SEMA 2012 Coverage…Part 1…

Let’s take a leap back in time to Sunday 10/28, the day after The Chronicles Year.IV event. I know I went ahead and posted up the VIP Festival coverage first but for the sake of continuity, let’s pretend that hasn’t happened yet…

During the event, Rodrez from Honda Tuning magazine asked me if I had anything planned that Sunday and if I wanted to work. I told him that I was free in the morning and I could help him out if he needed me. He said that he had planned to shoot three of the Hondas from the Bandits crew and shooting three cars in one morning was a little overwhelming, so he would need me to shoot one of the cars at the same time if I could. I didn’t see any problem with it so I agreed. I was gonna be dead tired after not getting much sleep leading up to the Year.IV event but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to work. I figured I was gonna be able to get some sleep that first day in Vegas anyways so what’s another day without sleep, right?…

Obviously I can’t show you the actual finished photos from the shoot but here is a preview from that morning…

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Rodrez doing what Rodrez does…

After that shoot, I spent most of the day finishing up some work for a project I was contracted for by Source Interlink Media. I still had to pack and what not for my week-long stay in Las Vegas but was so busy that I didn’t even pack until that Monday morning when we were set to take off. May wasn’t going to fly into Vegas until Wednesday of that week, since she had work, but I took her Toyota Yaris because it was good on gas and also because my 4-Runner is about to explode at any time…

I planned a Vegas caravan with the Rywire Ryan’s (Both Basseri and Der), DPK David, and Takeshi from Japan earlier that week, so we all met up that Monday around noon to start our SEMA trip. I didn’t really take any photos during the drive but Takeshi documented it and I’ve included some of the pics below…

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We stopped by a Del Taco in the middle of nowhere (Barstow area?) to enjoy some manufactured Mexican fast food… Ryan Der claimed that this particular Del Taco had the biggest Chicken Soft Tacos ever and so we had to risk future stomachaches to see if the rumors he had heard about were indeed true…

What was supposed to be a simple 3 1/2 hour drive was anything but simple…In all my years driving to Las Vegas, I had never experienced the amount of traffic driving into Vegas that I had experienced that day. It was literally a parking lot on the 15 North heading into Primm Valley. I mean, people actually got out of their cars to smoke and do random shit while we were parked on the highway…

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It ended up taking us 6 1/2 to 7 hours to get to Las Vegas that evening and there were so many people trapped on the highway trying to use their cell phones, that we didn’t even have service! I couldn’t dial out or send text messages, and mobile web service only worked intermittently…

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We were out there so long that the Ryans and David were able to watch two movies in Ryan’s Civic. After making multiple attempts to reach the outside world with my phone, I finally was able to figure out that there was a huge accident leading to the strip, and along with road construction, made it almost impossible to get any sort of traffic flow going…

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We eventually got into Vegas around 7:45 in the evening… Takeshi and I were staying at the same place so we separated from the rest of the group to check-in and drop our stuff off, while the Rywire guys headed to Planet Hollywood to check-in. After we unloaded the car, Takeshi and I headed over to PH to grab dinner with the guys over at our favorite sandwich spot in Vegas; Earl of Sandwich. I can’t believe this place has blown up so much over the years. I remember the first time I ate there, nobody had even heard of it before. Now you constantly see people posting up that they are eating there when they are in Vegas and they even opened a new location out here by Disneyland recently…

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I should add that our friend Takeshi from Japan has never really experienced the Las Vegas strip before, so we decided to show him around after dinner. It was a Monday so it wasn’t terribly busy on the strip, so it was easy to do the tourist thing and show Takeshi around…

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I had to be at a press conference at SEMA early the next morning, so we didn’t go on an absolute bender and get trashed that evening. We just grabbed some drinks from the bar and walked around to different spots on the strip. We also took the time to educate Takeshi on prostitution in Vegas and showed him which ladies were prostitutes and which ones were escorts as they conducted their business with old men who were in town for “business”…

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While walking, we also spotted a street performer (non-prostitute), that I recognized from the last season of America’s Got Talent…I forget his name but he’s the break-dancing contortionist guy from the show. I guess he performs on the streets of Vegas regularly and draws a pretty decent crowd. After that we decided to call it a night since we had a rigorous day at SEMA ahead of us…

The next morning, I had to be at the SEMA show by 9am for a press conference announcing a collaboration between Kia Motors America and DC Entertainment. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here on the site before, but Source Interlink Media (Parent company of Super Street, Import Tuner, and Honda Tuning magazine), recently hired me to work on a special project where I documented the DC/Kia collaborative effort, also known as “Built For Justice”. The whole project involves specific Kia motor vehicles being built by different shops that serve as visual inspirations of DC Entertainment’s Justice League. I used to be a comic book nerd when I was younger so I am pretty familiar with the characters and I know cars pretty well, so I was the right guy for the job. What I was assigned to do was to follow the builds for each of the cars and then do write-ups on them for a website that is going to launch in a couple of weeks. If you were there, then you probably got a chance to see the cars but for those of you who are new to this whole project, I’ll save the photos of the cars for the launch of the website. I’ll just show you guys what I did while I was at SEMA….

