SEMA 2017'S EPIC FAILS
We’ll admit that going to Las Vegas for a week during Halloween and getting into the SEMA show is awesome. Sometimes the show inspires new ideas, platforms and products for us to salivate over, but then there’s also the “what in the….” train wrecks and follies. The builders and designers of this dumpster fodder have to be given a little slack as the process to be new and innovative every year has been known to kill braincells faster than homemade party mix. For 2017, we were hard pressed to find anything that we would tag with Ralph Nader’s “unsafe at any speed” but there were some bloopers to be had.
2 Uh…Your Nipples are Showing
You know how I know that this rig will never see dirt? Common sense would attempt to keep any venerable parts – such as grease nipples – out of harms way on the trail. Every lift kit installation we have seen points out correct grease nipple orientation…grrr.
1 Lifted Truck, Dropped Hitch Violations
We had hoped that this phenomenon was in our past, along with tow mirrors flipped out without a trailer present, but we were wrong, so wrong. Welcome to the barbwire tattoo of the truck world. Funny how many suffering from this problem have said tattoos as well.
3 Angle of Your Dangle
We realize that when the money tree starts withering, some corners must be cut. In that light, we can understand some of the questionable modifications on this Toyota – and there are plenty – but proper driveshaft angles cannot be overlooked. Forget “slight vibration,” we doubt this truck could do over 30 km/h even if the Dana 44’s would live.
4 Could you at Least Try?
You have a vehicle in SEMA people…make like you belong here. “Tywrap it up there” and “Pfft, good enough here” will get you nowhere but on this list. Between rusty brake shields on $100,000 trucks and seats with “excitement” stains on them…we’re barely phased anymore.
5 Just Because You Can
Look, we love the creative mind of Daystar’s CEO, Mark Turner. Yet, just because thousands across the nation have ditched the 3.8L turd-under-the-hood of their Jeep JK’s, doesn’t mean you have to repurpose them… a pair at a time… with turbo’s… and faux chrome accents. If we know Mark, this JK and its leftovers will see dirt, sand, salt and maybe rocks. We can’t hate it too bad as it was very well executed and still has functioning 4-wheel drive. We would gladly go for a ride just to see what 7.6 litres of forcefed scrap iron can do. We’d just need a paper bag to wear if things went south.
6 Swing and a Miss
Believe it or not, we like weird and edgy when it’s done well. From the front, this SantaFe from Hyundai was looking the part. Nice stance, some good wheel travel and even some undercarriage upgrades for the inevitable belly dragging. We we right to start asking more about it and get some additional stats, but that goofy exhaust stared us in the eye, just begging to get squashed. Rather than come off as a pompous editor to an “all knowing” engineer, we giggled as we snapped a few shots and walked out of the exhibit. Better luck next time!
7 Grills are for Cooking, People!
First, “Angry Eye” grills showed up for the Jeep JK and we felt a little indigestion, then the Grumper grill showed up for the platform and we hoped it would go away with a little pepto. Now it’s starting to infect other brands and we’re just not sure how much more we can take. We know that Fab Four’s owner Greg Higgs likes to push envelopes, but this is getting out of hand. The new front grill offered for the Ram pickup line has crossed a boundary and we just can’t take it anymore. Between the poor fit and “so ugly only a mother could love” appearance, we’re just not sure what Higgs will do to us next. “Bar keep, two shots of bourbon, please…”
Take a good look, this is how you ruin a corn binder. We may have even shed a tear (or 40) as we sat in the dark afterhours of SEMA and looked at this poor piece of Americana. It got us thinking about our failed International Harvester Travelall project rig and how it’s in a better place now. Besides the nose bleed height, the wheels were off-road blasphemy.On a closer inspection, we were astounded by the lack of sway bars and the apparent ignorance of how a radius arm suspension system works. As our gaze continued onward, so did the 4x4 follies, including the roll bar that would make a better headboard. May we all join hands and have a moment of silence for this poor, abused Scout?