SEMA 2018: A big success offering excitement and the latest trends

Editor’s Note: Claudio Puggioni has joined Informer Media Group and will cover a variety of topics. We are excited to present the first part of his articles about SEMA.

Written and Photography by Claudio Puggioni

My father was a motor mechanic his entire life and my parents tell me that I went from the hospital where I was born directly to my father’s auto repair shop and where I spent the next 21 years around cars. I love cars and I was excited to attend my first SEMA show.

My first impression included wide-eyed moments and continued as salivatingly exciting, heart racing and a car enthusiasts dream come true. Definitely a bucket list moment.

This is a chance to get up close and personal with super modified, frighteningly fast cars, accessories, engineers, mechanics, and body shops owners, many of whom have appeared on television or movies. Many stars were present and signing autographs, including Jay Leno, starring in the CNBC show Jay’s Garage.

This experience can be enjoyed by the very young to the very young at heart. The need for speed and excitement bridges all generations, borders, and languages. It gives us a common ground on which to experience and marvel and grandeur that is the SEMA show. It is where the automotive world truly comes together. The show generates the kind of feeling of excitement that is second only to the love and, in some cases, the car enthusiasts’ first love. The need for speed and sexy fast cars is and always will be like an addictive drug, the more you get, the more you want. Men ogle and dream of owning one and women feel excitement just looking at them, knowing or imagining how fast they can go and how cool it would be to own or ride in one. It brings the mature back to their youth and the young rise to a state of automotive maturity and advanced understanding at such shows. It is a place where futures are forged and ideas turn into reality for the lucky ones in the automotive industry. An automotive holy ground.

I heard many languages spoken as I passed through the crowd in parts of the show, telling me that there were fellow car enthusiasts from all over the world visiting. No political or national arguments could be heard. No fighting, racial or religious argument of any kind, just a peaceful unity and a common thread that passed through all who visited. Even if it was just for a few days, the show made us all brothers, sisters and good friends in the automotive world.

To my surprise, many cars and vendors are outside in the open air or just inside the convention center and totally accessible to the general public without a badge so anyone can still have fun seeing many cars and accessories for free.

The sheer variety and quantity of auto parts and accessories as well as cars is overwhelming. Over 140,000 people attended the show this year. It’s popularity and reputation gets bigger each year.

I look forward to sharing more of my adventures at SEMA in my next column. For more information about next year’s show, visit




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