Hitting both coasts, SEMA threw its International Auto Salon (IAS) in California and New Jersey this year. Maybe it wants to minimize the East Coast vs. West Coast rivalry, avoiding another Tupac vs. Biggie incident.
Shows on both coasts let smaller shops and manufacturers have more opportunity to show their wares and, in truth, the scenes on either side are slightly different. These two factors brought us to Atlantic City to attend the IAS East show. We wanted to see those differences and to meet with manufacturers that weren't at the Los Angeles IAS.
Of course, all the big players from the L.A. IAS were also in attendance at the Atlantic City IAS: AEM, Falken, Mackin Industries, BFGoodrich, K&N, Turbonetics, Garrett, NGK, just to name a few. But we were looking for the smaller manufacturers who didn't make it to the Los Angeles show.
Z10 Motorsports had a cool booth showing off the company's signature line of front crossmember braces and a dry-sump oiling system for B-series engines. The company really gets off on the CNC machine with cool main cap girdles for the non-VTEC engines and oil pans.
We also checked out DG Trials, which displayed an awesome line of suspension components for all you drifters out there. The quality of DG Trials components are comparable to the Japanese-spec stuff, and the company carries a fairly complete line of components for all the popular drift cars.
A car that really caught our attention at the show was a tangerine RX-7 with Lambo doors and a wide body kit. It drew in the crowd like flies to you know what. Also on display at the Primedia booth was the breath-taking, full carbon-fiber Mitsubishi Evolution racer.
We were shocked to see a complete tube-chassis 350Z drag vehicle. From the looks of it, it'll be twin-turbo, but will it be a V6 VQ35DE engine or a RB26DETT? The car was unfinished, but it should tear up the track when it's done.
Although West Coast heads are spoiled because pro drifters from Japan often come to Cali for the D1 Grand Prix, some of the the drifters trekked to Atlantic City to put on a good show for the East Coast. The parking lot adjacent to the Atlantic City convention center became a drift course, where the Japanese pro drifters showed off their skills to a cheering crowd.
As for the town itself, it was fun. Atlantic City has an active nightlife. It was a great spot for IAS to take place and the locals were really friendly. Thanks for hosting us, Atlantic City.