Did you hear the one about the auto show and the fighting journalists? No? Well, it really was no joke. Amongst the glitter and new model reveals, there was some pretty ignorant people. More on that later.
The New York International Auto Show has long been considered one of the most important shows of the year. That position may be in jeopardy thanks to the rapidly growing show in China that alternates annually between Beijing and Shanghai. Somehow the manufacturers also seem to be conspiring against New York’s relevance, as a the days before the show were filled with off site product launches. From the MTV hosted VW event on Monday to Lexus and Ford on Tuesday evening, many of the 4 wheeled stars of the show were revealed before media days arrived. While these events are lots of fun and generate great product buzz, at least amongst the media, they certainly detract from the importance of the show.
Regardless of the status of the show however, I can honestly say that New York was by far the most interesting show I’ve been to this year. Between on and off site events, there were far more reveals than Detroit, Chicago or Toronto and some of them were pretty darned cool. There is lots to talk about in future posts, but perhaps the most significant concept for enthusiasts was the rear wheel drive Scion FR-S. It has been common knowledge that Toyota and Subaru have been collaborating on a RWD coupe project for a couple of years and this was the first time they have actually showed the car. We’ve all been
impatiently patiently waiting to see the fruits of this union and it would seem that the resulting offspring is exactly the weapon that many have been waiting for to do battle in drifting and autocrossing competition.
Speaking of weapons, there were a couple of incidents on Thursday that were the result of inconsiderate jerks and short tempers. During the MINI press conference, there was understandable madness as late coming photographers scrambled to get close enough to get decent shots of Gene Simmons and 2 of the other demons from the legendary KISS. Yes, KISS was on hand for the MINI presser! Sadly, they did not perform, but I was all of 20 feet away from Simmons which was a once in a lifetime opportunity. As this crush moved forward towards those of us who had been staking out our spot for a half hour, some of the late comers became ignorant. One such guy actually had the stones to use my buddy’s head as a tripod. Of course this caused an exchange of words, which escalated into a scuffle when the guy continued invading the personal bubble.
Sadly, this was not the only incident of douchbaggery. Later on in the day, things went to a whole new level of crazy in the working media room as a pair of twits fought over a chair. I was not there but it sounds like Douche A stole Douche B’s chair, which set Douche B on fire. Apparently this nut job was swinging a chair around the room yelling something to the effect of “I’m from the street, you don’t want to mess with me!”
Clearly, some of the auto journalists out there need to learn some manners. Others might just want to consider upping their dosage!
Media day nutjobs aside, the 2011 New York International Auto Show is possibly the best show so far this year and is definitely worth a visit.