Life,  Scale Cars

OC Auto Show 2017

This isn’t something I’d normally do – we’ve covered plenty of Gunpla and otaku-centric events around here, but I’ve made a point of abstaining from writing much on car meets and shows. I figured it was finally time to break that ice now though, since I build more car models nowadays than I do Gunpla.

The OC Auto Show is an annual event held at the Anaheim Convention Center, located in (you guessed it) OC (Orange County). I’d been to this show last year, but only this year did I actually come prepared with more knowledge of the industry and a camera better than an iPhone to take photos.

Shows like these are focused on manufacturer showcases – not the aftermarket. Nearly every automaker has their latest and greatest here, from their newest production vehicles to proof-of-concept cars. It isn’t like Anime Expo or other import shows where if you have a sick build you can apply to enter the show to have your car showcased (with maybe one or two exceptions sanctioned by the automakers).

I do think you’d have the most appreciation for a show like this if you keep up with or are interested in new cars. While I do prefer modern cars to older makes and models (ironically the only two cars I’ve owned are both out of production), I’m not interested in all new cars. I won’t hide the fact that I’m mostly indifferent when it comes to executive sedans, wagons, SUVs, trucks, and the like. I didn’t have time to photograph and go over every car at the show, so I’ll only be showing off and talking about the ones that I have an active interest in (spoilers: import performance/sports cars).

Starting off with Honda – and of course they have their new Type R on display. I’m kind of surprised it wasn’t a roped off car – usually automakers will have their halo or top-of-the-line cars cordoned off from prying hands or bouncy and energetic children.

But no, you could sit in this Type R and make vroom vroom noises all you wanted if you wished. Unfortunately I never got the chance since, unsurprisingly, it was constantly flogged by passerby’s dying to check out the factory racecar Honda of their dreams.

I really like this car. I hate seeing the enthusiast community dismiss it out of hand immediately “because it’s a Civic”, or more commonly, “because it’s a Honda”.

I’ve never driven it before, so I can only judge it based on the judgements from people who review cars for a living, but if everything they say is to be believed, it’s okay for this to be front wheel drive. It’s okay for it to have gigantic 20inch wheels as a Civic, because it all matters, and it all works to make this the fastest production Civic in the world. To have all of this car’s potential dismissed immediately because people hear front wheel drive or Civic is heartbreaking.

The Type R’s very boy-racer design has been very polarizing since its reveal, but I love it. Sure, it vaguely resembles an STi, but if I thought the STi was just a boring family sedan with a giant wing stuck on it, then this is all of that taken up to 11, and I live for excess so it sits very well.

Electric green Civic Si Coupe also on display. I’ve had much respect for Si’s as well, and I think the 10th generation coupe body is drop-dead attractive. It’s too bad it’s barely any more powerful than the last generation, but it’s now a boosted mill, meaning there (should) be some more tuning potential.

I always wondered if this Si used the same turbo motor as the base turbo Civics like the Tourings, and apparently they do. Just a larger turbo, intercooler, and supporting bits to have it crank out more boost.

Oh, Lexus. The big deal from them now is the recently-released LC500 coupe – no doubt a stunning grand tourer.

I’m glad this car exists, even if I know I’d absolutely never own it because of how expensive/heavy/automatic-only it is. Lexus is really pushing the forefront for sportiness in their brand now, and what better way to do it than by introducing more fast coupes?

This kind of tan interior is what fits my preconceived notions of “rich and luxurious car.” I prefer black interiors much more myself, but everything in that tub right down to the chocolate carpet screams money.

As fast as this new coupe is and as fast as it looks though, there are better performance bargains for the money, though to buy this car as a track runner or to have it as your racecar instead of your grand tourer would seriously be missing the point of a modern Lexus, I think.

A second LC was also surprisingly on the show floor, this one wrapped in a flashy satin orange and sporting some distinctly aftermarket wheels and aero. I thought this was a manufacturer show, not SEMA.

Turns out this is a bit of a show-circuit car that Lexus is backing to show off a flashier, not-stock LC. The modifications seem to be solely cosmetic, with the wheels, aero, and wrap, but it undoubtedly pulls the LC a bit farther away from the premium feel that the shiny red stock one has and trades it in for a more familiar street-car look.

This is actually also the LC500H, meaning it’s the hybrid variant with less power but (presumably) better fuel economy. More surprisingly, this car is open for people to sit in, feel up, and molest as they please.

