Ever since 1963, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has been highlighting all of the newest products and cutting-edge automobiles in the performance aftermarket. The best way to attract eyeballs toward your newest and most innovative products is to give the enthusiast some eye candy and the SEMA 2023 vehicles did not disappoint. By combining products, marketing, and some incredible automobiles built by some of the most talented builders in the industry, the SEMA show has become an annual must-see event for the automotive enthusiast.
You can check out all of the new and innovative products we highlighted on our website, but we also wanted to let the cars be the stars and show you some of the amazing builds that we witnessed during our time in Sin City. Let’s take a look at some SEMA 2023 vehicles. We’ll focus mainly on Chevrolet vehicles, so this is just a sampling of the thousands of cars and trucks that littered the Las Vegas Convention Center. We think you’ll agree that there is no lack of talent when it comes to building a vehicle for the show.
Popularity Of LS/LT-Powered Chevys
Hot rodders are always looking for ways to gain an edge over the competition. Using modern LS- and LT-based engines is a great way to install a power-dense drivetrain into the chassis of any vintage Chevy. Like it or not, late-model engine swap kits are becoming more popular, and the scope of early Chevys we witnessed at SEMA using today’s powerhouses just goes to show the popularity of these engines.
We saw everything from vintage cars with completely modernized drivetrains and chassis, to automobiles utilizing today’s technology that was disguised as a vintage vehicle. There were even several examples of classics, such as the iconic 1969 Camaro, with bodies completely fabricated out of extremely lightweight carbon fiber, building those classic lines with completely modern build techniques and products.
There were automobiles from the sixties with so much technology they could have been engineered today. Then, in the middle, were those LS/LT-swaps in vehicles where the owner wanted to stay close to the original design, but understood the benefits of today’s engines.
Lowered, Lifted, Boosted, & Big Tires
The SEMA show has everything you could imagine. There were sky-high, lifted 4x4s and a myriad of imports, but what really got our juices flowing was those vintage Chevys. In many cases, no matter how old the body might have been, riding around on an updated chassis (many featuring air ride) seemed to be very much in vogue.
Even the heavy haulers got into the fray with step-side beds that were tubbed on the inside to give even more room for some massive tires. Some vehicles had tubs installed on both the front and rear, allowing the tires fitted to those 20-inch-plus wheels to fit snugly up into the vehicle’s body.
Vintage Engines & Modern Motors Take Center Stage
There were plenty of high-performance Chevrolets, including boosted late-model Corvettes, as well as early-sixties B-bodies with monster motors under their hood. There were naturally aspirated small- and big-blocks, as well as many different boosted applications including single, and twin turbos.
Modernization has many benefits, but we still couldn’t help but enjoy some of the builds that featured good old Chevrolet small- or big-block engines under the hood. Many SEMA 2023 vehicles were boosted, but not all, and there were even a few that were so well disguised, that we needed to take a second look to see what it really was.
Either way, if you prefer LS-based swaps or are a hardcore small- or big-block fan, this year’s SEMA event had plenty of Chevrolet power to satisfy. Check out the gallery for just a sampling of the many builds that took center stage at this year’s SEMA event. Then, be sure to mark your calendars for next year’s event, held during the first week of November each year.