The 58th annual San Francisco International Auto Show is being held Saturday, November 21st through Sunday, November 29th at the Moscone Center featuring thirty-eight of the major manufacturers in in the world. Skipping Thanksgiving, the show hours go until 9pm except Friday and Saturdays until 10pm.
Tickets are a bargain at only $10, and children under 12 are free. Just make sure they respect the cars… Numerous special attractions are always part of the show such as special interest vehicles and driving simulators.
Test drives are available, and although downtown San Francisco is hardly ideal, bumpy city streets and a short stint on the highway can reveal a lot. Ford, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Smart and Toyota all offer test drives, including some electric models. If you’re attending or a shopper, be sure to stop by the Myhopscotch.com car buying service booth and enter to win a $1000 cash prize. Changing the car buying experience, they claim a $4480 average savings for their clients.
The Academy of Art Classic Car Collection is always impressive, with excellent examples on display. Be sure to find the Auto Salon, it can be easily missed in the Esplanade Ballroom. Race cars from past and present in Gasoline Alley can have some highlights as well as real duds. The Ferrari Club of America is gracious enough to have cars on display, always an open question of what will be there, past and present models.
The classic car collection is a must see for aficionados but this year but the Ferrari display is by owners and has no new models. Some of the featured cars from each make are roped off. The Corvette Z06, the Hellcat Charger, Cadillac CTS-V, Lexus GS-F, Porsche 918 Spyder, Audi R8, and Ford GT350 could not be accessed. There is no Viper or Viper ACR, no Acura NSX, no Ford GT, no Porsche GT3, or any new Ferrari. Bentley and Maserati have limited access areas for good reason because their cars look amazing. How they manage the crowds and sticky hands from children must be a sight to see. The Japanese automakers seem to all be moving towards taillights that sweep forward into the side body of the car, a trend they really need to move away from, and quickly.
Surprises included a Pagani Huayra, Bugatti Veyron, and the Porsche 918. The race car display should be relocated to the esplanade where the Auto Salon cars are located since they are harder to find and far more interesting. However since many are roped off with hoods closed, repetitive four door sedans and few if any fact sheets, it was rather boring along with limited photo opportunities because of being parked so close together and roped off. The “stance” cars all look like they have broken axles and as for the modified ones, an enthusiast in California would ask how many have actually seen a track or a passing smog certificate? In theory, with 40 awards to be handed out, just nearly every car there can win one. It is a must see, regardless of your opinion of them.
The show is excellent, providing variety for everyone and for only $10, a bargain while parking will cost more than the entry fee. The spokespersons in attendance are knowledgeable about the cars for the average shopper and if they don’t know an answer, are able to obtain answers when asked. The show appeals to enthusiasts, shoppers and the curious looking for something to do. Be sure to attend the best new car auto show in Northern California.