If you've never been to the New York International Auto Show at least once in your life, it's something that should be on your to do list. Unless you've been to the Detroit or Tokyo auto shows, which I haven't, New York City has the grandest ever seen.
When I was a kid, my father used to take me to the old New York Coliseum at Columbus Circle for the auto shows. As a little kid, seeing all those new cars in one place was as if I were a kid in a candy store, I wanted one of everything!
Let's face it, when you're nine or ten years old, you have no idea of money. All you see is many shiny new cars, begging you to sit in and, maybe, driven. We grab the steering wheel, stretch to reach the gas pedal and make cool vroom, vroom noises!
I remember one particular show when the late Olympic star, Jesse Owens, made an appearance. The audience members we asked to write questions on a card and had them to the host. I was so excited when the host picked my question. It was, "How did you feel when you were ignored by Adolph Hitler during the 1936 Olympics in Germany?"
Jesse was very gracious, as he answered the question, I don't remember exactly what he said. It was somewhere along the lines of it didn't hurt his feelings, because the fans appreciated him and what he did.
The other reason I loved going to the auto show were all the pretty girls that presented the cars, gave out the brochures and made nice with the attendees, hoping to get them to buy their brand. When I was in my teens, I went for the girls and not the cars.
This year I attended the show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center all by myself! Woo Hoo! The last couple of times, I went, my wife and kids went with me. I always felt that I was missing something, rushed to do something else.
Our family thing is to go into New York City, on Easter Sunday, attend the auto show and then see a Broadway play and go to dinner with our friends Greg and Brian at Patsy's on 23rd street. That didn't happen this year because Broadway tickets were so expensive that we didn't feel like spending $600 and up for a day in the city.
I decided to go by myself this year on my day off. I got a combination ticket on the Long Island Railroad for the fare and show admission. I arrived in NYC by 10:30 am and was at the show shortly after that.
If you've never been to the Javits Center, it's huge. The show is on three floors, with the main floor being the biggest and busiest. I decided to start on one end and work my way around. I really wanted to see the new Mustangs, Camaros and Dodge muscle cars.
I used to own a 1986 Mustang GT and still miss it to some extent. Although my GT was very fast, it didn't handle well in the snow and rain because the weight distribution was 60/40 on a rear-wheel-drive car. The rear end didn't grip well in the snow or rain. I kept one hundred pounds of concrete bags in the hatch. It helped a little, but not much.
The 2016 Mustangs are amazing. My friend Rob loves Mustangs more than do I. Rob went to the show this past Friday. I'm sure he was in love! He has a GT500, from 2007, that is gorgeous. He only drives it on special occasions.
The 2016 Camaros are also gorgeous. My friend Rich owns a fifth generation 2010 model, which he treats better than he treats his children. To see Rob and Rich argue over their cars is the funniest thing, like two little kids arguing over two toys.
What I really wanted to see were the Dodge muscle cars. The new Challenger SRT Hellcat boast 707 horsepower and costs almost $65,000. The Charger SRT Hellcat starts at $67,000 and goes up well over $70,000, with options and gas-guzzler tax.
I was talking with Rob about my "perfect pairings" of cars. If I had unlimited funds, I'd like to pair a 1966 Mustang with a 2016 Mustang GT, a 1968 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray with a 2016 Stingray and a 1969 Dodge Charger with a 2016 SRT Hellcat Charger. If only dreams could come true.
If pigs could fly, we'd never have bacon.
Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.
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