The 2013 SEMA Show: Largest Aftermarket Show In The World

The array of things to see every year at the SEMA Show is astounding. No matter if you’re into muscle cars, hot rods, race vehicles, motorcycles, off-road vehicles, or anything that blurs the lines between any number of these options, there’s plenty to see, do and add to that growing list of toys you’d like for Christmas. But not everyone gets to experience the event in its entirety, even if you’re on the floor for four days trying to hit every corner. So we decided to bring some of the highlights from this year’s show right to you! This year’s show broke records in attendance across the board!

DSCN8864Pristine Show Cars

The vehicles that get the exclusive rights to be shown off on the SEMA Show floor are undeniably some of the most amazing restorations, extreme builds and innovative renderings the automotive world has to offer. And with every hall in the Las Vegas Convention Center dedicated to a specific genre of the aftermarket, it’s not hard to pinpoint the area of vehicles you want to focus on.

DSCN8892But even though break-outs like Racing Performance, Restoration and Hot Rod Alley all have their own sections in the event center, you’re sure to find any number of different rad rides everywhere you look.

The biggest sections of vehicles on the floor go to the major automotive manufacturers. Each, having brand new models to show off, are situated along major corridors in the event center, taking up large amounts of real estate.

While the new models that everyone knows about are always on the floor, like the C7 Corvette this year at the Chevy booth, there are also brand new concept vehicles typically revealed.

DSCN9385If new models aren’t your thing, a large number of companies wishing to showcase products on the show floor also bring in show cars. Typically, these cars are purpose built with the best of the best components, making their debuts at the show as fresh builds or hitting the show floor for another year, having won a SEMA-awarded honor the previous year.

DSCN9448Tons of vehicle builders also have booths on the SEMA Show floor, showcasing what their creativity and talents can offer those individuals looking to have a project built for them. These are usually the cars that are the most over-the-top, bringing new concepts and designs to the forefront.

This year, everything from an electric-powered ICON “Thriftmaster Pick Up,” based on the 1947 to 1953 Chevy 3100 trucks, and a propane-fueled Chevelle, to an all-wheel drive ’32 Ford roadster and a dual-engine, quad-blown ’27 Ford could be found somewhere on the event grounds. Some of the best hot rods we found on the show floor can be found in our Top 5 Hot Rods of the SEMA Show article. 


DSCN9400Celebrity And Builder Appearances

With so many exquisite vehicles on display, there are countless builders responsible for these creations. Lucky for existing customers, potential customers and fans, many of these builders are fairly accessible on the show floor, whether they have official published signings or are just milling around their associate booths talking cars with anyone who wants to.

In the four days of the 2013 SEMA Show, there were over 25 pages of celebrity and builder appearances listed on SEMA’s website, more than any normal person could get too. But that didn’t stop many people from waiting in line to get autographs from some of the biggest builders and celebrities in the industry, like Jessi Combs, Chip Foose, and Richard Petty. There were also signings by Vic Edelbrock Jr., Courtney Hansen, the crew from Gas Monkey Garage, Von Gittin Jr., and the crew from the TV show “Car Chasers,” just to name a few.


In addition to the builders and noted automotive celebrities, there were also chances to see people like musical artist Neil Young give a speech in the ICON booth and Gene Simmons and his wife helping to reveal the new-classic “Snakebit” Ford truck.

DSCN9030Premier Products

Although the SEMA Show is a non-selling show, meaning companies don’t sell products out of their booths at the event, there is still an amazing amount of trusted and new products on display on the show floor.

Having a reputation for debuting some of the latest products in the industry every year, the show grounds are full of displays of everything from new camshafts, light housings and tires to full kit cars and chassis dynos. There are even booths dedicated to services like providing insurance and performance driving schools to the public on hand.

Big or small, if you can’t find it on the SEMA Show floor, chances are you’re going to have a tough time finding it anywhere. For more information on all the products showcased at this year’s SEMA Show, make sure to continue to follow our SEMA Show coverage on all our sites.



Demonstrations and Reveals

Last but certainly not least in the major parts of the SEMA Show experience are the demonstrations and reveals constantly going on on the show grounds. This year, Ford had the front parking area where they showed off some of their highly-modified cars and sponsored drivers, including Von Gittin Jr. and Ryan Tuerck, who put on a pretty stellar drift demonstration while we were there. Outside the Central Hall, Chevy had a similar area where with the help of professional drivers, show-goers had the opportunity to either drive or ride along in a performance Chevy around a miniature road course that the company had set up.

DSCN9340Like we alluded to in the show car section earlier, reveals are also a major part of SEMA, which companies take very seriously. Not only do you have concepts like the latest Ford Hot Wheels edition revealed during the show by major manufacturers, you also have individual companies and builders that reveal their personal projects, like the NASCAR-powered 1965 Mustang named Blizzard, which was revealed this year by the Ringbrothers.

Every year the SEMA Show provides a platform for automotive aftermarket personnel to come together, check out the latest amazing builds, browse innovative products and services, and meet some of the industry’s biggest celebrities all in one place. No matter how many SEMA Shows you attend, each truly provides an experience you’ll never forget. We certainly won’t forget this record-breaking year and we can’t wait to do it all over again next November!

For more photos from this year’s SEMA Show, check out the GALLERY below!


About the author

Lindsey Fisher

Lindsey is a freelance writer and lover of anything with a rumble. Hot rods, muscle cars, motorcycles - she's owned and driven it all. When she's not busy writing about them, she's out in her garage wrenching away. Who doesn't love a tech-savy gal that knows her way around a garage?
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