By Mark R. Weisseg
Yes, SEMA was back. After missing a year due to the Covid situation the world’s largest and best car show was back. And, best of all, I was there.
SEMA is the Speciality Equipment Manufacturer’s Association but this year it could have been named The Specialty Electric Manufacturer’s Association. Let me explain.
My first hint something was different was when I walked up to this Camaro Z28. My first thought was what a sweet ride. I have such great memories of this car. It’s still sleek, fast, and highly sought after today. But, when I got up close to the engine I was a bit saddened. The owner swapped out the original engine with some sort of ugly motor.
Upon closer examination, I noticed no spark plug wires, no distributor, no water pump, and so on. I was disheartened for sure. Then, a young man came over and I asked what the heck was going on here. He said it was a prototype electric car. Huh? He then started the engine I was looking at was Bondo, plywood, glue, and anything else that was lightweight for appearance purposes only. Well, I still wasn’t sold on the idea yet.
He took me around the car and showed me the car was basically stock. All they did was make it electric. Well, I was trying to keep an open mind but deep down, I was disappointed. I’m an old-school hot rod guy after all. If I can’t hear the rpm’s screaming and the tires smoking I just can’t buy it in my mind. So, I walked away kind of impressed but not sold by any means.
Then, I hear this loud screeching noise. I turned my head and saw this Ford Mach E out on the drifting track. This car is screaming around like a bat out of hell with all four tires billowing smoke. Whoa! What the heck am I seeing? My brother and I make a dash to the Ford area only to find out its 1,400 hp. Yep, that’s 1,400 hp. This Mach E ( yes, I hate the Mustang in this name too) is incredible. From a standing stop, it takes off like a missile. Now, electricity has my attention. We stood and watched this four-door electric vehicle just continually smoke all four tires. Yes, we missed hearing an engine scream for mercy but nonetheless, we were impressed.
Next, we hiked and I do mean hiked all through the endless buildings. Next, a 32 Ford with battery power, a Bronco, Hummer, Cobra, and so on and so on. Then, for good measure, we checked out electric bikes, electric ATVs, and much more. The more we looked the more we were converted.
Now, we had to go from the south tower to the newest building to see what lay ahead for us. By this time we were exhausted. It’s a long, long walk between the two buildings. Alas! Help was just down the escalator. Elon Musk’s Boring Company built a tunnel between the two buildings. We glided downstairs, hopped in a waiting Tesla, and a few minutes later we were at the next destination. Certainly, not the high speeds promised at one time, but my feet are here to tell you we loved the ride.
After looking at battery-powered hand tools, (love them by the way) we sat down and did some reflection. My brother and I are old gear heads. All we know is old-school fast muscle cars. We lived them our whole lives and still do. However, we came to the easiest conclusions ever. Like it or not, electric vehicles are the path forward. Almost zero maintenance, quiet, very fast, and best of all…… technology.
Battery cars are not new by any means. What’s new is the range and luxury associated with them. I own a Ford F150 with a V8. I love that truck. So, when I looked at the F150 lightning I was sold. Like you, I need more battery distance to be on board one hundred percent. It’s coming folks. With every major OEM working on that very issue, along with tons of “ small players” you can bet the farm it will happen. Remember, Elon Musk was once a small player.
So, did SEMA disappoint? In a word, maybe. Let’s be clear, the crowds were strong, the weather was perfect, and I want to return again next year. What I missed was a large contingent from outside the USA. Sure, the UK crowds were in attendance but many other countries still could not be there. The non-electric vehicles whether it was gas or diesel was still the dominant factor for the week. We saw plenty of superchargers, turbo’s, blowers throughout the week to fulfill our aging hearts. However, the road to the future is going to be electric. Love it or hate it you better open your brain and take a peek behind the curtain. It’s better than you may think.
Donate To Fast Muscle Car
We spend a lot of time bringing you muscle car content. If you would like to donate something to help us keep going, that would be fantastic.
SEMA 2021 Review,