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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Thu, Oct 4, 2007

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

The OC Auto Show raises the green banner

IT ALL BEGAN IN THE OC By Gordon Bleam, Jeff Mathews and Roy Nakano THE "OTHER" OC SHOW Fox Television's "The OC" put Orange County, California on the national map. Alas, that OC show was cancelled for lack of viewers. There is, however, another OC show, and it continues on as popular as ever. We are, of course, referring to The OC Auto Show, which was held October 4-8, 2008. It's the first major car show of the model year, and it has evolved into one of the most well-attended shows on the West Coast.

Chrysler Imperial concept car One might assume that the decision to move the Los Angeles Auto Show from January to November would deal a serious blow to the OC Auto Show. To some degree, it did take some of the wind out of The OC's sails. Press events are down from previous years. The SUV of the Year ceremonies are no longer held here. And the outstanding international design competition is now a fond memory. The good news is, it doesn't seem to make any difference from the standpoint of the participating show-goer. For car enthusiasts in the region, or people simply interested in getting up close to the model year 2008 vehicles, the OC Auto Show is the biggest show in town. - Roy Nakano Not that the OC Show is without other attributes. the list of features and attractions is pretty staggering:

FEATURES AND ATTRACTIONS · MORE THAN 40 DOMESTIC AND IMPORT MANUFACTURERS - Hundreds of new-model cars, trucks, crossovers and sport/utility vehicles were on display under one roof in a non-selling environment. Plus, futuristic concept cars, fuel-efficient hybrids and more. · TOYOTA TRUCKS OFF ROAD ON SITE ADVENTURE - The Convention Center filled the loading docks with dirt so attendees could test out Toyota's off road vehicles over rocks, logs, dirt mounds and more.

Boss Hoss bikes in Al & Ed's underground show

· AL & ED's AUTOSOUND AUTO SHOW UNDERGROUND (ASU) - An area of the show that blends the automotive customizing scene with club-style entertainment - everything from customized image vehicles and celebrity rides, to vendors selling the hottest aftermarket parts. · LIVE DJ ENTERTAINMENT - DJs from the local club scene performed on Al & Ed's Xtreme Sound Stage in ASU, throughout the show. Performances by DJ Double J, DJ Serafin, DJ Nachey, DJ Agent A, plus Sequence Event DJs

Chevrolet Volt concept electric car

· 15,000 WATT EXPERIENCE - A custom Cadillac Escalade with 15,000 watts of power pounding through eight 15" subwoofers, courtesy of Al & Ed's Autosound. · CUSTOMIZED SPORT COMPACTS & HOT RODS - Courtesy of local car and truck clubs. · DUB® MAGAZINE CELEBRITY CAR SHOWCASE - Featuring the DUB big rig and several tricked-out rides owned by music and sports celebrities. · SEMA VEHICLES - A collection of highly modified image vehicles, courtesy of Dragon Aftermarket Consulting. · EXOTIC CAR DISPLAYS - Featuring models from Aston Martin, Ferrari, Maserati, and Lamborghini - plus a collection of ultra high-end vehicles from duPont REGISTRYâ„¢.

Dodge Viper SRT

· IGX VIDEO GAME ARENA - Driving and sports video games from Microsoft Xbox 360â„¢, Sony PLAYSTATION®3 and Nintendo Wiiâ„¢. · RC CAR DISPLAY - An interactive driving course featuring the latest radio-controlled models, courtesy of Team Associated. · AUTOMOTIVE EDUCATION AREA - A special exhibit focusing on technology, education and career opportunities in the automotive industry. · MISS OC AUTO SHOW PAGEANT - Models competed to qualify for the Miss Hawaiian Tropic Orange County Pageant. The winner and first runner-up both advanced to the Miss Hawaiian Tropic Pageant on Saturday. · MISS HAWAIIAN TROPIC PAGEANT - Finalists competed for the title of Miss Hawaiian Tropic Orange County. · KIDS ZONE - Entertainment and interactive activities for children including a giant inflatable obstacle course, coloring and more.

