SEMA Signage

Cruise at SEMA Show on Friday Night

Friday Night Cruise

Cruise SEMA BannerFor the past three years, at the end of the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show on Friday, some of the cars on display drive out of the show onto the surrounding street in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center.  It has become known as “The Cruise” and has become very popular, even amongst weary, dog tired show goers.

Origins of The Cruise

In fact, the cruise started years earlier as an unofficial event.  After the show closed on Friday afternoon, some cars would drive off to get to their trailers and either get locked up for the night or head back home.  So locals and attendees would camp out along the drive ways and watch some of the cars drive away.

cruise22

You can admire the individual cars and appreciate a static display of cars, but nothing beats seeing them now drive off, under power, lights on and with exhaust bellowing.

Sanctioned Cruise

The Cruise just sanctioned this drive off and became a recognized, official event.  Early Friday afternoon, before the show closes at 4 PM, portable bleachers are maneuvered into position along a driveway that had been the point of access for the taxi’s.  The stands fill up hours before the cruise starts and the actual driveway gets lined with interested folks as well.

Cruise EmceeThis year SEMA had an emcee and a DJ spinning some tunes.  Because it gets dark early in Las Vegas, SEMA even arranges for some portable lights so the cars can be easily seen.

Cruise with Chip FooseSome cars tossed out sponsor t-shirts or hats to the crowd and Chip Foose came over to say hi and thanked the crowd for attending.  SEMA was even selling a limited number of hats, embroidered to commemorate the Cruise

Cruise Hat for Sale

The Cruise and the Stars

Of course, the stars of The Cruise are the cars.  Now most of these cars have already been parked outside of the convention center and on display all week long.  But nothing takes the place of seeing the cars actually start up and drive off.  We saw the WyoTech Ford truck/roadster, that we had previously highlighted, make a pass through the crowd after maneuvering out of the indoor display hall.

Cruise WyoTech's Ford

I never had seen so many LED’s on some of the 4X4’s and they were all blindingly lit.  The cars were often packed with more than just the driver, so their friends could enjoy the experience.  And of course many vehicles had more than one camera attached to their car, probably to help make a video for YouTube?  There was even a drone flying overhead.

cruise-drone

Many media folks were there including our friends from Hot Rod magazine.  It was refreshing to see so many gear heads come out to see the cars cruise, and great to see so many owners take their cars on the road!  Even the French builder of the 57 Bel Air themed Harley Davidson motorcycle drove out.  This is a great way for SEMA to wrap up the week and was one of our highlights.

Enjoy some of our selected shots from the SEMA Cruise.  Which is your favorite?

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