The 2006 SEMA Show is in progress right now! Hundreds of hours of fabrication and countless innovative ideas are being released to the world as we speak.
Beautiful vehicles will dominate the Convention Center, and thousands of pictures and write-ups will hit the internet and print. Deals will be sealed, connections made, networks conceived - it's all happening right now! Big companies will try to get bigger; small companies will try to get noticed. It's the big deal, the main event, THE trade show of the year.
But, when I think of SEMA, I think of something a little different. While there are numerous SEMA-success stories, I also think there are equally as many SEMA-disaster stories.
It's the missed deadlines, logistical disasters, missed flights, major oversights, short tempers, and someday-it-will-be-funny stories that really give SEMA a character and personality of its own. It's the hack jobs, cover-ups, tinting of windows because of unfinished interiors, still-wet paint, hooked-up-but-not stereos, and all of these such things that nobody wants to acknowledge at SEMA that fascinate me. It seems we get sucked into the glamour, flash photography, and energetic atmosphere and somehow blind ourselves, perhaps on purpose, to the sometimes blatantly obvious flaws.
I think this happens because there are such high expectations for SEMA vehicles, with so much pressure to produce something that stands out above hundreds of other vehicles that are also trying to stand out. Finding the resources, talent, time, and funds to achieve such a monumental task rarely happens. Even with a perfectly-planned timeline, delays seem inevitable. Rarely do you find a flawless custom buildup that met all the deadlines and worked perfectly the first time through. "Things" always come up half-way through a buildup - parts don't fit, parts don't come, people don't perform, ideas don't work, and so on. If X amount of time should be enough, leave 2X. You know the deadline exists for months, and it seems like you have forever, yet it still sneaks up and zooms by. This is SEMA, and you hear it over and over again.
What can you do, but load it up, show it proudly, and be content with doing the best work you could under the conditions you had.