The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) representing the automobile aftermarket was formed in 1963. The acronym originally stood for Speed Equipment Manufacturing Association. In 1970, government regulations prompted organizers to change the name to its current-day version to improve the overall image of the association. SEMA board members were warned that bureaucrats in the industry may be turned off by the word “speed”, which Corporate Council Earl Kitner felt they may associate with “the swinging generation” of that era.
The first SEMA Show was held in the basement of Dodger Stadium in 1967, with five cars on display, including a 1967 Ford GT40 in the Shelby America booth and a drag race-prepped Dodge Dart. All told, 98 manufacturers bought booths; overall attendance was 3,000 industry members and media.
Today, the SEMA Show occupies more than one million net square feet, draws more than 3,000 media, and has a buyer attendance of approximately 60,000. The SEMA Show routinely attracts more than 2,300 exhibitors, occupying approximately 11,000 booths. Total attendance at the Show now tops 150,000 manufacturers, buyers, and other industry representatives.
This year, the popular trade-only SEMA Show takes place November 1 – November 4, 2022, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and FOX Factory is returning after a two-year hiatus. Here are some of our highlighted vehicles. Industry folk should also visit us at Booth #81298 in the Silver Lot near the eBay Motors Experience pavilion.
1979 Jeep Wagoneer ‘Sasquatch’
FOX products: Performance Elite 2.5 Series remote reservoir front/piggyback reservoir rear shocks with Dual Speed Compression (DSC) adjusters, designed and engineered to increase the vehicle’s capability off-road and improve stability while towing. Builder: CarBuff Network. SEMA Booth #81280 (TREMEC outside).
“Wagoneer’s are a big part of my memories from growing up,” CarBuff Network’s Trent Campbell said. “Grandpa owned four different Wagoneers starting in the late `60’s. I ended up with one in high school and loved that Jeep; it got lifted and we upgraded everything including the engine and running gear. The Jeep was sold when our first daughter came along. Twenty years later we’re partnering with some amazing people and brands.”
“We’re staying with Mopar and transplanting a 392 Hemi,” Campbell added. “The transmission is a TREMEC TR4050 designed for off-road application, and Resurgence Automotive is bringing everything together as the main builder handling fabrication/bodywork/paint.”
1965 Ford F-100 EV “Chargezilla”
FOX products: Performance Elite 2.5 Series piggyback reservoir shocks with Dual Speed Compression (DSC) adjusters, 7/8-inch hard chrome-plated, heat-treated steel shafts and race-developed high-flow pistons. Builder: Legacy EV. SEMA Booth #24681 – Hot Rod Alley.
Legacy EV and 101 Motors teamed with TFL Truck to turn a broken and beaten 1965 Ford F-100 into a Tesla-powered EV mod.
“We bought this 1965 Ford F-100 (which has an F-250 platform) about two years ago and recently converted it to an all-electric pickup,” TFL Truck’s Nathan Adlen said. “It’s now called `Chargezilla’ or `E-100’!”
“Our 1965 Ford F-100 project has made a major leap in an unusual direction. What was once a 300 cubic-inch inline six-cylinder engine – mated to a manual transmission and a `divorced’ transfer case – is now electrically powered,” Adlen added. “The F-250 part of the truck has this transfer case from the factory – which gives you equal-length drive shafts. Now, the power and torque have increased dramatically.”
Essentially, the 1965 Ford now has Tesla power relying on two battery banks. The most prominent (and easy to see) resides under the hood. Replacing the gas tank, the other set of batteries sits in its own case. Combined, the overall output is about 70 kWh.
2022 GMC Jimmy Conversion
FOX products: BDS 3.5-inch lift kit with FOX Performance Elite 2.5 Series coil-over shocks with Dual Speed Compression (DSC) adjusters, Eibach springs and BDS upper control arms in front and 2-inch lift blocks to bolster the factory leaf springs with FOX Performance Elite 2.5 Series coil-over shocks with Dual Speed Compression (DSC) adjusters in the rear to match the front performance and adjustability. Builder: Flat Out Autos. SEMA Booth #24675 – Hot Rod Alley.
Beginning with a 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Single Cab/Long Bed pickup, FlatOut Autos in Jonesboro, Arkansas chopped the vehicle down to a 5-foot, 8-inch bed with a true unibody construction. Brown leather power-folding rear seats were added in back, with a removable roof giving the passengers an open-air experience.
“We start with a brand-new single cab GMC Sierra and proceed to shorten the wheelbase along with grafting in the unibody bed,” FlatOut’s Rob Hester explained. “The rear seat sits near the front of the bed for a comfortable seating position for the rear passengers, even adults.
“The removable fiberglass shell will create that nostalgic K5 driving experience, but with the modern safety, reliability, and comfort of a new vehicle. Our mission is to build a vehicle that has the styling, fit and finish of a brand-new truck off the GMC production line. The interior will be a full custom brown leather with carpet in the rear.”
Flat Out Autos also plans to build 20 examples of this SUV next year, each uniquely tailored to the client’s specifications.
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