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What Does Sema Mean to Mini-Truckers? - Scrub Line

Plan Drive Show

Mar 1, 2004
Photo 2/2   |   0403mt Z Scrubline
So, there's this week-long show held every year in Las Vegas. All kinds of custom vehicles are displayed, and everyone who's anyone in the aftermarket sets up a booth to attract new customers to their brand. Oh, and every truck manufacturer known to man is there, too. For all intents and purposes, however, the show is closed to the public - unless you buy, sell, or own a shop that buys or sells products to the custom aftermarket customer. So, if the event is such a closed deal, and Joe Mini-Trucker isn't even allowed in until Friday, what's the big deal?
SEMA is a special time for those involved in the automotive aftermarket, and major companies, buyers, and manufacturers know it all too well. One of the many thoughts shared during the week is that SEMA will have a major effect on the whole aftermarket throughout the coming year. At first glance, it seemed as though those who didn't drive an F-150 or had some funky compact car were going to be left out in the cold. That couldn't be further from the truth, however, since the Mini Truckin' staff went to SEMA with the mindset of finding everything we could possibly put to use in our own pastime; that of driving the lowest, most customized machines on the face of planet Earth.
There were no less than 1,500 custom vehicles on display at the SEMA 2003 show. Amongst them, only about 12 were custom mini-trucks, leading one to think that mini-trucks aren't all that important to the aftermarket. I know firsthand, however, that this is no longer true. When covering this event in previous years, we were honestly bummed by the low number of minis. At SEMA 2002, we probably saw four minis in the whole show. This time, with 300 percent more mini-trucks in attendance, we realized that custom part companies are slowly accepting mini-trucks. Quite a few of the new products seen on various types of vehicles throughout the show can easily be used on a mini-truck.
Sliding ragtops, a long-accepted form of mini-truck modification, have been used on all kinds of vehicles. With the refinement of today's vehicles, though, the aftermarket has stepped up to the plate with electric versions that are more secure than those available in years past. And just as importantly, the quality has improved. This was the case with many of the products shown for the first time at SEMA. Items that we'd never have looked twice at before caught our attention this time because the mini-trucker of today is a more hands-on enthusiast. Whether the reason behind our attitude is wanting the job done right the first time, taking pride in what we've managed to create with our own hands, or simply building the baddest ride we can with limited funds, mini-truckers need to know what's out there for their use and ease in building their trucks.
Now that we'd realized this, what would we do with what we'd learned? Other than maximizing our potential by covering the show as only Mini Truckin' does, we also put together the largest guide of new products ever assembled in one issue of MT. This issue showcases all that we felt was awesome about SEMA 2003, including more than 50 of the coolest new parts, accessories, tools, and other items you'll find yourself dying to own.
At press time, 2004 is still a good month and a half away, and many of the products listed aren't even available. However, by the time this issue goes to print and you have it in your hands, these products should be in full production. We predict that you'll have the biggest grin the world has ever seen, and your truck will reap some unexpected benefits as well. Without further ado, check out our special SEMA coverage and the SEMA products guide - you'll definitely have a few more items on your wish list after reading MT this month. L8R!
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