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SEMA 2014 Day One

SEMA 2014 Day One

Dec 14, 2014
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Within the first week of November thousands of automobile enthusiasts come together, regardless of their background, location, race, social status, with the vehicle they prefer. Automobile geeks come from all over to share one passion, the love for automobiles and the aftermarket products. This is the only place where you can be next to a guy who has a sweet mullet, and the two of you can take a moment of silence, stand back and appreciate something proper. SEMA.

 

I tend to mark this particular week on my calendar, and I basically begin planning for the next one almost as soon as the current show ends; though it never goes as planned. This year, October was one hell of a month for me and I have to start with that.

 

In the first week of October, I was driving to Matt’s shop to drop off one a set of wheels so they could get mounted. I was very excited about this and was looking forward to eventually mounting all the wheels on the TSUX. As soon as I left the shop, I turned onto a major road and I felt something odd with the clutch pedal. Immediately I knew something was awry. As I released the clutch to move forward, I could feel and hear that something was wrong. I quickly turned around and limped my way back to Matt’s shop. After a quick diagnosis, it was determined that one of the springs in the clutch was broken and the car was not drivable. I went from being super excited to flat-out pissed, in a matter of minutes.

 

I knew the process of replacing a clutch in a TSUX was beyond a nightmare; a catastrophic long and painful process. It was only about 20 months ago that the original clutch had to be replaced due to wear and tear. Now, this is my daily car, I don’t track it nor do I go to the back of Walmart’s parking lot to dump the clutch at 9,000 rpms and do 10 feet burnouts. Shit, this car takes me to work, to get food and for the occasional drink at the bar. Nothing glorious or exciting right?

 

Since I had a family trip already scheduled mid-October and SEMA was coming in fast, I enlisted my good friend Simon help with the clutch transplant. Progress was slow and steady, since we both had jobs and he had other things going on. To make the story short, there were other hydraulic issues that came up and SEMA time came and the TSUX was nowhere fixed. At this point I was a little annoyed and downright pissed. I felt like kicking the car and just saying fuck it “I am going to sell it, I don’t care anymore.” I was so close to just buying a 1997 Toyota Corolla and calling it a day. Though I am unsure as to why that specific year or model.

 

So here I was attending the largest aftermarket event and I was a little bothered by it all. I started asking myself “Why do we car enthusiasts go down this path – the path of modifying cars?” I really thought about this a lot during the first day of SEMA.

 

So let’s fast-forward and get to outside of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
One of the first things I saw was this VW Bus. When I was super young, I learned to drive stick on this model of vehicle.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Supercharged BMW E92 M3 on HREP40S wheels.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Close up of the wheels and the Stoptech big brake kit.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
This Variant Factory NSX had a very unique look. This is not for everybody and quite frankly I didn’t care too much for it. No idea where the headlights/taillights came from.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
On the other hand, this FD RX-7 was doing wonders for me. Rocket Bunny body kit, RE-Amemiya headlights and Volk ZE40 wheels.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
The Project Mu calipers looked sexy behind the ZE40s.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Meaty Nitto NT01s.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
BRZ with a Rocket Bunny Version II kit. This was just the beginning of what was a collection of wide body kits throughout the show.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Another BMW E92 M3 from LB-Works body kit

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Our first stop was at the Mackin Industries booth – the new Subaru WRX STI on Gram Light 57Getter wheels.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Audi RS 5 on Versus Variance VV10M wheel.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
The Volk ZE40 was a popular wheel at SEMA, here sitting on a BMW M4

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
I had to take a double look when I took this photo, I didn’t realize that this was the new Lexus RCF. The car looked amazing, and the Yokohama Advan AVS F50 looked proper on it.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Nissan R35 GTR on Advan Racing GT wheels, the Greddy center-exit exhaust has a mean look, perfect location for a flamethrower.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Liberty Walk Nissan R35GTR at the Air Lift booth.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
The Turbonetics booth had this sinister-looking station wagon, Cadillac CTS-V Wagon. That rear diffuser is absolute madness. Hold on to your groceries!

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible has good lines and had a huge crowd around it.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Corvette has partnered with Brembo in creating a Ceramic brake option. Not bad, not bad at all.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Overtake carbon fiber body kit on this Nissan R35 GTR

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
The Honda booth had a Fit theme going on. Here is a Spoon Sports USA build labelled Spoon Sports Super Taikyu. Wheels were CE 28 Club Racer 15×7.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Realtime Acura TLX on display. The interior is business as usual.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
They had the winner of the 2014 Indianapolis 500 race car dissected in half. Twin turbo 2.2L V6, yes please.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Acura TLX on ADV5.0 M.V2 SL wheels. What a handful of a name!

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
This was a nice little custom Honda Grom that could fit neatly inside the Honda Fit behind it. As you can see, I was more interested in the bike than the car.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Kylie Tjin Special Edition Honda Fit on iForged wheels was rather aggressive for my taste.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
I was excited to see what Akrapovic was going to have on display. Last year they had an Audi R18 so I knew it had to be good and of course they didn’t disappoint. This year they brought Marco Wittmann’s BMW M4 DTM race car (Team RMG).