A neat little surprise for me was the appearance of Protective Film Solution’s mark on this LC’s wrap. I had only met this company a month or two ago when I went to them to wrap my bumper with a clear bra.

And there’s Lexus’ former top-dog coupe, the RC F. I used to idolize this car very much and absolutely loved its body styling, but have since grown a bit more disillusioned after hearing all the talk about its boat-like qualities.

Factory active-aero carbon fiber wing along with a carbon skin roof is very neat.

Over in the corner is a pure white display complete with drapes and a rotating stand, upon which sits the absolutely gigantic LS500 sports sedan.

I don’t particularly care for executive sports sedans – what drew me to this car at all was the impressive display that was built around it, since it looks like Lexus clearly wants people to check this area out.

I do really like that interior though. The red seats are a bit much, but that’s classic Lexus fare. This car’s sheer size also caught me off guard when I first walked up to it – it’s giant.

Nice forward-facing camera set in right below the front badge – I know I’d want one if I were trying to park something this huge.

Moving on to the rally corner – hello, Subaru. Where’s Mitsubishi? (I actually didn’t see them at this show, surprisingly. I wouldn’t be surprised if they just weren’t there or were tucked away in some unexplored corner I hadn’t found).

I had been very excited to hear Subaru announce new performance versions of their BRZ and STi a while back, but had totally forgotten about them after they revealed the specifics – and they turned out to be merely mild upgrades for each car.

The BRZ gets the tS – no, this isn’t the BRZ STi that everybody says they would buy – it’s a BRZ with some suspension and handling updates (as though they weren’t already good enough), some nice factory wheels, and a manually adjustable carbon wing.

It looks really nice – the BRZ in World Rally Blue is already my favorite configuration for the GT86 platform, and when you add racey bits like red pinstripes and black wheels and aero, I start pinching my cheeks waiting to wake up from a dream that’s surely too good to be true.

I could do without that wing; personally I think it looks a bit cheap with the satin pedestal finishes, and prefer molded body wings more than GT Carbon wings anyway. Depending on the pricing for this model, it might not be worth it for those of us looking to modify anyway. Swapping in coilovers or bags will negate the new dampers and springs that Subaru put in, and if you want new wheels and tires then those special tS wheels are going to need to find a new home. The draw stiffeners and especially the Brembo brake package are good upgrades that will likely be easier to get on the car from the dealer than go out of your way to swap in yourself.

Next to the tS is the new (and apparently very exclusive) Subaru WRX STi Type RA. Unlike the tS, this full-fledged STi product will actually be getting a (minor) power bump, from the standard 305hp that it’s had since the start of the Great Recession to a whopping 310hp, courtesy of an STi cold air intake, exhaust, and tune that you would’ve put on your STi anyway through the aftermarket.

Weight reduction is also the name of the game here, going to such lengths as to remove the spare tire from factory altogether. Better hope you’re not actually taking your rally car off road now.

Like the BRZ tS, the STi RA get some nice red pinstriping and exclusively subtle aero, along with a similar carbon GT Wing. I still think the original STi wing looks better.

I’m actually surprised Subaru went out of their way to add some vents on the rear bumper, though this may be standard on 2018 models since they’re getting a minor facelift. Even more surprisingly, they’re actual vents, not just solid plastic inserts with the holes filled in to pass as vents.

Too bad the front bumper couldn’t escape that fate though. If you were already going to open a portion of that intake vent why didn’t you just use actual mesh for the whole thing? Is there something behind that bumper that absolutely should not receive air, Subaru?

One very nice and legitimate upgrade for the Type RA is the interior – very nice looking Recaros come standard. One of the biggest reasons I passed on the STi when I was looking to buy one was because of the subpar front seats – aftermarket seat upgrades are expensive, after all. I’d much rather have nice seats from the factory any day rather than having to go out and pay an extra $1-2k for my own Sparcos.

The other big reason was because of this motor, way past its prime. Make no mistake, the EJ257 is a fantastic tried-and-true engine, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that Subaru’s just become complacent because it still thinks 305hp from 10 years ago is impressive, when competitors have either died (Evo) or are outright raising the bar (Focus RS).

Both the RA and tS were unfortunately locked, meaning no one could actually look under the hoods or check out their supposedly revised interiors. Given that these cars aren’t on the market yet, I suppose it makes sense for Subaru to keep people at arm’s length for now – both cars had very clear “prototype only” stickers on them as well.

