four times as much power as the original vehicle.
Scared Shiftless created an electric drivetrain for a 1957 Chevrolet Corvette. The Art Morrison chassis was fitted with a Hypercraft S500SP motor, which produces 536 horsepower at its peak and 235 horsepower of continuous power. Similarly, the torque is 428 lb-ft. at its peak and 221 lb-ft. of continuous torque. The motor spins at 12,000 rpm. To manage the power flow, the system is coupled with a Torque Trends 1.9:1 planetary gearbox.
This 1969 Pontiac GTO belongs to actor and comedian Kevin Hart. Detroit Speed and Engineering built the Pontiac. The car is powered by a Chevrolet Performance LT5 (6.2 liters) equipped with a supercharger and produces 755 horsepower. A Bowler Performance T56 transmission is used to transfer the power. The GTO has JRi adjustable coilover shocks, HRE Valkyria wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires.
This year’s visitors were invited to attend SEMA Show Education Featured Programs. One of these was a Fireside Chat with Legendary Race Driver and DEI Ambassador for Formula One Willy T. Ribbs. The moderator was Beth Paretta of Paretta Autosport. Ribbs, the first African American to qualify for the Indianapolis 500, shared stories about his early days in motorsports and many accomplishments.
Two unique features were attracting SEMA attendees to Timothy Hicks' 1977 Datsun 240Z. The first was the body. Using multiple 3D printers for certain sections and a secondary 240Z for extra materials, the car called the Legacy has received the full carbon fiber treatment, including a wide body stance. Finally, the original Datsun L24 engine has been replaced with a Tesla drive train. And Hicks has plans for more updates.
The Factory Five booth at this year's SEMA show hosted several of the company's products. In addition to the popular Roadster models, there were XTF Trucks. Also appearing on the show floor was a Chris Hein Factory Five '33 Hot Rod. The car has a twin-turbocharged engine that produces 1,200 horsepower and runs mid-8-seconds in the ¼ mile. Interestingly, the Hot Rod has both a parachute and a trailer hitch.
The Factory Five booth at this year's SEMA show hosted several of the company's products. In addition to the popular Roadster models, there were XTF Trucks. Also appearing on the show floor was a Chris Hein Factory Five '33 Hot Rod. The car has a twin-turbocharged engine that produces 1,200 horsepower and runs mid-8-seconds in the ¼ mile. Interestingly, the Hot Rod has both a parachute and a trailer hitch.
187 Customs was responsible for the upgrades to this 1976 Chevrolet Impala Wagon. A Texas Speed 5.3-liter Ruthless Runt engine powers the Impala. The drivetrain is a 4L80E with a Circle D torque converter, Dynamic driveshaft and a Quick Performance 9-inch rearend. The suspension includes QA1 coilovers and control arms. In addition to the paint, one of the most distinguishing features of the car is the 26-inch forged Corleone wheels.
Duncan Brothers Customs built the 2012 Frankenboss Mustang. This 2012 Boss 302 Laguna Seca was re-bodied with custom handmade fenders, door skins and quarter panels to resemble a 1970 Mustang. Additional changes to the body include a 1969 Mustang taillight panel and custom 1970 headlight buckets. The car is fitted with American Racing TTF Bronze Wheels and Nitto NT555 G2 Tires.
This is a Lotus Radford Type 62-2 produced by British coachbuilding company Radford in partnership with Lotus Cars. It is a tribute to the original Lotus 62, the racing version of the Lotus Europa. It is available in three trim levels – Classic, Gold Leaf and John Player Special. The Lotus Radford is based on the Lotus Exige and powered by a 3.5 liter Toyota 2GR-FE supercharged V6. Production will be limited to 62 units.
This 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Custom Convertible is ‘going on the block’ at Barrett-Jackson with no Reserve. This resto-mod was completed in October 2023 by Jeff Hayes Customs. An LS3 540 horsepower engine powers it and uses a 4L70E automatic transmission. The Corvette rides on an Art Morrison sport chassis and stopping the car are Wilwood disc brakes. The wheels are custom-designed by Schott.
Front and center at the Central Hall was this twin-engine 2003 Nissan 350Z. Ashley Robinson bought the damaged Nissan for $800 and after two years of drifting, he decided to re-engineer the car. The project saw Robinson add two turbocharged Honda K24 engines to the front and rear of the vehicle, which had to be synchronized. Called Frankenstein, it was named the winner of the ENEOS/Pit+Paddock SEMA Show Car Contest.
Many showgoers needed help identifying this vehicle, thinking it could be a kit car for an existing vehicle. The car is called the Vaydor. The first car was built in 2013 and production continues. The Vaydor is constructed with a body kit designed to be built onto a 2003-2007 Infiniti G35 coupe donor car. Vaydor Body Kits are only available from Caroline Vaydor and manufactured by Custom Crafted Cars.
In 2022, Hot Rod Garage accepted the challenge of building a Hellcat-powered, tube-chassis 1955 Plymouth Savoy in 28 days. When tested, the Savoy made 988 rear-wheel horsepower with help from a small blower, custom ECU calibration, a big exhaust system and a small shot of nitrous. The car won the Direct Connection Grudge Race during the Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge on Woodward Avenue in Detroit.
