Fall is one of my favorite seasons; the weather starts to give you a break, at night you can turn off the A/C and open the windows to let the breeze in, football is on full force (both college and professional), Formula 1 is going strong and there is probably some drama going on, the U.S. Grand Prix is around the corner, basketball season begins (at both levels), there is some leftover candy from Halloween and of course there is the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) that takes place in Las Vegas.
A love for cars is the motivating force for thousands of enthusiasts to circle the first week of November on their calendars and to mob the city of Las Vegas to attend SEMA. SEMA covers everything from muscles cars, classics, luxury vehicles, sport compacts, street rods, light trucks, off-road trucks, SUV’s, recreational vehicles and others.
This time around was very different for me, I actually had a couple days of absolute downtime to prepare for this trip. However this did not prevent me from pulling a ‘let’s wait for the last minute to get ready frenzy.’ A few hours before leaving, I was still charging batteries for my camera, packing and doing laundry. It never fails!
The plan was to meet Paul, Matt and Nolan at the ICB headquarters so that we could drive together to the airport. As a result of Nolan’s recent abandonment of the NFA (No Front Aero), we decided that he would drive us to the airport. Since we were taking the last flight on a Sunday, the airport was very quiet. TSA procedures and baggage check were completed very quickly. I wish it was like that all the time. Our super short flight to McCarran Airport went without hiccups and we were soon checked-in to our hotel.
I don’t know how or why but we ended up getting one big room instead of two. It worked out for the best since we were together and more importantly, we had one kick ass room that had amazing views of the city and the Las Vegas strip.
When we got to the room we behaved like little kids scouting the room, opening every door to see what was on the other side. After we negotiated the sleeping arrangements, we decided to get some food but we had a slight delay before we could eat. There was a chest in the room and that provided us with some fine entertainment. We decided that whoever could get in and close the lid all the way would eat for free. Of course, because I am tall, I didn’t even try. Nolan and Matt went at it for a while but there was no winner. With this, the nonsense began.
On Monday morning we decided to wander around before we picked up our credentials for the show. Matt is a big fan of the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens so we stopped to take a few photos. I am not going to lie, the garden provided an excellent setting for photography.
Matt “Where is my money man” Ye
Since I am doing MOvember, I asked Nolan to grow a moustache and join my team but he told me he was just going to grow a beard and go for the Razzy Bailey look.
When we arrived at the Las Vegas Convention Center, we found out that the Media room had been moved to a different location. As a result of that, we decided to take our time, walk around and take some pictures of the cars which were already parked.
One of the first cars that grabbed my attention was this truck that was based on a 30-31′ Ford Model-A truck. The frame on this thing is custom and it has a V-8 pushing around 575hp. Sick.
Can you imagine a view like this in your rear view mirror?
Since I grew up around the MKI and MKII model, I was surprised to see this VW Scirocco. I really didn’t care for the exterior finish but it was the first time that I saw the MKIII in person and I have to say I really like the body lines.
It did have a sweet sticker though!
Not your average mid-engine.
Love all the small details…
like the bottle-tail lights
Even the interior is very unique.
Ford-Econoline. Scooby Doo Where Are You!
This BMW 3-Series looks very subtle from the side.
Banks had their Banks Super-Turbo Semi Freightliner Race truck which I forgot to take a full photo of. Maybe that was because I was paying such close attention to the components. Here you can see a massive intercooler (right side).
These warning stickers are so money and yes there were three of them.
And this is why.
Although it is immense – Super-Turbo doesn’t mean big turbo, it means that this truck is supercharged and turbocharged. It also has a methanol injection system. Apparently it produces 2800 hp and a colossal 5000 lbft. If you put this into perspective, you would need at least thirty K24 engines (from the TSX) to produce this kind of torque. I heard it has a nickname – the tranny killer.
Massive blow off!
Lamborghini Aventador, love the hexagonal lights.
At the end of that day, we all agreed that based on what we saw outside, the show was going to be a good one. We were all excited and eager to come back the next day for our first day of the actual event.
A few other shots before we left back to the hotel.