The current production BRZ and STi were also of course present, though drew less hubub than the upcoming performance variants.

I mentioned the Brembo system from the BRZ earlier, and I still think that this upgrade that comes with the BRZ’s new performance package is something Toyota really needs to throw in for their GT86.

Speaking of the GT86, here it is – in the same color as the standard BRZ in Subaru land, no less. I wonder if anyone got confused as to why the same car is on two manufacturer floors at once.

On a showroom floor with clean, tidy motors wearing plastic covers like tight-fitting three-piece suits, the 86’s Subaru boxer engine unabashedly shows up to the ball in nothing but a skimpy night gown with both shoulder straps falling off.

I’m happy to see more Toyota Corolla iM’s on the streets lately – I appreciate the car’s styling, and not just because I used to drive a Scion while this used to be a Scion. It’s not a peppy car, but I’ve already seen quite a few raced-out in the enthusiast circle.

Beyond those cars, there’s not much else from Toyota that’s particularly intriguing – still no word on the new Supra, unfortunately. Their cars are certainly starting to look more aggressive and sporty, but taking a look at the brand on the floor as a whole, it’s still somewhat reassuringly Toyota.

The new Camry is a testament to that feeling. It looks new! It’s aggressive, it’s got swoopy body lines and fake vents! But at its heart it’s still a Toyota – an unquestionably reliable and reasonable family sedan that’ll appeal to the mass market and get movers from A to B without any excess drama.

Oh, but I might’ve spoken too soon. How could we forget about Toyota’s pioneering car that redefined hybrids in the major market?

Here we see the car that you could own if you made the sensible decision to purchase the new Prius. See? It’s not boring! It’s not slow! It’s a racecar, and you’re a racecar driver on a mission to save the planet!

Satire aside, you’d think that the little podium next to this racecar Prius would have info on what specifically this car is – some monster LS Swapped GT Racer from the international circuit? But no, the podium literally has the specs and photos of a stock Prius – all 95 horses are on proud display.

There might have been more info on this thing lying around somewhere else, but as far as I can tell this is probably a SEMA build that just happens to be here to promote the production car.

The build itself is actually ridiculously racecar and quite impressive for a modified Prius – one Sparco racing seat just for the driver, along with a carbon intake bolted into the rear passenger window attached to hose pipes that lead to the jet engine that’s probably tucked away and powering this thing.

Moving a bit West now, towards Volkswagen and their premiere performance offering, the Golf GTI. I always thought it looked a bit boring exterior-wise, but when it’s on the floor next to a bunch of base production Golfs, it actually stands out.

I didn’t see the Golf R anywhere on the showroom floor, though I may have just missed it. I know the GTI has been available with a DCT automatic before, but I thought it had a manual option now.

Okay, Mercedes, we get it you’re fast flashy and expensive.

I didn’t even bother looking at the specs because this badging was enough to tell me not to bother. I’m driving a turbo inline four right now – this is literally two of my motors put together, with likely better (and German) everything.

That feel when Alfa Romeo’s section is just a base with two cars – one of which I wasn’t even aware existed (they have a US-Spec SUV? Since when?).

I was, however, aware of the Giulia’s storm into the industry recently, and it looks stunning in person wearing that electric blue.

Passing by Fiat with their squad of smart-car sized 500C’s to get to the one offering that I’m somewhat familiar with – the Mazda 124. I’ve heard a lot of reviewers point out that the Fiat is styled much better than the MX-5 on the outside, but I tend to disagree. The headlights on this car give it a funky face, in contrast to the Miata’s very distinct angry shouty smile.

Speak of the devil and he shall appear.

I’ve built this car!

It’s much more stuffed in there than I would’ve expected – you’d think with everything about the Miata being small, the motor would be too.

The latest MX-5’s interior is actually really nice – I know if I owned one I’d be driving it all the time if only because the tub is just a nice place to be.

Classic softtop. From our fiddling, it looks like this soft top is still manually operated – strange since cars like the S2000 have had power soft tops since the early 2000’s. Not sure if convertible tops are like power windows in that power options are just standard though.

Right next to the regular MX-5 is the recently released RF variant.

All it is is a power targa top option, rather than the traditional soft top. Personally I don’t really like the look of those rear arch pillars as necessitated by the retractable targa cover and prefer the look of the standard soft top more, but I can see why some would prefer it.

