Modified Mustangs & Fords
2009 SEMA Show - Still Standing
The Sema Show Proves Our Hobby Is Still Thriving
There's no doubt that the economy has seen better days. With double-digit unemployment in many areas of the country, gas prices going up and down like the proverbial see-saw, and many wondering where their 401K has gone too, it's sometimes hard to be upbeat about a hobby-any hobby really. Hobbies cost money, that's the stark white truth, and be it a case of paint for those that play paintball, a box of ammo for the shooting range, or a tank of gas to hit the local cruise night, whatever their hobbies are, you can bet that people across the U.S. are doing them less frequently or are looking for ways to enjoy them more efficiently.
The same holds true for us gearheads. I used to not think twice about running up to Sears and buying that special tool I probably would use just that one time. Now I try to borrow said tool, or at the worst, rent it. I've heard of several others that have backed off of their project car plans, extending their project timeline to spread out the costs. This may sound depressing, but I feel spreading the cost out and taking longer is better than the alternative-selling your dream project and it never seeing the light of day through your hands.
So yes, things are tough right now for a lot of people, but when we hit the 2009 SEMA show recently, we were surprised to see a thriving industry based off of our growing car hobby. Was the show "down" a bit? Sure it was. We noticed a few spots where booths had been prior and fewer show cars outside the Las Vegas convention center halls, but overall the show aisles were packed with people-buyers, shop owners, car builders, and more. Everyone we talked to said their business was improving ever so slightly from earlier in 2009.
We're optimistic that we'll be seeing more growth in 2010, and that simply means more people in our hobby, more parts being created, and more of us building and finishing those dream cars we've always wanted. So hang in there. Relief is coming, and in the meantime, check out these great new parts we eyeballed at the SEMA show that could be used in your project plans.
Check out plenty more great parts and cars from the SEMA show on our website!
'65-'68 Mustang Aluminum Heater Core
Scott Drake [www.scottdrake.net; (800) 999-0289] is a name known to tens of thousands of Mustang enthusiasts. What is probably not known is that many of the products you find in that recognizable red packaging are actually prototyped and built by Drake themselves. Drake brought several new products to the SEMA show, and these three really intrigued us. The small-block silicone hoses are akin to the hoses many late-model Mustang owners use for increased bursting strength, longer hose life, and simple great looks. The big-block water neck was a previously unavailable part, and we all know what 40-year-old aluminum water necks look like. Lastly, we were very happy to see an aluminum version of the original copper/brass heater core for the millions of '65-'68 Mustangs still on the road (ours included). The aluminum has greater thermal efficiency and longer product life than the original copper/brass setup-something to consider if you're going to replace your heater core soon.