This is Ford’s Mustang Mach-E Rally. The Mustang Mach-E Rally is the first-ever rally-inspired EV from Ford. This vehicle competed in this year’s Rebelle Rally, with Ford trying to build its successful history at the event. The Mustang is powered by a Dual eMotor (eAWD) layout targeting 480 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque. Powering the motor is a 91kWh usable capacity lithium-ion battery targeting a range of 250 miles.
This is a 1963 Ford Falcon Futura Convertible. From the outward appearance, the only modification from stock is the addition of alloy wheels. However, the Falcon has undergone many upgrades. Changes to the suspension include a TCI Mustang II addition to the front and the rear fitted with a four-link setup. The car has ABS Electric Power Brakes and Wilwood calipers. The wiring was replaced by Ron Francis Wiring.
Superformance had an exciting collection of kit cars, which included replicas of Cobras and GT40s. In addition, there was the Superformance Corvette Grand Sport. In 1962, Zora Duntov planned 125 purpose-built Corvettes with the goal of winning the GT class at the 24 Hours of LeMans. However, GM killed the project, leaving just five cars. Superformance offers a rolling chassis of this model and eight different engine options from GM Performance.
EV presence at SEMA increases and more floor space is dedicated to this technology. Revolt Systems brought the converted 1965 Electric Ford Mustang to the show. The company was founded to produce high-output electric drive systems for classic American cars. The engine in the Mustang was replaced with a Revolt Systems CR-43 crate motor, which produces 600 horsepower and over 900 ft-lbs of torque.
Kyle Hogue started this build with a 1930 Ford Model A Couple body and 1929 frame rails. The frame was boxed and sealed as it acts as the tank for the air suspension. The Ford’s roof has been chopped 8 inches and the body has been channeled. The custom paint job includes pin striping and silver leaf accents. The car, Lo-Blo, is powered by a 480 Chevrolet big block, which is mated to TH 400 transmission.
2023 is the 75th anniversary of Jaguar sports cars. Faruk Kugay of DevSpeed Motorsports modified this 1969 Jaguar XKE 2+2. The engine was replaced with a Toyota six-cylinder 2JZ-GTE 3.0 liter from a Supra. The induction system includes a Borg Warner turbocharger, expected to produce approximately 750 horsepower. The Jaguar has been upgraded with a BMW rear suspension and a ZF five-speed manual transmission.
There were some six-wheeled trucks at this year's SEMA Show. However, none of them rode as low as the Chevrolet. The 1965 Chevrolet C10 is called Slayer and was built by North Carolina's Brad and Doug DeBerti. The only original parts on the truck are the roof and A-pillers. Power comes from an LSX-376 B15 Chevy crate engine, which drives both rear axles through a four-speed transmission.
On the TOYO Tires Tread Pass was the Porsche 365 Coupe' look-a-like.' The Porsche 365 was produced from 1948 to 1965. The Coupe was manufactured from 1948 to 1955. Unlike the original, this vehicle has a carbon Kevlar body. The engine in the 365 is flat-four, with the engine displacement increasing over time. The initial displacement was 1.1 liters and grew to 2.0 liters at the end of production. The car on the Tread Pass is powered by a Honda K series engine.
The 1966 Ford Gulf Mustang was built by Vintage Fabrication of Independence, Missouri. The Mustang is powered by a modern Ford Motorsports 5.0 liter Crate Coyote with TiV camshafts. The engine makes 460 horsepower at 7,000 rpm. Matted to the motor is a five-speed Tremec transmission. The car’s front and rear suspension are by Heidt. Stopping is performed by Wilwood Calipers and Rotors. The wheels are Forgeline with Michelin tires.
This Mitsubishi shop truck was converted into a Time Attack-themed vehicle. The Mitsubishi has many of the body panels replaced with carbon fiber. The vehicle has a front splitter and wings to add to the aggressive appearance. The electronics were upgraded to motorsport-level technology. The truck is still powered by the original 3-cylinder, 660-cc engine; however, there is a plan to use a 1,300-cc Hayabusa motor with its sequential transmission.
In collaboration with the African American Automotive Association, Just Driven built this Paul Walker Toyota Supra tribute car. The vehicle is a replica of the Toyota that appeared in the 2001 ‘The Fast and Furious’ franchise. The movie played an important role in popularising the import car culture and the practice of modifying cars for performance and aesthetics. Just Driven used current parts and technologies.
Russell and Cavan Cameron are a father and son team responsible for building this 1973 Pontiac Trans Am. The original chassis had been swapped for a tube frame setup. The Late Model Engine LSR produces 2,000 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and includes a Garret turbocharger. Mounted to the engine is an Xtrac six-speed transmission activated by a Motec paddle shifter. The Pontiac uses a suspension from a 2001 Reynard 01i race car.
This clean-looking Volkswagen Caddy is from Auto Finesse. The first generation Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup debuted in 1979, with manufacturing ceasing in 1995. The truck was built with several different engine displacements throughout its production. The motors ranged from a 1.5 to 1.8-liter gas-powered vehicle. The vehicle was also available with a 1.6-liter turbo diesel. The Auto Finesse Volkswagen is powered by a 3.2 liter V6 Porsche Cayenne.
Bronczilla was built by Precision All Out Custom and Restoration. The vehicle began life as a 2023 Ford F350. It is currently powered by a 7.3 liter Godzilla motor connected to a ten-speed transmission. The suspension has been lifted six inches and uses Fox Performance Series shock absorbers. Bronczilla rides on Cali 22-inch X 12-inch chrome wheels fitted with AMP M/TA Terrain Attack tires.

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