Photos & Words: Michael Phillips

We are now in deep waters at the 2017 SEMA Show. By day two, much of the initial shock of the show is passing and some of the more subtle elements are rising to the surface. Here at SEMA, one simply has to turn their head a few degrees in any direction to see yet another unique representative of automotive culture. The cars are just as diverse as their owners and builders. Nevertheless, there is a clear distinction that by-in-large, separates them into two categories: old and new.

For decades within the auto industry, a tension between old-school and new-school has been present. Each year, the lines become more distinct from one another, yet run closer together. “Old-timers” are beginning to see the value of technologies and styles that the next generation has brought to the table. Likewise, young enthusiasts are seeking out the experience and wisdom of older builders.

The constant trade of passion is most certainly a profitable one and beneficial for our customs culture as a whole. However, it is not without its tensions. In any corner of the animal kingdom, the interaction between the young and the old comes with its fair share of competition. This too, however, is a healthy reality for the auto industry. The pride of older builders drives them on to continue to show a younger crowd what their experience is worth. The younger are motivated constantly to out-do and overtake those who have taught them, proving their mettle.

The two competing forces are constantly escalating, which in turn makes for bigger, badder, more elaborate builds. This mixing of styles among them creates new styles to be explored and original concepts to be executed. SEMA as an organization recognizes this constant back and forth and does their best to capitalize on growth it means for the industry.

The SEMA Show provides an inexhaustible opportunity for builders, manufacturers, and enthusiasts to showcase their growing craft. The progress of techniques and styles can be witnessed from year to year. Inspiration know’s no bounds here at SEMA and we at #TeamSlamd look forward to the constant evolution of the game!


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