Like so many small-business owners involved in automotive retail companies, David and Kevin Walker were enthusiasts early on. They loved anything with an engine, and they helped pay their way through college by working at a truck accessories store. That experience gave them a foundation in auto-parts retailing, so it was natural that they should start a store of their own when the chance presented itself. David was 21 and Kevin 20 in 2006 when they opened the doors to Custom Trucks Unlimited (CTU) in Auburn, Alabama.
Readers know that this is an industry of passion, so the media is quick to share the news and spread the word when legislation comes up that affects the industry. This is a good thing for readers, since legislation can change quickly, and staying up to date on the current status is important.
While trade events and large automotive gatherings such as the upcoming SEMA Show in November offer manufacturers unparalleled opportunities to introduce products to hungry buyers, they also present a challenge. How does a company break out and get noticed amid a sea of competitors and busy floor activity? For many companies, the answer is a show or project vehicle—which can not only grab attention at the Show but continue holding it long after if done right.
Maybe all this hype about product data is just that—overblown excitement from a few nerdy technologists who are trying to tell us that more and more people will be demanding digitized information to power their so-called “electronic catalogs.” Heck, what’s wrong with paper catalogs anyway? Or the idea that the Internet is going to continue to grow and grow and might even eventually be a big part of consumer purchasing habits? Inconceivable! Statements like these sure make you wonder where some of these crazy ideas come from, don’t they?
At first glance, the 2015 SEMA Hall of Fame inductees may appear to have only one thing in common: farms. But upon closer inspection, you will notice something else. They are the epitome of “live your best life.” This is not always easy to do; there is no roadmap to that destination, yet the route defines who we are. And each Hall of Fame honoree embraced the crossroads as much as he chased the unknown. He exuded grace in hardships and saw chance in challenges. He believed in himself and in those around him when others may have disbelieved. What some called struggle, he called purpose. Their footprints leave invisible impressions on our own road map, reminding us of how to be on the way to where to be.
In the days of hot rodding’s infancy, there were a lot of ways—and places—to go fast if you lived in Southern California. Top-speed runs at the desert dry lakes had been going on since before World War II; drag racing was beginning to boom for those whose speed needs could be contained in a quarter-mile; and oval tracks flourished throughout the area, drawing everything from rough-and-tumble jalopies to nitro-fed midgets.
In an industry like the specialty-equipment market, which thrives on originality, innovation is as much about how the job is accomplished as it is the finished product. Whatever your niche of choice, you don’t reach the end goal without the right gear. In the following pages, you’ll find new tools and equipment as featured at the 2014 SEMA Show. Take a look and imagine how these instruments could revolutionize your process, making the task at hand more efficient and enjoyable.
On the following pages, we’ve assembled a listing of the restoration parts that were featured in the New Products Showcase at the 2014 SEMA Show, but “restoration” is now as much about rejuvenating a vehicle using modern underpinnings as it is about numbers-matching purity. In fact, many of the industry leaders quoted in the commentaries included within this buyer’s guide cite “restomod” vehicles as the segment’s most significant. They also note that trucks have become a major force in the restoration category, and the limits of what qualifies for “classic” status are also being stretched.
The Porsche 911 shows off its new facelift featuring a newly designed front bumper and updated daytime running lights.
Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra HD Diesels
GM is reportedly bumping the current 6.6L Duramax turbo diesel’s horsepower, torque and towing capacity to counter Ford’s recently upgraded 6.7L Powerstroke V8 turbo diesel.
’17 Jeep Patriot Mule
The ’17 Jeep Patriot uses a stretched version of the FCA-derived “small” platform that currently underpins the new Jeep Renegade.
Ford SVT Truck
Speculation is that that Ford’s testing a new-generation follow-up to its SVT Lightning.
Industry news from SEMA-member companies, including Superlift, PRW Industries Inc., The Right Stuff Detailing, The Marx Group, Hella Inc. and more.