Winter is here; with it comes all the post season reminiscing. In that spirit we bring you a very special collection we’ve been holding out on for some time. 2016 marked two special occasions, the celebration of the 50th annual continuation of SEMA, and the first of many visits to come for the ThirdWorldSociety media team to the Las Vegas Convention Center. If you even slightly like things with wheels and have never experienced SEMA, well, you’re missing out. Nothing can prepare you for the sheer caliber of every single build, it’s truly a melting pot of the worlds most devoted automotive enthusiasts and companies.
SEMA, or more formally, the Specialty Equipment Market Association begin putting on their annual show in 1967 to bring together aftermarket parts manufacturers, buyers, and the most devoted enthusiasts under one roof. From it’s humble beginning of 90 booths in the basement of Dodger Stadium, the show has since grown to be internationally attended by more than 150,000 attendees and upwards of 11,000 experiential booths. Known as the proving ground for new companies and main stage for those that have been in business since the very start, the SEMA floor is a brilliant display of the absolute finest parts, creations, models (Yes, there are definitely models) and everything you can think of that exists within the automotive industry. It’s hard to even grasp or put into words the monstrosity that the SEMA show is, and it’s truly something that needs to be experienced to be fully understood and appreciated.
We’re lucky enough to be bringing you 5 perspectives from 5 different lenses on our absolute favorites from the three days of showing. They’re here for you to bask in – so without further ado, please enjoy:
SEMA day one is always the most overwhelming; ask anyone. For the Thirdworld team, we landed in Vegas and went straight to work. Your first impression isn’t just “wow” it’s, “holy shit, there can’t be more.” That’s before the hordes of invited spectators jump into the equation. As the gates of hell open and the flood runs deep, our photos and videos became more dynamic. You simply can’t crouch to get a shot, you perch and invite your friends to bat off the mob of busy people. But, with time evolving into what seemed a hand full of minutes, day one came to an end, leaving the widebody GT-Rs and 10 foot tall trucks embedded in our minds, ready for day two.
SEMA day two started off bright and early. The sun still soft as it rose. Our team hustled to abuse our media time, and we sure did. From the Accuair Lamborghini to the LibertyWalk 430 spider, we exploited the killer light and stunning cars. We began to really grasp the size of SEMA by the end of day two. After adventuring each hall and spreading the TWS name, we thought we understood the monumental size. However, we shrunk with the mention of Ryan Tuerck’s FRS, Rob Dahm’s 4 rotor RX-7, and the several Toyo Tire booths scattered throughout the show; we had no idea what we missed…
SEMA day three was the time to shine. We missed our media hour, but had the ability to latch on to builds and communicate with the minds of each creation. Along with meeting icons like Ken Block, Magnus Walker, and Nakai-San, we had the humbling honor to meet people like JJ, the owner of a beautiful R35 GT-R (check out the feature!) and Michael Christi’s heart dropping Slantnose 997. It’s phenomenal to think the one vehicle that overrules any typical show was around the corner in a different shape and form all throughout the halls of SEMA.
SEMA day four is commonly anticipated for the massive roll-out that takes place. Unlike most roll-outs, a second event, or afterparty, is held in honor of the top 3 Battle of the Builds podium holders and to showcase all that you may have missed throughout the week. We were stoked to participate in the rollout firsthand, until reality set in that we were 2 hours late! The stands and media centers were packed ear to ear of anxious viewers. But with the grace of the car Gods we made it on track and fortunate to capture shots like Antonio’s nation duo in the LBW 280z.
We would like to personally thank The SEMA Show organizers for having a big and spacious media center. This served as our editing / mid-day headquarters. It really saved us a lot of headaches when meeting up with the team. We would also like to thank the amazing people, automotive pioneers, models, and Third World Society fans that we have met at the show. We cannot wait for what’s in store next year! Thank you SEMA Show.