During the first week in November, thousands gathered in Las Vegas to see the vehicles that were prepared using the very latest equipment from the OE manufacturers and aftermarket parts suppliers of the world. Most of the vehicles shown at the 2002 Specialty Equipment Market Association's (SEMA) show, as part of Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, were newly built vehicles demonstrating the latest cutting-edge automotive and aftermarket parts technology. And for a whole week, right next door to the Las Vegas Hilton, it was all on display for those lucky enough to be involved with the aftermarket.

This year's show was especially sweet for mini-truckers as there's always been a shortage of quality mini and midsize trucks and SUVs present at the SEMA Shows of years past. This year, though, was an exception. There were mini-trucks scattered throughout the event in various booths and even outside the halls of the convention center. It nearly knocked everyone to the ground when they saw where the trucks were laying. Despite many setbacks, Mini Truckin's own labor of love, Project Desert Dragger, came out of the paint booth in time to sit in Primedia's booth just opposite Ford Motor Corporation to proclaim the extreme coolness of mini-trucks and to help promote Mini Truckin' magazine.

New to this year's event was something called the Meguiar's Modifier of the Year Awards. Hosted by Meguiar's car care products, a staff of hand-picked judges (one of which was yours truly) poured over the vehicles in attendance at SEMA. In only two days, there were winners in four different categories. This determined which vehicles will be turned into Special Meguiar's SEMA-edition Modifiers toys to increase interest in customized vehicles for kids. At a press conference held on Wednesday at the show, the winners of the Meguiar's Modifiers of the Year were announced. You'll see tiny versions of four very special vehicles from SEMA at toy stores and department stores soon.

With expectations that the 2002 SEMA Show would be smaller than in years past due to company and corporate downsizing, the number of vehicles in attendance at this year's show was staggering. Initial figures from SEMA state that there more than 1,400 companies representing themselves at SEMA, with most of them having booths large enough to contain display vehicles. One of our favorite booths this year was Chassis Tech's area that was chock-full of innovative suspension and other custom products. They even brought out an air-cylinder-equipped chair and gave rides to anyone who wanted to be bounced around like a rag doll! Now, for your viewing pleasure check out some of the sights from SEMA 2002.