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Truck Accessories History

According to SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, the truck aftermarket accessories industry got its beginnings in the 1930s after cars and trucks had become well distributed. The industry was born from the desire for fun and ability to tavel the beautiful highways of America. There was a group of people who were finding out how much fun California desert racing could be. In the spirit of competition and with the desire to go fast, they began developing truck performance parts to get more horsepower from their stock engines and performance suspension products to allow for better handling. And thus, an industry was born. The years leading up to World War II saw racers forming their own Research and Development organizations.

Interesting, while the advancement of most domestic industry was halted by the demands placed on U.S. resources during World War II, the expansion and standardization of truck accessories was helped due to the needs for military vehicles. The military needed vehicles that could perform under strenuous conditions. This actually allowed the technology for the truck accessory industry to continue to grow and develop.

When the war was over, the new expertise gained from the maintenance of military vehicles allowed the industry to flourish. The public was starved for new vehicles and new ideas. The truck accessory industry allowed the consumer to buy a vehicle and then add the enhancements they wanted to make it fit their style and needs.

Whether your desire is for a completely custom, sleek, and slammed show truck or for a truck that is jacked way up and spends every weekend in the mud or on the trails, the aftermarket accessories you add are what set your truck or SUV apart from all the rest. Chrome wheels, nerf bars, tonneau covers, navigation systems, tool boxes, seat covers, performance engine accessories, and trailer hitches are just a few of the items we use on a daily basis that would not be available to us if it weren’t for our desire for fun and ability to adapt.

The truck accessory industry has come a long way in the last eighty years and it’s going to be an interesting ride to see where it is in the next eighty years. For more information or to monitor regulations related to the aftermarket, check out SEMA.

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