Timing is everything

Probably I won’t be the only one to post …

But how often can you post something at

9:10 on 11-12-13 ?

56 Desoto steering wheel
clock in steering wheel

This 56 Desoto actually had the clock in the steering wheel .Must have been hell to read if the steering wheel went out of alignment.  And imagine the difficulty in fixing that car clock when and if it went bad.

clock in wheel
Clock in Steering wheel

 

 

NHRA Breakfast at SEMA Show

One of the hidden “gems” of the SEMA – Specialty Equipment Market Association – week-long festivities this week is the NHRA – National Hot Rod Association – Breakfast.  Each year NHRA gathers a group of racing celebrities to come together, share some stories, crack some jokes and give the drag racing fans some inside looks at the world of drag racing.

The Voice of NHRA

This year’s breakfast was entitled “The Voce of NHRA” and featured past announcers Dave McClelland, Bob Frey and Alan Reinhardt with current ESPN/NHRA announcer Dave Rieff being the emcee.  The first two former announcers were introduced with video montages of their career.  When Reinhardt came out, they did not have a video of his past works, mainly because he is still announcing at various tracks.  Later Alan quipped, “My videos won’t start in black and white.”

Dave McClelland responded that the younger they are, the balder they are.  The announcers also shared some jokes about buying a parrot.  You had to be there!

They NHRA also had a poignant remembrance of Steve Evans, another past announcer, and gave an award to his son, Cameron Evans who runs Red Line Oil.

Dave McClelland

McClelland told the story how he started his career, when a track announcer “froze” in front of the crowd.  When Dave offered to take over, the track owner said, Why not?  You couldn’t do any worse.”

When McClelland was commenting on his career which spanned from 1961-2003 with NHRA and even earlier with other tracks, Alan Reinhardt commented “My parents hadn’t even yet met in 1959.”  And Dave quipped back, “And in a perfect world, they never would have!”

McClelland talked about his career actually racing and commented that he “kept his car looking old, just like the driver.”

Dave Rieff when first assigned as a rookie to interview John Force was worried.  He was told; don’t worry about it, “John will interview himself.”

John Force

John Force, the 16 time Funny Car champ, also came out and he was in rare form.  When he complained about not getting respect, Bob Frey pointed out the overhead sign only listed the three announcers as being present.

NHRA Preview Sign
NHRA Sign

Force told the story of how he got stopped in New Mexico and his 18 wheel race hauler was sporting a boat trailer plate.  Alan Reinhardt had to help loan him a truck to continue his travels back home to California, and while the truck was parked in a California lot it was vandalized with all the windows broken out.  To which John Force had calmly explained, “Don’t worry, we can fix this!”

Words can’t convey the warmth and true friendships the announcers shared for each other.  The crowd was in stitches and laughing throughout the event.  Later McClelland commented that it was the most fun he had in ages.  And I agree.

64 Ford Roadster F100 from WyoTech at SEMA Show

Truck
Driver’s side view

Congratulations to the trade school WyoTech that brought out a 1964 Ford F100 that was given a roadster treatment by a band of their students over an eight month period.  Because half of the school day is spend in classes, away from the machines, that really equates to a four-month frame on build.

Student workmanship

The students chopped off the top, making it a roadster.  One student made the renderings for the “pickup” and all the students worked on various parts of the car from the body work, to even the final trim and upholstery.

It was on display by WyoTech at the SEMA show being held in Las Vegas this week, from November 5-8, 2013.  Nice job by the students and good to see the future of rodding is in good hands.  And nice job by the faculty staff doing the training, and inspecting.

The truck received continuous stares, admiring glances and positive comments.

Dare to be Different at SEMA and the Hot Vehicles Winners

This year’s SEMA Awards for the top trending vehicle models in four categories were announced on Tuesday November 5, 2013 at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The Ford Mustang was named Hottest Car, the Scion FR-S took the Hottest Sport Compact honors, the Ford F-Series won Hottest Truck and the Jeep Wrangler received the Hottest 4×4-SUV award.

I was pulling for the Chevy Silverado and the Corvette Stingray, so I guess I struck out; there but no complaints with the Scion FR-S and Jeep Wrangler winning.

Dare to be Different

One of the fun parts of SEMA, is the over the top, just because I can, attitude of many of the cars.  Enough said

Enjoy the Views

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Chevy Cranks Up for SEMA

At the world’s largest convention of automotive aftermarket parts and accessories, the SEMA Show –Specialty Equipment Market Association – one of the highlights is the Chevrolet display; and the chance for a sneak preview at the Media Party held on Monday night before SEMA opens.

