Show Cars Week--The 2012 New York International Auto Show (And Some Other Stuff)
I had not been to New York City for 32 years, and things there have changed quite a bit since 1980. But the weekend of April 13-15, 2012, was full of events like the 100th Anniversary of Titanic's sinking, the 2012 New York International Auto Show was wrapping up, and I could barely get tickets to the 9/11 Memorial in time. So when the invitation and other events fell into place, plane tickets were bought and bags were packed.
The only non-stop flights from Nashville to New York I could find were on a smaller jet. I had never been on one before, and expected treatment such as the old Southern Airways ad. But I was amazed and surprised at what a smaller aircraft offered, like being able to immediately get off of the plane when we arrived at the gate, and I'll gladly fly on one again.
The Auto Show was held at the Jacob J. Javits Convention Center on the west side of Manhattan from April 6-15. Of course, the weekend was packed with many other things, like seeing where Titanic would have docked, reflecting at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, visiting the Empire State Building, meeting Rupert Jee at Hello Deli, and watching the sun rise on Manhattan.
Overall, the city was clean, the people were friendly, and the cabs were fast. I asked one driver what would happen if they traded paint with another taxi, and he said they'd just keep going if nobody was hurt... it wasn't that big of a deal. He also said that they change their brakes about once a month... usually.
But enough tourist talk, that's not why we're here...
Let's get to the Auto Show and start spreadin' the news!
Since we're in New York, let's begin with "The Taxi Of Today." This VPG MV-1 is built from the ground up to be wheelchair-accessible. It can (optionally) run on Compressed Natural Gas with a 290-mile range using its Ford 4.6-litre V-8.
There's just something about auto shows, pretty ladies, microphones, and "All New Models" that just seem to go together.
"Mr. Jetson, your car is ready." The future is here, folks. Terrafugia displayed their car plane. Or is is a plane car? It's sure not a plain car. Now, where's my jet pack?
From the future to the past, here's Edsel Ford's Model 40 Special Speedster. After this show, the car will return to its roots at Edsel & Eleanor Ford's house in Grosse Pointe Shores, MI.
Is it fair to say that the new BMWs are dull? Well, the paint on this one sure is. BMW calls it "Frozen" paint. This is taste best left up to the individual, I suppose.
"Have Jeeves wait in the cah, please." The 2013 Bentley Mulsanne embodies W. O. Bentley's passion for something large, fast, refined, and comfortable. It's also very expensive.
I think Mazda has a hit on its hands with the new Takeri.
Maybe the best looking MINI ever made, this MINI Cooper Yachtsman came with a snorkel, marine chronometer for celestial navigation, pirate flag and eye patch in the glove box, shark resistant undercoating, extended front crumple zone, and endorsement by the Royal Navy. Sorry, no bulbous bow.
As awesome and avant-garde as this NSX Concept looked, it didn't seem as purpose-built as the original, at least to me anyway. The car does look better in person than in photographs, but it's still somewhat low on my "Lust" scale. Maybe time will improve that.
The Fast and the Furiously Fast. And the Fastly Furious. As well as the Furiously Fastness. Or something like that. Anyway, here's the Lexus LFA supercar.
Smart brought their "Safety First" display out for all to see.
Subaru proudly presented their new 2013 XV Crosstrek. This vehicle premiered here at the New York International Auto Show on April 4, 2012.
At first, this looked like the "Dad, it wasn't my fault!" display, but actually the Mustang was on its side to show its underbelly. And what an underbelly it was.
Yes, Mustangs look much better on all four wheels. This 2013 Boss 302 sure did.
Away from the Auto Show, I ran across a few sights that I felt should be included in this post:
Here's where it all started. Luigi Chinetti founded Chinetti Motors, now Miller Motorcars, in Greenwich, CT. This is the first Ferrari dealer in America, and the basement has usually been the real candy store. We went inside in 1980; it was closed this day.
But they had one new Ferrari in the showroom that maybe I could afford... maybe.
Speaking of which, this was driving on the cobblestone streets of "Dreary Old Manhattan."
After we paid our respects at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, their gift shop had this on display. The sign said Please Do Not Touch, so I guess riding it was out of the question. This is the World Trade Center bike, built by Paul Jr. Designs.
Maybe a Prius in urban traffic is a good idea, but somehow I just didn't feel intimidated by this thing. Actually, I chuckled a bit when I saw it in Times Square.
Speaking of The Police, I'd never seen a Postal Police car. I didn't even know that Postal Police existed. And I'll refrain from any "Going Postal" jokes here. Oops, too late.
So the trip was a success on many fronts. Oh, and I heard that next year, this Auto Show will come to Nashville, TN, as part of the opening of the new Convention Center here. And it will also return to NYC at the Javits Center from March 29 - April 7, 2013.
Hmmm... which one to tour next time...
--That Car Guy (Chuck)
Image Credits: The first image overlooking downtown New York was taken from the Observation Deck of the Empire State Building. The April weather was especially nice on this trip, even getting into the lower 80s the last day I was there.