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Like SEMA 2015, SEMA 2016 Featured the Aftermarket Industry’s Best

Sometimes, what stays in Vegas is more than you had intended

Dec 28, 2016
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We’ve seen that television ad over 8 bazillion times. You know the one; “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” Well, I didn’t realize how true that was until the 2016 SEMA Show when a couple of local “desert rats” decided to break into my hotel room and make off with my iPhone and wallet. So, more of my stuff stayed in Vegas than I had preferred.

I’ll not bore you with the details of how I spent all of Thursday morning shutting down credit and debit cards and then having to make an appointment at the DMV to get a new driver’s license. That sucked, but the main bummer was losing all my iPhone photos and videos. Of course, I’m one of those guys who neglects backing up my phone on a regular basis. I don’t even know what’s considered to be “regular,” but apparently it’s more often than what I’ve been doing.

Half-jokingly, one of my kids asked if my Yogurtland rewards card was in my wallet. Unfortunately, I had to break the news that it was stolen as well. Maybe the thieves will try to cash in on my rewards and the Yogurtland people will make a citizen’s arrest. Maybe not, but the thought of someone getting caught by using a discount card at yogurt shop sounds kinda funny. I guess this “little event” will force me to download the app now. Well, once I get another phone.

So beyond that “little issue,” a lot people asked me about SEMA 2016 and how it compared to SEMA 2015. Well, in many ways it was the same. The car builds were amazing just like in 2015 and Danny Popp won the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational (just like in 2015, 2014, and 2011). So, on the surface, SEMA 2016 was fairly similar to SEMA 2015. The difference between this year and last year is that the number of people attending the show seemed greater. And this year the underlying theme was all about “unveilings.” Everywhere you looked someone was unveiling something. I was pretty much over it after the first one. So, because builder “A” is unveiling a car in company “B’s” booth at a specified time, a massive culmination of “media” people would gather around as if Apple was giving away free iPhone 7s, and every one of them feels it’s imperative they are first to get their photos posted on Facebook and Instagram. Where did all these people come from? I had no idea there were 45 million automotive-related media outlets. Apparently there are and every single one of them was waiting to capture every unveiling. Congestion is already a problem in the aisles, so come unveiling time there was a complete standstill 50 feet in every direction. Everyone was literally standing still.

To alleviate the problem, I propose the SEMA folks incorporate a special unveiling stage so everyone can actually see the car once the cover comes off—not just the early birds and everyone over 6’ 2”.

So, after making my way over to the first “mosh pit,” err, unveiling by one of the many popular builders, I realized there was no way I was going to get any usable photos or video so I decided to wait a few hours and get photos of the cars well after the crowds were gone. No, I wasn’t first to post photos online of any one car, but my images are mostly free of people in the background, and I was able to spend more time with the cars, which allowed me to grab a few short videos as well.

One car that stood out to me was the Ringbrothers-built G-Code 1969 Camaro. The car showcases the Ring’s design and fabrication skills while retaining the car’s classic bloodline. You can check out the photos and a short video of the car from SEMA at chevyhiperformance.com.

So, if it’s true that “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” then that tells me there’s a small chance I’ll run into my wallet and iPhone at the 2017 SEMA Show. The credit cards won’t do me any good, but I could really use that Yogurtland rewards card.

See you at SEMA 2017. You can catch me by the new “unveiling stage.”

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