Thursday, February 2, 2012

The 2012 DC Auto Show

Since our son was shopping for a car, your diarist family decided to ring out the wimpy month of "Junuary" with a visit to the Washington, DC Auto Show.  The show takes place about this time each year but it's been over 10 years since we've bothered to go. The show is held in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, near Mount Vernon Square.

The first thing that caught our attention as we came into the lower hall was the FIAT display.  FIAT had a "test track" and was offering rides around this small driving range in a half dozen of their  new 500 model.  They also had a DJ constantly spinning Euro-pop and Hard Rock to keep the atmosphere hopping.

The various array of FIAT 500s included Abarth and Gucci versions.
This Gucci Cabrio started off at about $27,500!
Matching Gucci shoes and luggage could be had at extra cost...
Gucci-Schmucci--your diarist preferred this classic 500 FIAT better than any of the newbie 500s on offer.
Things were simpler when this baby was built.  Bluetooth?  Fogitaboutit.

Mini-Cooper was showing the new to the U. S. market 2-seater Mini Roadster and Coupe.  Here is the Roadster.

And here's the John Cooper "Works" version of the Coupe.
We moved on to the Volvo area.  Diaristwoman was initially taken with this felony red C30 coupe.
But she was less impressed with the lack of storage room in the boot.
Further along we discovered a display of classic cars offered by a local collector car company.  Here is a '67 Corvette.
This '57 T-bird was a nice bit of eye candy.
Your diarist was taken by this tastefully hot rodded '38 Chevy Stepside pick-up.
Here's the Chevy's interior.  Note that the windscreen cranks open at the bottom.  Nothing worse than a stuffy cab...
Other tasty Chevys included this '69 Camaro RS/SS.
This nice '62 Impala had a 327 cubic inch V8.  Back in the day, one of my high school buddies borrowed his Uncle Skeeter's brand new Impala and we hit 100 MPH on our way to pick up our dates for the senior prom.  Beau could chirp the tires in fourth gear.  "A fast car on a foggy night--sure hope the road stays straight."  Yeah, we were reckless and stupid but somehow avoided collecting the "Darwin" award that night.  Brings back memories...
The National Capital Region Mustang Club had a corral full of vintage Mustangs including this nice Shelby  GT 350.
Now days, this soap box derby car is about my speed.

 They race them down Capital Hill in the spring.
But then, perhaps your tastes run to Lamborghinis,

or Maseratis. You could find them here.

 On my next post we'll move along and look at offerings from Lotus, Ferrari, Rolls, Bentley and more!


  1. Fiat: I had a new Fiat 124 Spider (or Spyder?) in the 60s. The second to the worst car I've ever owned. Chevy Vega was the winner.

    1. A friend had the coupe version of the 124. It seemed like a nice car but he didn't keep it very long. Yep, the Vega was a dog. The acid etched, silicon embedded cylinder walls were a nice idea in theory but in practice if one didn't keep an eagle eye on the level in the cooling system you'd fry that engine in a heart beat. The Cosworth version was what GM should have built from the get-go. Sadly it was too little too late.

  2. The shoes are sooooo me. :) But the '67 Vette is totally Baywoman.

    1. Baydog: Both you and your lady have refined taste!