You know we like to get to the SEMA Show before it opens to the public each year, because you know we like to get a sneak peek at all the stuff you're gonna "ooh" and "ahh" over the course of the week, but our first lap of the event was a little eye opening, and maybe not entirely in a good way. As everyone's suspected, the A90 Supra will be the star of the show, at least as far as our universe goes; there has to be at least a dozen modified iterations through the Las Vegas Convention Center's three huge halls and overflow show areas (trust us, we'll have a big ol' gallery this week rounding up all the A90 Supras at SEMA). But if we had to theme this year's event, it definitely seems to be the year of the truck—lifted trucks, off-roading trucks, trucks to go glamping in, even some slammed trucks, but make no mistake, if it has a cab and a bed, a customized version of it is probably in Las Vegas right now for the show.
Fear not, loyal tuner fan. The 2019 SEMA Show still had plenty to stop us dead in our tracks during set up; as we dodged forklifts and tripped over massive rolls of carpet, we came upon @rod_knee's Mark II-nosed Toyota Cressida in the Kansei Wheels booth in BN Sports kit and possibly someone else's front fenders (we're admittedly a little lost on the X80 gen. stuff, you kooky sedan drifters). This thing is boxy in all the right ways, and the two-tone wrap is executed flawlessly.
Suspension outfit Fortune Auto kept tight wraps on this Datsun Fairlady project in their booth by Japanese Classics in Virginia, and we captured it in its final moments of peace before the crush of the crowds. The roadster is insanely clean, right down to the SR20 swap (old hat by now but executed perfectly here), super posh, simple interior, and what appears to be chopped windscreen—pretty wild.
Whether your flavor is subtle like the "Outlaw Notch" VW Type 3 Notchback in the Optima booth, or outrageous like the aerodynamically-embiggened Horsepower Techs' Toyota Starlet in the Exedy booth, SEMA has it pretty much covered. And actually, while both cars may appear to vary greatly in execution, both aim to disrupt the status quo in the same way—via unconventional speed.
By the time you read this, the show will by underway proper and we'll be (hopefully) on our second wind to bring you all the goods from Sin City. Before the carpet was laid, before the cars were wiped down one last time, and before the doors were finally swung open, we got one last fleeting look at some of the hottest machines of SEMA 2019. And we'll have a lot more this week—stay tuned.