Whether you drive or not, the allure of the Philadelphia Auto Show is undeniable. The cars are always sleek and beautiful with design elements reminiscent of fine sculpture. Returning to the Pennsylvania Convention Center this weekend, the Philadelphia Auto Show has long been one of the biggest auto shows in the country, drawing crowds of approximately 250,000.
With 2018 model cars, classic cars, famous cars from iconic films and television series and the technologies that drive them, it’s no wonder the event is so popular. And for being in its 116th year, it doesn’t look a day over 114. Kevin Mazzucola, the executive director of the Auto Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia, the owners and producers of the Philadelphia Auto Show, chats with us about what to expect this year and that brand new car smell.
What balance do you guys like to strike in celebrating the Philly Auto Show’s vivid past as well as its spicy present and future?
Spicy is a good word. First off, 116 years is a long time, enough so that we’re part of this city’s fabric. We see that generationally when we get grandfathers, sons and grandsons digging the classic car display and saying things like, “I drove one of those at age 16,” when they point out, say, our 1968 Ford Shelby GT 500. You can see the history of design and how the industry moved.
On the flip side of that though, you’re showing off pre-production models and technologies that are just coming into their own.
The KIA Stinger, the Lexus LC 500, the Chevy Equinox, a GMC Terrain — everyone is going to love seeing these. But, yeah, it’s the technology that is being celebrated — a transformation in the industry as important as the conveyor belt. You’re going to see and hear discussion about semiautonomous vehicles, those functions usually performed by a driver, like lane avoidance which warns of vehicles in the blind spot or even self-parking.