Autoshow Impressions

Brian Kennedy

 

You’ve probably forgotten all about the LA Auto Show by now. Well, it’s such a key moment in the LA and automotive world’s landscape that I thought it was worth revisiting. Here are some memories I had, just as a reminder of what you might have seen, or perhaps as a help if you missed it altogether.

Big Genesis: the car is huge. The signage is huger. Is that a word? Still a Hyundai, though.

The Camry NASCAR was there. Joey Logano won the champeenship in it a few weeks prior. Probably not the same car. Still cool.

Chevy apparently now sells just three things: small cars, the Corvette, and trucks. Ford actually does sell only two things: Mustangs and trucks. But it was a good booth anyway—the lost Bullitt was there, and a new 2019 Bullitt. You’re not going to be able to afford the old one. It’s a beater anyway. Good thing it was in a movie, so it still gets some love.

Mother Mopar still has a giant lineup of cars that will rock you out of your socks. Including a Hemi-powered something-or-other on skis. Yeah, you gotta see this for yourself.

The Toyota people make some weak coffee. Well, they did for press days. But kinda not the point. You’re interested in cars.

Over at Buick, it’s still the 1970s. Remember when GM had super special words for tech, like WonderBar Radio? At least I think that was them. Anyway, you can now get a new Buick with QuietTuning Technology. Woooo.

There are Teslas. They had a primo spot near the entrance to one of the Halls. This clearly means that the apocalypse is nigh.

Those dudes from Galpin know what barn to look in. They had their barn find 1966 GT350 there, in its unrestored glory. And I do mean glory. Made me want to open some barn doors myself. Too bad I live in the LA suburbs.

They also had a 1977 Pinto two-door wagon with a stripe that curved and swooped down the body. Who would have bought that? Maybe a pirate. It had a porthole window.

Acura still does print. They were giving out what we used to call “big books” when I was in the auto PR business fulltime. Big, colorful brochures. Oh, the glory days.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen is amusing themselves with a Bonneville Salt Flats racing car. Lots of tech there. Worth seeing. Right out front of the booth to distract you from the fact that the Beetle is going away.

There’s a new 911 coming. Porsche still has its own sets of rooms. They still were guarding them from the press with special uniformed people at the doors. Get over yourselves, people; these aren’t military-grade secrets you’re keeping in there. Did I mention there’s a new 911? You don’t care either, do you?

Mitsubishi was showing a concept. Guess they’re not dead after all.

Nissan isn’t either, but they can’t afford displays anymore, so they just did the “cars on carpets” thing. Cheap, and not thrilling. But if you’re there to look at the cars, it ain’t bad. Unless you take the Nissan slogan seriously: “Innovation that Excites.” “A Display That Doesn’t” could be the subtitle.

Ford had a giant Lego Logano. Or someone supposed to be a racer who is made up of many tiny pieces of plastic. Pretty cool. So was the chance to make my own tiny Lego Logano.

I gave him much more hair than the real one has.