The auto show as we once knew it is dead


Will there be new car shows a decade from now? Volkswagen Group Chairman Dr. Herbert Diess doesn’t think so.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/09/06/the-auto-show-as-we-once-knew-it-is-dead


As a kid I remember traveling with my dad to the east coast for the old school unveiling of a new car. As an executive with Carlson marketing, he would design elaborate sets and shows to unveil 1-2 cars to the press and dealers for any one of the big three. I can remember the cardboard mock ups of each set sitting in our basement months before I saw the set in person. It was amazing to be able to see my dads vision become a reality. There was always buzz and excitement leading up to the moment the car rolled into the stage and the flashes of the old film cameras went off. No CGI or some computerized demon trying to break from a cage… just old school showmanship.


I used to look forward to going to the International Auto Show at NYC’s Coliseum on Columbus Circle in April with my Dad. We would walk around and look at all the cool “family” cars, collect the brochures & flyers and have a terrific time. Once, my dad almost bought a beautiful Checker Marathon Sedan right there, but they couldn’t/wouldn’t sell it until the show had ended about a week later. Oh Well. I still get excited when it comes to the Javits Center now, and last time I went, it helped my sister & her husband chose which new car they would buy. I’d hate to see it disappear.


I quit going to auto shows when auto manufacturers quit producing the cars I want. Simple as that. Approaching 70 years of age I may be the only person in America that has never owned a 4 door automobile in my life. That’s right. I have never owned a 4 door car in my life. Some would call me old school as well because I lament the end of the true 2 door hardtop. I grudgingly accepted the 2 door coupes and being a Chevy guy I began buying the Monte Carlos. I purchased my last new one in 2007. I steadfastly refuse to buy a vehicle simply because the manufacturer produces it. If the car maker, in my case the American car maker, refuses to produce a two door car that interests me I have no reason to go to a car show.


The problem with the modern big events like the Concours, Detroit, etc. is that their general admission is way too expensive, the potential customer / consumer does not care about all the tech (way too much tech), the designs of the vehicles are from bad to horrible to WTF were they thinking and their presentations are boring, lame, stuffy and gaudy. The hosts are on crack snd cannot manage their events properly. They car only about sucking up and making money and nothing else, no excuses. They are completely out of touch with what car shows are supposed to be all about. That is why lesser known events have been taking off and leaving them far behind. Smaller, lesser known events from Festivals of Speed, Cars & Coffee, Car Cruises, Nights at the Ace, etc. down to the old school, small town car shows have been taking off and getting bigger and better each year.


once I saw an ancient San Fransisco Popcorn Machine The pretty little steam engine accompanied by calliope music and all kinds of smoke and miirrors just to make popcorn and to entice people to by it and now every time a see a new model car (just t o drive people from point A to b) loaded with fripperies and gadgets (just to make it more expensive) it reminds me of the popcorn machine