Prior Convictions: The undead concept


There's a mild post-apocalyptic vibe coming from a few products at the SEMA show this year, which is, probably, in touch with the times, I suppose. Apparently more than 10 per cent of people have a plan for what should happen if the zombie apocalypse comes. Well, Vegas has the automotive solution for you.


And yet for all the extravagance and exuberance and silliness, and the show and the flash, there's a relevance to the Specialist Equipment Marketing Association show that you don't always find at regular motor shows.

I think it's because most of the things on display there you could actually order, or commission. It's a trade show for a trade that says: yes, come to us, and we can do this. Unlike concept cars made by big carmakers for conventional motor shows, most what's on display at SEMA is there because they can do it, or because they have done it: not a preview of what somebody might do in a few years, maybe, only not quite like this, obviously.

Making show cars you'll never be able to buy is a practice that Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, once described as "so lame", and although the rest of the motor industry might reply that they're rather better than Tesla at delivering cars they do say they'll make, I understand where he's coming from.


If I went to an electronics exhibition and the chief thing on display was a brand new phone, but then I was told I'd never be able to order one, or that in ten years' time the company might release one that, perhaps, if you squinted a bit, might looks a little bit like it, I could come away a bit miffed.

Some OEM car companies now reveal concepts at SEMA, but, still, it feels like a small part, an aside, to the main event, which is dynamic, relevant, personal, and topical: here's what we can do for you, right now. It might be my new favourite car show.



P.H. O'meter

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Comments (2) Join the discussion on the forum

  • PugwasHDJ80 03 Nov 2017

    Loved SEMA this year- bit quieter as it was much harder for non trade to get into (and it did lose something for that)

    Otherwise its an incredible event- the whole of Las Vegas turns into nuts car week!

    It was almost as fun watching everything get setup in the first place as going to the actual show.

    Also interesting seeing the cultural differences- whilst its an international show, there is a strong US element, many of the trucks on show where truly hilarious in their ridiculous design.

  • unsprung 03 Nov 2017

    article said:
    dynamic, relevant, personal, and topical: here's what we can do for you, right now.
    +1 coffee

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