Be Inspired to Road Trip at the NY Auto Show
Read more about my fun at the New York Auto Show
Being a lifelong New Yorker—and growing up in the city when it was far less safe than it is now— I have a very practical view of cars. They get you from one place to another and you shouldn’t get too attached to them because the city is hard on cars. Our cars have always been fuel-efficient, inexpensive to maintain and optimally sized for parallel parking on crowded streets.
But then I went out to California on vacation and rented a Chrysler Sebring and something amazing happened. People noticed my car. They paused to take a good look at it (and at the person driving it). That’s when it dawned on me that a car doesn’t always have to be like a sturdy pair of sneakers. It can be like a fabulous necklace or a treasured pair of Jimmy Choo heels; it can be the carefully selected accessory that gets you noticed and makes an impression.
It’s with this in mind that I’ve come to appreciate the New York International Auto Show. It’s happening this year from Friday March 25th through Sunday April 3rd at the Jacob Javits Center.
More than 1,000 cars are on display. Sure, a lot of them are SUVs, sedans and hatch backs – those comfy sneakers every family needs and that you might find yourself buying one of these days. You can glean lots of practical consumer information about prices and fuel efficiency at the show.
But the real fun is checking out the concept cars that might or might not ever be built, and ogling the luxury cars and sports cars and convertibles. They really are graceful and slick and stately and sometimes the makers let you sit in them (bring a friend to take your picture). Slipping behind the wheel of a Mercedes or Maserati for a few seconds is sort of like spotting that Carolina Herrera evening dress at Bergdorfs: Sure, you can’t afford it and will never need it, but it’s still fun to try on.
Americans love their cars (even New Yorkers who street park actually really like their cars). And it’s fun watching dads and sons, or adult buddies or even couples go to the show and point things out to each other, gasp and let their eyes grow a little wider at a good find. Kids love slipping behind the wheel even more than their parents do. They clearly start imagining they’re grown-ups, pretend they’re driving (they even make motor noises) and think about where they would go and what would do with all the freedom that will come with being big and knowing how to drive.
Usually walking around the show gets me in the mood for a road trip, too. But I don’t imagine this road trip in my own sturdy practical car, of course. The trip would begin someplace away from home, where I need to rent a car. And of course it would be something even better than the Sebring. I think that hybrid SUV in the middle will do quite nicely… or maybe shiny blue convertible I saw in the back corner. Why not?
What would you drive on your ideal road trip? And where would you take it?
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