The annual orgy of automotive sights and sounds known as SEMA kicks off this week in Las Vegas. The doors don't open until Tuesday morning but a thousand or so show cars are already on display outside. This cute little number titled "Freakshow" is a '64 Chevy pickup tricked out with a '61 Chrysler front end and 57 Chrysler rear end and fins. That's a 354 Chrysler Hemi decked with an 8-71 supercharger and six Stromberg 97 carbs. Creative Customs in St. Louis built the hybrid beauty.

The SEMA experience is a showcase in excess. The exhibit space covers 1 million square feet, barely big enough to hold the 100,000 attendees trying to find what's hot and new in automotive accessories, speed, beauty, utility and sound. In one booth you can find diamond-studded 30-inch wheels for a Bentley. A few rows down there will be 50-cent air fresheners to clear the air in an aging Fox-bodied Mustang. If it's made for a car or truck, you can find it here. More than 2,000 exhibitors will set up a display, hoping to convince buyers from race teams to car washes to purchase their product. While SEMA is a trade-only show, Autoblog will be there with three camera-toting correspondents to bring you the latest in how to make a vehicle go fast, look cool, sound right or just carry the kids to school more comfortably.


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