TTAC’s authorial corps have been the lone contrarian element in their praise for the Toyota Camry – but not even Jack Baruth could have imagined a Camry XSE like the one that debuted at the SEMA show.
While TTAC typically covers at least three of the major US auto shows and a couple foreign ones, usually by proxy in the latter cases, we have never formally sent anyone to SEMA or PRI. This is changing for 2013, courtesy of NASA racer and Great Lakes Region Instructor Of The Year, Melissa Davis, who is not the dude on the right.
Earlier this week I wrote a little article about the SEMA show and those weird little auto add-ons that so many people choose to stick all over their otherwise decent looking rides. In it, I contrasted performance add-ons with “auto accessories” and tried to poke a little fun at those plastic chrome doo-dads and the people who abuse them. It wasn’t really intended to be a heavy “think piece.” It was supposed to be light, fun and maybe elicit some cheerful banter from the best and brightest. Nice and easy, right? Hell no. As usual, the TTAC readership doesn’t make anything easy… (Read More…)
I hear the SEMA show was last week. You know the SEMA show, right? It’s that important aftermarket manufacturers’ show held each autumn in Las Vegas where various companies try to pitch their products to customizers and retailers. Like all good automotive trade shows, SEMA features hundreds of companies and dozens upon dozens of custom vehicles. The fancy, hand-built cars draw people to the displays and form a pretty canvas on which a company can display its wares. But like any fashion show there is a hidden truth. The special parts on this or that big-name builder’s hot rod won’t have the same effect on your own, more mundane vehicle. No, for most of us beauty is an illusion; the phrase “lipstick on a pig” exists for a reason. (Read More…)
With every mountain climbed, every river crossed, and every supermarket parking lot conquered since its showroom debut in 2006, the Toyota FJ Cruiser prepares to retire to the countryside in 2014.
Former Nissan racer Steve Millen’s aftermarket performance company Stillen is running a contest involving Facebook. Amateur designers can style the company’s body kit that will accompany Stillen’s performance toys for the Scion FR-S. The winner will get to attend SEMA this November, when the body kit will have its first public display. When I saw the headline my first thought was, “What, another social media hypefest?” Just the other day, Derek Kreindler questioned the value of Nissan’s efforts to crowdsource product planning via social media sites. Does the general public know any more about designing cars than it does about product planning? (Read More…)
Sex sells. Or does it? I’ve long argued that sex actually gets in the way of selling cars. Who can think about cars when they’re thinking about sex? Sure, the blog posts on The Babes of SEMEN—I mean SEMA get eight billion hits. But so what? Does a pretty face and a pneumatic chest do anything to stimulate people to buy the trash and treasure (mostly trash) on display at a show or available (God help us) via the web? The example here is a perfect example of why you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. But as far as I know, the only reason to catch flies is to kill them. Or at least trap them on a sticky stuff until they die. Hey, come to think of it, maybe sexual come-ons (so to speak) aren’t such a bad idea . . .