WITH its generously-sized stand located in a prime position, the acclaimed wall of colour and a hive of activity throughout SEMA, it’s nearly impossible to miss House of Kolor. The hot ticket item was the release of a range of epic, new Shimrin2 colours. To highlight these along with the thousands of other possible colour combinations and effects, House of Kolor set up an airbrush station where distinguished airbrush artists like True Fire specialist Mike Lavallee, Gear Boxxx from Skin Wars and guru Craig Fraser were each given a sectioned chopper tank on which to show off their incredible skills. During SEMA, House of Kolor held a silent charity auction for each of the finished works of art, with Craig Fraser’s masterpiece fetching the top bid of $400.
In between professional air-brushing demonstrations, Richard Rawlings took centre stage, ramping up the intensity on the House of Kolor stand to 11. If the horde of people following him around or the never-ending queue waiting for his autograph were any indication, then the star of Fast ’N’ Loud and Gas Monkey Garage was without doubt SEMA’s biggest drawcard. On top of all this, there was the brain-melting machinery House of Kolor had on display. Going with the more-the-merrier philosophy, the stellar collection was anchored by Bob Bruhn’s ballistic black cherry 1965 AMC Marlin, known as Black Marlin. This wild beast is pretty much home-built and is the sixth vehicle Bob has debuted at the Las Vegas extravaganza. Adjacent to Black Marlin was Rob Fagundes’ ’67 Pontiac Firebird.
“I loved the Pontiac’s pro touring theme,” says Nathan. “It was one of my favourite cars of SEMA.” Keeping these two company was Jesse Osborne’s 1960 Cadillac and an insane custom chopper. Success at SEMA is all about standing out from the smorgasbord of extreme, in-your-face machinery, with many exhibitors and car builders relying on House of Kolor as a key ingredient. You could hardly walk anywhere without bumping into a rolling work of art finished in House of Kolor. It certainly was the Kolor of choice at this mecca of American custom car culture.
SEMA. Las Vegas: Automotive Wonderland
SEMA 2014 was absolutely huge by any measure. “Busiest I’ve ever seen,” says Owen Webb, MotorActive Business Development Manager. “There were more traders, more displays, more people. Everywhere you went it was packed.” Nathan Jones, MotorActive Brand Manager for ColorSpec, Designer Wraps and House of Kolor, agreed: “It was a nightmare photographing cars or trying to get anywhere.” Although technically a trade event, the immense media coverage SEMA receives has made it America’s pre-eminent automotive show, with around 1500 stunners on display from all the top builders. Exhibitors go all out, packing their stands with the most extreme, the most outrageous or the most stunning, cover-worthy machinery in an effort to attract maximum attention.
“You could get up close, stick your head inside and have a good look,” says Nathan. Another popular attention-grabbing tactic is the celebrity appearance. SEMA publishes a day-by-day schedule, which is 24 pages long! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s also all the product launches, major announcements, new product demos, drifting exhibitions, jumping stadium trucks, seminars, official functions and of course the no-holds barred after parties. Meguiar’s and House of Kolor are icons of the $US30-billion American speciality equipment market, making SEMA their natural stomping ground. Understandably, both had an unmissable presence at this mecca of American car culture.
Story CRAIG PARKER | Photos ALASTAIR RICHIE, NATHAN JONES