A Look at the Arizona International Auto Show

Modern and classic cars were on display at the annual show in Phoenix. 

Photo: Bill Ramsey

This past Thanksgiving weekend, some of us consumed turkey, while others attended car shows. The Arizona International Auto Show took place at the Phoenix Convention Center from November 23-26. 

The four-day-long event showcased 500 cars from 35 different manufacturers. The event aims to educate consumers about new models from a variety of brands. Unlike previous shows, which solely included new cars, this one featured classic cars, hot rods, and new models.

Among participants were Honda, Lexus, Maserati, KIA, Hyundai, and Aston Martin.

Bill Ramsey

People check out the 2018 Corvette Z06 Coupe at the Arizona International Auto Show in Phoenix, Arizona. 

DeeDee Taft, a communications director who has worked with the show for more than 17 of its 45 years, said the event was packed all four days. The KIA Stinger, which will come out in 2018 was a favorite, she said. Taft enjoyed the KIA but was particularly impressed by the classic models on the floor.

She said there were some “really tricked out specialty vehicles,” such as freshly painted blue and pink-striped "lowriders" from a local auto club.  “These cars are works of art,” she said.

Bill Ramsey

Freshly painted, vibrant-colored "lowriders" were among the vintage models on display. 

Other models displayed included Ford Mustangs, Chevy Impalas, and an off-roading concept vehicle.

The show also had interactive elements such as a VR experience with Toyota’s driver assistance program, the dancing KIA “hamstars," and a test-driving track for kids, featuring little Jeep and Mustang models.

Bill Ramsey

A show goer tests out Toyota's new driver-assist technology, a VR system that detects dangerous situations. 

While families were welcome every day of the event, Sunday was particularly aimed at children. Kids ages 12 and under got in for free and enjoyed appearances from comic book characters such as The Incredible Hulk and Star-Lord.

Overall, the show combined classic cars with modern vehicles and provided entertainment for all ages.

“It’s definitely well-received in the marketplace,” Taft said. “The cars are the stars.”