CHIP'S SEMA 2011 RECAP
November 8, 2011
The Foose team has safely returned home from the 2011 edition of the SEMA Show. This four day automotive extravaganza is held annually at the Las Vegas Convention Center and brings together the industry's aftermarket manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers, media, car dealers, specialty equipment distributors, installers, retailers and restoration specialists.
I've been attending the show since 1984 and every year is better than the last. This year in particular, was very exciting for me and Foose Design. We debuted three unique vehicle projects at the show and I also made numerous appearances on behalf of our valuable sponsors.
Debuting the first day of the show, in the Grand Lobby of the Central Hall, was a 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 which we customized on behalf of WD-40 and SEMA Cares. This vehicle will ultimately be auctioned off at Barrett Jackson in January 2012, with proceeds going to help the various charities of SEMA Cares. It features a unique yellow, black and blue Foose paint scheme which we worked on with our good friend Mitch Lanzini of Lanzini Bodyworks, one-off custom bronzed MHT wheels wrapped in Pirelli Pzero Tires, custom urethane front and rear spoilers by Street Scene and a Hotchkis suspension kit. Magnaflow provided a cat-back exhaust, Advanced Clutch Technology donated an ACT Street Twin clutch kit and BASF supplied a custom mix of their Glasurit 90 Line, waterborne paint.
Be sure to tune in when this vehicle rolls across the auction block, the proceeds will go to some good organizations, including Victory Junction and Childhelp.
Later Tuesday we unveiled a 1957 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing that we were asked to restyle by our longtime sponsor BASF. We sought to incorporate some subtle, but significant, styling cues, including a new two-tone paint scheme. Featured changes include removal of the front and rear bumpers, which were replaced by custom fabricated units, a slight modification to the signature rear bulge above the rear wheel house, minor mods to the grille and grille shell, new side trim hand crafted from brass stock, machined, milled, filed and polished before final chrome plating, new headlight bezels and new headlights. A two tone paint job featuring BASF Glasurit 90 Line waterborne material combines an upper charcoal silver and a lower bright silver separated by an interior matching red accent line.
Barry Meguiar of Car Crazy TV met up with me in the BASF booth later in the week to do an interview featuring the vehicle.
You may have also noticed our expanded presence in the Silver Lot of the Convention Center this year. Our outdoor booth featured 20 foot high tresses and custom banners displaying iconic Foose vehicles and logos of our sponsors. As usual we had our Foose store stocked with merchandise, including new tshirt designs and our new 2012 calendar. If you were at the show, surely you noticed the vehicle in our booth which I was lucky enough to design for my friend Bob Briggs. It was built and painted by Fred Ingle, with custom bodywork by Marcel's. This 1936 Ford based recreation was finished in a two-tone blue paint job.
While the weeks and months leading up to SEMA are always crazy, pulling all-nighters to ensure our projects our completed and up to our standards, it is always worthwhile once I get there and get to engage with our fans across the world. As usual, I made a handful of appearances for our valued sponsors, including BASF, Pirelli Tire, Lincoln Electric, 3M, Magnaflow and WD-40. I met fans of Foose and Overhaulin’ from places as far away as Brazil, Norway and South Africa. A number of fans even braved the rain on Friday to get a picture and an autograph.
In addition to the autograph sessions, this year I got to try something a little different. 3M, the official abrasive and sanding application of Foose Design, presented the opportunity for me to give a live drawing exhibition that focused on the history of the 3M brand in the automotive aftermarket. I was happy to do so and over the course of an hour and a half I completed the attached rendering on an 8'x3' piece of canvas. Thank you to all the fans who watched the entire process.
I'm always looking forward to the next project and next year's SEMA. With all the appearances, I don't quite get to walk the show as much as I'd like, but from what I saw, the show is as big as ever. Thank you to everyone at SEMA and everyone at Foose for making this year's SEMA a success.