Saturday, October 31, 2009




The 2009 SEMA show is one for the history books.

A bit subdued from previous years, but definitely not lacking in quality, the annual automotive bling-fest that many consider a barometer for gaging our industries health, and more importantly; potential, went well-all things considered.

SEMA 2009

Baja Racing spent two days wandering the show (Thursday & Friday) and left feeling that we may have seen 60 percent of it. I was impressed with quite a few things we noticed during our two-day 7.4 mile SEMA trek. Here they are:

All the Usuals

Industry mainstays like GM and Toyota ensured that shrinking show footprints were subtle if not completely un-noticeable by most who attended the convention. This year, event organizers moved the new products section to the fast-shrinking 4x4 section located on the upper floor of south hall. The rear section of the 4x4 floor space, again featured the "Making Green Cool" section. It was smaller in every way, but we felt confident that I had accomplished a lot more during the two days than we did in past years cruising the show for the whole week.

A Few of our Favorites

GMs booth featured Robby Gordon's Dakar H3 Hummer as well as Rod Hall's awesome Baja Stock Full H3 SUV. Each of these vehicles represent GMs commitment to off-road motorsports.

Robby Gordon's Dakar H3 Hummer was displayed in GM's booth

Chrysler's Mopar booth was as awesome as it always is, featuring the epic 4x4, Lower 40 JK as the crown jewel.

Chrysler's SEMA 2009 booth was just as awesome as ever.

Last year's Baja 1000 champion, Roger Norman, showed off his stunningly beautiful F-150 Mega-Runner prerunner. This machine blurs the lines between a luxury touring sedan and a race-ready Trophy Truck. Wickedly fast, super comfortable and without question, the most beautiful prerunner at the show, Norman's truck reeled-in Baja junkies like moths to a porch light.

Roger Norman's awesome F-150 Prerunner stunned Baja junkies.
This truck could smoke a typical sports car in a race on the street, yet it can swallow 3-foot whoops with ease.
This masterpiece was built by Wide Open Baja.

Miller Electronics came up with another home-run product. This is the modular Fab Station for home shops and hobbiests. We want one!

Designed to solve a whole assortment of fabrication-related problems, this fabrication table sets new standards for those of us who like to build things with our hands.

Miller Fab Station, a fabricators new best friend.

The Best of the Best

Of all the things we saw at SEMA 2009, the single most impressive thing was the TAC-V JAMMA V-22, a joint venture between TAC-V and Light Racing.all-terrain modular mobility asset ushers in the next generation of the Military equipment specifically designed to replace the aging AM General-built HMMWV (H1 Hummer). Light Racing's V.P., Bryan Kudella, was the brain behind this amazing vehicle. The estimated cost to build this one-off prototype was somewhere in the three-million-dollar range. Designed exclusively to fit inside the Military V-22 Osprey aircraft, this vehicle is very different than anything we've ever seen before. The entire chassis is manufactured from high modulus chrome-molly sheet metal structures that are extremely rigid and weight-optimized for flight. The exterior body panels are mostly hydro formed and virtually all exterior panels can be up-armored quickly for combat scenarios. Because the chassis is modular, it can be adapted to fit an assortment of requirements for many different tasks. For instance, the JAMMA V-22 could serve as an ambulance for one mission, or a radio communications station for another. It's powered by a 3.2L I-6 turbo diesel that puts out 180 HP @ 3,800 RPM and 398 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800 RPM. The whole vehicle tips the scales at just 4,000-pounds and is capable of carrying a payload of 3,500-pounds. At only 60-inches wide, this narrow rig performs like a UTV with a long-travel kit installed-a really high-end UTV, that is. Take a look at some of the photos I took of this cool vehicle. Essentially, this

Light Racing built this awesome light attack vehicle.
TAC-V JAMMA V-22 ITV is the official name for it, but looking at the fortified drivers compartment, we think TANK should have been in the name.
This vehicle is absolutely insane when you consider the man-hours  it took to craft the military masterpiece.
Bryan Kudella, the JAMMA V-22 IVT's creator, explains how a large chunk of aerospace-grade 7075 aluimum is sculpted to perfection as chassis stiffiners for the vehicle.
Even the wheels of the VAMMA V-22 were high-tech featuring double bead locks, and CITS.
The turbocharged 3.2L I-6 diesel 398 lb-ft of torque and is rumored to have a unique silent electric hybrid proposion system in development.
This quick-relese mounting system is the key to the V-22s versatility.
The TAC-V is setup for easy transformation scenerios such as attack mode ot rescue mode.

Another very cool car we got to check out at the 2009 SEMA show was the Rally Fighter by Local Motors. Here is a link to a video of Local Motors CEO John Rogers showing off his latest car.

The Rally Fighter by Local Motors

Rize Industries demonstrated that tall drop-bracket lift kits and leveling spacers aren't the only thing they are capable of constructing. This crew cab Raptor look-alike suggests that Rize has finally decided to target the go-fast crowd. With 16-inched of travel up front and over 20-inches in the rear, this 450-HP monster had us drooling.

Rize Industries Raptor
16-inches of travle using Rize-built arms and King Racing shocks

Baja Racing

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Baja Safari Announces Baja Race Tours Booked Up!

Baja Safari Baja Race Tours Booked Up!

"We can no longer take any more reservations for our Baja Race Tours this season", said Group Manager Janice Gilmore.

Racing in Baja is a unique experience, but, pre-running the race for weeks ahead of the actual race is the ultimate fun for race fans. "Many of our faithful clients are back this year", said Gilmore in an interview earlier this week.

'Thanks to all of our great Mexico Club Members'.