The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

November 3, 2007

Highlights from the 2007 Seattle Auto Show

Filed under: Cars, Seattle and Vicinity — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 12:43 am


Compared to the big auto shows such as the ones in LA, New York and Detroit, the annual Seattle Auto Show is nothing to write home about.  Sure, it does give you a chance to check out all sorts of new cars without the pressure of some salesman breathing down your neck, as well as an opportunity to see all the luxury and exotic cars that would melt your bank account if you wandered too close to the showroom, but aside from a smattering of leftover concpets from the Detroit show earlier in the year, there’s not much else to see beside the stuff that’s already been on the dealer lots for months now.  Nonetheless, every year I  make the trip into downtown Seattle to check out the show.  Usually I go to the show with my younger brother, but since he now lives 900 miles away (and sells Lexuses, which gives him an opportunity to actually drive some of the nicer cars you might see here,) I’m on my own this time around.   Also this year, for the first time in… well, ever, I am not driving a way-past-its-prime rustbucket that was in dire need of replacement years ago.  This meant that rather than going through everything with the proverbial fine tooth comb, this year I could just skip right to the interesting stuff.  After the jump, some of the highlights from this year’s show, complete with a lot of pictures.


One of the first things you see when you walk into the door is the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder above, with a Gallardo Superleggera and a couple of Bentleys to the right, and a pair of Rolls Royces to the left.  If you’ve got the big bucks it would take to get into one of these you would need to look no further…

…unless you happen to be looking for a Bimmer, Porsche, Maserati or Ferrari, in which case you’d need to head downstairs.

For those of us without the pocketbook necessary to get into a big-bucks ride like those, the majority of cars on the floor are more mundane, with representation from all of the major brands. The domestic brands take up most of the main part of the show floor, with the major import brands surrounding them on the edges of the main hall, and in the back, as well as the main concourse of neighboring Qwest Field.

Here is a FlexFuel Chevy Silverado pickup, one of the vehicles put on display to emphasize GM’s alternative fuel program.  I thought I heard something about them winning some sort of award with one of these, but I guess they’re keeping quiet about it.

Other trucks on the show floor, such as the F-350 this sticker was found on, were a bit less forthcoming about their ecological credentials.

It seems that every time you turn around these days, Ford is announcing another special edition Mustang.  This one is the 500-horsepower  Shelby GT 500, with a couple of not-so-limited edition Mustangs in the background.

Among the large collection of Detroit’s finest, a few scattered concept cars could be found as well.  This one is the Ford SYNus.  This apparent result of the unholy union between a Japanese toaster van and a 16-ton safe premeried earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show to decidedly mixed reviews. 

On the other hand, this mockup of the future Chevy Camaro, fresh from a starring role as Bumblebee in the recent Transformers movie, has been far better received.  If I actually watched movies I’d be more impressed by this, but that’s another post for another day.

Moving on from the domestics, we find a number of other interesting vehicles elsewhere on the show floor:

Apparently you can’t have an auto show without at least one of these somewhere on the floor nowdays.  Suspiciously two-dimensional race driver not included.

And in the ever popular “ridiclous looking electric vehicles” category, we have this entry.  I’m not even sure what it is, but I’m pretty sure I’ll find myself stuck behind one doing 35MPH in the carpool lane somewhere along the line.

Way out in tbe back of the hall, we find this Scion display, which serves mostly to make the things look like overgrown Hot Wheels cars, complete with a handy carrying case.  Complete the whole set!

Near the Scions we find the Porsche display, where you find the nicest cars they’ll actually let you get into.  This is a change from previous years, where most of the cars were locked, and there were only a couple (usually a Boxster and a Cayenne) you could sit in.

As a result, this picture depicts your Blogger sitting behind the wheel of a $150,000+ 911 Turbo, one of my preferred delusions of grandeur.  I certainly wouldn’t mind if I could manage to afford one someday.

In fact, about the only thing they wouldn’t let you sit in was this 911 GT3 RS, which is basically a racecar that just happens to be street legal.

Of course, with the prestige of owning a Porsche comes the costs of owning a Porsche.  Apparently when they say you need to take it to the dealer for service, they really mean it.

Moving along. on the upper floor, there were a number of classic roadsters brought by the LeMay Car Museum, including this Daimler behemoth from the Fifties.  About the only modern car on the floor that even comes close to this would be the Rolls Royce Phantom, and I think this thing probably has a few hundred pounds on even that one.

For the speed freak who wants to take their kid along for the ride, we have this Recaro carseat, found in a heavily customized Lamborghini Gallardo.  Just be sure to disable the passenger side airbag first.

Now here’s something you don’t see every day, a Spyker C8 Laviolette.  Sure it looks a bit odd even for an exotic, but at least it should have a nice interior in it, right?

Um, yipe.  You might want to check the trunk before you take the thing out for a spin to make sure that Chuck Barris isn’t hiding in there. 

Finally, we have the Aston Martin display, complete with this questionable bit of scenery.  Because nothing says prestige and power like a bunch of plastic shrubbery sitting on top of a pedestal.

In spite of the fact that the Seattle Auto Show is more about selling cars than showing them off, there are still a number of interesting cars to see.   Many of these you would be hard pressed to find on the road, even around here where exotics aren’t exactly rare.  Of course, there’s always the abrupt return to reality as you leave the show and return to your own car, which in my case has been a disreputable beater for many years now.  Naturally, this leaves some room for improvement.  Finally after years of tolerating an old rustbucket (you’d be surprised what you can get yourself emotionally attached to if you set your mind to it) I was able to depart the show this time in my Volkswagen Rabbit that I happen to quite like, and instead of thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the parking lot, I could actually be happy with what I’m driving now.  I probably didn’t need a big exhibition center full of cars to tell me that, but it’s OK to look every once in a while, isn’t it?

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