The annual SEMA show is a chance for the automotive aftermarket to bring its latest and greatest out for all to see, including buyers, warehouse distributors, and media types like us. Rows upon rows of performance parts, restyling components, wheels, tires, restoration and street rod gear, and of course, the ever-present "booth babes" handing out everything from ping pong balls to autographed posters. Even Primedia's own booth wasn't immune to the syndrome, with girls from Lowrider magazine and Motor Trend's new "Hard Drive" tour handing out goodies.
Ford was once again the official manufacturer of SEMA. It was last year as well (Dodge was supposed to be it in '04, but Ford wrote a big check to aid in the debut of the '05 Mustang right around SEMA time and Dodge got kicked to the curb). The '05 Mustang itself was the SEMA darling, being debuted as the "Official Vehicle" of the SEMA show as well. On display were 15 Mustangs from Ford, aftermarket tuners, and performance shops showcasing the new Mustang's ability to adapt to just about any walk of performance life. According to Ford, the business of Mustang performance is nearly a billion-dollar industry (go ahead, count the zeros, we'll wait) which is fueled by Mustang enthusiasts that spend an average of $1,500 a year on parts and upgrades.
While Editor Turner has had several opportunities to wheel the '05 Mustang around, for the rest of the 5.0 staff, SEMA was the first chance to really get a good look at the new car. Strange thing was it was nearly impossible to find a stock appearing Mustang on the show floor. Ford doled out Mustangs to some of the top shops and vendors in the country, including Bonspeed, Xtreme Mustang Performance, Tiger Racing, Paul's High Performance, Street Scene, Toyo Tires, Classic Design Concepts, Mustang Racing Technologies, and more. Plus, SEMA was the place where Roush, Saleen, and Steeda debuted its new Mustangs as well.
Ford's new Mustang was even recognized by SEMA as the most "accessory-friendly new vehicle" at the California International Auto Show, where it captured three SEMA Vehicle Design Awards. The Mustang received 33 percent of the award votes, and SEMA member companies who participate in the SEMA Technology Transfer program were included in the selection process. So, with 11 miles of aisles to walk, 1,100 new parts debuting, and lots of people to see in just four days, it was a hectic time for the 5.0 staff, but we endured to bring you this SEMA coverage. Now, would someone please send us all a fresh supply of Dr. Scholl's Gel Insoles so we can prepare for next year!