Tucked inside the Las Vegas Convention Center last week was the largest collection of parts, accessories and customizing ideas for autos - the annual Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week show.
Here is a sample of the show's coolest new hardware:
Reverse sensing signal mirror
A growing number of automakers are offering sensors on sport-utilities and minivans to help drivers back up. Muth Mirror Systems of Sheboygan, Wis., combined backup sensors with mirrors. As the vehicle approaches an object, a row of light-emitting diodes on the mirror lights up to warn the driver. Muth says the system was developed at the request of an automaker and expects it to be produced.
Universal cell-phone adapter
Two General Motors concept vehicles were equipped with a cellular telephone adapter from Cellport Systems Inc. of Boulder, Colo. The 3000-VR is a hands-free system that can be used with almost any cell phone and includes voice recognition. Owners can use a different phone with the system merely by changing a small adapter in the unit. Cellport says nearly 80 percent of cell phone owners change phones every 18 months.
Brian Setzer PT Cruiser
The show was awash in customized Chrysler PT Cruisers. DaimlerChrysler produced its own special edition with musician Brian Setzer, dubbed the Vavoom! Setzer Cruizer. Setzer, a contemporary champion of swing music, worked with DaimlerChrysler's Pacifica studio in Carlsbad, Calif., to customize the vehicle with 18-inch wheels, flexible neon cable around the seats and a cargo area turned into a dance floor.
Ford Escape roof rack
At the Ford stand was a new sport version of the just-launched Escape sport-utility. The sport package will include a new dual-loading roof rack. In addition to the traditional roof rack, the system includes a sliding rail that attaches to the vehicle's rear bumper, enabling the vehicle to carry cargo on the roof and the bumper. The Escape Sport goes on sale in the spring.
Lear cargo organizer
Interior supplier Lear Corp. contributed a cargo organizer to the GMC Yukon XL Apex concept vehicle. Fitted to the cargo area of the sport-utility, the Lear organizer contains three slide-out drawers, a top storage area and a hard cover equipped with folding legs that convert it into a table.