The Vancouver International Auto Show celebrates its 97th anniversary this year, with enough razzle-dazzle to satisfy even the hardcore enthusiasts.
A tidy row of Rolls-Royce models forms a welcoming committee as you enter, after passing a Ferrari Superman special edition that lounges just left of the front doors. The upper showroom boasts some true exotics, such as the Ferrari 250GT SWB Berlinetta Competition Coupe, and the Maserati 32 Model 200Si.
There are plenty of other fascinating things to see. BMW took the opportunity to introduce three new iterations of its 5 Series: the elegant 540i, the flashy M550i, and the exciting plug-in hybrid 530e xDrive. And Nissan placed an original, 1985 Pathfinder right next to its newly-designed 2017 model, and it really showcases how far automobile design has come. (All that without even sitting inside the vehicles.) Genesis Motors, the ultra-premium new line from Hyundai, unveils its New York Concept car; and while this exact vehicle won’t be hitting the streets anytime soon, several aspects of it are already incorporated into cars that Genesis will introduce as early as spring 2018.
The Ford GT supercar makes it first British Columbia appearance. And, making its first-ever public entrance is the semi-mythical 1937 Cord, a one-of-a-kind car specifically designed for then-Governor of Louisiana Huey Long, whose life was considered to be in danger, hence the car’s bulletproof exterior. (Governor Long was in fact assassinated before the vehicle was completed.) It’s a long story, but Chilliwack businessman and car collector Gary Morgan owns this Cord, and thought it would be cool to display it this year. He was so right.
The Range Rover Velar, a sporty, slightly more compact model, marks its Canadian debut, alongside the unveiling of its slightly bigger companion, the Land Rover Discovery. You can go from the Velar over to the Maserati Levante SUV in only a few paces, keeping both vehicles fresh in your mind, all the while realizing the SUV market has never been more exciting.
That is probably the best thing about the Vancouver International Auto Show: you can educate yourself at a rapid pace, and enjoy all kinds of unique, quirky, and even funny items (a Darth Vader custom Hot Wheels car, anyone?). Audi to the left of you, Lexus to the right, and you are stuck in the middle with options galore. That’s why the auto show is so much fun.
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