Passed by Infiniti; not much of interest barring the new and gorgeous Q60. I don’t see very many of these on the streets, and it’s too bad it doesn’t come with a manual anymore otherwise it’d be a serious contender for a car I’d want in the future.

We’re arrived home. The current home, though it isn’t as nice as I’d hoped it’d be. As a Genesis Coupe owner of course I’m in for Hyundai as a brand – but I can’t just turn a blind eye to their rather meek lineup at the moment, now that they’ve axed their coolest car (the Gen Coupe, duh).

The only other offering in the Hyundai fleet that I really have a care for is the Veloster Turbo – it’s just a nice looking hatch. I super dig the unique three-door design, as someone who’s always liked coupes but has to acknowledge that sedans are just more practical in every way.

I even managed to sway my girlfriend towards one of these and we went in to the dealership for a test drive – it’s exactly what I’d expect a 200hp front-drive hatch to feel like. Unfortunately she’s not so wed to the idea of a Hyundai anymore.

The Veloster’s story becomes somber when Hyundai has announced that it will no longer be in production for 2018; 2017 is it. For enthusiasts, this is the brand’s seppuku – first they start by dropping their rear-drive 300hp sports coupe, then follow it up two years later by kicking the front-drive pseudo hot-hatch too.  Is the world’s only Hyundais destined to be nothing but Elantras?

Turns out, maybe, but that’s not so bad. The new Elantra GT Sport on display looks to be a meager hatchback econobox since it wears the Elantra’s name, but I got suspicous after checking out its spec sheet – 201hp and 195ft lbs out of a turbocharged 1.6 motor, the exact same specs and output as the Veloster Turbo. As I asked a sales rep, it appeared that was confirmed – the Elantra GT Sport will be filling the void the Veloster leaves now, but that isn’t even the whole story, since apparently the Veloster won’t quite be dead for good.

Apparently from what they told me, Hyundai is working on a new Veloster slated for a 2019 release, so instead of carrying over the 2017 model with no updates, they’ve decided to just leave a gap for 2018. This is good news, but as I asked the rep if Hyundai’s new N Racing Division will also be rolling out an N-Spec Veloster, they told me they had never heard of the N before. Awkward.

The Elantra GT Sport’s interior actually looks quite nice – I’m clearly a sucker if it has a blue body, black interior, and red accents.

No word on any actual N products, and yet there’s a nice little racing simulator setup in Hyundai’s arena, where you can line up to play a Gran Turismo style simulator where you drive (ironically) the N 2025.

I found it funny that Hyundai was the only major company there to have a fancy show case dedicated to all their industry awards and achievements (that I came across, anyway). They’ve either really just won much more than other brands or have a seething desire to show off that they’re a good brand, dammit.

And here we have the new brand on the block – clearly not Hyundai. It’s actually surprising how much Genesis goes out of its way to disassociate with Hyundai – they’re so different in their brand presentation that you’d never know one is a branch off of the other.

While my current car may share its model name with the Genesis brand name, I think the Genesis Coupe is more a Hyundai than a Genesis.

the G90 executive sedan is much more Mercedes than it is Hyundai, so I suppose in that sense this brand is achieving its mission well.

Rumor has it that Genesis is working on the spiritual successor to the now-dead Hyundai Genesis Coupe, but we haven’t heard much concrete detail yet. Instead, at the auto show they have this Fuel Cell SUV concept on display.

With a lineup of nothing but luxury sedans with big engines, it’s a bit sudden and very ambitious for Genesis to suddenly introduce a Hydrogen Fuel Cell concept.

It’s very obviously an early-stage concept car; the final production model probably won’t be out for another years and likely won’t share much beyond the basic body shape/fuel cell power plant with this thing.

Just concept car things.

Genesis also had an awards box, though they’re part of Hyundai so it looks like that desire to prove themselves stretches far.

Keeping with the KDM manufacturers here – KIA has really come a long way. It’s very gratifying to hear multiple people pass by their new Stinger and go, “that’s a Kia?!”

They’re rightfully surprised. The Stinger is KIA’s new performance halo – but it’s very attainable at the same time, if its reported $33k price tag is to be believed.

A little birdie told whispers of this car (along with Hyundai’s N Cars) being developed by BMW’s M Division’s former boss. It pains my pride that Korean cars would need help being dynamic from the Germans, but if it ends up with positive perception for the brand then it’s all worth it.

Not numbers you’d normally associate with the brand, right? The fact that it’s a liftback also makes the package that much sweeter.

