The Marine View Driver: Of Cars Shows, Car Zoos, and Car Museums

In which the author masquerades as a person with actual money.

by Mike Smith

Due to the Christmas Holiday, and my real busy slouching period this week, this is a short article. Plus, I’ve written this information elsewhere. No link, though; I want you to think you get my best original thoughts. To that one guy that actually reads my column, enjoy.

A bit ago, I attended the big Auto Show in Seattle.

Now, I have always loved going to the auto show. Or rather I have always wanted to go to the car show. I do like it, but I always seem to forget it is going on.

But when you finally do go, it is fun to pretend you are a big buyer of automobiles. I like to wander around in my best clothes and rub my chin like a true car aficionado. I like being approached by the hired show models as a sophisticated connoisseur of things automotive.

corvette adThe show is usually in November and I had not attended for many years. This time, I must admit, the pretense was so thick my domestic servant could cut it with a knife. They had a test-drive booth in the parking garage. REALLY!? I think everyone at the show has a high level of pretense, but who but the weirdest millionaire actually buys a car at the auto show?

So I sign up for a test drive at the auto show. I get in the car of my choice and speed my way to the congested Seattle section of I-5. Wow! How exciting. I’m in a brand new Corvette going 7 MPH in the diamond lane. “I’ve got to get me one of these!”

Then I walk in the main entrance, and what to my wondering eyes should appear? There is a “display” of Rolls Royces and Bentleys right as you walk in. I’m thinking, what is the demographic of the Auto Show?

Oh and buy the way, there are actually very few cars in the show you can sit in or touch. Most are surrounded  by a police line. So the auto show ends up being like a zoo for cars. You get to walk around and look at cars. Just like at the dealership! That is, if it is after-hours at the dealership. Wow, what fun.

All of the automobile manufacturers are represented, and I must say that the cars that are on the market these days are really quite well made, as well as over-laden with technology. They are just unapproachable and untouchable at the auto show.

I should have done more test drives.

But I am a lookie-loo anyway. Not a buyer. Cars to me are like stamps to a philatelist. I like to look at them but they are too expensive for me to collect. So, the auto show is not just a zoo for cars, it’s also like wandering around a car museum–in the future. Perspective is the spice of life!

10689569_849315238433864_6121883327916858504_nSpeaking of car museums, there was a very interesting exhibit at the American Car Museum in Tacoma. Oh My Gosh. Or for the youngish, OMG. (That’s 664 for Ma Bell rotary dialing fans.) It was a fascinating display of almost every car ever made in the U.S.A. over the last 100 years. There are cars there of which there is only one. I took a bunch of pictures–I think that’s  okay–and made up a web site on Facebook. I don’t have a lot of information on the cars as the signs were small and they did not come out well in the photos. But it was very interesting. And, since no one was there to buy, we wore our jeans and drank coffee.

I went with Chuck Schwanke, who I believe I’ve known since second grade. He is a Waterlander, too. We had a good time bench racing. (See last week’s column, if you’re not familiar with the phrase.)

Included in the Facebook site is a list of Indy cars and rare racing cars that are owned by a friend of a friend in California. I got his permission to post them since at the time he was trying to sell them. I don’t think they are road legal in case anyone is getting any ideas. But this will give you a little insight into what I like to do and what makes me tick.

(That’s tick in the most benign sense. Not a nervous twitch or anything, and certainly not a small arachnid.)

I hope you enjoy the pictures on Facebook. I also hope you’ll forgive me for taking the easy way out and writing something I didn’t have to research.

I also hope you all have a great 2015. I know I will. I look forward to telling you about my newest car and about some so-far unwritten adventures. Yes, I have now become an adventurer. I look forward to telling you all about the first time I went to Orcas Island. I’ve got stories of being stranded in the snow and a few more cars I’ve not told you about.

There, I’ll bet you can’t wait.


2 Responses to “The Marine View Driver: Of Cars Shows, Car Zoos, and Car Museums”
  1. BirchCreek says:

    Hey, am I the guy who reads this?

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