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Impressions From SEMA 2017

50Deep

Jockin' GT350's
837
834
Sacramento
After 31 years of being on the planet I finally made it to SEMA. My sponsor and now friend Ashely @PositiveGMotorworks invited me to attend, and for that I am very thankful. I have to say that the event is completely overwhelming, and a must attend event for every car enthusiast. The show runs Monday – Friday the first week of November, and I believe only those 18 and older can attend so leave the kids at home. Leave the wife at home too. The show and venue are so massive that you need all 5 days to truly experience it. I was there all-day Thursday, and part of Friday morning and barely got through 25% of the show. Luckily my exhibitor pass got me into the show before other pass holders, but it still was not enough. I cannot even attempt to describe to you everything that was there, simply because I would be writing for weeks and my camera would run out of space. I will try to highlight the things that really stuck with me, and pertain to us in the Ford realm. Sadly I decided to do this write up after I had left Vegas, so I worked with the photos I had.


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50Deep

Jockin' GT350's
837
834
Sacramento
The Vibe:

Vegas is a crazy city. This was my first time there and I was not sure what to expect. On the strip things were a little quiet, and that might have been due to the day of the week and time of year. I also would venture to guess the city is still recovering from the tragic event at Mandalay Bay. May those who passed away rest in peace. The other thing of note is that Vegas is a total SAUSAGE FEST due to all the dudes in town for the show. If you are attending and looking for hot chicks all over, you will be disappointed. At SEMA however, things are different. The moment you step off the monorail at the convention center you hear an open header 427 Cobra replica sliding sideways on the Ford skid pad. Next you lean over the platform to see a lengthy line and a Raptor full of people waiting to jump a man-made hill. That is when you realize it’s about to be something special. Top notch builds stashed outside, and even better vendor builds inside the convention center. The people, the sounds of a V8, the smell of burned rubber, and the sight of cars lined up everywhere is awesome.

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50Deep

Jockin' GT350's
837
834
Sacramento
The Show:

Outside of the venue there are more cars than you would have imagined. Beautiful displays of imports, domestics, trucks, and classics. Huge factory support big rigs, hot chicks at the Roush booth (sorry no creeper shots), and overpriced food. There were so many cars I did not get to see them all. I was really blown away by how big the off-road and street truck presence was. I never saw that covered in the past, but I really learned how big that market is. Inside of the venue you will find everything from wheel companies, body/paint shops, tire/paint machine manufacturers, restoration shops, major car manufacturers, new product displays, and every other aftermarket part company you can imagine. I literally walked into the door and could not see where the other side ended. MASSIIVE…… There are many hidden gems at the show since shops/vendors are spread out in different sections. I missed out on seeing numerous cars simply because I did not have time. There are also a ton of small booths that line the edges of the venue and are trying to introduce new products/services. Taking the time to talk to them was some of the true hidden gems as they were trying to bring new products to market, but couldn’t afford a big boy booth. If you ever get to attend, set aside at least 4 days to really soak it all in and see everything. The true beauty of this show is the connections you stand to make.


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50Deep

Jockin' GT350's
837
834
Sacramento
Ford, The Raptor, & The Mustang:

Ford has a big grip on dominating the marketing at SEMA. The outdoor experience to ride in a tricked-out mustang GT, police themed Eco boost, raw sounding factory 5 cobra, and jump in the Raptor was a major marketing success. Inside the Ford booth there were numerous vendor builds on display for the 2018 Mustang GT, RS, ST, Ford F-150, and Raptor. Not to mention the Hoonicorn looking all sexy. They really brought the heat. There were more wide body S550 cars than you could shake a stick at, and a plethora of parts being developed for the GT/Ecoboost platform. The aftermarket is alive and well for those folks. In similar fashion the Raptor was a favorite amongst truck part manufacturers. Bottom line is if you own a Mustang GT or Raptor there is an aftermarket company out there somewhere to bring whatever dream you have to life.

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50Deep

Jockin' GT350's
837
834
Sacramento
The GT350 and Voodoo:

Sadly, the GT350 and any builds involving the Voodoo were few and far between. I maybe saw 2-3 GT350’s on display, and they were customer cars parked at a vendor booth. Ford had a few track attack cars at their trailer handling all the drift cars. It was reported they were used for some drifting displays with Ford VIP’s, but I didn’t get to see it. I did not see any of the 5.2L FPC’s shoe horned into a classic mustang or old school bronco. There were also not very many, or any new parts on the horizon either. I did come across a 1-piece aluminum driveshaft for the mustang GT that is being developed by Spicer. Although it did not list fitment for the GT350, I could see them developing one also.


