I've always wondered why auto shows draw such big crowds. For the most part, you can go to your local dealers and see just about everything you can see at an auto show and they won't charge admission for the privilege. Sure, there's a little pressure from salespeople at these dealers, and you'll have to drive around some. OK, maybe I can see why. Oh, and did I mention that I go to a local auto show just about every year?
This year was special, though. The Washington DC Region SCCA sent out a request for "non-econobox" cars to feature at their motorsports display. Thinking that few cars are farther from "econobox" than a Camaro I offered up my car and they accepted. So, last weekend I cleaned the car, put it on the trailer and down to DC I went.
This is not just for my selfish reasons of wanting to display my car at an auto show, but I must admit it's pretty cool seeing your pride and joy being ogled by passers-by. Nah, this is great for my sponsors, Horsepower Collector Car Storage and Mid-Atlantic Hotrods, who have just signed on with me for another year!
Last night I made it down to the show and I had a great time. First of all, the new convention center down in DC is amazing. I went to the Baltimore show last year so this is my first time seeing it. It's easy to get to, spacious, and quite a looker. The DC SCCA did a great job (Thanks Ian, Karen, and all the others who contributed!) with their display, and shows the different facets of what we do, and especially that motorsports can be done on a budget (even a small one).
As far as the new cars go, Ford seems to have embraced it's newfound mojo and had a very nice display of the vehicles they currently offer and the ones they'll be offering soon. They also had cutaways, interactive displays, cool LED spotlighting, and even a 2011 Mustang GT on its side (it's not often that a company wants to show you the bottom of its car). GM definitely won the concept/pre-production car battle with the Granite, Converj, Regal GS (love it!), Cruze, and Volt.
BMW was disappointing. No M-cars at all and no 5-series sedans either. The 135i I sat in was fantastic, though (I'll take mine silver with red interior, please!). VW had their typical display, but the cars looked great and I really like the 2010 GTI. Audi also had the cool LED spotlighting in their display, but went one better with almost all their cars in bright white! It was a pretty cool effect that set them apart with minimal effort required. The new Jaguars were there and mostly open to sample. Fantastic. It's hard to believe how far they've come in the last few years especially with their sedans.
So, if you haven't already done so, head down to the show. Don't forget to check out the SCCA display (bottom floor, not far from BMW), and say "hi" to my baby while you are there (#75 ESP Camaro).