Last week I made my way to Atlanta for their big annual auto show. I'm considering replacing the long-running champion of NMS, the '97 Ranger, so this was a good chance to check out what's new from most manufacturers. Most of my time was spent going from car to car, taking turns in the driver seat, passenger seat, and inspecting relative comfort, size, etc. Boring but necessary. Here's the more fun highlights from the show:
|The crowd gathers as the show starts up in the morning.|
While Toyota's area generally makes me sleepy just walking by, they did have some items of interest this year. First was a NASCAR cross-section vehicle, so that was cool to see all the inner-workings of one of those high-power cars.
|Toyota powered NASCAR cross-section.|
To go along with the whole car cross-section, they had on display a whole power-train. Yep. I think we could fit that in a Miata.
While Mazda lost massive points for not having their test drives ready the day I was there, they did have one of their diesel-hybrid LeMans prototype race car on display. Very cool, but no prices listed. No new fourth generation (ND) Miatas at the show yet, but I'm sure they'll show up next year as they'll be going on sale soon.
|They didn't let me sit in the prototype.|
Alfa Romeo turned up with an all new 4C. I think it looks pretty good, but a bit out of the price range. I'll stick to my Miata in the two-seater department for now.
|Come on Alfa, bring something affordable over to the US!|
And this year's biggest loser, Mitsubishi. They win points for having the best variety of colors, but most people aren't too interested in the tiny Mirage, the out-dated Lancer, and well, no one cares about their SUV. I almost felt bad for their representative who looked extremely bored.
After all, as this Miata parked next to me reminds us, "Life's too short to drive a boring car"!
|Life's too short to drive a boring car! |
The way home brought me through Greenville to pick up some first generation Miata seats which, after a thorough washing and patch job on the driver seat, will have the foam removed for a cheap pair of race seats for track day. That extra inch or two of foam should fully get me below the rollbar with a helmet on.
|First and second generation seats are interchangeable! Just four bolts.|
The rollbar is on order in NC, so next week NMS South travels north to pick up it up and then kick off the huge upgrade weekend.
|Planning in advance: left home without the passenger seat to fit the two "new" seats in.|
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