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One of the guys that I got to meet while working on this project was legendary comic artist and now Co-Publisher (head honcho) of DC Entertainment, Jim Lee. I’ve always been a fan of Jim Lee’s work so it was cool to finally meet him… I didn’t talk to him so much as just hover around him and take photos of him, but we are now imaginary best friends that share the same last name….Haha, honestly though, I just kind of followed him around that day at SEMA while Brandon Leung from Bowl’s LA was getting video footage of him….

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Here’s a shot of Jim Lee with amazing car renderer Jon Sibal. Sibal is one of the premier go-to guys these days for vehicle renderings and you’ve probably seen his work numerous times before online. He was responsible for doing a lot of the renderings for various projects at SEMA, including the DC/Kia project. Jon is also an inker for DC Comics, so it made sense for him to be a vital piece of this collaboration…

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I’d rather save the cars for the website but I did however, capture the two spokesmodels for the DC/Kia booth that day…

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Jim Lee signing and drawing on a piece of memorabilia for a fan…

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From afar, I thought that this chick was Mila Kunis at first but it turned out that she wasn’t. It didn’t stop Brandon from Bowl’s LA from approaching her for a completely random interview though…

After the press conference was over, I left the North Hall to check out some of the cars from other parts of the SEMA show. If you are unfamiliar with the lay-out of the show, it is basically divided into 5 sections; the North Hall, South Hall, Central Hall, Wheel/Tire Hall, and the outside portion where all kinds of different display vehicles are present. There is also a new products hall but we never go to that section since it’s pretty boring and filled with truck parts…

There isn’t any specific sequence to how I did my coverage, I just snapped whatever caught my eye at that moment like I usually do. There are some builds that I really wanted to show you guys in detail so there will be portions of the coverage where I’ve done little “Spotlight” features with more detailed shots. Other than that, it won’t be any different than the usual coverage you see here. The only main difference is that there is a lot more variety of vehicles and very, VERY, little Honda content. Honda doesn’t make too much noise these days at SEMA so you don’t see very much of the brand represented….

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The first car that I spotted when I walked outside was this SR20DE-swapped Datsun 510 on newly re-released Enkei Apache II wheels… Loved how low the car sat and just how clean it was with the swap and battleship grey engine bay…

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The next car that instantly caught my eye was my buddy Wilson from Stancelab’s Carlsson E-Class. You probably remember the car more when it was white on bronze BBS wheels but he had the car wrapped in red for SEMA…

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It still had the same Carlsson aero kit on it but now sits on white Work Emotion CR-Kiwami wheels… Absolutely love how the car looks now and the color combo really makes it pop…

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Lexus LS460 that was parked not to far from the Stancelab Benz built by Platinum VIP…

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Matte grey Mercedes R-Class on red Forgestar wheels….

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Chris Basselgia’s “Minty Fresh” Scion FR-S build, which was one of three builds participating in the 2012 SEMA Scion Tuner Challenge…

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Daniel Song’s “FR-S GT” build, also a Tuner Challenge competitor…

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Rounding out the trio was John Tocas’ “Carbon Stealth FR-S”…

I believe I have some more photos and info on the three builds that I’ll put up later on in future portions of coverage…

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Convertible Scion FR-S build by Jeremy Lookfsky and Cartel Customs, with help from Mike Vu…

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The Fatlace-built Scion FR-S featuring the popular Tra-Kyoto Rocket Bunny aero kit and Volk TE37SLs, with graphical livery designed by Jay from JDMEGO…

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Love the custom taillights on the Fatlace FR-S…

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Speaking of Fatlace, one of the builds that I really wanted to check-out that day before it got too crowded was the Fatlace-built Ben Sopra R35 GTR. People usually hit the Wheel/Tire section of SEMA last, since it was the furthest away from everything, so I knew it wouldn’t be crowded that first day of SEMA. Since the GTR was parked in the Falken booth over there, I went to go get a firsthand look at it…

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I really liked the rendering that Jay from JDMEGO came up with, and the Ben Sopra kit is just nuts, so I knew it was going to be a hit at SEMA…

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Great use of the teal accents on the lines of the Ben Sopra kit…

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Also good utilization of contrast with the matte black face and bronze lips of the Work Gnosis GS4 wheels. Also helps that the kit is super wide to get a big lip front and back…

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Just in case people asked, there was no doubt that this was a Ben Sopra GTR…

