Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
April 12, 2010
Contributers: Tom Wilson Photos By: Tom Wilson

It's amazing how tenacious the performance hobby can be. Despite an economy that should have all but shuttered the performance aftermarket, there was no lack of crowded passageways in Las Vegas during the 42nd annual SEMA show. SEMA says over 50,000 buyers strolled the aisles, ogling more than 1,500 new products, ranging from racing cylinder heads to LED license plate frames.

Just the same, the feeling was subdued at times depending on where you wandered. On the main show floor, where the SEMA Olympians such as Edelbrock and Comp cluster, traffic looked as brisk as ever. But hike to the outer reaches of the wheel-and-tire hall, and a curtained wall marked where optimism ended and economic reality took over. Two years ago SEMA struggled to house all of the exhibitors in the tire-and-wheel hall; now maybe an eighth of it was empty.

From a Ford-lover's perspective, the 2009 SEMA show was moderately quiet. This year was given to the new Chevrolet Camaro, no matter if the official manufacturer was Ford (probably the only OEM able and willing to pay the freight on the official title). And with the Three-Valve V-8 and S197 Mustang completing their fourth year on the market, the parts pipeline for those Ford stalwarts was pretty well filled. That, we assure you, will change next year when new Mustang power hits the streets.

But don't think Ford was somehow on the outs. Having taken the literal high ground in the main hall years ago, Ford once again stuffed its giant booth with endless project cars and a little hardware, including the all-new and technically intriguing 6.7-liter turbo diesel, a quiet peek at a new FRPP high-rpm intake manifold for Three-Valve V-8s, plus the Wolfe-man himself debuting the most excellent 2010 Mustang Cobra Jet.

Toss in an interesting mix of trick new intakes, brakes, clutches, transmissions, pistons, and other Mustang speed parts and, as always, SEMA was worth the trip.

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