Besides catching up with various executives and seeing some great cars, Chevrolet brings in a few celebrities to spice up the night.  Fortunately these celebrities have straight connections to the cars featured at this press event.

This year NASCAR racers Ricky Carmichael (and AMA racer and X Games champ) and Jeff Gordon were there to delight the crowds. Some of the featured cars were:

Ricky Carmichael’s Chevy All-Activity Sonic concept

The All-Activity Sonic concept was introduced by Carmichael and had a cold air induction, a lowered suspension and enhanced braking.Spark EV Tech Performance concept

Sonic Chevy
Ricky Carmichael’s Sonic

Chevy Spark EV Tech Performance concept

Chevy “powered up” this all-electric tire smoking mini-car, the Spark, with an instant on 400 lb-ft of torque –http://route66pubco.com/wp-admin/post-new.php more than the classic 1969 Camaro SS muscle car with a 350 V-8 – for exhilarating acceleration. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in only 7.5 seconds.

Electric car
Amped up Chevy Spark

2014 Chevy COPO

It seems that Chevrolet always has a new version of the legendary COPO drag cars for SEMA, and they didn’t disappoint this year with a light blue version.  Very well designed and ready for the drag strip as is.  This year will feature new front and rear fascia and be limited to the fabled 69 cars.

Light Blue drag car
2014 COPO Camaro

Gran Turismo C7 Corvette Stingray

A flat blue Corvette that will be featured in the latest version of Playstation’s Gran Turismo was promoted.  All week at the Chevy display show goers will be able to play an advanced version of the game.

blue Corvette
Corvette Stingray from Gran Turismo

Restored 1978 pick up

This truck was a restored beauty and featured a new crate engine package from Chevy.  The E ROD 5.3 L package is a plug and play emissions compliant powertrain.

Black truck
Restored Chevy Pickup with E ROD power

Jeff Gordon’s SS

His SS came with a red satin (flat) finish was an awesome car with subtle power touches.  A LS3 engine and a 6 speed automatic transmission were the power plant for the SS.

Red SS
Red Satin SS from Jeff Gordon

2014 Camaro Z28

The road worthy Z/28 in all black was released at this event.  Featuring Brembo brakes, less weight and a LS7 engine helps make this track car a worthy competitor and lives up to its namesake.

Black camaro
Black Z/28

Transformers 4

Three cars from the 2014 Transformer movie were on hand to be admired; a new Bumble Bee Camaro, a Sonic and bright Green Corvette Stingray

 

Green Corvette
Green Transformer Staingray
Yellow Camaro
Transformer 4 Bumble Bee Camaro
white Sonic
Chevy Sonic from Transformer 4

Good times, good cars, good people.  SEMA cranks up in full power mode in a few hour son Tuesday November 5th.  More details at Chevy Performance.

 

 

Predictions for SEMA Show 2013

SEMA Signage
SEMA

SEMA – the Specialty Equipment Market Association – show starts officially on Tuesday November 5, 2013 in Las Vegas.  Car Nirvana is spread over 2 million square feet of interior space and even more cars are positioned outside.  I figured if Hot Rod Magazine can prediction what the SEMA 2013 will highlight, I can predict too.

Predictions for SEMA

I’ll be more modest and only give you five trends to be spotted at SEMA this year.

Prediction #1

Car of the Year – Has to be the Corvette Stingray.  This is the after-market convention after all and there has been no more pent-up demand, than seeing the Corvette C7 hit the streets.

prediction corvette is SEMA's car of the year
Corvette Stingray

Prediction #2

Flat is back.  We’ve seen variations of flat paint jobs in the past, and that trend is going to explode.  Both from the mainstream manufacturers but also the specialty shops.  And contrary to some opinions, it takes as much prep work on a car body to spray it flat as it does for the shiny clear coats.

Prediction #3

Step up the transmissions.  Used to be standard to row through four speeds, but not that Detroit is issuing out sheet metal with 7 speed transmissions to help up the EPA gas mileage, so will the aftermarket.

Silver truck
Sweet Trucker

Prediction #4

Truck of the year?  Got to be the Chevrolet Silverado.  Demand is back up for trucks, that’s where the money is and that’s where General Motors has hit a home run.  It might be apolitical to have two winners from the same manufacturer, but the Silverado deserves it!

Prediction #5

Retro is back with a passion.  Clothing, accessories, and cars will all be showing an old fashioned look.  Woodies, rat rods, salt wagons will all be highly visible.???????????????????????????????

Stayed tuned and we’ll see how many of these predictions you might agree with after Friday and the show wraps up.