2008 SEMA Show

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Despite rumours of many large company withdrawals due to the economic climate before the start of the annual SEMA and APPEX shows in Las Vegas, Nevada there was only a modicum of noticeable quickly rearranged areas and no large gaps as predicted. The show was apparently down ten percent but was still highly attended and proved a success for all that attended.

There were just a few drag racing vehicles scattered around the huge halls and outside zones on company stands and exhibition areas, but finding information on some of them proved hard or impossible in the time available.

There were several products which caught one’s attention, one in particular being Rescue Tape a silicone tape from Habor Products that is non adhesive, stretches, seals from water or air, with a pressure of up to 700 psi and a heat resistance to 500 degrees F and an electrical resistance to 8000 volts. It has to be a must-have to carry anywhere for emergency repairs, check out www.rescuetape.com.

The NHRA had its own stand as per normal and hosted a breakfast featuring NHRA’s Fastest Women, an entertaining time with Top Fuel driver Hillary Will, Funny Car pilots Melanie Troxel and Ashley Force and Pro Stock Motorcycle riders Karen Stoffer and Peggy Llewellyn with interviews conducted by the ever witty Bob Frey. Subjects discussed included each ladies quarter mile hero, their own race history, their own retirement and many funny tales came from each.

Ashley Force hit the nail on the head for all when she mentioned the no make-up and bad hair days after whipping off the helmet to face the camera, and on her upcoming marriage how she was trying to keep her Dad from joining them on the honeymoon! Hillary Will said she felt cheated when the 1000 foot racing was introduced but has accepted it now and enjoys it as the car still runs the same. Melanie Troxel said she had always been involved and did High School Drag Racing before starting in S/C and getting totally hooked. Peggy Llewellyn said she had looked up to both Karen Stoffer and Angelle Sampey and Karen Stoffer admitted her boyfriend had got her involved with racing.

Text and photographs ©Roger Gorringe, Eurodragster.com

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The blue 1970 Plymouth Superbird from Gillette Evernham Racing and Musclecar TV’s Bill Goldberg who teamed up to recreate this stunning classic NASCAR 750 + hp machine complete with modern day features including suspension and brakes are putting it into the Barrett-Jackson car auction to be held at the 38th Annual Scotsdale Auction over the 11-18th of January 2009. All proceeds will go deservedly to The Darrell Gwynn Foundation.

Bob Tasca III had his spare Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang Funny Car on view.

Nestled between the classic 1973 movie American Graffiti stars Candy Clark (who played dizzy blonde Debbie Dunham) and Bo Hopkins (the menacing Pharoahs member Joe Young) is Phil Mumler, President of Buffalo Milke automotive polishing products (www.buffalomilke.com) who had the film stars on his trade stand attracting a large appreciative crowd.

Seen on the outside of the main halls among many other machines was this stunning drag racing blown Top Sportsman Chevy truck.

John Robinson is the driver of this diesel powered Funny Car. The racing class was not in evidence.

One of the famous Dick Landy Dodge race cars.

The Gratiot Auto Supplies ‘More Aggravation’ Nostalgia Dragster is a combination of dragster and ’32 Bantam body owned and driven in Cacklefest mode by Al Bergler and is part of the Dynamat Vintage Dragsters team.

The Green Gang AA/FD Nostalgia Fueller owned and driven by Larry Payne is another Cacklefest car out of the Dynamat Vintage Dragsters stable.

“I say, it’s scandalous, outrageous, that’s not cricket” – no, it’s the blown Hemi Rolls Royce, a street driven luxury powerhouse that has been built by Joe Richardson at Little Joe’s Street Rod Shop, Denver, North Carolina to standards that RR would be proud off. It is owned by Nancy Olson and Ted Weston from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The Hemi Rolls Royce features a blown and nitrous injected 572 cubic inch Chrysler Hemi producing 1350bhp. The chassis is from Chris Austin, Air Ride, has Billet Specialties Riviera wheels with brakes by Wilwood and sports four TVs and a nitrous system bound in real leather as is the roll cage.

Better known for driving VRA Nostalgia Top Fuel cars this is Jack The ‘Sheriff’ Harris’ Funny Car, a Uyehara Race Cars Pontiac Firebird.

Jim ‘Jet’ Neilson has this monster with the intention of building a similar one to contest a 600 mph drag race in the California/Nevada desert in the future.

That’s Jim Neilson in front of the cockpit that looks distinctly long enough to carry a passenger, perhaps that’s why? there are two seats – any volunteers.

The ACDelco stand pictured after show hours had the Kurt Johnson Pro Stock 2008 Cobalt on show.

GM launched its new Camaro at the SEMA Show, it is a stunning looking machine.

The Probe AA/Fuel Dragster owned by Ed Golden used to be run by Lou Smith and is the third member of the Dynamat Vintage Dragster team.

The Banks Sidewinder dragster looks fairly normal until you get to the engine area and notice it runs a twin turbo Durmax V8 diesel delivering 402 ci from its 6.6 litre engine. It is hoped the car will run sixes and around 200 mph.

The Banks Sidewinder diesel powered Top Dragster power end.

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