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Nothing to do with Ben Sopra but I couldn’t help but admire *ahem* the new outfits that the Falken models were wearing…I dig it…

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Rare shot of the Ben Sopra kit with the clam-shell hood popped…

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Justin Pawlak’s Ford Mustang drift car, also in the Falken booth…

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Had to get another one…

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One of my favorites from SEMA 2012 was this F10 BMW M5, built by IND…The Falken colors are actually painted onto the chassis and this M5 is set to make about 1000HP when it is all said and done. There aren’t that many F10 M5s around right now since they were just recently released but IND took this M5 and actually cut the roof off of it and replaced it with a full carbon fiber roof. They also gutted the interior and caged it. Who takes a brand new 100K M5 and cuts it up to cage it? Well, IND apparently…

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M5 Brembos color-matched to the Falken tone and Grauschwarz grey BBS FI wheels…Notice the “Forged” and “BBS” lettering also color-matched. Great attention to detail…I almost wished the entire car was on the ground so I could get a closer look at it…

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Next on my list of must-see builds from SEMA 2012 was the Tra-Kyoto Rocket Bunny Scion FR-S at the Mackin Industries booth…

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Very eye-catching blue and orange colorway with orange Rays Engineering Gram Lights 57Extreme wheels on the passenger side…

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57Extremes are a popular choice among FR-S owners it seems, almost as if the wheels were designed specifically for this platform…

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The other side of the Rocket Bunny FR-S featured Rays Gram Lights 57DR wheels, also in matching orange…

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I know a lot of people are saying that the Rocket Bunny kit is a little too-overused in the FR-S community, but you can’t doubt that it’s a great kit. Very aggressive lines that still flow very well with the lines of the FR-S and little touches like this notch on the rear flare for the gas cap is a great detail touch that Kei Miura incorporated when designing this kit…

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Back at the Wheel/Tire Hall, I spotted Mercedes Terrell at the Toyo Tires area…

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Right next to her was UFC Bantamweight Champion, Dominic Cruz, who was signing autographs that day…

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The Toyo Tires booth was also the host to the Liberty Walk widebody Lamborghini Murcielago, which made its debut at SEMA 2012. The kit was designed and created by Nakai from Rauh Welt and assembled at the Fatlace paddock in Norcal prior to arriving at SEMA…

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I don’t know this model’s name at the Giovanni section, but she was either really excited to see me, or the A/C was extra cold that day….

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Two other Giovanni wheels spokesmodels that I didn’t get the names of…I was just happy that at least one of them was paying attention in this photo…

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TE27 Corolla at the Enkei booth sitting on soon-to-be re-released Enkei Compe wheels…

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Hankook Tire models Megan Belet and Erica Nagashima…

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On my way to visit Danh Vo from SSR Wheels, I spotted this really nice Zenki S14 240SX at the D-Sport booth…I think I have some better shots of this S14 that I have yet to go through…

My main reason for heading to the SSR booth was to check-out their new “Executor” line, which debuted at SEMA 2012. They won’t be available until next year but SSR made them available for viewing exclusively for this event…

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SSR Executor CV-01 in black…

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SSR Executor CV-01 in a brushed finish…

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SSR Executor CV-02 in bronze…Interesting to see a concave face with step-lip…

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Speaking of the SSR Executor line, I’m gonna close it out for today with some shots of the Auto Concept Elite widebody R35 GTR, on SSR Executor CV-01s…

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Nice tuck and clean up in the engine bay of the R35, which was just recently completed by Randy Riggs and friends from R-Rydes. Probably the cleanest R35 bay to date…

That’s all for today, I’ve actually been pretty busy with work lately and am even working out of the Source Interlink offices for the first time this week. I’m just there temporarily to work on the Kia/DC project but it’s eaten up a lot of my day. I’m actually updating at the office as I type this. Actually, I better get out of here because I think I’m the last person here, haha… Back with more tomorrow. We’ve just barely scratched the surface on SEMA 2012 coverage… Thanks for looking!!..

13 thoughts on “SEMA 2012 Coverage…Part 1…

  1. Pingback: SEMA 2012 Coverage…Part 2… « The Chronicles© – No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  2. Pingback: SEMA 2012 Coverage…Part 3… « The Chronicles© – No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  3. Pingback: SEMA 2012 car pics

  4. Pingback: SEMA 2012 Coverage…Part 4… « The Chronicles© – No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  5. Pingback: SEMA 2012 Coverage…Part 5… « The Chronicles© – No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  6. Pingback: SEMA 2012 Coverage…Part 6… « The Chronicles© – No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  7. Pingback: SEMA 2012 Coverage…Part 7 of 7…Finale… « The Chronicles© – No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  8. Pingback: MMXII: The Year That Was…Part 2 of 2… « The Chronicles© – No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

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