The Charleston Civic Center was packed with new vehicles models for spectators to examine up close.
By Cassidy McCoy
The capital city was filled with automotive professionals and enthusiast Friday January 19 through Sunday, January 21 as the West Virginia Automobile & Truck Dealers Association hosted the Motor Trend 2018 WV International Auto Show at the Civic Center. The event showcased hundreds of automobiles and more in a laid back environment that offered a pressure free way to check out some of the newest vehicles on the market and enjoy a fun, family-friendly day.
Some of the leading automotive manufacturers had representatives ready to deliver information on an array of popular vehicle makes, models and leading technology. Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Buick, GMC, Subaru, Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Honda, Mazda, Volkswagen, Fiat, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Audi, Acura, Lincoln, BMW, Lexus and Cadillac all had displays set up with to provide visitors a chance to get a close-up look at the hottest models on the market.
Attendees browsed hundreds of the latest cars, trucks, crossovers, SUVs and hybrids and Ford, Mitsubishi and Toyota even had vehicles on hand for test drives around the Charleston Civic Center. New models were set up all through the building and Tracy, a representative from Lexus, said that the auto show “allows us to show off some of our top performing models to interested buyers. We’ve brought models that are currently on the market like the LC 500 2 door luxury coupe and models that are not yet on the market like the LS 500 H, a hybrid that will be available in February.”
There was also a used vehicle display on the second floor and in addition to the corporate displays, some of the more than 140 dealers associated with the West Virginia Automobile & Truck Dealers Association were available. Short Auto Group was one of the local dealers who set up some of their popular models and held giveaways throughout the day for keychains, magnets, oil changes and $100 gift card.
Other vendors involved with the auto industry were on hand offering giveaways, games and information to spectators. National brands such as AARP, Geico and Motor Trend, who gave away free subscriptions and opportunities to win raffles were set up throughout the Civic Center. Smaller, WV based businesses like Huntington based White Insurance and the Charleston based Drive Line Service were also participating. Craig, owner of Drive Line Service, said that it was his second year participating in the event. He was excited to have the opportunity to talk about their differential gear repair to many West Virginia and Kentucky residents who attended the event that were previously unfamiliar with the driveline repair the local company has to offer.
The WV Motorsports Council was also involved in setting up some classic collector cars in the WV Car Clubs display on the second level. There were a variety of classics from an muscle era Ford Fairlane and Shelby Mustang to a ‘64 VW Bug and old Ford Panel Delivery Sedan that took home a Top 10 from Pigeon Forge recently. Dennis Abernathy brought his gorgeous Grabber Green Mustang that he began disassembling a year ago and actually finished the project at the auto show where he placed the last strip of chrome.
The Motor Trend 2018 WV International Auto Show offered a great way to spend a fun day in Charleston. The annual event offered a great opportunity to learn more about current trends in the auto industry and view new models on the market. Each visitor was also provided with a special edition of The Charleston Gazette and a Motor Trend show brochure that was filled with relevant information on featured models, ads from sponsors and a directory of the WV dealers that can help potential buyers find the car of their dreams.
Emily travels for Toyota’s corporate office to show off some of the new vehicles available and on Sunday she was passenger to people test driving the new Toyota C-HR crossover.
The new Ford Platinum F250 with a 6.7L Power-stroke turbo diesel was a big hit with the West Virginia crowd.
The 2018 Buick Cascada was one of the new models set up in the civic center for interested potential buyers to examine and explore without the pressure of a dealership.
The 2018 Chevrolet Camaro Coupe starts at $26,900 MSRP but the model on display had an MSRP of $32,690, making it an affordable instant classic and a fan favorite along with the Corvette Stingray.
This collector Mustang is the original green color and was one of the crowd favorites to pose for pictures with.
The 2018 Jeep Trackhawk is an amazing machine with the same motor as the Dodge Hellcat, a 6.2L with 707 horsepower and 645 lb of torque that can get from 0-60 in under 4 seconds.
This 2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT was valued at over $100,000, had all of the bells and whistles and looked fast even as it was sitting still.
Local owners of Drive Line Service were set up at the 2018 WV International Auto Show to talk about the repair service they offer to area auto owners.
AARP set up with games and information in order to talk with spectators and gauge what visitors wanted to see change in their communities.
The West Virginia State Police were set up with freebies and to talk with adults and children alike about a future in law enforcement and they even allowed children to hop in the trooper driver seat and turn on the lights.