5-day auto show opens here today

More than 500 vehicles at Convention Center, but Rolls, Isuzu absent

February 06, 2002|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF

Unless you've got your heart set on a Rolls-Royce or an Isuzu, the Motor Trend International Auto Show, which begins today at the Baltimore Convention Center, may well have something to spark your fancy.

The five-day event is much like packing all of the new-car dealerships in Glen Burnie with those along York Road under one large roof.

Buyers can take a short walk and compare Chevrolet's new, seven-passenger midsize TrailBlazer sport utility vehicle with comparable models from Jeep, Dodge and GMC .

Buick will display its first-ever SUV - the Rendezvous.

The only truck-based midsize vans - the made-in-Baltimore Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari - will be there competing with smaller minivans from just about every manufacturer, foreign and domestic.

The show will feature more than 500 cars, trucks, SUVs and minivans from 37 manufacturers, as well as futuristic "concept cars" and classic hot rods. Some of the early arrivals were rolled off tractor-trailers yesterday as an army of workers spread carpet, assembled turntables, stacked promotional brochures and dusted vehicles with soft cotton cloths.

"This show will be about 25 percent larger than last year's," said Peter Kitzmiller, president of the Maryland New Car and Truck Dealers Association, one of the show's sponsors.

"If it's hot or if it's something that is going to show up in a dealership showrooms anytime within the next 10 months, we will have it at the Baltimore show," he said. "If there is something that you read about and wanted to see, in all likelihood it will be here."

The Kia exhibit will feature the lowest-price new car in America, the Rio, priced at just under $9,000. At the opposite extreme will be Maseratis and Ferraris priced at more than $200,000.

Lauren Holzman, a spokeswoman for the show, said she expects at least three or four concept vehicles that offer a hint of what cars and truck of the future will be like.

"But we never know for certain," she said. "Some of the manufacturers like to bring in a surprise. We are never sure what exciting things will roll out of the delivery trucks."

Hot Rod Magazine will present a "show within a show" with a display of custom-built hot rods.

The U.S. Marine Corps will roll out a pair of camouflaged Hum- vees, the military's super-rugged, all-terrain replacement for the vintage Jeep.

Kitzmiller said the only manufacturers selling cars in the United States not represented at the Baltimore show will be Rolls-Royce, which closed its dealership in Maryland, and Isuzu.

Show hours are 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. today and tomorrow, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $9 for adults (13 and over), and $4 for children (ages 7 to 12). Children ages 6 and under get in free.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.