Well after a crazy time getting a car ready to take to SEMA and the busy week in Vegas a week ago I am finally starting to feel normal again. I'm sitting in my favorite comfy chair enjoying a nice cozy night at home with the heat turned up to keep winter's cold rain at bay. It's hard to believe I was enjoying 80 degree heat in the desert a short time ago.
I honestly think this was the best SEMA show ever. The amount of people walking around, The build quality of feature cars and the innovation from vendors was second to none. I went on several car forums and realized there was a lot of cool things I never even saw after being there a full week!
Here are a few of the many highlights for me this year:
I realize this year more than ever that it truly takes a team of talented people to get a car done in time but even more that talent, it takes fortitude and tenacity when the clock and challenges are stacking up against you. We had plenty of time to wrap the car up prior to SEMA. I've learned my lesson from past years I thought I was prepared- wrong. The final week and even up to the final hours we were plagued with a EFI system that would not fire the engine. A complete car that won't start! I was ready to throw in the towel and clean off Redemption (last year's SEMA car) and hit the road. I couldn't let my team down. They and so many vendors had skin in the game to see this car to the finish.
Another awesome experience for me this year was meeting or reconnecting with some incredibly humble and genuine industry people. Bobby Alloway is a hero of mine who was so nice in person. Jeff Smith came by to check out the Chevelle and proceeded to tell me he had a blue '66 at home. "Ya I know Jeff, I've been reading about that car for years when you were with Car Craft and Hot Rod through out my childhood years." He was and is someone I look up to and admire. I could never imagine as a 7th grader that someday he would be checking out a car I built! Rob Kibbie from the Musclecar Place is as nice in person as the many times we have talked on the phone but never met. The support from Dynomax team was again a win. I am thankful for their trust in the CHC team. Finally, seeing Ken Block do his thing in person is a mind blowing experience that video does not do justice.
As I was standing in the Dynomax Booth I was drawn into a conversation with a gentleman that was an assembly line worker for GM and put the left front fenders on Chevelles! He loved the workmanship on the CHC build - whew we passed the inspection.
If you ever have an opportunity to attend in the future I would say...GO! Where else can you see all the latest offerings from every genre of the automotive world. The creativity and innovation are second to none.