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Old 11-18-2008, 09:18 PM
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Default StreetSeen @ SEMA | Part 1 - Arrival



It's hard for the uninitiated to be prepared for the onslaught of the car industry that is widely known as the SEMA show. Riding down the escalators of the Las Vegas Monorail and descending into the media registration site, I was, for some reason, shocked by the sheer size of the event. I say "for some reason" but I really shouldn't have been surprised: They say that there are more modified cars here than any other location in the world. That takes a lot of space to accomplish and this is something I knew, but even still... the experience was not at all like I thought it would be.



Interestingly, I'm told the show has gotten a little smaller this year. Estimates vary but are in the 10% range as the financial crisis has ruined a number of companies. Even more disturbingly, a few companies-particularly those dedicated to offering the highest levels of performance parts- are starting to head elsewhere, not liking the style, format and target demographics of the show. To say it politely, these companies note that SEMA has a poor Return on Investment for them.

Amid all of this, I wasn't sure what to think. Being, er, Tekknikal in nature, I had felt somewhat disappointed before I even got off the monorail. I had hoped for a place where I could see and learn all about the next generation of aftermarket products, but by listening to what many industry insiders were saying, it seemed very unlikely that any of that would be happening. And so, before I'd even arrived, I started to second guess the whole trip.

But at the moment the monorail doors opened, I knew that I had rendered judgment far too soon.



Arriving on location I couldn't help but attempt a B-Line immediately for the GT-Rs, but there were so many well done machines that my maneuver failed miserably. It's like going to a modeling show you know Vida Guerra will be at, but because the show's so nice as a whole you forget she's there from the moment you arrive and check your surroundings. I had plotted a trip to across the solar system and had failed to take into account the sun's gravity.



It wasn't any one thing in particular that did that... it was everything. This, I believe, is why so few people attempt to cover SEMA in full detail...or even try to explain it. It's so massive it's a great challenge to describe. Nearly each and every car is exquisitely done, with no less than tens- if not hundreds- of thousands of dollars invested. Fellas: From the gate, before I even got in, I saw nearly a dozen time attack S2000s and Evolutions as well as a full carbon fiber 350Z. Then there was a E85 C6R Corvette that looked like it had jumped straight out of my TV and landed right there before me. It was so impressive that I wanted to take several minutes just to explore the details of that car alone...and I'm not a big domestic guy. And that's not to mention the Scuderia hiding in the shade that was easily missed...or the cars I don't even know the names of, parked off to the side, stunningly vivid paint jobs glistening under the southwestern sky.







All of this was before I even got in. I was in trouble but I didn't even know it yet.



Eventually I did find the GT-Rs. I know this may be difficult to believe, but the cars that were there made unmodified GT-Rs feel almost tame. These cars redefine aggression. While the Mine's and Zele cars were more on the conservative end of the spectrum (save the orange paint on the Zele car)... the GT-RR cars held no punches. Their stance on their BBS wheels, Endless brakes and R888 R compound tires was impressive. It was the sort of impressive that you can't capture easily with cameras. The classic Midnight Purple II color that one of the GT-RR cars was painted in was equally difficult to capture, but also equally amazing.





One of the few things I was able to get done early on was to meet up with some cool cats that I knew from NAGTROC. For starters, I met with the guys behind Bulletproof Automotive and GT-RR. They are the largest importer of aftermarket JDM love, with very special ties to companies such as Amuse, Top Secret, and Mine's. I spent most of the day with Mike, who runs much of the day to day affairs there, and caters to GT-R customers. From him I learned that when it comes to back road driving, SOCAL is not to be missed, with one twisty after another stretching all the way up to the mountains and above the clouds(!). Mike owns a S2000, so needless to say we were on the same page. One day I will surely visit SOCAL, and if storms don't stop passing through St Croix that'll happen sooner rather than later.

We also talked about how the market was going, particularly for the GT-R. Based on his comments, times aren't the best, but that's not quite stopping everyone. They are no small number of reflashes for R35 GT-Rs being sent out every week. I didn't think that many people would be remapping brand new GT-Rs but apparently they are. Don't count on any R35 you see on the street to be stock. While he was showing me the GT-RR's showcars, we started chatting about seats, which I am strongly considering as my first mod for my GT-R... well, that and a rear cage... safety first...

Already then, the show wasn't disappointing. I hadn't made it to see very many GT-Rs, but I was already meeting up with people and participating in the knowledge exchange that I had set out to find.



Before I knew it, day one was over.



The first day ran from seven something in the morning to after five. The next day I was back out again first thing in the morning. And this time there would be no distractions. Along with Chuck, who runs NAGTROC with me, we mapped out the show floor to come up with a way to make it around the entire arena and through all three halls...





We started in the south hall. There I learned that SEMA is far more than just modified imports or even domestics. It covers everything, from companies that make trailer hitches to companies that help do computer designs for parts.

It was Wednesday when I set off on this mission of complete coverage. From the beginning of the day to lunch, I took over 350 unique pictures...

(to be continued...)

Click here for the exclusive picture thread corresponding with the first half, of the first day, of walking the floor of SEMA 2008.
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  #2  
Old 11-18-2008, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: StreetSeen @ SEMA | Part 1 - Arrival

YEH BOI.. skyline slaming as always.. White one hands down..

Mate black lexus looking good an also the S2000 wicked...
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:35 PM
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Tekknikal Tekknikal is offline
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Default Re: StreetSeen @ SEMA | Part 1 - Arrival

yep and don't forget to checkout the picture thread!

http://www.streetseen.vi/forums/showthread.php?t=1199

btw i went with this resolution to make them as life like as possible, but still not be too big.
let me know if the pics unmanageably large for you guys
i will create a new picture thread for each part of the series
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:36 PM
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Default Re: StreetSeen @ SEMA | Part 1 - Arrival

wow!!!!!!!!! the cars look amazing!!!!!!!! the black gtr is on point but the two whites are
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:42 PM
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Tekknikal Tekknikal is offline
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Default Re: StreetSeen @ SEMA | Part 1 - Arrival

to narrate a little, this was very cool:

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t...1/IMG_4941.jpg

it was "printed" from the machine... and if you spin one gear, they all spin
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:51 PM
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Tekknikal Tekknikal is offline
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Default Re: StreetSeen @ SEMA | Part 1 - Arrival

i saved this car for a special post... these guys died in the middle east when their friend came back he made this car for them...



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Old 11-18-2008, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: StreetSeen @ SEMA | Part 1 - Arrival

Picture look so real.. Nuff Respect to all those fighters in the middle east.. 1 love..

Those picture slamming .. Carbon camry wicked...
Mines exhaust hugh no F&*k...

Yo
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Old 11-19-2008, 03:21 AM
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Default Re: StreetSeen @ SEMA | Part 1 - Arrival

Big up to my fallen comrades.... Never forgoten. We still over here fighting and we will finish the fight!

Nice pics Tekk! I can't imagine how much of the kid in me would have gotten out if I went to the show.
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:14 AM
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Default Re: StreetSeen @ SEMA | Part 1 - Arrival

Now that was worth the wait!!! Frapin awesome dread. I super love the LAMBOs and that art work is bananas...
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Old 11-19-2008, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: StreetSeen @ SEMA | Part 1 - Arrival

Yo Tekk is that Boostlogic record holder supra.. ???
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