It's that time of year again. The Seattle auto show has arrived. This means hoards of tire kicking, upholstery-fondling, automotive enthusiasts, and general car shoppers will spend four days leaving their jam-stained finger prints all over the skin of the latest and greatest automotive wonders. This year -- breaking from tradition -- I actually planned ahead and attended the media event that is held a few hours before the gates are opened to those aforementioned hordes. I quite enjoyed getting to walk around freely and press all of the non-functioning buttons without having to queue first. I was able to cover both show floors and have a few pleasant conversations with manufacturer's reps about new features and the business as a whole, in under two hours. I got to do all of this without getting the sales pitch from each booth first, and all of my questions were answered as if I knew something about cars. I even got to sit in on a small briefing about the new Nissan Leaf and maybe the new Rouge; I'm not sure, I was thinking about Nissan's new child assisted driver mode.
So plainly, this was a brilliant experience. However, I'm not sure I'll do it again. I realized, as I was sitting in the hilarious Lexus LC500, that I wanted someone, anyone, to share the moment with. I wanted to make fun of it or argue about it. Anything but sit in it's massive, yet cramped cockpit fiddling with its driving mode selector knob by myself. I realized that my favorite part of car shows is the people that I meet when I attend them. I know this sounds all wrong from a man who writes about cars on the world's largest automotive website but hear me out. The main reason I write about cars is to maybe help someone who is looking for information about them but isn't interested in how many Gs they pull or their fuel economy. I want to distill the useless facts and figures into poorly worded summations of whether or not the thing is any good. Attending a new car show lets me do this live. As an example, I talked with an older gent and his son about the Tesla Model S. They were sat in the backseat asking me various questions about the car and I was able to give them my impressions and feedback from the driver's seat. It was brilliant. They felt more comfortable talking with a guy wearing a media badge than with a rep, and I was happy someone didn't think of me as an idiot.
I'm not sure how the other members of the media handle car shows. The few I saw wandering around during the preview seemed to spend the rest of the day chatting each other up. I'm pretty new to this world, so I wasn't chatted up, even by some people I spent a weekend getting hit in the face by rocks with. I also don't know the conventions of how to be an auto "journalist," maybe I'm breaking the code by going into field and not writing down my opinions. I don't know. I can tell you one thing for sure; I don't care. This is my passion. Talking about, and playing with, motorized things is the only thing I'm properly interested in. So, if you happen to be in or around the greater Seattle area and you are headed to the Seattle auto show and you #spot me roaming around, say hello. Ask me about something. The same goes for you lot here, on DRIVETRIBE. Reach out in the chats or start a discussion on Three In Seven. Comment on my posts, whatever you come up with, I'll have an opinion on it.
Links and stuff:
Here is a link to the show website, if you feel so inclined. Ping me in the chats if you are coming and we can press some buttons together.