Philadelphia Auto Show attracts families, car enthusiasts and celebrities

Amanda Michelson ('10)/Eastside Community Editor

Yesterday revved up the grand opening of Philadelphia’s annual Auto Show that will be continuing until February 8. The show brings people from all over the tri-state area.

According to the Auto Show’s information webpage, “The Philadelphia International Auto Show began in 1902, and the Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia has been producing the show since 1997.” From classical collector’s cars to upscale “Super” cars to the everyday American’s car, the Auto Show has a plethora of exhibits for every person’s interests.

Located at The Pennsylvania Convention Center, visitors are greeted in the first exhibition room with a busy atmosphere of hundreds of people getting in and out of the car models. Some people legitimately search for the next car they wish to purchase, while others bring their kids as a bonding experience. Today, during my first car show experience, I observed a variety of children that hopped into the front seat pretending to drive the shiny display car as their beaming parents took pictures of the scene. 

A particular highlight of the car show is the fact that there are no salesmen trying to make people sign contracts and buy cars on the spot. The show is a more laid back experience where people can go to try the cars out before dealing with salesmen at a dealership. There are only a few representatives of the car companies that walk around volunteering pamphlets and answering questions.

Upstairs, car rooms are categorized by company, each offering multiple versions of the same car model. Some, for example, are fully loaded automatics with navigation, leather seats, etc., while other cars are manual with a simplistic stereo system.

Throughout the remainder of the show, celebrities such as former Eagles defender Hugh Douglas, NBA player Andre Iguadola, the Phillies’s Shane Victorino, the Eagles’ wide receiver DeSean Jackson and head coaches Fran Dunphy of Temple and Phil Martelli of St. Joseph’s.

Whether looking for a car for the family, sitting in a favorite dream car or meeting and greeting a celebrity, the community can find a great deal of pleasure in the Auto Show 2009.