What Is the SEMA Show?

What Is the SEMA Show?

Last Updated September 18, 2023 | Andrew Boyle

The SEMA Show is a yearly event that takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. There, the automotive industry’s best and brightest manufacturers and retailers get together to debut all of the hottest car parts in one place. SEMA is not limited to just Mustangs, but Ford’s display does play a large part throughout the week long event every November.

In addition to the show itself, the SEMA show also provides a number of networking events such as special guests, educational seminars, networking opportunities, and much more. This show typically brings north of 50,000 buyers along with thousands of brand new parts. The SEMA show is not open to the general public and is labeled a trade-only event.

Many manufacturers, automakers, and retailers unveil “SEMA Cars” that they’ve been working on all year. These cars typically feature brand new and upcoming parts and are highly anticipated in the weeks leading up to November.

What is a SEMA Car?

SEMA Car or SEMA Build are slang terms used to describe vehicles that are built for the purpose of being displayed at the SEMA show. These SEMA builds are highly anticipated and talked about up until their debut due to the fact many of these cars have top-secret parts that manufacturers haven’t officially released yet.

Due to their high level of confidentiality, these SEMA cars are the topics of conversation all over the world in the leading weeks before their official debut on the first week of November every year at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

CJ Pony Parts SEMA Cars

Your friends here at CJ’s have had a few cars at past SEMA Shows in both 2014 and 2015. In 2014, we took a 1965 Mustang Fastback and restored and rebuilt it from the ground up. Project 50/30 is a unique build that features full custom body and paint work along with RideTech Suspension, custom three-piece Niche Wheels, Baer Brakes, TMI Interior and a Vortech supercharged Ford Performance Coyote crate engine pumping out north of 600 horsepower. This is one classic Mustang you don’t want to mess with on the street!

1965 Ford Mustang Restomod

In 2015, thanks to our friends at Ford Motor Company, we were given the task of decking out a 2015 Focus ST. Once we got our hands on the ST, we modified nearly every aspect of the car to create a full-on custom build that turned heads at the local car meet and conquered the autocross course with ease. Built with parts from COBB Tuning, Air Lift Performance, ATP Turbo, Wilwood Brakes, Street Scene and more, this ST is not a force to be reckoned with.

Focus ST SEMA Car

For 2016, CJ's worked with Ford Performance in developing the ultimate show stopper and track-swallowing machine. This 2017 Mustang EcoBoost build features a killer Stealth Gray with Black & Acid Green Accents paint scheme courtesy of GCR Auto. Featured in the Ford Booth at SEMA 2016, this EcoBoost Mustang has a plethora of parts from Ford Performance, COBB Tuning, Anderson Composites, Cervini's and many more.

Mustang SEMA Car

In 2017, we worked very closely with Ford on a 2018 F-150 build featuring the tried and true 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine. This F-150 build features a host of parts from Ford, Ford Performance, ReadyLIFT, Fuel Off-Road, Addictive Desert Designs, Diode Dynamics and more!

F-150 SEMA Truck

Want To See More SEMA Content?

Keep in touch with CJ’s on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and especially YouTube for updates on CJ Pony Parts and their SEMA cars along with the latest Mustang news, products and installation videos!

This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.