On Saturday afternoon, I took advantage of the complimentary tickets Chevrolet sent me and spent a few hours at the 2019 Columbus International Auto Show.
On the way into the exhibition area, I happened to see Dan "Boots" Longenette from Auto Smarts Radio and his "BADD 55".
A representative from the Columbus Zoo was set up next to Boots selling raffle tickets for a chance to win Jack's Wild Ride! -- a 1968 Camaro RS convertible.
The Automobile Companies
The Ford and Hyundai displays blanketed each side of the show entrance.
The Ford Performance Simulator was a big hit with kids.
Ford's "Featured" vehicle this year is the 2020 Explorer
The Ford vehicle that caught most of my attention was their Raptor pickup. Although I'm not a Ford person per se, when it comes time to replace my Silverado, the Raptor will get a serious look.
Chevrolet brought a large selection of theirs cars, trucks and SUVs to the show. The 2020 Silverado High Country pickup was their featured vehicle.
A Camaro SS convertible and Corvette Grand Sport were the two performance cars on display. Even seeing it in person, I'm still not crazy about the front end of the 2019 Camaro
Overall, Fiat Chrysler had to biggest display at the show -- especially when combined with the Ram Truck Test Drive Experience.
Jeeps were definitely the dominate vehicle on display in the Fiat Chrysler area.
Speaking of the Ram Truck Test Drive Experience, other manufacturers got smart this year and offered their own test drive experience.
At the "Ride & Drive Court", show goers could test drive a Chevrolet, Honda, Subaru and Toyota.
Can You Say SUV...
It was hard not to notice that every manufacturer, and I mean every manufacturer, had a least one SUV in their lineup. Even the high-end exotics such as Lamborghini, Porsche, BMW, Jaguar, Alfa Romeo, Rolls Royce, and Mercedes Benz all had an SUV on display. No question it's an SUV crazed market right now!
Next to SUVs, pickup trucks were the second most popular vehicle on display at the show.
I was amused to watch people struggle with those fancy tailgates that can transform into multiple positions. I think the KISS (keep it simple stupid) philosophy of product design has been completely thrown out the window.
The most surprising aspect of this year's show was the the number of third party vendors and organizations that had booths. There was everything from performance shops to car wraps and tinting.
Some of the notable vendors were Carlyle Racing, Auto Additions, The Tint Lab, Rabid Customs, and B Precise Auto Detailing
Thanks to Rabid Customs I got to see the latest generation Ford GT up close and personal.
Several dealers had booths at the show.
The Midwestern Auto Group (MAG) brought a stable of luxury cars.
This Lamborghini Huracan was under serious consideration until I discovered I couldn't fit all my car show paraphernalia in the trunk or frunk. ?
Germain sponsored the Luxury Collection.
Haydocy brought a selection of models from their Airstream and RV dealership.
And the Iron Pony booth never lacked a crowd of people.
Other features of the show included the Motts Military Museum, the Kids Pit Stop, Classic Cars, Maria's Message, and the Sutphen Family exhibit.
In the hallway outside the exhibition area, there were three classic cars on on display. I was surprised to discover that two of the cars belonged to the Jeff Mauk Collection. For those that may not know, Jeff Mauk is the owner and president of Jack Maxton Chevrolet. He is the person who announces the the award winners at the end of each show. It's a small world...
Given the current climate in the country, I fully expected see a lot of hybrids and all electric cars at the show. I only found two all electric vehicles, one of them being the Chevy Bolt and the other a Jaguar SUV. During the two hours I was at the show, not one person stopped to look at the Bolt. It sat there like an ugly step child.
This just confirms what I've suspected all along, the market is a long way from embracing all electric vehicles -- or at least EVs from the major manufacturers.
This is the third year in a row I've attended the Columbus International Auto Show. This year was by far and away the biggest and best of the three. The show seemed to have something for everyone. It was a great way to spend a few hours on a Saturday afternoon. Many thanks to Chevy for the complimentary tickets. I guess buying that Chevy Blazer in January accounted for something.