TMCP #480: Ask Rick – To SEMA or NOT To SEMA? That is the Question!


Rick Schmidt:


Rick Schmidt’s 1993 Mustang Cobra R

It is October and time for the spooky boys and girls to get their costumes ready for some trick or treating fun! It is also time for another impactful and insightful Ask Rick segment with our friend Rick Schmidt. In this episode we broach the exciting topic of what exactly is Rick’s favorite candy bar? Other topics include the upcoming SEMA show attendance and why the 1993 Ford Mustang Cobra R model is so sought after.

The SEMA show is arguably one of the biggest automotive events of the year is coming up in just a few weeks. I asked Rick on NPD’s strategy of attending the SEMA show (whether in a pandemic or not) and how they evaluate the ROI. Last year SEMA did hold an online event, but of course it’s tough to match the “big show” that SEMA itself is when not in person and live. This year, there will be an in-person event but with restrictions including a mandated wearing of masks at all times in the facilities. This has given many businesses a reason to step back and think hard about spending the equivalent of a small house on a one week event. Some are opting to utilize those fund over the course of multiple smaller car shows and potentially get more bang for the buck in the more intimate settings. On the flip side, others are seeing a huge opportunity and are going all in to grab as much attention and spotlight as possible! All of the OEM’s will be there in full force and that alone speaks volumes.  

Rick admittedly said his father (founder of NPD) always found that he made more customers by staying at work, answering the phone, and getting quality products out than he ever did attending a big trade show, SEMA or otherwise. Today, with internet search engines able to find anything at the stroke of a keyboard, it is hard to argue that you need to spend thousands to attend a show just to find new products or suppliers. Like Rick said, with the size of NPD, those suppliers will find him sooner than later if they want to sell products. With all of that said, NPD absolutely does attend SEMA in person every few years with a marketing and project management team…..if for no other reason than to shake hands with longtime suppliers that they’ve done business with for 40 years. The TMCP team does plan to be there as well, masks or no masks.

Finally, we reviewed 3 cars found on eBay or on Bring a Trailer…. This time one of them was a 1993 Ford Mustang Cobra R model just like the one in Ricks collection. It was great to hear his take on the vehicle and to realize that sometimes a cars value is more in what it is and represents than what it actually can do.

You can find out more about NPD at the website National Parts Depot, or on social media via or on

Thanks Rick!

-Rob Kibbe


Kibbe’s New Invention: The Magic Tee

This interview sponsored by our pals at National Parts Depot – your premier source for muscle car restoration parts!


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