The SEMA 2016 – the best Show in Las Vegas


There are many shows in Vegas but the best one to me is the SEMA. It holds up to the promise that everything is a bit bigger and more glamorous in the USA than anywhere else in the world. And just like this – the SEMA is one big show and it`s big in a sense of size but also in a sense of quality. In short words: 2400 exhibiting manufacturing companies and more than 140.000 participants and that is just professionals because the show is not open to the public. So, let`s get it on.

If you are leaving the “monorail” the Las Vegas city train which is arriving way above the area you can catch a first glimpse of the sheer size of the SEMA. More car tuning in one spot is probably just not possible. And we should not forget that we are talking about a country without a TÜV, that means you can do what`s possible here and not what`s allowed because almost everything is allowed. In Germany nobody would schedule such an event with such a big outdoor area (where some drift cars are battling at the moment) by the beginning of November but in the middle of the dessert that`s not a problem. We have 27 degrees centigrade at the moment and it feels great. The SEMA has it`s 50s anniversary party and we join the fun right here, right now.

For 2 days now people always asking me – how was it? The only thing I can say is – totally awesome. I do think that many things in the USA in general are way more shiny that they actually are but there are 2 things which are done far better than in the rest of the world here in this country and that is: putting on a show and selling stuff. The SEMA does both of them in perfection. And even it`s not a typical sales fair it is so well done that your wish for “faster, lower, more and better” rises almost at the moment as you enter.

Almost everybody with a big name in the car aftermarket is here: From Liberty WalkRockford Fosgate, from BremboGreddy and from HKSToyo. And there are some car makers also. Especially the American car makers Ford and Chevrolet have done a great job presenting their products. Ford offers autograph hours with some of the most famous Ford drivers like Ken Block or Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Chevrolet has even set up a little racetrack where you may test the new Corvette for a round.

Thinking about my favorite cars at the SEMA this year is really difficult simply of the fact that there are so many great cars. If we are not talking about aftermarket my favorite car was the all new Honda NSX which I have not seen so far. It looks absolutely great and I can`t wait to see it on the streets. Being a movie fan I really liked the Trans Am SE Bandit Edition from Trans Am Depot and I was also happy to get a first glimpse of a Fast 8 movie car. I also got a very positive impression from Toyo tires. The offered not only a relax zone for guests with cozy furniture and free water, they also had displayed quiet many of the greatest cars I have ever seen around the whole SEMA area, Datsun, BMW, Lamborghini, Mustangs and more. But talking about Mustangs. Being in the USA the domestic marked is really big here and you may find muscle cars of all brands and years. My personal favorite Mustang company for some years now is Classic Recreations and I found one of their master pieces at the SEMA too. If you ever get the chance to see one of their cars, always a mixture between new technic and classical design, to sit in it or even to drive it – do it, especially if its an Eleanor Super Snake. Anyway if you need any inspiration for your American muscles you find everything at the SEMA.

What else? Everything, really everything! Lamborghini and Ferraris on every corner, Evos, Subarus and Lexus in all styles, the biggest wheels, the craziest car wrapping from gold to Deadpool, the loudest exhaust systems, the lowest Lowriders and the highest Monster Trucks. What can I say – be there or be square. If you have never seen the SEMA you definitely have missed something big in your car life. I really hope my pictures can give a little impression what was going on. And whenever you have the chance and the time to visit – do it and even if you don`t get a ticket – the streets are full of great cars in Vegas at that time and than you still have a chance to see many of the cars at the cruise off. This was definitely my tuning event of the year!

Text: Andreas Leffler
Pictures: Andreas Leffler

15. November 2016

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