18 of our favorite new products from SEMA 2023

Brandan Gillogly

The annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas attracts all sorts of head-turning vehicles that highlight the newest and most innovative products in the automotive aftermarket. Naturally, we were distracted by the hundreds of beautiful new feature builds but, once our heads stopped spinning, we were able to focus on learning about some of the manufacturers that are making products to help our project cars and trucks ride and drive a whole lot better. Here’s a sampling of what the automotive aftermarket is working on. Hopefully, some of these new products can help you get your project moving in the right direction.

1000 hp in a box

Blueprint Engines has been building Chevy big-blocks for years, although lots of them have been boring engines that do yeoman work for literally days on end to run various pieces of equipment. This is not a boring engine. The 632-cubic-inch big-block pictured above runs Holley Sniper EFI and uses Brodix heads and intake atop a four-bolt block filled with a forged rotating assembly to make one heck of a street engine. The result is 1015 hp and 840 lb-ft of torque at a pump-gas-friendly 10.65:1 compression ratio, all with an MSRP of $22,999.

Godzilla V-8–swap help

If you’ve seen some of the recent 7.3-liter Ford V-8 swaps and have been interested in pulling the trigger on your own project, we spotted a few new products that might help.

Brandan Gillogly

Holley’s new high-mount accessory drive could be the right solution if you need to place the A/C compressor and alternator up and out of the way. It uses the factory crank pulley but is also compatible with aftermarket dampers/pulleys.

Brandan Gillogly

Ford Performance gives builders a bit more breathing room in their engine bays with this lower-profile Godzilla intake, which uses a 92mm GT500 throttle body. It has an MSRP of $1125 and promises to deliver 10 extra ponies compared to the factory truck intake.

Brandan Gillogly

Holley also has a low-profile solution to your Godzilla-swap hood-clearance issues. Its cast aluminum intake has an MSRP of $839.95 and is up to 3.5 inches lower than the factory intake. We spotted one on a very clean Fox-body install at Ford Fest this year and have to admit that the big 7.3-liter engine does slim down nicely with this new intake and seems like a viable swap candidate for a lot of applications.

Fox-body climate control

Brandan Gillogly

It’s getting easier and easier to live with a Fox-body Mustang project as companies keep bringing new products to the market to restore and modify the lightweight and accommodating Fox-body platform. If you’ve got one set aside as your summer cruiser, then Vintage Air’s new Surefit A/C system might just be your savior. The kit includes electronically controlled heat, cool, and defrost functions with a new control panel that will blend into your interior and components designed to fit a Fox-body. With an MSRP of $2100, it could be the solution to a lot of HVAC gremlins that can pop up in a 40-year-old vehicle.

Fox-body IRS

Brandan Gillogly

As long as you’re enjoying the ride in your air-conditioned Fox-body (with its new Godzilla engine), you may as well tune up the ride. Ride Tech’s bolt-in cradle adds independent rear suspension with coilovers or Ride Tech Shockwave air suspension, either of which will modernize your car’s handling in a big way. The $4500 kit is designed to bolt in with little modification and uses the center section, hubs, and (shortened) axles from an S550 (2014–23) Mustang, none of which are included.

A/C alternative

Brandan Gillogly

If you’ve got one vintage vehicle—or several—that won’t easily accommodate an aftermarket solution to air conditioning, perhaps the Coolee from Cool Boss is your solution. This self-contained powered cooler pumps ice water through a radiator and a fan pulls air over the radiator and out a pair of aimable ducts. Charge it up, put it between the front bucket seats, fill it with ice and a bit of water, and you’ve got cool air for your summer cruise. Plus, it has a built-in Bluetooth stereo with a pair of speakers so you can take your music and drinks with you when you reach your destination. MSRP is $340.

1967–72 Chevy/GMC fuel tanks

Brandan Gillogly

A fuel tank right mounted behind your seat takes up valuable space, and the location is also a terrible place if that tank leaks. Aeromotive has a solution for owners of 1967–72 Chevy/GMC pickup owners with its 17-gallon Gen II Stealth fuel tank. The painted steel tank doesn’t require any frame-rail cutting and includes a new bed-mounted fuel filler. These tanks come complete with a sending unit, foam baffles, and the choice of three fuel pumps that can support more than 1000 hp. Prices start at around $1,000.

Award-winning brakes

Modern disc brakes can add massive stopping power and safety to custom cars and trucks, and they even look great on the right build, although there are certain cars that look best with period-correct parts. Steve Watt, the car crew chief of the world’s fastest piston-powered car, teamed up with AMBR-winning car builder David Martin to develop these lobster-claw-style brakes that evoke the classic Halibrand brakes of the early 1950s but add modern internals. These will look proper on a vintage-style hot rod but they mount just like a modern Wilwood caliper; they even have the same six-piston internals. Production is just starting up, but expect to see them on some high-profile builds next year.

