2009 SEMA Convention - Shop Talk

Sema '09
I seem to have a habit of doing this, but I'm currently 32,000 feet in the air as I'm writing this month's editorial and making my way back to California. This time, I just completed a three-day stint at the '09 SEMA convention and I have got to say, what a show it was and I had the most incredible time.

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This year was very different for me. Unlike the usual late-night shenanigans from the previous years, I actually went to sleep at a decent hour. And let me tell you, after logging well over 10 miles a day walking the show, my feet were ready for a rest; at least until the next day.

Let's see, the first night was spent having dinner with the folks from Trick Flow Specialties, namely Al Noe and his crew; our publisher Ed Zinke; along with GM High-Tech's newest editor in charge Scott Parker. If you're wondering what the topics of the night were-it was cars, suspensions, and engines of course, but more importantly the general direction of our hobby. Going green is a big topic and we're all curious to see where we'll be in the next decade.

Beyond the good conversation, we were all remarking about the positive vibe at this year's show. Even with the economy being the way it is, the crowds seemed rather impressive with the aisles filled with buyers and an untold number of bright-eyed enthusiasts who were foaming at the mouth to see the latestproducts, including us.

One aspect of the show that commanded everyone's attention is that you could have walked blindfolded in any number of directions and bumped into a fifth-gen. Unlike previous years, where an unnamed Pony car seemed to reside king, the new Camaro was everywhere. And by everywhere, I'll also add that these fresh rides were built in a number of configurations ranging from show to street to full race; yeah there was definitely something there for everyone.

While there were a few out of the norm cars with extraordinarily monster wheels and one that featured a wide-body kit, most of them were outfitted with performance suspension and wheels, exhaust systems, to killer looking paintjobs and supercharger systems. If you can't already tell, I have the worst appetite for one, but one truck payment is enough for me-at least for now.

There was also the Bondurant Driving School ride that was available for anyone at the show. You first had to take a drive around the tight course in a compact, but after that, you were given the clear to get a ride with an instructor in the school's C6 Corvette. Forget the traction control; these guys were whipping them around like toys and giving everyone a big smile to boot.

Finally, the unveiling of the latest products is always one of my favorite features of SEMA. I won't give away all the details this month, but you won't want to miss the next issue, where we disclose several of the coolest products we ran into. If you were able to make to make the show, what caught your attention? Email me at the address above.

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