The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), based in Diamond Bar, has 5,000 member companies trying to tap and re-tap into the $29 billion-a-year market for custom auto parts and accessories. Some of the more intriguing new products:

Asanti Wheels

Animal-skin textured rims, in such varieties as Chrome Alligator and Gold Zebra. Finally, dope-ass dubs for the Sierra Club crowd. Or maybe not. ($309-$450, Lexani Wheel Corp., Corona, CA, 909/808-4220,

AutoLoc Deluxe Exhaust Flamethrower Kit

The manufacturer claims that this device “shoots a stream of fire up to 20 feet from your tailpipe” — and disclaims any liability. Not only an impressive sight but also an effective anti-tailgater measure. ($125-$199, Advanced Automotive Technology, Portland, OR, 503/693-6608)

Extreme Exhaust Flare Tip

Rev your engine and a spinning turbine blade emerges out the end of your tailpipe. This gadget is strictly decorative — no plans yet for a Cuisinart attachment. ($30-$60, XEX Auto, Taiwan,


A child-safety device for James Bond’s au pair: This license-plate frame has a built-in camera that connects to a 3-inch monitor mounted above the rearview mirror so you can check both at once. It even comes with night vision. ($799-$999, HitchCam, Commerce, CA, 323/724-2279,

NASCAR Signature Series Toothbrushes

The powerful NASCAR marketing engine is in top gear and now wants to make its money where your mouth is. Definitive proof that NASCAR fans not only have teeth, but actually brush them. ($3.99-$4.99, 3D Multi Dimensional Marketing, Jenison, MI, 616/662-4343)

SoundSak Sonic Audio Backpack

A backpack with built-in 4-inch speakers and a battery-powered amp, plus a pocket for a hydration reservoir to replenish fluids lost while mountaineering or moshing. Not exactly a car product, but it’s made by a car-audio accessory company, so what the heck. ($130, Scosche, Oxnard, CA, 805/486-4450,

Street WaveZ License-Plate Frame

Used to be only truck stops and blimps had scrolling LED message screens; now your license-plate frame can. Luckily, messages to other drivers are composed at home on a computer, not in the heat of the moment. ($99-$199, SignWaveZ, Broken Arrow, OK, 918/252-5570,

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.

LA Weekly