Back on Track

The 120th Annual Philadelphia Auto Show returned the Philadelphia Convention Center.

Attendees interact with different Ford models on the show floor. | NOEL CHACKO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

The latest in car technology and classic cars from the 1900’s were on display during the 120th annual Philadelphia Auto Show at the Philadelphia Convention Center on Saturday.

The Auto Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia organizes The Philadelphia Auto Show and works with more than 15 car manufacturers like Ford, Toyota, Subaru, Kia, Volvo and Hyundai to display their vehicles at the show from March 5 through 13. Attendees had access to look at interiors, trunks and engines of some of the vehicles on the show floor. 

“[The show] has been around for 120 years and it’s been part of the fabric of Philadelphia,” said Kevin Mazzucola, executive director of the Philadelphia Auto Show. “We just want to make sure that [the show] is what it has always been in regards to the city and the consumers in the auto industry.” 

The show attracts between 200,000 to 250,000 people each year during the nine days of the show, which drives business for Reading Terminal Market, parking garages, hotels, SEPTA and more. 

As usual, the supercars were attention grabbers, but the Auto Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia put an emphasis on electric vehicles this year.

“[This] transition is the biggest technological transition probably since the Model T,” said Mazzucola. “We’re talking about the soul of the vehicle, what propels it, and the relationship you have with your automobile.”

New to the show this year was the e-Track, the show’s first-ever multi-brand electric vehicle test track. Attendees were able to take a ride in five different vehicles driven by professional drivers to experience the differences between combustion and electric vehicles. 

The Auto Dealers Caring for Kids Foundation, a foundation under The Auto Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia, has donated roughly half a million brand new coats to underprivileged kids during the past 12 years using portions of revenue generated from The Philadelphia Auto Show, said Mazzucola.

“In high school, my first car was a 1990  Miata. That kind of got me into it,” said Mike Moses from Havertown, Pennsylvania, about how he became interested in the car scene. He said working at a car dealership as a detailer furthered his interest in cars.

“And it’s cool to be back here. I like how they moved the classic cars separately, and they put all EV models all together.”

The show returned this year after being canceled last year due to COVID-19. 

“It’s really exciting to see all the new models that have been kind of held back because of COVID and actually seeing them now, even if they’re pre-production or just like show models, it’s nice to see them,” said Martin Martinez, a marketing director from Wilmington, Delaware. 

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