October's last Tuesday sun rose above the mountain peaks, just east of a brisk Vegas morning. Slowly, the morning dew evaporated off gallons of clearcoat-glossed custom paint on some of the most extravagantly built machines known to the automotive aftermarket. Along with the slew of custom cars and trucks, banners hung from every pole, convention center wall, and nearby street signs. It was obvious that the SEMA show was about to commence.
For the next four days, SEMA would occupy every inch of the Las Vegas convention center. Of course, this includes the entire front parking lot and the second floor of the South Hall. More than 2,000 exhibitors filled 10,000 booths, which attracted industry titles from 100 countries. This basically relates to more than 100,000 enthusiasts and driven-market professionals who came to rub elbows. That's a great turnout for a show closed to the general public.
The show is so ginormous it's physically impossible to investigate all the cool gadgets and killer customs in a single day. Walking the entire show can wreak havoc on tired leg muscles. Enthusiasts walking the show, who attempt to cover the 2,000,000 square feet of SEMA, will more than likely will be aching and soar for days afterwards. Consider this Truckin's stock tip of the month.
Sickest Late-Model UnibodyBuilt by the talented crew at Ekstensive Metalworks in Houston, Drew's blue '00 Chevy Silverado looks like the truck GM should have built for '07. Sporting an '07 Tahoe clip, a fully polished and painted LS1, custom chassis, 26-inch wheels, and a one-off interior, his truck was the icing on the cake for me. Oh, and did you notice the unibody? Sick! Be on the lookout for a full shoot on this amazing rig soon. -Senior Editor Dan Ward
Sickest Pro Bling ClassicBrian Ellison's C-10 actually stopped me on my way to pick up my lunch a few days before SEMA even started. Not many trucks get between me and my food. Flawless black paint, a great stance, and the perfect set of Asanti wheels create a head-turning package. Everything that makes a '63 a classic was still there, but there were modern touches to set it apart. Fitting the exterior, the interior wasn't over the top, just well done and simple with a factory-looking roll-down rear window. The cherry on top was that under the hood is a highly-detailed, blown LS2. -Associate Editor Brandan Gillogly
Best Classic Innovations and CraftsmanshipWithout a doubt, Jeff Jacoby's open-air '71 Chevy Blazer raises the bar of custom-truck excellence. The '07 SEMA Show was inundated with hundreds of outrageous early- and late-model trucks. After cruising the aisles daily during the weeklong show, I kept finding myself drawn to the early-model custom truck from AVS a Fresno, California, based company. In my mind, Jeff Jacoby, the owner of AVS, showed superior innovative design, craftsmanship, and style that made this insane '71 Chevy Blazer Roadster rise above the rest of the trucks. -Senior Tech Editor Bob Ryder
It only makes sense that a monster-truck driver built it.Best Engineered Lifted Late-ModelThis truck lays the smack down on bolt-on lift lip talkers. The suspension design on this truck is 100-percent better than hand fabrications with double the money spent. Every element of vehicle dynamic was thought through, and yes, this includes roll center and center gravity on this build. I can't wait to see if he actually uses it! -Tech Editor Gary Blount