By Christopher Brown of OCDCarCare.com – Nov 2013 – Las Vegas, Nevada
Visiting SEMA is an experience almost every car enthusiast can enjoy.
During the 4 day show, four GIGANTIC halls are filled with everything automotive and custom lining the walls and exterior of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Its all here: Cars, trucks, vintage and cutting edge technology, factory cars along with Ridler Award winning hot rods, and everything in between, granting the eyes an automotive experience that overwhelm and awe.
No matter if it’s your first trip or 20th, you’re a young pup or seasoned car veteran, there is always a palpable aroma of enthusiasm in the air. Las Vegas is always a buzz in the days leading up the to the Specialty Equipment Market Association show– the largest car show in the world.
The Meguiars/Ford SEMA Team 2013
[Left to Right, Nicholas Winn, Ryan Sunok, Christopher Brown [Me], Kevin Brown, Derek Bemiss……. Sorry for the blurriness.. The camera went on the fritz and we were unable to recapture another.]
My trip was no less grand; in fact, there was no possible way I could have planned it better!
I was fortunate enough to be one of five individuals representing Meguiar’s to prep and maintain the Ford booth vehicles. I was honored to have been chosen by Mr. Derek Bemiss, of Detail Werks, since this was his 10th year leading the Meguiar’s team at SEMA for Ford. Having the chance to work alongside the likes of Derek [who maintains the personal cars of Barry Meguiar], Ryan Sunok, Nicholas Winn, and Kevin Brown [the famous Buff Daddy of www.buffdady.com – also his 10th year] was special. To say these guys are knowledgeable is underselling it at the least. However, you would never know these guys were best of the best because there wasn’t an over-bearing ego in the bunch
For the week everyone did everything with the group agenda within their sights. This simplified all of our MANY duties and goals and allowed us to quickly dial things in and GO GO GO!
You can imagine how necessary that is when having to prep 50+ cars in two days! Also, its byproduct was a lot of fun and laughing; it seemed that the more we worked and developed cohesion as a unit and the deeper we got into each day; [and some LATE nights] the group would find a way to have even more fun while working furiously.
SEMA Ford Booth 2013
Ford’s booth inside SEMA was about one and a half football fields long and held 40+ vehicles, depending on how they arranged it in any given day. This included the many custom transit vans that were featured this year, the one-off 1956 Shelby inspired F-100 Snakebit that was unveiled at SEMA, as well as Charley Hutton’s Ridler Award Winning 1940 Ford Build, “Checkered Past,” which was completely hand sanded then finished to perfection by Jason Killmer.
[View from the opposite end during the show from the Ford Booth Skybox!]
Outside the Ford Out Front Display had an additional 10-14 vehicles; all of which were positioned either directly in front of or very near the exhibition track. This featured Von Gittin Jr., Tanner Foust, and Ken Block wowing the crowds with drifting demos, Raptors 3-wheeling and jumping, and Jack Roush lighting up the turns. So we never had a lack of vehicles to maintain by removing the ever-present clouds of burnt rubber.
Meguairs SEMA Team 2013 – Additional Paint Polishing Projects
Derek and Kevin were notorious for working additional projects after our prep shifts for Ford, helping other booths get their featured cars dialed in with final touches in preparation for the big week.
The first night they stayed and worked on Chip Foose’s 1932 Muroc roadster, called Magnitude, polishing it in and out for opening day. So they ended up with something like a 18 hour day, but the Car turned out spectacular, making everyone completely thrilled.
[Derek works on the wheels while Kevin cleans the undercarriage.]
The next night we had one more project to do after we finished prepping all of Ford’s for the show ahead. It was a 1940 Oldsmobile at the House of Kolors Booth. I was assisting Derek and Kevin when all of a sudden, no less than Jason Rose comes walking down the empty walkway and picks up a buffer and reports for duty.
The mood was light and fun. One would think getting these sultans of shine together might be tense, but no Kevin and Jason just asked what needed to be done and went right into it. Then we were all were constantly firing off jokes, laughing back and forth enjoying time away from the day’s long schedule; while doing what they love to do— polish paint.
Generally, I don’t normally care for red, but this color was deep, rich, and the metallic popped when we finished. Take a look, the results speak for themselves!
[Derek Bemiss, Jason Rose, and Kevin Brown prepping a 1940 Oldsmobile the night before opening day of SEMA 2013. We all had a great time relaxing by polishing and laughing after a long day]
[Here is the car finished the following morning during the show]
Finishing Up The Week @ SEMA 2013
For the rest of the week we cared for all of the cars in Ford’s Booth and along the way had a great time.
Our group was fortunate enough to have gotten the opportunity to go on a ride along session on the exhibition track out front. We were all geared up with helmets and such to get into a Ford Raptor to traverse the course when Chris, who was running the even for Ford, yells, “who wants to ride with Roush?” I piped up as quickly as I could and moved near the car.
Previously we were told he was only running solo for the crowd, so I whipped out my phone and captured the entire run on video! When I got into the car Roush even thanked me and the team for taking care of all of the Ford vehicles. It was unreal, the Legend thanking us . . go figure!
The rest of the show was very much as you would imagine looking at pictures and reviews online; vehicles, giveaways, models, and thousands of car enthusiasts with kiddie like grins on their faces wandering the halls, constantly snapping pictures, and making TONS of awe inspired comments about all the multitude of niche products to completely custom-built vehicles.
If you’re a car guy and a people watcher then this show provides plenty of opportunities to catch hilarious jaw dropping tidbits or those priceless moments when you capture that brief flash over someone’s face when they fall in love for the first time.
[Christopher Brown of OCDCarCare wiping down one of the many cars in for Ford booth during the show. Shoes always off while on stage!]
[One more pic of Christopher Brown of OCDCarCare Los Angeles. This time wiping down 2013 Ridler Award winner “Checkered Past.”]
Overall the experience was far better than anything I anticipated, which I’m absolutely THRILLED WITH. All in all, I got to work with, and talk all things automotive with a world class group of guys for a week. I was able to see the latest and greatest products and vehicles the industry has to offer, while making new friends. I also met many of the car care industry’s top guys at the industry’s premier event in an environment that fuels our collective car obsession.
I would like to thank Senior Michael Stoops for thinking of me and referring me to Derek Bemiss for an opportunity to represent Meguiar’s and Ford.
Thank You Derek Bemiss, Kevin Brown, Nick Winn, and Ryan Sunok for immediately welcoming me into the team and providing such a fun and rewarding experience.
Everyone at Ford was great to work with and had such respect and appreciation for our work; so it’s easy to see why Derek’s teams have been there a decade now representing Meguiar’s and Ford.
I think my 2013 SEMA experience may have forever ruined me, because the bar can’t be set any higher! But that’s not gonna stop me from trying. Until next year everyone . . .
© Christopher Brown of OCDCarCare Los Angeles – OCDCarCare.com – 2013
For more informative articles regarding: auto detailing, paint correction, technique discussions, and many other things car care related please browse: OCDCarCare’s – Detailing Article Archive.
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