Automotive Industry News

The Great California Street Rod Civil War

At the 1973 Street Rod Nationals (or so the story goes), rod builders Andy Brizio and Lil’ John Buttera got into a, shall we say, friendly discussion about which end of the Golden State produced the best street rods. Southern Californian Buttera ribbed Brizio, who was from South San Francisco, about how the Bay Area cars were “average” mechanically but were topped by outstanding paint jobs to make them seem more special. Brizio, in turn, said L.A. turned out trick show cars that couldn’t be driven very far. One thing led to another and (so the story goes) the discussion devolved into a “my new car will be better than your new car” challenge. At the 1973 Street Rod Nationals (or so the story goes), rod builders Andy Brizio and Lil’ John Buttera got into a, shall we say, friendly discussion about which end of the Golden State produced the best street rods. Southern Californian Buttera ribbed Brizio, who was from South San Francisco, about how the Bay Area cars were “average” mechanically but were topped by outstanding paint jobs to make them seem more special. Brizio, in turn, said L.A. turned out trick show cars that couldn’t be driven very far. One thing led to another and (so the story goes) the discussion devolved into a “my new car will be better than your new car” challenge.

Web Suppliers

Industry data standardization has led to an explosion of parts and related information that can now be made available to dealers and aftermarket retail outfits online. Today’s web developers offer manufacturers as well as end users powerful tools to disseminate and access a seemingly infinite number of products in the marketplace by part, vehicle and application. Online Tool-Building for Your Business

In many ways, developing a strong web presence has become a whole lot simpler. In other ways, it can be more confusing than ever.

“With all the technology out there, websites are just easier to build now than they used to be,” said Bill Lundberg, product manager, automotive industry, for ARI (formerly 50 Below). “Local website designers have become abundant. Many designers still focus on the desktop version. Great website presence, however, relies on helping your customers on all types of devices and using the best tools for the job.”

SEMA Garage: What’s In It for You?

Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO The compelling image you see on the cover of this issue was a byproduct of a visit by the world-famous SO-CAL Speed Shop crew. They came by to check out the newly completed SEMA Garage and to touch base with one of their celebrity clients—rock guitarist and legendary car collector Billy Gibbons. SO-CAL was among the first of many SEMA-member companies that will use the tools and facilities we have assembled in the SEMA Garage.

The SO-CAL team took advantage of the SEMA Garage FaroArm laser scanner to capture the exact curvature of the ’34 Ford’s sleek body panels to quickly fabricate a new custom trim piece. It’s an example of how the latest scanning and rapid prototyping tools can revolutionize the way our industry develops products.

Fast Facts

Breaking news from SEMA members, including Wes-Coast Marketing, Holley Performance Products, Midwest Truck & Auto Parts, Flex-a-lite, Fidanza Performance, The Society of Collision Repair Specialists and more.

Cars Provide the Backdrop

Enthusiast publication Popular Hot Rodding covered its 15 favorite musclecars from the SEMA Show. The 2013 SEMA Show featured literally thousands of cars. All kinds of cars. No matter what type you prefer, chances are it was on display at the SEMA Show. Whether it was Mustangs, Camaros, Porsches, Toyotas, Corvettes or something else, you were guaranteed to see the latest and greatest. These cars provide a canvas for the best in wheels, mobile-electronics products and LED headlights, just to name a few.

These custom builds were a great way for the Show’s almost 2,500 exhibitors to showcase and display their aftermarket products. SEMA Show vehicles provided aftermarket product manufacturers with the ability...

Getting to Know the ARMO Chair and Chair-Elect

Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) - SEMA CouncilThe Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) will install new leadership following its most recent election cycle. Dennis Roberts, vice president of Distinctive Industries, will take over the chair position, and Erika Wiesman, the owner of Hydro-E-Lectric Inc., was selected as chair-elect. They laid out their backgrounds and plans in recent interviews with SEMA Member News.

Roberts has been involved in the restoration industry for more than 30 years after having been introduced to musclecars in 1970 through a ’70 Trans Am owned by a friend of his older sister. He bought a ’67 GTO as his first car in 1974 at the height of the gas shortage and became a hands-on restoration enthusiast for life.

Retail Spotlight

Tom Pickett (right) left a steady job in automotive manufacturing to build his business, Tom’s 4x4 Superstore, which opened in June 2010.Tom’s 4x4 Superstore’s Blueprint to Continued Growth Starts With Customer Service

Tom Pickett has been a Jeep enthusiast for most of his life. He bought one at the end of 2009 but quickly realized that there was nowhere to buy parts for it in Chattanooga, Tennessee. So, in February 2010, he decided to walk away from a lucrative career in automotive manufacturing and build the foundation for Tom’s 4x4 Superstore—a Jeep and off-road parts supplier and installer that officially opened in June of that year.

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