Petrol-heads head to Vegas for the 2014 SEMA Show

One of the biggest events on the calendar for motoring fans is the SEMA Car Show, which sees people flock to Vegas to showcase classic and custom cars. The show has been a fixture on the calendar since 1967 and its blend of the crazy and the cool is what makes it so iconic for fans. This year’s show took place in early November at the Las Vegas Convention Centre and it’s also a big pulling factor for Vegas given the number of gambling punters crossing over to Macau and ipad casino sites nowadays.

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More than 60,000 people involved in the automobile industry travelled to Vegas for the show, as the SEMA Show is an in-house trade event, rather than something open to everyone. The big car manufacturers were all giving previews of new models as usual, with top American companies Ford and General Motors vying with Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Mazda, Toyota and Fiat Chryslers Group and most of these companies produced something memorable. The Toyota Camry, which combined conservative bodywork with the engine of a drag racer, ranked as a particularly memorable customisation.

It’s not all about the vehicles though, as SEMA always features a number of special events – and the 2014 edition was no exception to this rule. Guest musical performers included Grammy winner Gary Clark Jr, who performed an impressive mix of rock, soul and blues music at the After-Party, while Miss HOT ROD model Kristian was there to sign posters of herself and demonstrate a 1935 Ford pickup. Another special event was SEMA Ignited, which is where the public, who are left out of much of the rest of SEMA, get the chance to check out the brilliant and baffling custom cars and bikes – with this year’s event taking place right in the heart of the casino strip.

However, for all of this, it is the actual cars and bikes that SEMA is all about – and it did not let anyone down again in 2014. Pride of place at the Ford exhibit went to the mighty Ford Mustang King Cobra, which carries a turbocharged 5.8-litre V8 engine that can hit over 600bph and features an eye-catching snakeskin body. For lovers of classic Fords though, the F-series model in superb condition represented a definite highlight. In terms of madness though, the Southern Crush mini monster truck (http://www.topgear.com/uk/photos/The-best-and-worst-of-the-SEMA-tuning-show-2014-11-07) would take some beating. Featuring tyres that look like they’re on steroids and a four-cylinder 1.6-litre engine, it’s not a vehicle for the faint-hearted.

The SEMA Show is the best place to see the best and maddest cars around and Las Vegas, with its casino traditions, represents the best possible locale – as casino and car fans both tend to love life in the fast lane.
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