Auto show vrooms into Philadelphia

By Paul Nasella
February 24, 2005

Large crowds of eager car enthusiasts filled the Philadelphia Convention Center for the 2005 Philadelphia International Auto Show which took place from Feb. 5-13.

At the show were over 700 vehicles from more than 40 different manufacturers. This included the latest makes and models of both domestic and foreign vehicles. Also featured at the auto show were futuristic concept cars as well as a few favorites of yesteryear.

This year’s auto show was produced by the Automotive Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia (ADAGP).

At this year’s auto show were many vehicles making their East Coast debut. Vehicles such as the

Aston Martin DB9, Audi A4/S4, Chevrolet Corvette C6 Z06, Dodge Charger, Ferrari Modena F430, Ford Mustang Convertible, Infiniti M45, Honda Ridgeline, Lamborghini Murcielago, Lexus GS, Mercedes ML350, Pontiac Torrent, Saturn Sky Roadster and the Subaru B9 Tribeca just to name a few.

One of the good things that came from this year’s auto show was that the ADAGP donated a dollar for every auto show attendee to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) through the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation.

A big display at this year’s auto show that surely pleased show-goers were the concept cars presented by many of the show’s various manufacturers. On display at the Convention Center were the Buick Velite, Chevrolet Nomad, Chrysler Airflite, Dodge Slingshot and Ford Shelby GR1.

A special feature of this year’s auto show was the Tuner Salon located in the Grand Hall of the Convention center. Once inside, show-goers could see many customized cars from such manufacturers as Scion, Honda, Pontiac and Daimler Chrysler.

Another specialty of this “salon” was the DUB Magazine Celebrity Car Showcase. In this showcase, the onlookers could see vehicles owned by Shaquille O’Neal, Rap artists Ludacris and Twista as well as the DUB Magazine 2005 DUB Edition Dodge Magnum.

Also on hand at the auto show were tuner specialty vehicles that could be found inside just about each manufacturer’s displays. These vehicles include the SEMA Chevrolet Corvette, SEMA Pontiac GTO, Nissan NISMO Frontier, Lincoln Navigator K and Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart.

One of the more interesting displays by auto manufacturers was the display of hybrid vehicles. According to a press release by the Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia, a hybrid vehicle is one that, “has both a gasoline engine and an electric motor to conserve fuel mileage.”

Honda displayed the Accord, Civic and Insight while Toyota exhibited the Prius. Other manufacturers showcasing their hybrid vehicles included Lexus, Ford, and GMC.

For all the car lovers on hand during the auto show, there was a vintage display from the Eastern US Concours D’Elegance and the Buckingham Concours D’Elegance. Both displays featured cars dating from the turn of the 20th century all the way up to the 70s. Included in both displays were vehicles from Mercedes Benz, Chevrolet, and even a mini-scooter.

A big crowd pleaser this year was Chevrolet’s redesigned Corvette. Looking sweeter than ever, it features a 6.0 liter V8 engine that produces 400 horsepower and ft/lbs of torque. Its eight cylinders are mated up either a 4 speed automatic or 6 speed manual transmission that connected to the rear for rear-wheel drive. However, you’re going to have to hold those horses because this beauty carries a base price of just under $44, 000.

Another car that drew quite a lot of attention was Ford’s all-new vintagely designed Mustang. This mean stallion features the vintage fastback look coupled with old-school muscle. Featured in both the GT and V8 models, the buyer has a large array of options at their disposal to make this pony truly one-of-a-kind.

First off, the new Mustang offers an, “industry-first, color-configurable instrument panel,” that offers the ultimate in personalization according to the 2005 Philadelphia International Auto Show Buyer’s Guide.

This sweet ride is available in V6 deluxe and Premium and GT Deluxe and Premium models.

Other options include side-seat mounted air bags, an interior upgrade package with satin aluminum trim, 5-speed manual and automatic transmissions, wheel locks, and 17-inch machine cast aluminum wheels (GT only) according to the 2005 Philadelphia International Auto Show Buyer’s Guide. Nonetheless, this retro-pony is going to cost you a little over 19 thousand big ones.

Another crowd pleaser was the Ford Thunderbird whose 2005 model marks its 50th anniversary. This classic beauty features a V8 engine with automatic transmission that churns out 280 horsepower and 286 ft/lbs of torque. However, this wonder of automotive past doesn’t carry the same price tag it did on its birthday; this baby comes at a base price of $38,000.

One last big feature of the car show, and I do mean BIG, is the latest model of the Hummer H2 and H2 SUT. Even though these behemoths resemble buildings on wheels more than automobiles, both feature a 6.0 liter V8 engine producing 325 horsepower and 365 ft/lbs of torque. Both feature 4 wheel-drive as well as a wheelbase of 122.8 inches. Also, these baby-hughies weigh in at a staggering 6400 hundred pounds. It is also safe to say that your wallet is going to be feeling more than just the strain of being sat on all day. Both vehicles carry a base price of a little over $50,000.

Posted to the web by Ryan Norris

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Paul Nasella

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