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The 2017 Philadelphia Car Show!
The peak time of year for new car shows runs from just before the holiday season till early summer. This long season covers the times of year when consumers do the most shopping for cars. The Las Vegas SEMA Convention has to be the one of the greatest car shows of them all and it kicks off the auto shopping season in October each year. Automobile manufacturers pull all the stops for this giant extravaganza. Just about any custom manufactured concept car and new model imaginable can be found at the SEMA Convention in Vegas.
Similar big car shows quickly move on down the line to major metropolitan areas that have strong auto sales markets. For example, the 2017 Philadelphia Car Show took place in late January and was soon followed by the Chicago Auto Show a few weeks later in February. Another highly anticipated event is the New York Auto Show, which is scheduled for mid April.
As one can see, the major auto shows are organized just like a big time rock 'n' roll band on tour! Each automobile manufacturer and dealer that participates in the car show tour literally runs a "no holds barred" road trip that requires plenty of organizational planning. Crews that set the auto showcase stages and sound systems can be likened to rock star roadies. This analogy is apropos, because car manufacturers use every trick and lure imaginable to draw attention to their merchandise.
The different modes of the manufacturer displays is an interesting topic in itself. Some manufacturers, like Cadillac, design a display with the intention of targeting a completely new demographic sector of the nouveau riche when they unveil a new model. A manufacturer like Jeep, actually sets up a vast obstacle course inside the convention center, just to take interested onlookers on a wild test ride. Japanese economy car displays are usually designed to appeal to those who have a modern efficient outlook on future transportation needs. Muscle car manufacturers like Dodge, layout all sorts of powerful eye candy that represents their championship drag strip heritage. Dodge Ram, Ford and Chevy always proudly display the latest strongest new pickup truck models in an effort to appeal to those who want to proudly own the baddest truck on the block!
High end sports cars and luxury cars, like Bentley, Maserati, Ferrari, Rolls Royce and McLaren usually only allow access by dealer invitation only. I was lucky enough to receive a Rolls Royce display area pass from a relative that owns one of the supercharged models, so I had access to the cars that most people can only view from a distance. I spent time checking out the big Alpha Romeo sports cars, because I am a Dodge owner and it is rumored that the next series of Vipers will be based upon the Alpha chassis. According to arm chair high performance sports car enthusiasts, the Italian Alpha based Viper will be powered by a Dodge Hemi that puts out nearly 1,000 horsepower.
Yes, attending a car show is a great way to get caught in the manufacturer's rumor mill. The Ford and Chevy factory reps sure did some talking about the new Mustang, Camaro and Corvette. Every one of the factory representatives had an ace up their sleeve. Dodge kind of used a different strategy. They put plenty of new Challenger models on the showroom floor and just let the Challenger owners do all the talking. I literally had a blast standing around and talking with fellow Challenger owners in Philly. I finally got a chance to talk with the Dodge reps and oddly enough, I could not pry any information out of them about the upcoming new Demon trim version of the Challenger. Basically, they said that the all new Demon will be unveiled at the upcoming New York Auto Show in April and only hints about what the Demon details will be released by Dodge each week until then. Suspense is definitely part of the hot muscle car marketing game!
There is something for old car buffs at the major auto shows too. Each major auto show features rare classic cars of the past and famous cars from Hollywood movies. Local car clubs and custom manufacturers also show their stuff. Rare exotic sports car fans get a chance to see some of the fastest cars ever built. Highlights from the rare collectable section at the Philadelphia Car Show included the original Batmobile, the one an only Mosler Raptor and an old Auburn Boat Tail Speedster.
The food at just about any convention center is not really worth mentioning, but there are usually great local places nearby that cater to conventioneers. For example, the Philadelphia Car Show was located across the street from the Reading Terminal Market, which happens to be one of the biggest food markets in America. Every ethnic food, snack food and gourmet street food item that can be imagined is made in the little restaurant shops inside this gigantic food emporium. I purchased a Train Wreck Hoagie at Beck's Cajun Café inside the Reading Terminal Market on the way out. All I can say is that munching on great street food is simply the best, especially after looking at new cars all day!
A national car show circuit event provides a whole day of entertainment for adults and children of all ages. These big events usually take place inside gigantic convention centers, so it is a great opportunity to escape the cold winter weather or the heat of summer. The low ticket price for a major auto show is a real bargain in this modern age. Going to a big time auto show really is a fun way to spend a day and being one of the first to see the new models is always a thrill. If you happen to be a big time car fan, then the auto show is the place to go, go, go!