Just a funny thing I noticed while my girlfriend was looking over a KIA SUV – the body paint is smooth and shiny the way you’d expect any new car to be, but for whatever reason parts of the roof trim in gloss black were extremely orange-peeled. This is worse than my model paint jobs!

When Maserati is so upscale and exclusive they have a big fancy ‘ol embossed coin on the wall and you have to wait in line to enter their show floor because they can’t have too many people around their cars at once.

I don’t have the highest regard for Acura as a brand – mostly because they’re so invisible in the market, on the streets, and in the enthusiast circle. We just never see or hear about them around here, and I’ve come to associate that with the brand churning out boring and unnoteworthy cars.

Their one notable offering is the NSX, and that’s a halo performance car that the average buyer will never be able to attain, so where does that leave the rest of their lineup? Their show floor wall banner says it all – it’s focused on Acura Performance, shining all the light on their racecars and the NSX – but wouldn’t the bread and butter of the brand be the average buyer who’s looking for a luxurious Honda?

At the center of the Acura base is this crazy one-seater racecar – I don’t even know what is is or what circuit it runs in, but it seems remiss for the brand to be promoting their motorsports so much while leaving the things they actually sell – everyday luxury cars – in the shadows.

This incredible full-carbon NSX was here last year, and it makes an appearance again.

Big wing, a tow strap, carbon body, and extremely low aero. I tried to emulate this GT3 NSX at least partially with my own Itasha NSX build.


Acura should’ve cordoned this car off better. Slightly irked me to see someone actually kick the rear bumper to see if it was “real carbon fiber.” I may not like the brand for what it is now, but outright disrespect like that is not okay for any car.

Passing by Jeep’s display – and of course it’s an obstacle course where people can test drive those Jeeps up a flight of stairs and over and around makeshift hills.

This is a brand that knows exactly what it builds its cars for, and goes out of its way to imprint that on the people who check out their cars.

I didn’t linger long with Dodge and outright skipped Chrysler altogether. Just the usual Challengers and Chargers, though I was surprised not to have run across the Demon.

I’ve never sat in a Challenger or Charger before, but after taking a look inside, I wasn’t particularly enamored with the look. The first thing that struck me was that the dashboard was just large and long, echoing the look of the car’s exterior.

I haven’t seen door locks like these in a while – maybe just because I’m used to Asian cars, but this is retro.

They did have a very neat racing simulator setup – in an actual Challenger! And it was hooked up to some systems that actually moved the car around as you drove inside, making for what looks to be quite the realistic experience. Step your simulator game up, Hyundai.

I respect GM and its sports cars, and am well aware of how much of a performance bargain they are as domestic cars, but quite honestly still have merely a passing interest in them. Cadillac was also around with their very powerful and very racey CTS-V, but I didn’t feel compelled to stop for a closer look.

Ford, and particularly their Focus/Fiesta ST/RS offerings, are of more interest to me if only because they’re a bit more conventional and I see them on the road more often.

I like the ST – I suppose I just feel a kinship with four-cylinder turbocharged mills, rather than big burly muscle-car V8’s. These are pretty common, but seeing a Focus RS in the wild is always a treat, given how rare those are.

The ST’s interior feels a bit like an econobox (can’t shake the Focus roots after all), but the standard Recaro buckets are very nice. I also have to applaud Ford for keeping these cars manual-only; that’s gotta hurt sales, but they clearly have an old-fashioned belief that if you’re going to be buying one of these cars, you’d enjoy rowing your own gears with a third pedal.

I don’t see the Fiesta ST very often and am honestly surprised it even exists, since this puts Ford at three hot hatch options, all with manual-only gearboxes – do we really need that many?

Ford also had a very cool racing sim propped up in the air to move around as you sat in one of those Sparco buckets – no, three people didn’t drive a car at once. Apparently you could bring friends and family up there with you to enjoy the ride.

I normally don’t care for Audi – upscale Volkswagens, whatever. But there’s sort of always been an exception. I can’t bring myself to dismiss the TT – it’s too attractive for that.

This is the TT RS Coupe shown, and god is it sexy. The body lines are short and stout and yet slope in a way that befits a small and fast coupe. 400hp from a 3200~ car is also fast.

Liftbacks get extra points from me. I miss the convenience of my tC’s liftback, and am feeling the limitations of a traditional trunk every day with the Gen Coupe.