Beyond ceramic


Meguiar’s is now offering a DIY ceramic paint-protection film that boasts professional levels of durability and shine. The M888 Beyond Ceramic Paint Coating requires a bit of prep, but Meguiar’s says that, with the proper prep and application, the protection can last for quite a while, especially when a dedicated owner provides upkeep. This film looks to be a tough product that could help keep your daily driver looking good for ages.

Heavy-duty air ride

Brandan Gillogly

Universal Air’s new Aeroleaf air suspension system for 2020+ Chevy and GMC 2500 and 3500 trucks replaces the leaf springs with burly links and air springs that bolt into the factory leaf spring and bumpstop mounts. By adjusting the air pressure to match the load, you can improve ride quality dramatically, especially when unladen. Universal Air says the kit installs in hours without any cutting and also improves handling when loaded. MSRP is $2495 for the suspension, and the required air management systems run from $1495 to $3295, depending on whether you want electronic leveling.

Layer up

Brandan Gillogly

DEI has a pretty wide range of sound- and heat-insulation products, and their latest fills a gap in the market: paint-on heat and sound insulation. ATAC (Advanced Thermal Acoustic Coating) can be sprayed, rolled, or brushed onto primed metal surfaces and includes ceramic insulation to reduce heat transfer. Because it can be applied into tight spaces, it allows for more thorough coverage than sheet insulation, and the mass of the ATAC application will also help deaden sound. This seems like a great addition to a headliner or carpet install to help your A/C do its job a bit better.

’88–98 steering upgrade

The GMT400 pickup’s clean lines lend themselves to all sorts of customization. You’ll still see new GMT00 builds at custom car shows across the country. Now Flaming River has given the timeless design a big leg up, when it comes to the driver’s experience, with a bolt-in rack and pinion steering system. The kit has an MSRP of $2290 and maintains the factory steering geometry by using a bolt-in 3/8-inch steel plate. The new rack accepts the factory steering column, but if the one in your project truck is worn out, Flaming River also offers a bolt-in tilt steering column designed specifically for the ’88–98 Chevy/GMC, with an MSRP of $1350.

Hydrocarbon control

Brandan Gillogly

Vapor Trapper is a universal charcoal canister that’s meant to keep your vintage car’s fuel-system fumes from taking over your garage. The cylindrical aluminum canisters aren’t meant to replace a vehicle’s emission system, but if your vintage car never had a charcoal canister, adding one can dramatically reduce the amount of fuel vapor that’s vented to the atmosphere, keeping your garage from smelling like a gas station. MSRP is $299.

Skeleton powertrain

Last year, Speedways impressed us with its mockup LS engine. Now it has expanded its mockup products to include Gen I Chevy small-block and Chevy big-block, as well as a 4L60E automatic transmission. The steel stand-ins disassemble and store away compactly when not needed, and when they are needed they have the correct mounting locations and geometry to help get mounts in the right place and route plumbing and exhaust where it won’t interfere. MSRP for the engines is $375.99 and the transmission is $199.99.

Quick-shift Turbo 400

Brandan Gillogly

This one is big for drag racers. To reduce rotating mass and thus improve efficiency, Sonnax’s new Smart-tech drum module for the Turbo 400 removes the factory direct drum that counter-rotates in first gear. The design puts more power to the tires and reduces shock to the transmission case, resulting in higher trap speeds, lower E.T.s, and better consistency. The module has already helped claim new records in hard-fought racing classes. If you’re building a full manual valvebody Turbo 400 and want to shave a few thousandths off your E.T., this new piece of gear should be on your shopping list.




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    Now this list of products is WAY more interesting and useful (to me) than the article showing the wacked out restomods at SEMA. Thanks for this!

    Ford’s Godzilla intake. 1200 bucks and what headaches await during installation for 10 HP that you won’t even be able to feel?

    Most of what is listed are for very few.

    It is the smaller things in the market that much more important.

    Good example are the new Comp Cam flat tappet lifters. They are a harder steel that better support break in and wear with todays oils that are killing flat tappet cams.

    It is things like the new lifters that touch many in the market vs engine conversions only a few do and more Ceramic crap that is just waiting for the next gimmick.

    Never to frisky in the corners in a Corvair. Been there done that -unless you want a quick panoramic 360° view.

    Are they serious? Is that the brightest and best minds solution to blow air over ice? Now you know that our public school system is turning out dumbbells…we have become a third world country.

    Glad to see I’m not the only one that walks through the New Products Showcase every year and takes a bunch of pictures :). I missed a few of these.

    I can’t believe with all the electric power steering and such, why haven’t they created electric AC? All the EV cars have it since they don’t have an engine to power it.