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Akrapovic Evolution exhaust for a BMW M4. Not sure who else includes a rear carbon diffuser as part of the exhaust.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
I really liked the background they had as it made it look as though the car was in motion. When I got there Marcos’ was actually there getting interviewed so I had to work my way around to get a decent shot.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Massive swan-neck wing. Love the livery of this car.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Close-up of the side mirrors.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
I arrived at the Toyota booth and the first thing I saw was this off-road trophy truck. Although I am not that knowledgeable about trophy trucks, I recognized this one. All I could think was Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart’s Super Off-Road game and I searched for quarters so I could play. Where are they damn it.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
But truly I was looking for one thing and only one thing at Toyota. The Toyota FT-1 and it was truly an amazing looking car. At first glance, the car had familiar look to it. It really felt as if a TVR Sagaris and a McClaren SLR had a drunken passionate night while the Batmobile filmed everything.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
All joking aside, the more you looked at the car the more you realized just how unique it was. Though, I don’t understand why they are calling it the new Supra, as I don’t see how they are comparable. You can see Toyota has put a lot of effort to design a car that can flirt into the realm of super-cars.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
All the lines around the car are mesmerizing and addicting, but I am sure they are functional as well. This of course, is just a concept car and we are not sure how the final version, which is sold to the public, will be. I was trying to get more information about the engine from the Toyota representative but he was not having it, he insisted that I go to their media-outlet for more information. But they had nothing useable.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Even the side mirrors were unique. I am not sure what the bottom things were, but maybe they served a similar function to a diffuser. Regardless, the small details on the Toyota FR-1 are incredible. I can only hope that Toyota man-up and sell the car as it has been displayed. As you can see, this was one of my favorite cars from the show.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
The Magnum MK5 is a Canadian car that has a 4-Cylinder putting out 250hp and a redline of 11,000 rpm. Sounds like a fun car.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Nissan R35 GTR at the Garrett booth.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Rauh Welt-themed Volkswagen Beetle at the Eneos booth. The funny thing was, the Beetle looked at home and can pull-off the wide kit rather easily.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Toyota Sienna on TIS536 wheels

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Mean Power Wagon

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Nice looking Porsche 930 3.6 Carrera at the KW Suspension booth.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Koni displayed this Factory Five GTM, which is a kit car. You can buy it and build it in your garage. However, you will need to supply/buy your own engine. You probably guessed this, they used a Corvette engine.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Energy Suspension had this cool Toyota toy–hauler.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Though I am not all that crazy about Hyundai, I have to say that they always bring good stuff to SEMA like this Genesis Coupe.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
This Ark Performance Genesis AR550 Sedan was not only supercharged but it carried smooth lines. The front reminds me of the Quattroporte. I really liked this car.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Porsche 997 GT3 with a Liberty Walk body kit at the Optima Batteries booth.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
I couldn’t help but notice the somewhat small rear wing on this Mercedes C Class. Either that I was used to seeing massive spoilers.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
One of my favorite booths to stop and drool at, is the Brembo booth. This year they were displaying the rear brakes from the La Ferrari. The rear brakes have an electronic parking brake and that is what you see at the top. This was next to the brake system of a Formula 1 car.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
If you looked at them side by side, the Formula 1 brake system was much smaller than the rear brake system of the La Ferrari. This showed you that size wasn’t everything. At least when it came to brakes.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
380 x 32 mm 2-piece Type-III Slotted 72-Vane Disc with 6-Piston Billet Monobloc Caliper. Nerdy stuff for sure.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Now if you had a deep wallet and you were itching for something more, then you could step into their CCM-R (ceramic) rotors. However, this upgrade will set you back $13,000.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
New Ford Mustang at the HRE wheels booth.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Porsche 991 GT3 at the HRE wheels booth.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
The wheels on the passenger side were more Porsche-like and looked 100 times better.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
HRE also had this Porsche 918 Spyder at the center of its booth. This was my first encounter with the 918. Love the way the exhaust exits through the top.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
F-RS with a custom molded Rocket Bunny body kit. The ITBs in the engine bay made it look as though something was missing in the engine.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Mine’s theme FR-S on Volk ZE40s

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
This livery reminded me of the classic colors that were used in the trophy truck I saw earlier.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
1970 Camaro at the GoPro booth looked ready to attack the track.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Though this Cosworth FR-S had a Rocket Bunny body kit, it was probably my favorite from what I saw that day. The wheels and livery were just perfect on it.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
At this time, Nolan noticed the Exedy booth and started laughing telling me to go and get stickers or something. Now the reason why this was funny; the clutch that went bye bye in my car was an Exedy clutch. We walked over and laughed when we saw what the girls were wearing. I asked where I could get one of the t-shirts and was told to come back tomorrow that if I gave a review I would be able to get one. I was sold on the whole idea and planned to return the next day to give my review but sadly, we didn’t make it. Woke up way too late.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Nice livery on this BMW M4 at the aFe Power booth.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
H&R Springs displayed the Turner Motorsport Z4, which competes in the Tudor United Sports Car Championship.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
The Lexus booth last year was a little disappointing but not this year. Center stage was this beautiful RC F GT3 Concept Car. The car looked as if it was ready for the track and it will actually enter the GT3 race in 2015. The car only weights 1,250 kilos and will have around 540 horsepower.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Matt taking a photo of the aggressive front fascia.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
Next to it was this red RC F which was a little toned down. RC F was sporting Enkei custom 6666 wheels and yes you guessed it, a custom Rocket Bunny body kit.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
At this time, it was time to head home. As we stepped outside, we saw this cool Jeep, I don’t have any other information about this car.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
The front parking lot of the Convention Center was closed for some drifting demo by the new Ford Mustang and let me tell you, they got a good trashin’.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
At the last minute, our very own Paul Green was unable to make it but he was surely missed. We made sure his mark was left behind.

 

SEMA 2014 | projectonethirty
One of the last photos that I took, which were useable, were of this BMW. I loved how the horns kind-of peek through the engine bay. Since I didn’t have a tripod with me and the sun went down quickly, I stopped for the day and we went to get some much needed food. Stay tune for Day 2.


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carlos

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