High Spirits, High Attendance and Cool Rides Combine for a Long Week in Vegas

March 9th, 2011

Text and Photos by Matt Emery

It’s hard to describe a SEMA show. It’s part consumer trade show, part show and shine and part Caligula. It is held in Vegas, after all. If the saying is that sex sells, then the SEMA show is a perfect vehicle for it, as for a week everything that a red-blooded American male is looking for is housed inside the cavernous Las Vegas Convention Center.

There are thousands of the hottest vehicles interspersed with thousands of booths where someone is waiting to sell you something. And then there are the models. We like the models. Though there are not as many as before the crash, many booths still have pretty girls signing posters and posing for pictures with passing guys. They certainly brighten up an otherwise unending march through the aisles for us. There are literally miles of aisles at the SEMA show, and we walk those aisles for you, to be able to try to bring you the latest in parts, tools and autos—and we try to scam as much stuff as possible, of course.

The 2010 edition of the famed SEMA show saw many things, one of which was an intangible: People were in much better spirits than in the past few years. The economic downturn has taken a heavy toll on our pastime, and many shops and manufacturers couldn’t weather the continuing storm and were forced to close. The past couple of years at SEMA have been tense, to say the least, and smiles were a bit forced. But this year, we know of more than a few shops and suppliers that are doing downright well, and that feeling that maybe the corner has been turned had people in a much better mood, until about Wednesday afternoon that is. Then the reality of having two more days of working the booth begins to sink in, and everyone is beginning to feel the last few day’s worth of work and partying. SEMA takes a toll on everyone in attendance, and for many it’s a very long week.

That just means we’ll have to rest up for next year.

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