San Francisco International Auto Show 2011

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2011’s SF Auto Show was awesome. All the manufacturers had their newest models on display in a setting where you could climb all over them, press all the buttons, and play with all the gadgets. The show also featured a vintage car collection from the Academy of Art University which was truly breathtaking.

Whew, now that you’ve clicked “read more” we can get real. The regular Joes don’t look this far, so I’m going to take a moment to vent. I really really really don’t like car shows. Notice I didn’t take any photos at SEMA this year, or in 2010? There’s nothing that visually excites me, or that I “see as a photo” in places like that. I went to the SF Auto Show because I haven’t been there since I was ten years old, and my good buddy Kia from TD Garage wanted to go. This is not to say that the following photos are taken by a no-fun-having zombie and contain no feeling, I just wouldn’t have gone if it weren’t for those two factors. I probably won’t be attending in 2012. The only exception to all of this is the vintage car collection. I could shoot those all day long. Anyway, enough of my griping… on to the story!

Kia and I arrived at Moscone Center in San Francisco, and hit the main floor. Kia spotted a new BMW M3, and immediately went over to check it out. “It smells like old ladies with lots of makeup in here” said Kia.

Next we saw a new BMW with a radical twin-turbo design that places exhausts in the valley of the V-style engine for a sleek turbo location. We asked the booth-girls if we could pop the hood and have a look.

“Well, where the hell are the turbos?” There was far too much plastic to see anything

This Infinity G37 was nothing special, but its paint color was very interesting. When we approached it, we both thought it was black.

Upon closer evaluation, we discovered it was actually a deep shade of purple in the spots where light was bouncing off of it. Cool!

Kia was displeased with the Lamborghini booth. It was roped off, so no Lambo climbing for us. 🙁

Check it out! The Rolls Royce with an umbrella in the door so you never get caught out in the rain. Now that’s boss.

This new version of the Volkswagen Beetle looks more like the original than the “New Beetle” did! I am excited and hopeful for this car’s future as a Mexican taxi.

Scion claims that their new “IQ” is the smallest car in its class, but when compared directly its considerably longer than the current Kia.

We decided to give the IQ’s innards a run around anyway, and were having lots of fun until Tom Cruise suddenly appeared and startled the crap out of us! We tried to duck, but he saw us anyway and we had to run away quickly to prevent him from converting us to Scientology…

Ooh! A Ford Transit made into a taxi! I’m a big fan of the Ford Transit ever since they introduced it in the USA. I would be an even bigger fan if they offered a four cylinder diesel version. Europe knows what’s up.

Enough cargo space for Kia to attempt a handstand in!

In the VW booth we came across this awesome-looking game. Here’s a shot of Kia munching the wall. haha.

We walked into the Aftermarket Performance Section and this was the first thing I saw. Now, I know I claimed to love vintage cars, but the Porsche 356 and its close relatives are absolutely excluded. I’ve sat through enough CSRG races to be absolutely sick and tired of their droning exhaust, and bathtub styling. This one was pretty clean, though.


Kia was covering the event too for his blog site They supply him with all the best equipment, I was jealous.

Hey look! Kia found a Kia! Yo dawg, I heard you like Kias so we put a Kia in your Kia so you can Kia while you Kia.

Finally, the good stuff! I absolutely love primitive car designs like these. Nothing was standardized back then, not even control layouts. Every different automobile is a unique piece of engineering splendor.

Just look at that hood ornament!

This car is equipped with a rumble-seat, so where do you put your luggage? In the trunk attached to the back! I guess that’s where the term was coined.

Nissan had a program where you could drive the new Nissan Leaf around a course inside the building!

I snapped a photo of this Rolls Royce model…

…and Kia, uhh, I don’t know exactly what Kia was taking a photo of here. Cheers!


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