Firing Up – SEMA Buzz

After recently returning from the 2022 SEMA show I have a lot of unpacking to do (mentally, not physically). With so much going on at that show my brain immediately goes into overdrive, so it’s going to take a while for me to assess, reassess, and attempt to soak it all in.

As usual, friends who didn’t make it to the show ask what I noticed as being the latest build trends. This year I have to say the most noticeable trend at SEMA was that there was no trend.

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Let me explain: The Ringbrothers brought a truck they called “Enyo”—one of the wildest pickups I’ve ever seen. It’s a ’48 Chevy-based truck with F-1 influence via the independent cantilever suspension and big-fat racing slicks on all four corners, tricked-out aero, and relies on a 1,000hp marine engine for motivation. On the other hand, Ringbrothers also brought a ’69 Camaro called “Strode,” which is insanely customized with an extended chassis and wider-than-stock all-carbon fiber body panels but appeared relatively mild in comparison to the truck, which not only stole the show but won the prestigious SEMA Battle of the Builders award.

The Roadster Shop (RS) gang debuted a kick-ass Buick Grand National with the usual stellar custom bits RS is known for, and it rides on one of their kick-ass-handling chassis, which all adds up to quite possibly the most badass Grand National on the planet. They also brought a ’70 Chevelle that, at first glance, has all the makings of a mild restoration, but a deeper dive revealed a plethora of amazing custom fabrication you’d expect from RS, yet compared to two of their previous SEMA showstopping second-gen Camaros—Rampage and Road Rage—this Chevelle came across as fairly mild, but we know better.

Steve Strope and his crew at Pure Vision have been known to bring some pretty wild rides to SEMA, and this time around Strope introduced us to a 511ci big-block–powered ’67 Chevelle that from a distance appeared somewhat straight-forward, but as usual it carried all the stealthy, unparalleled custom refinements that Pure Vision is known for.

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If there was anything from the 2022 SEMA show I might consider as a “trend,” it would be the fact that there were quite a few C1 and C2 Corvettes on display. A standout being the C2 built by Eddie’s Rod and Custom. They pulled no punches when it came to the ’63, as it features an abundance of stunning custom fabrication, amazing design and fit and finish, and is topped off with a 1,000hp supercharged LS3. I’m personally not big on Corvettes, but this car changed my view on what can be done to take an early Vette to the next level.

By just skimming the surface on all the great Chevys in attendance at the 2022 SEMA show, I’d say it was one of the best in years, as the presentation of cars was nothing short of remarkable and one of the most diverse collections ever assembled in one venue. It’s SEMA; the show that brings out the best of the best and the place to expect the unexpected.

Apparently, I just unpacked without even realizing it. Let’s do it all over again next year. You in?

See all my “Firing Up” articles here.

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