Mazda Kabura concept car

CONCEPTS CONVERGE As in prior years, the Show featured a number of manufacturer concept vehicles. These vehicles provide a glimpse of what is (or may be) around the corner in automotive design and technology. Cars on display this year included the following: Ford Reflex (futuristic-looking hybrid sports car with turbo-diesel engine that can get 65 mpg; features headlights & taillights with solar panels that recharge the hybrid batter cell), Ford Shelby GR1 (605 HP V10 engine inside a beautifully-designed polished aluminum body with butterfly doors), Mazda Kabura (hot-looking 2-seat sports car), Hyundai Genesis (full-size upscale flagship sports sedan with over 300HP V8), Saab Aero-X (futuristic-looking 2-seater with 180 degree wrap around windshield and doorless design, carbon-fiber body; 400 hp V6 engine that runs on bioethanol), Chevrolet Camaro (everyone's favorite upcoming retro-style sports car), Chevrolet Volt (a plug-in hybrid that runs only on electric power but with a back-up engine that can go 640 miles on a full fuel tank without recharging the battery), Lincoln MKR (sporty sedan with clean body design), Chrysler Imperial (huge, spacious sedan with unique split-opening side doors), Jeep Hurricane (hot 4x4 2-seater with 37-inch tires, no doors, a carbon fiber body, and two 5.7L Hemi engines - one for front axle, one for rear), and Suzuki Flix (a family-mover with clamshell roof that opens to reveal a moonroof which also serves as a 60-inch movie screen with high-def DVD player, and 4 passenger seats that can swivel around so "guests" can enjoy the show!). These were all amazing vehicles and sure to be crowd-pleasers. - Jeff Mathews

CAFCP's fuel cell ride and drive Ride and Drive There were two Ride-n-Drive activities at this year's OC Auto Show. Between VW and Mercedes in the rear of the convention Center, Toyota had its Toyota Trucks Off Road Adventure ( and at the front of the convention center you can drive fuel cell cars. Toyota gave you a chance to see how well their Tacoma, Tundra and FJ-Cruiser operate in many extreme off-road situations. From their 45 degree climb and drop to the 32 degree side slide you will experience what real 4x4 vehicles can accomplish. You have the choice of driving yourself or having one of their experienced drivers show you how it is done. I was lucky and was accompanied by the lovely Melissa while Carl put each vehicle through its paces. What a rush! California Fuel Cell Partnership ( is based in Sacramento and is a collaboration of 32 organizations from California Air Resources Board and US DOE to eight manufacturers. The rare chance to not only see a fuel cell vehicle but drive one is an extraordinary opportunity. You not only got to drive the vehicles but every participating organization has people there to answer any question and help you learn about the technology. The vehicle teams from the respective manufactures from engineer to senior level management are all there to help get the word out about the opportunity and challenges ahead. Fuel cell vehicles from Honda, Toyota, General Motors, Hyundai and Nissan showed up. Remember, the exhaust from your drive is nothing but water vapor. That's right. If every car in Southern California operated on fuel cells, about the only automotive environmental issue we'd have is the increase in humidity and the decrease in noise. - Gordon Bleam

THE VENUE Finally, the newly enhanced Anaheim Convention Center is a wonderful venue. Orange County is home to many of the automotive design studios, so it wasn't surprising to see some of the top designers, like Ford's Freeman Thomas hanging out at the show (Thomas, by the way, designed the Audi TT, co-designed the New Beetle, and was the inspiration behind the latest Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger designs).

Lincoln MKR concept car


Ford Reflex concept car

VEHICLE HIGHLIGHTS New or Redesigned 2008 Models Audi R8 Audi S5 BMW 3 Series Convertible Buick Enclave Cadillac CTS Chevrolet Malibu Dodge Charger Super Bee Dodge Viper Ford Focus Ford Shelby GT500 Honda Accord Coupe Hyundai Veracruz Infiniti G37 Coupe Jaguar XJ Jeep Liberty Lamborghini Superleggera Lexus IS-F Lexus LS600h L Mercedes-Benz C-Class Mitsubishi Lancer Nissan Rogue Pontiac G8 Saturn VUE Scion xB Subaru Impreza Suzuki SX4 Toyota Highlander Volvo C30

Infiniti EX

Hybrid/Flex-Fuel Manufacturers Chevrolet Ford GMC Honda Lexus Mazda Mercury Nissan Saturn Toyota Pre-Production Vehicles Ford Flex Infiniti EX

Lexus IS-F Concept Vehicles Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Chevrolet Volt Chrysler Imperial Ford Reflex Ford Shelby GR-1 Hyundai Genesis Jeep Hurricane Lincoln MKR Mazda Kabura Saab Aero X Suzuki Flix WHAT: More than 500 of the latest cars, trucks, crossovers and sport/utility vehicles cruised into the Anaheim Convention Center for the 2008-model OC Auto Show. The automotive extravaganza allowed attendees to check out all the newest vehicles in a non-selling environment and learn more about the increasingly popular "green" auto movement, including hybrids and alternative fuel vehicles. Also on display were concept cars, exotics, tricked-out aftermarket vehicles, and celebrity rides. Back this year due to popular demand, the Auto Show Underground blended the West Coast automotive customizing scene with the hottest entertainment and the latest vehicle accessories.

The show featured a speed dating, match-making event WHO: Representatives from more than 30 leading manufacturers were on-site. The Orange County Auto Show is owned and presented by the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association and the Southland Motor Car Dealers Association and produced by Motor Trend Auto Shows, Inc.

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