SEMA 2015: Mild to Wild, Conservative to Crazy

40Ford_Pickup_AS_BW_03 II

By Bruce Smith

Every year since 1967, automotive parts manufacturers have gathered to show off their latest products at the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show. Planners learned early on there's no better way to fuel the interest of those who buy and sell those products than putting them on customized vehicles.

Forty-eight years later, at SEMA 2015, that level of customization seems to have expanded to every imaginable level. Mild to wild, conservative to crazy, there are vehicles for everyone's tastes, passions and dreams.

SEMA's acres of outside display space combined with the massive halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center create a car show like no other in the world. This is where you see new trends rising, dreamers' ideas coming to life and automotive artisans' skills on full display. Most of the trucks here are from outside displays, while the major manufacturer's show off their  concept pickups inside the convention center. 

Below is just a small sample of some of the pickup trucks and other vehicles that caught our eye. Would they have caught your attention as well? Share your thoughts in the comment section. Additionally, we'll have more photos from the 2015 SEMA Show on the PUTC Facebook page, so check it out. 


001_SEMA Mild Wild II

Walking the perimeter displays at SEMA 2015 offers a look at a wide range of conversation pieces reflecting today's hottest automotive customizing trends.


002_SEMA Mild Wild II

This truck takes the monocolor theme to a new level; this year's truck theme appears to be nosebleed lift kits.


003_SEMA Mild Wild II

The wildest vehicle at SEMA 2015 has to be this "Volarian Steel" creation made from what looks like miles of steel tubing woven and welded together to fashion an open cockpit rail.


004_SEMA Mild Wild II

Volarian Steel's supercharged V-8 sits behind the passenger compartment. It's a wild creation.


005_SEMA Mild Wild II

The hot trend around tuners is "stretch," where tires fit on too-narrow wheels. We saw a lot of this on street trucks at the show with 2-foot lift kits.


006_SEMA Mild Wild II

These pickups show several trends that are popular. Can you pick out which ones?


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A "stretch and slam" Toyota Tacoma TRD.


008_SEMA Mild Wild II

A preview of things to come from Shelby: Some of the vehicles on display are factory prototypes designed to measure consumer interest.


009_SEMA Mild Wild II

A sweet engine compartment in a classic 1970s Chevrolet pickup.


010_SEMA Mild Wild II

Sitting low. You have to admire the craftsmanship.


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A 2015 F-150 looking good. One of the milder pickups we came across.


012_SEMA Mild Wild II

Pickups like this never get old.


015_SEMA Mild Wild II

Why repaint and re-letter an old truck when you can just clear coat and save the patina? Reality TV shows have energized the rat-rod trend. Trucks like this often have new Cummins diesels and running gear under the antique patina.


016_SEMA Mild Wild II

This early 1960s Chevy 4x4 can still get 'er done.


017_SEMA Mild Wild II

This truck does a nice job of blending customizing trends.


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This classic Chevy Cheyenne turned heads because it wasn't customized. Notice the dual factory fuel fillers?


019_SEMA Mild Wild II

Two opposites show the range of suspension trends at SEMA 2015: new 4x4s lifted to the sky and classics slammed down.


020_SEMA Mild Wild II

Scrapin' the parking lot.


021_SEMA Mild Wild II

This new Toyota Tacoma was one of the mild trucks on outside display. The heavy-duty winch bumper and LED light bars will be popular accessories for some owners.


025_SEMA Mild Wild II

Side-by-sides are wildly popular and so are trucks with big lift kits. So why not let one haul the other? Not sure about the color combos, though.


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A slick 1950s Chevy Apache 31 restoration we spotted. It's nicely done with some dynamite touches in the bed.


028_SEMA Mild Wild II

A little bit of wild in this pickup, which is definitely a trend-setter.


029_SEMA Mild Wild II

This two-tone Speed Tech custom job had some serious muscle hidden under its hood. We think it would give the supercharged Dodge Charger behind it a run for the money.


030_SEMA Mild Wild II

Lance Camper's F-150 showed off a new line of lightweight slide-in campers. We liked the subdued wrap that tied both together.


035_SEMA Mild Wild II

Old Dodge pickups never die; they just find new life as a creation of some truck customizer's latest dream.


037_SEMA Mild Wild II

This should give new meaning to "dualie." This mean rat rod has a tough turbo-diesel to go along with the theme.


039_SEMA Mild Wild II

This new F-150 is a great example of a trend that was started a few years ago and continues to be popular with trucks at SEMA: Line-X instead of custom paint or wrap.


045_SEMA Mild Wild II

Our favorite of the rat rods. What a sweet combo! photos by Bruce Smith




One if my good friends who owns TC Kustoms painted that orange Ram.

Uhh, the "stretch and slam" Toyota is a Tundra, not a Tacoma... .

Not a fan of some of these trends--such as the deep dish wheels with stretched low-profile "mud" tires.

I do like the colour of the orange on the Taco.

I don't understand the want and use of so many painted rims. Painted rims take from the aesthetics of a vehicle in most instances.

Rims should stand out and be metallic, shinny and pretty.

I am happy I didn't waste money to go there ,because all of those trucks are very ugly .

I am happy I didn't waste money to go there ,because all of those trucks are very ugly .

Not a great fan of the Lance Camper. Seen them here, could do a lot better are right that is a Tundra TuRD

There is no orange Ram here!

A fool and their money is soon parted....regardless of the make or model.

This is going to be my next truck.

The blue 40's Ford is sharp looking.

This is going to be my next truck.

Posted by: HEMI V | Nov 15, 2015 2:08:32 AM

No it isn't...

it`s a beautiful car

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