LAS VEGAS — The SEMA Show is known as the premiere automotive specialty products trade event in the world. The annual event is every car enthusiasts dream where you can learn about customizing just about every piece and part in your car, truck, SUV or motorcycle.
The 2019 SEMA Show returned to the Las Vegas Convention Center from November 5-8. It took up all four halls of the convention center and even included the surrounding parking lots as well. The big Central Hall focused on racing and performance as well as restoration and hot rods.
One of the first things you’ll see are the Ford Mustangs and Ford F-150s doing stunts in the front parking lot. You can hear the roar of the engines and smell the smoke and the rubber coming from the tires. It definitely wakes up all of your senses! I was also impressed by the large number of classic Ford Broncos that were displayed since the Bronco is coming back in 2021.
“I love American manufacturing,” said comedian-car enthusiast Jay Leno during the Ford press conference. “The great thing about this whole SEMA experience is all of these guys here. Some are big companies, some are little guys that invented a ratchet or a tool in their garage and they all have a booth here. They all get to take their product nationally and you all get to see it. I would be fair to say 95-98 percent of the stuff here is American made and American manufactured.”
Leno introduced his restored 1968 Ford Bronco during the automaker’s press conference last Tuesday. It will be featured on an upcoming episode of his CNBC show Jay Leno’s Garage. The SUV was originally given to him as a gag gift from fellow comedian Craig Ferguson when Leno ended his run as host of The Tonight Show. This classic Bronco is powered by a Ford Performance 5.2-liter supercharged V8 engine. Boy, it sure looks different now!
“I was in Detroit and I got a chance to look at the new Bronco that is coming,” Leno explained. “Well, it’s safe to say that it inspired me. I love the classic look of the first generation Bronco. It’s a fantastic color, I love the dark blue, almost looks black. There’s little touches. The grille is a bit more modern. Kincer did the chassis.”
I also spotted an all-electric Mustang ‘Lithium’ at the Ford display. It was built with electric vehicle components from supplier Webasto. This electric pony car produces more than 1000 ft.-lbs. of instant torque and 900 hp. It offers an estimated range of 250 miles from an 800-volt Webasto battery system with EVDrive technology. No word on if it will actually be produced or sold. But we can dream.
Segway-Ninebot offered free test drives of its all-electric dirt bikes on a closed course in front of the Westgate Resort & Casino. The Dirt eBike will come in two versions, the X160 and X260. The X160 will come with a 40.4-mile range, a weight of 105 pounds and a cost of $3,000. Meanwhile, the X260 can travel 74.6 miles on a single charge and can handle steeper slopes at a cost of $4,500. Both are scheduled to go on sale in early 2020.
Also on Tuesday, Shell/Quaker State unveiled a custom 1968 Chevy Impala lowrider. The vehicle was upgraded with a new rear end, new air ride suspension, new paint, interior and wheels. It will be auctioned off next year to benefit an anti-bullying charity. The Impala will go on a cross-country trip throughout 2020, where it will be displayed at automotive events and races.
“It’s continuously been a goal of mine and Lowrider to not only bring awareness to the lowrider community, but also give back to those who need it most, in this case children,” said Joe Ray, Editor-in-Chief of Lowrider magazine. “This Impala is special to us and we’re grateful to the folks at Quaker State to give us a platform at the SEMA Show to introduce the vehicle to the masses and we’re excited to take it on the road next year for the rest of America to see.”
There are hundreds of celebrities meeting their fans at the SEMA Show. Racing legend Richard Petty “The King” signed autographs at the Magnaflow booth. Other race car drivers making appearances included Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Cole Custer, Chase Briscoe, among many more. Television personalities from Discovery Motor and MotorTrend also met their fans during the show.
SEMA stands for the Speciality Equipment Market Association. Their annual show started in Anaheim, Calif. but grew larger and moved to Las Vegas in 1977. Ever since, it has welcomed hundreds of thousands of automotive professionals, media and guests to experience their annual show.
The SEMA Show returns to Las Vegas next year from November 3-6, 2020. For more information about the SEMA Show, visit https://www.semashow.com/