I'm sure most of you remember the first time your parents took you to Toys "R" Us. I sure do. I thought I was in heaven, even though I didn't know there was such a thing as heaven at the time. Aisle after aisle of toys with no end in sight. You run through the toy store as your parents try to keep up-playing with every single toy possible in sight. After several hours of playing, you're finally forced to leave and there's a sadness that dawns on you-until, of course, you return.
As I write my column this month, I'm about to trek out to another type of toy store-this one for big kids. This toy store is called the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show and it's held once a year in Sin City-Las Vegas for those not in the know. This is going to be my fifth time and it gets bigger and better each time. The who's who of the industry will display the latest project vehicle and new product line they have. You walk down each of the myriad of carpeted aisles amazed at all the new products developed in the past year.
Just as yesteryear, I play with all the new toys soon to be released in the market. From the simple engine dress-up items to wild stand-alone engine management systems, there's no guessing what's in store. Last year, we saw the unveiling of several specialty vehicles and race vehicles. This year will likely be the same, with the unveiling of Paisley's Pro Class truck and Rev Hard Racing's Outlaw Class tube-framed Integra. There's a lot of excitement in the air.
Also with the recent release of the Acura RSX and Subaru WRX, we're sure to see several highly modified versions of the two vehicles on display as well as performance products to go hand in hand. The WRX has been the hot topic the past couple of months and we're positive many manufacturers will choose the Subie as the company's premier display vehicle.
Don't leave the Acura out, since anything with a Honda badge is always a hit. Or can it be the new Sentra SE-R Spec-V or Mazda's MP3? We can't wait to see which car will be top dog this year. A little bird also told us TRD might be showing off the company's turbo MR2 Spyder. But will the kit be available?
What's going to steal the show this year? You'll just have to wait and see. There's no one event that brings more top name racers and industry leaders together like SEMA does and it's not even a drag event. We'll ask the racers about their plans for the next drag season are as well.
The same feelings I remember as a kid, running through Toys "R" Us comes back instantly the moment I walk through the sliding doors of the Las Vegas Convention Center. If you're a big kid like me, then SEMA is the place for you.