The 4WDs of SEMA

Story and photos by Budd Stanley

My knees are screaming after 14-hours of hiking a day, my feet are numb, but I arrived home from the latest SEMA show grinning from ear to ear, drunk from the overdose of concentrated automotive magnificence, oxygen enriched casinos and a daily dose of Red Bull.  

For 2016 SEMA was much more subdued than in years past. Yes, the show was full of magnificent creations, jaw-dropping attention to detail and ingenious new parts, equalized out with painfully over exaggerated monstrosities, dangerously engineered project failures and parts that make you wonder “what were they thinking?”

Thankfully, the trends of painting an entire vehicle with bedliner and mounting 39 LED lightbars to a single Ute has calmed down for 2016.

I also noted that the artistic impression of the latest show was up drastically, with many vehicles featuring hand-carved bodywork that looked as though months of work was put into just the aesthetic details of a given vehicle.  


Budd Stanley

Budd Stanley is the Editor of 4WDrive Magazine based in Canada, calling both New Zealand and his native Canada home. Budd can be followed on Instagram at

To read the full story in the February 2017 issue of NZ4WD go to (January 20) or purchase your own hard copy at the Adrenalin store.

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