For a few years, I tried returning to my hometown Auto Show but it just paled in comparison to Detroit. One year, our family happened to be in San Francisco over Thanksgiving and I found out their car show was going on that week. So when others in our family were shopping or watching football on the day after Thanksgiving, my youngest son and I attended the San Francisco Auto Show. While it was not the show of Detroit, it did at least have car makes and models that we couldn’t see in our own hometown. And we even got to test drive a Segway.
In 2010, my longing for attending a major auto show returned. But I just couldn’t face that bitter Detroit winter and the weather in Chicago and New York for their shows wouldn’t necessarily be any better. Then in 2012, I realized I could attend the Los Angeles Auto Show. It would be a much longer flight—2000 miles versus 500—but since my daughter and son-in-law had moved to the area just the year before, I had a ready made excuse to go.
Since I didn’t want my daughter and son-in-law to feel like they had to accompany me—neither of which love cars—I planned on going to the show early on Sunday morning, a time when they usually sleep in and enjoy a leisurely morning drinking coffee and reading the New York Times. I also thought traffic would be much lighter on Sunday morning, having just experienced horrendous traffic driving from LAX to their apartment during rush hour on Friday afternoon, a two hour nightmare.
On Sunday morning, everything aligned perfectly. On the drive there, the roads were sparsely occupied and the weather was sunny and perfect. If I had rented a convertible, it would have been a top-down drive into downtown—a big change from the snowy Detroit show. I arrived before the show opened, easily found a parking spot across the street and made my way to the end of the line with probably 30 people ahead of me (on one trip to Detroit, it had taken 30 minutes just to buy our ticket and get in the door). When the doors opened 10 minutes later, I made my way into the show. The line had probably grown to about 100 but as we entered, the 100 of us had the floor to ourselves. No lines and no waiting to sit in any cars and no crowd which allowed unobstructed picture taking.
Having just seen the latest Bond movie, SkyFall that celebrated the 50th anniversary of 007 movies, here was James Bond’s original Aston Martin.
And here was the Hot Wheels edition of the new Camaro, complete with a full size version of the distinctive orange Hot Wheels track that I had grown up with.
It was a wonderful trip made all the better getting to see my son-in-law and daughter and getting to spend time with her doing one of her favorite activities with me, drinking coffee and talking.
This first trip to LA was such a great trip I have already booked my reservation for this year.
So while everyone else is getting ready for Thanksgiving or starting their Christmas shopping early, I will be roaming the halls of the LA Auto Show. What new cars might I see this year? Only time will tell but I know I will have another great visit to the show and with my son-in-law and daughter which will make the trip all the more enjoyable.