    I would try the ice water AC system. It sure gets hot touring Woodward Ave. on the cruise. Windows down at 30 Mph in August is hot.😢

    I went to SEMA for the first time this year, I’ve been to Vegas probably over 20 times, been to the Convention Center many times for other conventions in what I built my businesses on. I’ve been into the collector car hobby for over 50 years. One of our hometown shops, the boys from Windsor, Ontario made it to final 4 of the Battle of the Builders Competition with a Merkur, congrats!. Loved the Hotrod Alley, plus the body shop and tools area. Anyways on the Tuesday, the first day of the show ( it wasn’t crazy busy yet) I was outside and noticed Kindig had a display going on with a few of their builds, I thought I will wander over, give him my congrats on his show that I watch once in a while, as well as I like how detailed his restoration or builds are, of course the “show” itself has to entertain and I get it, but I know what it costs to properly restore or build a car, I’ve been there, so that part of the show is pretty realistic. Anyways he was standing there, so I approached him only to have him say to me Sir, the line is over there, maybe there were 20-25 people in line, I get it, but at 68 years old and having been in the collector car hobby and in business for over 50 years the last thing I am is “Star Struck” by anyone, so all I said “was have a nice day”, and walked away, I think I offended him, but it didn’t bother me, I think sometimes these shows get the better of ” the Stars of the show” they forget how they got started. sometimes their heads get too big and it’s hard for them to just be “humble” anymore..

    Everyone can have a bad day, Dave and Kev were the nicest guys to show up at the super nationals in albuquerque NM and stayed the whole show singing autograph the and taking picktures all the to the end. a ok in my book.

    I think that Kindig and Kevin are goofy anyway. Doesn’t surprise me that he treated you that way. They build some nice cars, but that’s it. Not my favorite show.

    I agree. Nice builds, but as with most of these shows, why does everybody wear black t shirts with those STUPID black flat brimmed hats. They just look like some 12 year old who put on a cap for the 1st time & doesn’t have sense enough to bend the brim curved. And most of these guys don’t get dirty enough to warrant black work clothes.

    Since it was your first time at SEMA, you are excused, but they have a protocol which everyone has to follow. Any of the booths with guest appearances, will always have a line from a few to a few hundred. Just get in the line, and they will be glad to talk, sign stuff, and generally be incredibly patient with fans. Having spent time with lots of very cool celebs at SEMA, they just want to be fair with everybody. He was just being courteous to the people waiting in line. Talking with Kindig last year, he seemed to be genuinely humble and sorta self-depreciating with his humor. Give it another chance. Tip: get in line to meet John Force, he is fall down funny!

    I understand the comments, but you probably need to be able to view it from the other side. Sometimes being that popular is a blessing, and other times it can be a curse. Ask any agent for Hollywood and they will tell you the same thing and most of their clients need body guards.

    The engine and tranny skeletons ought to be popular. Having done endless test fits with an assembled 454/M22 for a conversion decades ago I would’ve jumped on them if they’d been available. Everything else, sure, narrow markets but I still enjoyed learning about them.

    Certainly, many of these new items are aimed at a niche market within a niche market. Paying over $1K for a Godzilla intake that only gets 10 more horses seems insane, BUT if it gets that engine under a lower hood line, then THAT is the market rather than power increases. The “iced air cooler” can have its place, too, rather than the older “hang on the rear window” coolers of the 1950s, but something else to clutter the interior with, it seems.

    The ONE niche I’m still awaiting to happen is the use of later-model automatics with earlier engines. Taking the ZF 8-speed and putting it into earlier cars, where the deep low gears and low-end torque of the earlier engines can wreak havoc on the rear tires. THEN provide a stand-alone controller that is plug ‘n play, with a few calibrations. With bellhousing adapters to make it all work. Might need some trans hump and mounting alterations, though, but as many people flocked to the THM700 for its deeper low gear, the 4.50+ low gear ratio in the 8-speeds might be enticing, as I suspect that a LOT of the better performance of modern motors relate to those lower ratios. Then let the controllers delete some of the tightly-spaced OD ratios, too. To me, that would be $3K well-spent.

    With all of the focus on “LS-ing It”, many have missed the “Gen III Hemi” swaps. In many cases, easier to accomplish as many of the “hard points” of how Chrysler did things did not change that much with each new engine design, by observation. Plus fewer variations in bellhousing bolt patterns, over the years. Many things can be sourced from the salvage yards, too, like in the old days.

    The SEMA Show is what it is. Just have to look past the glitz and such to see real innovations the average lower-budget customer can really use and see value in. Which can make that “ice cooler” less of a joke for many. Not everybody is doing a $200K “build” (As Seen On TV) vehicle. Show us engine components which increase power and fuel economy at the same time, for example. Using the automatic transmission swaps to allow older engines to really compete with the newer engines, for example.

    Sorry guys, I should have expanded my story a little bit, Kindig was just standing under his tent area, he wasn’t talking to anyone as I was walking up, there was no one close to him, the “line” was off to the side, a little out of site actually, I didn’t want his autograph, all I was going to say was Hi and that I liked how detailed his builds were, and congrats on the show. He didn’t say hello, or sorry sir, all he said when he saw me was Sir, the line is over there, as he was pointing. So I turned my back on him and spoke in the same manner as he did to me as I walked away, “have a nice day”. That is my polite way of saying I don’t need to waste my time with this guy..

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