The 2016 SEMA 50 show at the Las Vegas Convention Centre marked 50 years of what has become the biggest and best gathering of tuning companies from all over the world. For two weeks Las Vegas transforms into car heaven with more than 40 Miles of stands, back to back with the craziest car creations from every corner of the globe. Amazingly it’s doors aren’t open to the public. That’s because the SEMA organisation was set up as a group to help regulate and progress the aftermarket industry. Its full title is the Specialty Equipment Market Association. Fortunately for you our guy Hunter Swift caught it all through his lens.
It is clear the tuning scene has moved on in recent years. The fast and the furious factor seems to be wearing off. You would be hard pressed to find Neon’s and Dimma bodykits at SEMA 50. Now 6,500 member strong SEMA and indeed the tuning scene is big business, $30+ Billion annually to be exact. So much so the main players like Ford, Lexus, Honda attend.
Don’t get us wrong, SEMA still has all sorts of crazy. See it as what all the engineers would like to create if the health and safety department had a week-long team building exercise. If you make aftermarket parts for cars, SEMA is where you need to be. Companies like AMF Forged, TOYO, Liberty Walk and Rotiform all attend with their most creative and awesome projects.
The event is not just limited to low, aggressive exotica, any company that takes a factory spec car and adds some fairy dust heads to Sin City for a fortnight. Take the example below -There must be 4 Chevrolet parts left on this 4×4 whatever-it-is, and its a true work of art in its own right.
With SEMA celebrating 50 years we should look back at how far the tuning industry has come. In 1967 just 5 cars were at the event but it got the creative juices flowing and spawned a tuning scene that is the heartbeat of the car industry. What better way to demonstrate this with this shot of a 1931 Ford Roadster which rolled out of the factory 36 years before the first SEMA show..
What SEMA often gives us is a glimpse of the future and the direction the tuning scene is heading in so take a look for yourself.. Here is the full gallery from SEMA 50 all shot by Official Photographer Hunter Swift..