Hot Wheels Sema 2019 - _85

HOT WHEELS at the 2019 SEMA Show – with DRIFTING & “Nitro Circus” VIDEOS

W​ith TWO original VIDEOS: Drifting & “NITRO CIRCUS” motorcycle stunt show

For decades vendors, customers and automotive enthusiasts alike have been attending the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas – “the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world, segmented into 12 sections with over 2,400 exhibitors and a New Product Showcase featuring nearly 3,000 newly introduced parts, tools and components.”

2​019 SEMA Industry Awards
B​lue Man Group entertained at the 2019 SEMA Industry Awards
Nighttime in Las Vegas during the 2019 SEMA Show
O​ne of my favorite places to visit in Las Vegas is the Coca-Cola store on the Las Vegas Strip
Y​ou absolutely must try a sampler tray at the Coca-Cola soda fountain. I recommend the ice cream floats!
M​usical entertainment at the SEMA Show (Tim Montana Band)

People need reliable parts to maintain and repair their rides, but the underlying reason for the continued growth and popularity of the SEMA Show is much more than just the sum of a multitude of parts and services.

A vast cross-section of the population thrives on what their cars, trucks and other vehicles can do to improve the quality of their lives. The ability to creatively modify, improve and personalize the basic forms and functions of their vehicles makes them more fun to drive, more useful, more practical and – well, just better. No doubt that is a big part of the reason why motorsports activities are held during and in close proximity to the SEMA Show.

D​rifting VIDEO at the 2019 SEMA Show and SEMA Ignited
High performance driving at the 2019 SEMA Show
High performance driving at the 2019 SEMA Show
H​emisfear by Chip Foose

The customized vehicles at the SEMA Show are the best of the best. For instance, consider the Hot Wheels® Legends Tour finalists exhibit at the SEMA Show, where the finalists from Hot Wheels Legends Tour car shows that were held in cities around the country during the 2019 Legends Tour were gathered, to choose the one finalist to be inducted into the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends™ and to become immortalized as a 1:64 scale Hot Wheels® die-cast car sold nationwide in stores.

The 2019 winner was the radical, 1957 Nash Metropolitan presented by Greg Salzillo and Dave Ford. Not just any cool Nash Metropolitan, this ‘rat rod’ version – nicknamed the “Nashole” – was powered by a 300HP small block Chevy 305 – in a car that came stock with around 40hp!

Watch for the resumption of the 2020 Legends Tour, interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, as it hopefully returns later this year to the parking lot of a Walmart near you. For more information, visit

A couple of weeks ago we enjoyed taking a look back at the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational (OUSCI), held on the weekend following the SEMA Show. At that two-day motorsports event, highly modified, customized cars and trucks that had just been on display at the SEMA Show were pushed to their limits in various motorsports events, but those were only a few of the amazing vehicles that had been on display.

C​ompetition at the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational, immediately following SEMA Show 2019

Those, and many more, were driven in a wonderful parade as they left the SEMA Show floor after the show ended on Friday. That cavalcade, which is called the “SEMA Cruise,” signals the beginning of “SEMA Ignited” – the SEMA Show’s official after-party. It is a public celebration of the automotive aftermarket, automotive enthusiasts and motorsports.

T​he start of the hours-long 2019 SEMA Cruise, on its way to SEMA Ignited, the official after-party of the SEMA Show
F​ree T-shirts for lucky spectators of the SEMA Cruise

SEMA Ignited is the one exception to who may attend the SEMA Show, which is otherwise a trade-only event. First, the general public is invited to sit in bleachers where, for several hours, they will be able to enjoy watching hundreds of customized SEMA Show vehicles as they stream out of the Las Vegas Convention Center. From there the public may purchase tickets to join the vehicles as they enter SEMA Ignited. Here they will enjoy an evening full of exciting, entertaining, automotive-related activities.

T​he SEMA Cruise continues inside SEMA Ignited

In 2019 that included Formula Drift, “cackle cars” (fire breathing dragsters)…

… live music, announcement of the winner of the “Battle of the Builders”…

… the high-flying motorcycle stunt spectacular that is “Nitro Circus”…

“​NITRO CIRCUS” video at SEMA Ignited

… professional stunt driver Mike Ryan’s 2,400 HP Transtec/Corteco triple turbo Freightliner drift truck, food, shopping and more.

M​ike Ryan’s 2,400HP Transtec/Corteco triple turbo Freightliner

In one final, newsworthy moment, the evening came to a sudden, dramatic conclusion when the engine of one of the Formula Drift cars hand grenaded in a cloud of smoke, flames, engine parts and hot fluids.

F​ormula Drift drifting action at SEMA Ignited

The 2020 SEMA Show, SEMA Cruise and SEMA Ignited, along with the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational and more, are scheduled to take place in Las Vegas during the week of November 3rd, if all goes well and the Coronavirus Pandemic is under control. I hope to be there to cover it, as I do every year.

For more information and updates, visit and

Copyright © 2020 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #642r2

Jan Wagner

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