SEMA Announces 2012 Hall of Fame Inductees

May 9, 2012

SEMA has announced the four people that it will be inducted into its Hall of Fame at its annual Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, to be held July 27 in Pomona, California.

Each year, SEMA inducts members of the industry who “have enhanced the stature of, or significantly contributed to, the industry and/or the association’s growth,” according to the organization’s website.

This year’s inductees will be Nick Arias Jr. of Nick Arias Jr. Racing Components, NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., Mark Heffington of Hypertech Inc. and Bob Larivee Sr. of Auto Art Promotions Inc.

Arias started Arias Pistons in 1969 following involvement in the Rusetta Timing Association dry lakes meet and The Screwdrivers Car Club.

In 1972, Arias introduced what was a a state-of-the-art Hemi-head conversion for big-block Chevys known as the “Hemi-Chevy,” as well as the 10L block and Hemi-head that dominated tractor pulls and drag boat races, an 8.3L power plant for Top Fuel and Alcohol drag racing, the Arias four-cylinder for USAC Midget circuits, the Arias V6 Hemi, A/R Boss 429, Howard 12-Port GMC and many more innovations.

Arias was recognized as a Lifetime Achievement honoree in 2000 by the NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion and was inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2005.

France founded NASCAR, the most-successful stock-car racing series in the world.

In 1947, France gathered a group of race promoters, drivers and mechanics for the first National Association for Stock Car Automobile Racing. The organization was incorporated in 1948, with France as its president.

He later went on to build the world’s first and fastest super speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, and pioneer developments in safety, organization, infrastructure, scoring and purses for stock-car racing.

Heffington founded Cam Dynamics, a manufacturer of high-performance and racing camshafts, in 1972. After selling the company in the early 1980s, Heffington became a consultant for United Technologies and GM.

In 1985, he founded Hypertech Inc. and began to develop and manufacture onboard computer reprogramming devices.

The company introduced the Power Chip in 1986 and the Power Programmer in 1994. The company continues to produce engine tuning products.

Larivee founded Promotions Inc., a small car show company, and created the International Car Show Association, which became the sanctioning body for car shows.

Larivee and Promotions Inc. produced events in the 1960s such as the World of Wheels series and co-produced the Detroit Autorama with the MHRA, according to SEMA.

His efforts, such as the development of uniform judging systems and standard rules and categories for the popular car shows, helped to bring more prestige to the car show circuit, according to SEMA.

Recently, Larivee has focused on the promotion of automotive art.

His most notable accomplishment in this arena has been the Automotive Fine Arts Society, which has produced art shows in Pebble Beach, California, and at the SEMA Show.

SEMA will honor these inductees at the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, Friday, July 27, at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Convention Center in Pomona, California.

Tickets and information are available at www.sema.org/galatix. (Photo: SEMA)