It’s too bad the TT RS is so expensive and (surprisingly) doesn’t offer a manual transmission, otherwise this is exactly the kind of car that could potentially pull me towards buying German in the future.

Naturally, Audi’s supercar has to be on display, with a fairly wide barrier around it for good measure, because this is one car you definitely wouldn’t want people kicking for kicks.

I like the color?

And finally, getting to Nissan. Of course they have their long-running 370Z on display – this was my first pick car before I decided on the Genesis Coupe instead. It would’ve been hard to commit to the two-seater life, but I’m sure I could’ve pulled it off if need be. At first I couldn’t buy one because of insurance issues, but looking back on it, I would’ve been quite unhappy if I had settled for a base 370Z.

The interior is very obviously dated – this is still a 2009 car, since Nissan has made very marginal updates ever since its release. Like the STi, the motor has remained unchanged for nearly a decade, and I think it’s due for an upgrade and next generation.

Interestingly enough, I believe the Nismo was exclusively manual up until only a few years ago – perhaps sales were slumping with less people willing to commit to a manual-only model, so today’s Nismos come with the automatic as an option.

If I were to get a 370, I’d definitely want a Nismo – I think all the extra goodies, especially the amazing body kit and extra power bump are worth it, since there’s limited potential for these V6’s without committing to a twin turbo build.

These Recaro buckets are also a key option I’d want in a Z.

I visited my local dealership one day and test drove a base 370Z a while back – and while it was slick and nice, the whole thing felt too tame and somewhat boring for a $30k+ hardcore sports car. What’s more, I was excited to try out the manual car’s rev-matching feature, and asked the salesman if the base Z we were driving was equipped with it – he enthusiastically answered that yes, all 370’s had it. So I downshift and let the clutch out quick expecting the car to rev-match for me, but no, we end up lurching around for a few blocks as I try to get it to work with no avail (Later that night I go home and check online – only Sport models and above are equipped with rev-matching, not the base model we drove. Bamboozled).

So given that I was unsatisfied with the base car, I asked the dealership manager how much the Nismo was. He told me not to worry about price – that they could work with anything I had. I told him I had $30k and if that would work – and he promptly laughed me out of the building talking about how the Nismo would start at $42k.

Even after so many years of being on the market and becoming a relatively common super sports car, the GT-R is still revered enough to have its own little show floor cage to make sure no one gets too close.

Respectable, powerful, and very much a performance bargain, but doubtful that even if I had the money I’d go out of my way to own one of these, if only because of how common they are now.

Amazingly, I think that covers everything I had time for on the main show floor – but that wasn’t all of the show just yet. The poster cars are downstairs.

Quite a sight, coming down the escalator and being greeted first-thing with a line of colorful Lambos.

Naturally, the guardrails were crowded with people trying to get a closer look and taking selfies with these machines – more icons than just cars.

I’d never been head-over-heels for exotics – their specs, prices, and exclusivity are so far removed from what I know that they cease to hold all that glamor.

I don’t think a single super/hyper/omegaultragiga car was open for people to sit in, and few were close enough to even touch, though I don’t think many people dared for fear of the exotics police showing up and chopping your fingers off one by one for desecrating these works of art.

A main attraction at the auto show – test drives! And not just free test drives – in most cases, these companies pay you to test drive one of their cars – in the form of $5 or $10 gift cards to Amazon or Starbucks.

There weren’t many cars I wanted to actually drive though – I wasn’t getting very excited over trying out a base Jetta or Civic, though they did have the ND Miata available for testing, even though I’d already test driven one of those before at the dealership. I wonder how many (if any) cars offered for testing were manuals – it would’ve been particularly cool to drive around in a stick Mustang or Challenger, since I’d normally never bother with American muscle otherwise.

Sadly, by the time we were finished touring the overworld and went downstairs to attempt to get in some test driving time, all the slots were full and some manufacturers had even ceased to do it for the day. We did take a survey with Honda and I got this sick beanie as a consolation prize though. Rumor has it that if you wear it while driving any car VTEC will kick in yo.

It looks like the OC Auto Show experience doesn’t change much from year to year, and it would definitely be more worth it if you came every other year or every two years, since there’d likely be a greater chance of seeing fresher cars and concepts. One major word of warning for those who come, and for myself in the future: beware of parking! The show itself is very accessible and affordable – only $11-12 a ticket. But parking in the structure connected to the show venue was $16! Outright robbery – get a relative or friend to drop you off instead.



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