I spoke with someone from Ford Performance at the Ford trailer, and I will keep that person nameless. I inquired about the future of parts for the GT350 platform such as the Track Key, Throttle body, and the like. I was informed that those parts are not on the horizon to be developed, and neither are many other parts for the platform. The suspension items being released were a good buy for the standard GT350, but not so much for the R since it was a well-balanced car. The take away from the conversation was this: Ford Performance and Ford developed the GT350 to be a very well balanced and high performing vehicle from the factory. All the components work together without one system overpowering the other. Through their testing it was evident that the limits of that car were much higher than the average driver could reach without extensive skill and track time. They understand that some enthusiasts are all about modifying their cars and want to have parts to add on. However, that money would be better spent paying for instruction from a racing instructor and spending time on the track. Additional performance items would only drive the limits higher and higher for the average driver to reach. It would also throw off the balance of the car with added power. The individual I spoke too had the opportunity to sit down with DSC and see what they can do with the Magneride controller. Ford will not be releasing its own upgraded calibrations, but they know there is much more capability left in the Magneride shocks. It was recommended that anyone looking to upgrade the performance of their GT350 on track should consider the springs, sway bars, and DSC controller. For the R it was recommended not changing any suspension components, but utilizing the DSC.

**Disclaimer – This was a casual conversation I had with this representative, so take that for what it’s worth**

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50Deep

Jockin' GT350's
837
834
Sacramento
Moving Forward:

Again, one of the best pieces of SEMA was the ability to network. I was able to meet with the folks from Signature Wheels and DCT Motorsports and was offered the opportunity to be brought on as a rep for their company. After sitting down for a few drinks, speaking with them about their vision for the companies and focus on customer service I gladly accepted. I am definitely looking forward to providing great deals to you guys and other enthusiasts on Signature Wheels and the DCT custom steering wheels. I also stated talks with one of the major players in the carbon fiber realm to bring you guys some brand-new products for our platform that should really blow your minds. As much as I was disappointed to see very few parts being made for the GT350, I decided to stop wishing and start doing. In any case enjoy the photos and I hope this wasn’t too long winded.


Thanks,

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Terrance, nice write up and photos. I hope to get back there next year as it's a blast with lots of cool stuff to see. I see our friend Chris from MAD Industries was there. Did you get to meet him? Also did you run across Extreme Outback Products? They had a wild Porsche 911 rally car in their both. A friend of mine owns that company and sent me photos in advance of the show and the Porsche looked pretty cool.
 

50Deep

Jockin' GT350's
837
834
Sacramento
Terrance, nice write up and photos. I hope to get back there next year as it's a blast with lots of cool stuff to see. I see our friend Chris from MAD Industries was there. Did you get to meet him? Also did you run across Extreme Outback Products? They had a wild Porsche 911 rally car in their both. A friend of mine owns that company and sent me photos in advance of the show and the Porsche looked pretty cool.
Probably did see the Porsche, but was totally lost in the sauce walking around the show.

Met with Chris and had a nice conversation. Super cool guy. Look forward to working with him more in the future
 
491
384
DFW, TX
...
I also stated talks with one of the major players in the carbon fiber realm to bring you guys some brand-new products for our platform that should really blow your minds. As much as I was disappointed to see very few parts being made for the GT350, I decided to stop wishing and start doing.
...
GT4 hood would be nice. ;)
 
491
384
DFW, TX
bpracer, My son also had a Scion FR-S. He kept up with my Boss pretty well. Very light and agile car! How did you like yours?

My FRS is fun to drive on twisty track. Stock, the Scion version is very tail happy. I think they addressed that when they reverted to the Toyota brand. The BRZ balance is more neutral.

Mine is basically stock save 18x8" wheels and Swift Racing "BRZ" springs. It could use some better shocks. Where I track my car is a horsepower/braking track so it's not at home there. If it had 50 more HP I might not have bought my Shelby.

If the engine was to blow up, it might have to get a Vorshlag LS conversion, but that better not happen until the GT350 is paid off!
 
If the FR-S had a little more HP it would be a beast on the track but since Scion has been put to bed we now have the Toyota 86. I wouldn't mind owning one if I didn't have my Boss...On second thought I would have to find another Boss..;)
 
2,087
911
Bay Area
Sausage fest, bahahahahaha, granted it was your 1st time in Vegas and I’m sure SEMA is full of dudes. But Vegas is far from that. Nice write up though and thanks for the pics. I hope to be there next year
 

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