SEMA 2015 has come, and after exhaustively walking around and around and around the Las Vegas Convention Center while not having even seen a quarter of it, it has gone. Dealers, builders, salespeople, OEMs, racing teams, equipment manufacturers, grease monkeys, designers, inventors – and of course, the media – converge in the brightly lit oasis of vice in the middle of the desert the first week of November. If there was a theme this year, it was most definitely trucks. Between the smoke from Vaughn Gittin Jr. drifting around Ford Out Front and the equally voluminous plumes emitted from the lungs of posing vapers, it was all about the trucks. Even the DUBB section of outside lot was conspicuously devoid of quantities of low riders, donks, and the blinged-out tuners its known for, instead full of lifted and accessorized pickups.
Chevrolet kicked off the reveals Monday night with a slew of beefy Camaros including the Gen Six COPO Camaro introduced by NHRA Camaro Funny Car driver Courtney Force. The piece de resistance was the Silverado 3500HD Kid Rock Concept, with none other than Kid Rock himself on hand to talk about how he collaborated with Chevy on the over-the-top 4WD dually.
Friday’s drive-out was led by legendary Chip Foose driving the 1965 Chevrolet Impala Impostor. Impostor, because it’s a meticulous build of an Impala-like body on a C6 Corvette. Cars cruised out to a lot across Paradise Road for the SEMA Ignited afterparty.
In its sophomore year, Friday Night’s SEMA Ignited was much more pulled-together this year. Gone was the tedious center-stage viewing of the awkward take-and-re-take of Builder’s War hosts, replaced by a better organized car show, a greater number of food truck vendors, and a larger track that kept a busier shedule. With Jerod DeAnda of Formula D and Red Bull Global Rallycross MC-ing, SEMA had a stable of Formula Drift drivers – Odi Bakchis, Ryan Tuerck, Michael Essa, Robbie Nishida, Dean Kearney, Daigo Sato, and Vaughn Gittin Jr. to name a few – out every hour for drifting demos.
On the half hour, ride-alongs were available in some of the tuned Mustangs from Ford Out Front, making SEMA Ignited a great bookend to the car girl or guy’s dream week to the massive trade show in Vegas.