Saturday, March 5, 2011
There's still some good stuff at the 2011 Kansas City International Auto Show, depending on where you look
The fact is, the auto industry ain't what it used to be. Compare this year's auto show with one from just a few years ago, and there is a decidedly different dynamic. Several manufacturers are just gone--Saturn, Hummer, Pontiac, and Mercury, to name a few. And the ones that remain don't even bother to send last year's concept car for display. Nobody wants to look like they're spending unnecessarily.
To make up for some of the shortfall, this year's event had quite a few older vehicles on display. Most of them are cars that I remember seeing at the Art of the Car Concours at the Kansas City Art Institute last summer. And in fact, the art institute was running some sort of photo contest at the auto show, so that connection made sense.
There was still a lot of empty space, though, and as we were driving away from Bartle Hall, we noticed a bunch more old cars in the tunnel over Broadway street. I suspect they were getting ready for some kind of special display or something. It kind of gets my knickers in a bunch that we were there for more than two hours and didn't end up seeing them, though.
They also filled up some of the space with things for the kids, like bounce houses, Radio Disney, video games, and soap box derby cars.
Of course, that may just be the way most people are these days. My mom was with us, and she evaluated every vehicle by the fuel mileage rating. Maybe some of these manufacturers are trying too hard to make good looking, fun-to-drive cars. 40-mpg and some kind of system that talks to iPhones may be all that's really necessary.
Nevertheless, I found more than 200 reasons to click off some pictures, and you can see them in the slideshow below.