For many people, the sounds of bats hitting baseballs, the slap of leather on horsehide and the smell of fresh cut outfield grass are harbingers of spring. In this area, those of us afflicted with a serious car Jones, the New York International Car Show is our talisman. Held in Manhattan for over 100 years, this show continues to satisfy the public’s need to become immersed in the magic that is the new car.
Car makers from all corners of the globe know that New York is where you have to be to attract the biggest crowds in the world’s most exciting City. Historically over a million visitors come to see the new cars and few, if any, leave disappointed. The nearly one million square feet of exhibition space on several levels, has sights and sounds to satisfy anyone with even a passing interest in cars, trucks and SUVs. The show’s press folks say that the average visitor spends almost four hours strolling through the aisles but the displays are so numerous that you could spend an entire day and not see everything.
While the New York International Auto Show is the grand daddy of all car shows, dating back to 1900, it isn’t the first of the season. That means that if you want to bring in fans to see the newest vehicles, manufacturers dole out their “world premiers” piecemeal so all of the other major shows like Detroit and Los Angeles can get press coverage too. That doesn’t mean that New York is, by any means, short changed on intros of the newest of the new. For example, starting with the letter “A” this year, Acura will debut their restyled MDX sports utility vehicle at the show. Not to be out done, Porsche will present a lower priced, 4-cylinder, turbo-charged Macan to the world in NYC. Mazda, although they are being tight-lipped, has hinted they would “blow the lid off” at the show. Experts say think Miata and power hard top! And you can expect even more debutantes at the show because New York is the media capital of the world. Car makes know that a splash here ripples throughout the car world so I predict a few surprises. Bottom line, you won’t be disappointed.
Logistically, the site of the show, The Javits Center on 34th Street and 11th Avenue is perfectly placed for visitors. It’s an easy stroll from Penn Station and an even shorter walk from the Number 7 Subway stop at Hudson Yards. If you came by Metro North, Grand Central on 42nd and Lexington is a brisk but easy walk and the Port Authority bus terminal is even closer. For us New Jersey visitors, the NY Waterway ferry is the only way to go. The Mid-Town ferry docks behind the Javits and it’s a block’s walk to the front door. If you drive in (it is after all a car show) expect to pay $40 for parking at any of the close-in garages.
Buying tickets ahead of time is best and can get done easily at their web site. Group rates can be had and discount tickets are available for children, so bring the kids. If you want to see the show with fewer crowds, you can get in an hour earlier than the general public by paying an extra fee for your ticket.
The show runs from Friday March 26 through April 3 with an “extra fee” sneak peek available for Friday March 25.
For the general public, the doors open at 10 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. (7 p.m. on the final day of the show) but the show stops selling tickets and hour before closing. Your ticket entitles you to all day access but if you want to leave for lunch or supper, they do not offer a no-charge re-entry so plan accordingly.
Other tips are wear comfortable shoes, bring your camera since pictures are not only allowed, they are encouraged and charge up your smart phone because the building can have spotty cell reception; your phone may drain your battery while it searches for signal.
All show specific information is available at their web site.
Interested in cars, trucks and other vehicles? The New York International Auto Show is the place to be this spring. Hope to see you there.