Dispatch From the 2016 SEMA Show Floor: A Photo Gallery

This is as close as you want to get to SEMA. Trust us—we've been there. 

The annual trade show for the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association, which often goes by the four-letter acronym of the organization that puts it on, is a cumbersome, exhausting giant to navigate. It stretches across and beyond the length and breadth of the massive Las Vegas Convention; park all 10 of America's nuclear-powered aircraft carriers side by side, and they still wouldn't have the square footage on their flight decks to accomadate the show's thousands of cars, booths, and test tracks. 

To walk a lap of the convention center would be exhausting even if it were bare—but SEMA is anything but. Indeed, every inch is seemingly crammed with car parts, brightly-colored banners, and the widest range of cars, truck, and other motorized vehicles ever to gather under one roof. Every type of car is represented. Supercars lie down with Donks, slammed trucks sit in peace beside jacked-up Jeeps. And the wheels—everywhere you look, wheels, some so large it seems impossible they could ever fit on a car other than as a visual gag. 

You may see a fat man dressed as The Stig driving a three-wheeled mobility scooter, or Neil Young extolling the virtues of his converted electric cars. You'll see a veritable Khan's harem of anonymous women dressed in skimpy clothes posing by booths, and you'll see men line up by the dozen to take pictures with You will stand in line for the better part of an hour at the Nathan's Hot Dog concession stand, just to put some sort of fuel into your bizarrely-sore body. 

It all combines into a literally mind-numbing blur, a bad acid trip through the metaphorical underbelly of the automotive industry. These pictures may seem disjointed, out-of-focus, or just plain bizarre, but trust us: This is the closest thing to being at SEMA. 

 

Steven Cole Smith / The Drive
Steven Cole Smith / The Drive
Steven Cole Smith / The Drive
Steven Cole Smith / The Drive
Steven Cole Smith / The Drive
Steven Cole Smith / The Drive
Steven Cole Smith / The Drive
Steven Cole Smith / The Drive
Steven Cole Smith / The Drive
Steven Cole Smith / The Drive
Steven Cole Smith / The Drive
Steven Cole Smith / The Drive
Steven Cole Smith / The Drive