Just about everyone in the hot rodding hobby has at the very least heard of the SEMA Show (held each year in Las Vegas) if not been there themselves. The SEMA Show is the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world (unfortunately though it’s a trade-only event and not open to the general public). Anyway, every November it draws the industry’s brightest minds and hottest products all together in one place, the Las Vegas Convention Center. In addition to thousands of new products and accessories, the SEMA Show provides those of us lucky enough to attend with educational seminars, product demonstrations, special events, networking opportunities and more. Last year SEMA drew more than 60,000 domestic and international buyers and hundreds of automotive manufacturers and distributors displaying nearly everything automotive, and I’d venture to guess there are even more here this year. The wares displayed are everything from OEM hard parts to accessories, and everything in between.

Since I hit the show floor this morning I’ve been keeping my eyes open for things I think you’d be interested in seeing, and since I’m such a tool hog I thought I’d start out by sharing a few of the tools I ran across today. Tomorrow I’ll do my best to show you some of the coolest classic truck components I run across as well as images of some awesome classic pickups that are on display here as well. So take a look and enjoy.


The Gator line of Power Jaks are rolling automotive floor jacks that raise and lower a vehicle using the strength of compressed air. What really caught my eye was one Power Jak positioned under the rocker panel of a car, lifting one whole side of the vehicle (both front and rear wheels) off the ground. I could just imagine how nice it’d be to be able to lift my pickup from any point without pumping a jack handle. Check ‘em out at www.zendextool.com.


This bed dolly sure would have come in handy while I was assembling and doing the bodywork on my ’57. The Innovative Products bed dolly is just one of many cool pieces of garage equipment that are time and labor savers. You can see more Innovative Products shop and garage tools at www.Innovativetools.com.


The Tite-Reach Extension Wrench is one of those “why didn’t I think of that” kind of tools. I can guarantee we’ve all run into a situation while building our pickups where one of these babies would have saved us a bunch of heartache and skinned knuckles.You gotta check these out at www.tite-reach.com


I just had to include the Trick Tools bench or pedestal mount Belt Grinder. I’ve had one of these for years, and in all honesty it’s the most-used power tool in my home shop. Trick Tools offers a complete unit as shown here or you can get the belt grinder attachment alone so you can mount it on your existing bench grinder. You can take a look at all the neat tools and equipment offered by Trick Tools online at www.trick-tools.com.


As I wandered through the endless rows of vendors I ran across were these. They’re part of the new GearWrench Professional Pliers line that includes new products in three categories: tongue and groove pliers slip joint pliers, and cutting pliers. And though they’re not the most glamorous of tools we all know they sure do come in handy when working on our trucks. These pliers feature dipped handles, which provide added comfort for us truck guys plus make ‘em easy to clean too. GearWrench is a premier hand tool brand and one of the largest hand tool manufacturers in the world. You can check out the complete line of GearWrench tools as www.gearwrench.com.