4 SEMA trends we love and 2 that need to go


There are constants at the SEMA show that you can always count on. Ford will be drifting Mustangs out front, Mopar will hold a press conference at 4:26 to announce something absurd and amazing, and no matter how carefully you think you’ve walked the miles of halls, tents, and outdoor lots, someone will mention a phenomenal build that you somehow missed. What isn’t certain is what the new trends will be and what previous hot style will die off.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/11/06/trends-of-sema-2018


I had a chuckle about the jeep purists not waving to the four door jk’s. I usually dont wave to jk’s unless they are lifted as stockers usually have no idea why you are waving.
I remember driving my cj as a kid and seeing my first square headlighted yj coming at me. I didnt wave. Still not a fan to this day. YJ meant Yuppie Junk.The thing that bothered me more than the headlights was the plastic dash. The Oem speedo in a cj is like a grandfather clock to me. It could be the baddest cj build ever and if it doesnt have that speedo, im turned off of it. Btw, the last real jeep was made in 1986. Lol


People have opinions about most things BUT opinions can be uninformed, misinformed or just plain ridiculous. There should be a sense of elegance to any vehicle even lifted monstrosities rather than using the “bigger hammer” approach. There is cause for concern when every weak link is buying some form of prickup or “badass” SUV.
OK, it’s time for my meds…


The Jeep wave comment was inspired by actual events, glad you liked that part. I’m also not a huge fan of YJs, but TJs still have an AMC heart and I think they got the look right.


I have to disagree with the thumbs down for non-metallic grays. While I have never been a fan of silver/gray paint, Dodge’s Destroyer paint looks great. Kudos to them for their creativity!


Yes, the Rubi Tj and got it right and gave us all hope. The LJ unlimited sure to be a collector


Flares done well look good. The T/A and the Camaro have the “Too much is just right” style. Subtlety is a lost art it seems. Ungainly and misproportioned.


I don’t mind grey or pastels in general, they remind me of the friendly-looking '50s cars.
But I find the absurdly-lifted vehicles, hugely-oversized wheel & tires, huge wings, and black wheels overplayed and often silly, and to me those F-bodies pictured are overwrought. They’re all kinda like flames, which if I never see again, I’m OK. Done to death. Most beautiful flares/fender extensions I’ve ever seen are the ones that Jerry Schwartz did on the ex-Penske '69 Camaro TransAm racecar; they’ve since tragically been cut off to return the car to it correct '69 appearance. To me, that car is still the yardstick for that kind of thing. I agree that the simple bolt-on flares add intrigue to some cars, but in time that’ll get overdone. All of this harrumphing done, I know that everyone’s tastes differ, and nobody’s appointed me the Imperial Arbiter of Taste…


I agree w the analysis of the nonmetallic gray as a fad that will date a car in a few years. Remember when flat black paint was all the rage? Another trend getting old is black wheels on everything. I bought a C6 Corvette the first year they came out in ‘05 and had to custom order black wheels from HRE bec nobody made black wheels at that time. I loved it bec my car was unique as everyone was sporting chrome wheels back then. 2-3 yrs later and black wheels started showing up on sports cars, and right after that trucks/SUVs. When new cars like Camrys and Kia Souls are now being sold w factory black wheels, you know it’s time to move on.


@mrblixxx2000 - Not only at SEMA, this is a trend all across the US and I’m ready for it all to end out here as well!!!
Here in south Louisiana, ev-a-ry-body is driving these badass lifted, impossibly tall tired, LED light bar encrusted, loud, coal-spewing diesel pickups… and when it rains any harder than a light mist, they crawl down the blacktop at far less than the posted speed like little girls scared of spiders. I’d almost expect them to be driven by white haired grandmas, but no, they’re piloted by the ubiquitous backwards hat wearin’, missin’-tooth-grinnin’, Skoal-spittin’ yahoos that will brag all day long about how they rip through the bayous and kill 'gators with their bare hands on weekends…


You do have a way with words. :wink:

With that said and I’m sure you’ve heard this before but any relation to the racing legend Bill V. ?


I’m sure that there is a common bloodline in there somewhere! I bought his biography and his father is from the same town in Serbia/Croatia as my paternal grandfather was! Humorously I’ll add that I have the book and a framed reprint of the front page of the Sports section from the Pittsburgh Press dated Sunday May 31, 1953 on my desk at work. The headline reads “Vukovich Wins ‘500’ Race at 128 MPH”, with the obligatory photo of him getting a kiss and the Loving Cup trophy after the race…
I’ll claim relationship status with him as all of my family are “car guys” even my sister! My Dad was a car guy and he dragged my mother into it, My sister, her husband and my nephew are all “car guys”, my brother was an ASE Master Tech for a Chrysler dealer for years, and I was the General Manager for Mopar City, had my own restoration parts business, and I’ve owned over 133 cars and trucks (mostly old Mopar muscle cars) in my 57 years… :slight_smile: So YES plenty of motor oil in our veins!!!


Non-metallic grays OK but for my taste a little boring (reminds me of primer). I miss the days when we had a wide selection of colors to personalize our cars. Thankfully matte finishes came and went quickly. The trend I am not fond of is black wheels. I live in the great white North where people must use snow tires with basic black wheels too many months of the year. Black wheels with black tires only remind me of winter. Black wheels on a vehicle that is totally blacked out can look good. Black wheels with black tires on any other color but a black body just looks utilitarian in my opinion.


1971 Z28 Classic Copper aka Rootbeer Brown, Gotta keep it.


Glad to see all the comments re excessive use of black wheels. Hopefully we are near the point when we move on from black cars, black interiors and black wheels to something more interesting, please! Hey Velocity channel (or is it MotorTrend now) guys…lets move on from black. No more beautiful pastel-colored pickup trucks changed to black/black or black/chrome, please. Get creative.

Ironically, Battleship Gray (solid color, not metalic) is the only gray-scale color I DO like. But coppers and browns, yay…go for them!


Where do I sign up for the brown car appreciation society? Just acquired an 88 Country Squire wagon excellent condition. Brown paint, woody sides.

Y'all not get the memo about 20 year ago?

UNIVERSAL Silver with Hanes Gray underwear interiors. Look at any intersection. All throw-away imports painted with silver Rustoleum fence paint. This has crept over in the DIY remodeling in kitchens and baths; gray cabinets, counter tops, paint and floor. Looks like a black and white photo. I predict a short shelf life.

Yes, bring back color. My dad had a 56 Nomad, it was Pee Yellow and Pea Green, with a black and yellow interior. I cried when he traded it in on a 64 Plymouth wagon. I was 3-1/2 years from my license. He said he sold it because he got what he paid for it on trade in…$1000.
I just sold a 55 Stude that was Salmon Pink, Now have a 57 Packard Clipper wagon, turquoise.
Loved the triple tones of the 50’s. I don’t think you can even get a two-tone car today. The only one I recall recently

is a Ford Flex with a white top.


I agree with the gray paint bit. Boring, ugly and a bit dangerous. Did I say dangerous… Yes I did, gray cars do not show up well on the road. Never have and never will. If you own one and on the next cloudy day someone plows into you, you now know why…