The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) held SEMA Show 2008 from Tuesday, November 4 through Friday, November 7 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Although not open to the public, their website claims it is the largest specialty equipment trade event in the world and would get no argument from me after walking around two floors filled with booths and display areas. It’s a massive spectacle for all manner of automotive lifestyle needs, covering everything you could want in terms of racing, restoration, and restyling, and some you haven’t imagined. Two particular favorites in the latter department are the BBQ grill that attaches to trailer hitch ball mounts and a piece of fabricated material shaped to create two seats and drink holders that fits onto the tailgate when it’s down.
With so much of the industry at the SEMA Show, it makes for a great event to garner attention and make a splash, which is why Toyota unveiled their 2009 Toyota Matrix 6-String. Teaming with Fender Musical Instruments and having work done by Street Image and Austin Speed Shop, they have created a stunning-looking car. The exterior is “Kandy Brandy Wine,” red with hints of purple, painted by House of Kolor of Picayune, Mississippi. There is also ‘60s-era Von Dutch-style custom pinstriping by Austin Speed Shop’s Dart Graphics. Inside, the leatherwork is done by Garrett Leather of Buffalo, N.Y. They used “Pearlessence Silver” and “Chatham Black” on the front seats and door panels. Also on the front seats is Austin Speed Shop’s own Fat Lucky’s Upholstery, created custom red stitching that mimics the car’s exterior pinstriping.
The charcoal-colored interior fabric looked like the material in a speaker, which is likely no coincidence as the car can be used as an amplifier. At the show, Fender Custom Shop’s marketing director Mike Eldred plugged in and demonstrated the power of the audio system, which sounded fantastic and also appeared to work as an aphrodisiac if the near-orgasmic faces made by the spokesmodel were honest reactions.
According to their press release, “Matrix’s appeal to independent males who are a little rebellious in nature and like to experience things first hand and Fender’s rich rock-n-roll history and credibility with the youth market, this relationship was a natural pairing.” Granted, the product is amazing, and the Matrix is a great ride. I got to drive and ride around Vegas in a regular Matrix and enjoyed it. The car has power, smooth steering, and a roomy interior, but I wonder whom the 2009 Matrix 6-String car is actually for.
Even though it comes with a Sony Playstation 3 to play on the accompanying Panasonic Viera Plasma 42” Wide Screen 1080p HDTV in the back seat, most of the in-car entertainment is geared specifically towards a musician more than general youths, and most young musicians don’t have a lot of money as they struggle to make it. They can’t use the car at most gigs since they won’t be able to get the vehicle on stage at many venues and it’s unlikely they’ll have a secure place to store it from car thieves who will swoon with delight upon seeing how tricked out it is; so it’s more likely this will be a great toy for established musicians and the wealthy. However, if you want to be the envy of your block, the 2009 Matrix 6-String is guaranteed to turn everyone else green.