The Highlight Reel – SEMA 2019
SEMA is, in most ways, the automotive event of the year. While it's technically an industry trade show, it has evolved into far more, and stands to showcase everything there is to know about the year that has passed, and the year that is to come, all under one (or rather, a few) absolutely massive roof. There's a lot to wade through: even with four full days, it's impossible to see it all. However, we did our best: for those that couldn't make it, here's the 2019 StanceWorks highlight reel.
Our first stop is always with our friends at H&R Springs. They've offered a place to showcase numerous StanceWorks SEMA unveilings, and this year, their booth was as impressive as always. The centerpiece? An authentic BMW M1 Procar, pulled from the BMW NA Motorsport collection for the event. As a not-so-subtle flex, it was easily one of the coolest cars anywhere within the 2,000,000 square-foot confines of the convention center.
H&R also pulled strings to have one of the first 992 911s, thanks to Champion Motorsports, which offered an awesome early look at the latest car in the 911 lineage.
On the topic of BMWs, not far from H&R is the Optima Booth, and stealing the show there is Bimmerworld's Pikes Peak Hill Climb E36. As a full tube-chassis twin-turbo V8 monster, it was easily one of the wildest machines on the convention center floor. Their build progress has been documented by James Clay on his facebook page, and seeing it come together over the past several months was worth the arduous wait.
Also present was Turner Motorsports' M6 GT3, fresh off the tarmac, as well as Eibach's 2019 SEMA project, a wonderfully clean 2002 motorsport-inspired build. Rounding out the BMWs is an M2 build that holds down the Holley booth without much effort at all.
That's not to suggest, though, that Holley didn't bring more firepower. A Kibbetech OBS Ford sat opposite Shawn Bassett's carbon 240Z, making for a cumulative display that was hard for anyone else to parallel.
Our friends at CSF brought a 1,000WHP 991 Porsche 911, and along side it, another Pikes Peak-prepped BMW M2, both poised on stands and prepped for prying eyes.
One car I really enjoyed seeing was Dai Yoshihara's AE86 Levin Hatch. Under the hood is a Honda K20C1 from a Civic Type R, staying true to the car's 4-cylinder roots while bringing it to a modern standard. It had tiny BBS wheels on it too, which truly won me over.
One build that caught my attention was Roadster Shop's Ford Bronco. It sits atop their relatively new off road frame, which is, without a doubt, an object of envy. It's long travel and completely tailored to fit the original Bronco perfectly. Under the hood is a twin-turbo Coyote engine, meaning this truck is high performance in every regard, but with an unassuming exterior.
Equally exciting in the realm of off-road trucks was the Chevy located in the Baja Designs booth. I was unable to get good photos thanks to the massive crowds, but it was a full-blown trophy truck wearing a ~'56 Chevy body. It sounds like it took home a few awards, and rightfully so.
Our friends at Go Fast Campers were present, too, this time in the Mobil One booth, with Wiley's Tacoma on display for the world to see. It's been thrilling to watch friends' business grow so rapidly, and with such recognition, too.
On the opposite end of the Mobil One booth was Andy Williamson's latest project, dubbed Cupid: a classic roadster pickup with the heart of an LS-based monster. I came by just in time to catch the Mobil One pegasus getting laid out in pinstripe ink.
Each year, trucks are making up more and more of of the SEMA population, which has upsides and downsides. While a lot of the truck content is... disappointing at best, there were some real gems about. Perhaps one of my favorites to see was Dan Grec's trans-continental Jeep. I've followed Dan's journey, chronicled online through The Road Chose Me, as he drove this truck through 35 countries across Africa. For anyone interested in true overlanding content, it's unlikely you'll find anything better. I can't believe Jeep passed up the opportunity to put this truck in their booth.
Another gem was an authentic 70-series pickup brought by Dobinsons. I drooled for a hot minute before admitting it'll be years and years before I can own the 79 I dream about.
Cruising around outside, there were a few more cars worth seeking out. This Datsun left a broad smile on my face, and truth be told, the Rocket Bunny S13 parked nearby surprised me with how much I liked it. I'm not sold on the two-tone look, but the kit suits the car well.
Back inside, our friend at Air Lift Performance are celebrating their 70th anniversary. As such, they brought both something from 1949, and from 2019, showcasing both ends of the spectrum. Despite there being 43 Toyota Supras (that's an official count, by the way) at SEMA, Air Lift Performance's was one of my favorites. The other was perhaps HKS's.
Bruce Canepa's 935 held down the Go Pro booth. It's not what one expects to find at SEMA, but it was a welcome surprise, having seen it blitzing around Laguna Seca year after year.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, PPG had a slew of lowriders in their booth, and one in particular left our jaws on the floor. The candy red paint was as deep as it gets, with ghosted paneling and linework that had me looking over the car for quite some time. I can't imagine ever owning something like this... paranoia over paint damage would consume me.
Two remain: outside, the Brown Sugar C10 was on display. Truth be told, it was a shame that it wasn't inside in a full-fledged booth, but to see it up close was a treat nonetheless. The bodywork, chassis work, and the interior work on the camper were all second-to-none.
And finally: this pint-sized Honda S800 was truly something else. I can't help but assume they're worth a fortune, because this is one I'd truly love to get my hands on. Perhaps I saved the best for last. What do you think?
And there you have it... the StanceWorks SEMA 2019 roundup. We'll see you there next year, and you won't want to miss it.