Featured photo for Denver Auto Show

Denver Auto Show

It’s been a while since I’ve seen some serious new car eye candy—the last time was probably at the SF Auto Show 1.5 years ago. Happily, Denver also has an annual International Auto Show, one dating back to 1902! Virtually all car manufacturers were present, and there were even quite a few concept cars on display (something woefully lacking in SF in 2004). Here’s a list of some of my favorites:

  • Porsche Boxster—classically beautiful and, due to the wonders of depreciation, used ones are actually getting pretty affordable. One day…
  • Porsche Cayman. Definitely not very affordable, plus has the drawback (that being of no open-air motoring) of having a fixed roof. But differentiated from the Boxster pretty well (I’d still take the latter).
  • Pontiac Solstice. I loved it at the SF Auto Show; still do.
  • Ford Reflex (concept)
  • Lotus Exige
  • Chevrolet HHR. The more I see it, the more it grows on me. GM has been getting a worse rap than it deserves lately.
  • Honda Fit—cute, sporty, and frugal. Honda finally fills a void left by the Civic which keeps on growing and growing and growing…
  • Chevrolet Corvette

Those are all that comes to mind right now. I do have to say, cars are becoming so good nowadays, I was even impressed with the fit and finish of the Hyundais and Kias (too bad they are so boring and terribly styled!)

Photos not created by Felix Wong may be subject to copyright.
GM's corporate twin, the Saturn Sky, looked particularly striking from the rear, but much more plain from the front and in the inside.
The new Cayman S is a good-looker too, though I never thought yellow was a good color for a Porsche.
... or for a Lamborghini, either.  This is the new Gallardo roadster.
More classic was this Unique Motorsports Cobra replica.
I've never seen a Cobra with a top on!
The Morgan Aero 8.
Lots of customized Mustangs were present at the show featuring the late-60s Stang's louvered rear quarter windows.
The back seat of the Mustang convertible reminded me of that of my '86 Porsche 944: mostly for groceries.
Dodge decided it needed to follow Ford's muscle car lead (again) with a car that looked just like the '70 Challenger.  Problem is, I don't think the original looked that great.
Now for some concept cars.  This is the Chevy Nomad.
Rear view of the funky Nomad.
The Audi TT, which debuted as a concept over 8 years ago, has aged well.
Another concept: the Ford Reflex, about the size of a Pontiac Solstice.
The Honda Fit -- to be in dealerships shortly -- is very cute, sporty, and frugal too.
Unlike a Hummer.  So how do you make a slow, heavy, gas-guzzling vehicle even more impractical?  Give it only 2 seats (the H3T).
Another odd truck... the Toyota FJ Cruiser.
Even uglier: the Ford SYN US concept, inspired by bullet-proof bank trucks.
Here's an aftermarket pop-out camper shell.  You could practically live in this thing.
A Dodge Durango?  No, a Chrysler Aspen... one of the vehicles named for Colorado.
Here's the other vehicle: the Chevy Colorado pickup.
I actually think the Chevy Cobalt looks really nice, like the 90s Opel Calibra.
I also like the PT Cruiser-inspired Chevy HHR.
Alas, I can't say the same thing about the BMW Z4, which still looks awkward to me from certain angles.
The Corvette, as usual, is awesome.  GM has been getting a bad rap.
The engine of a Corvette Z06.
Even more gorgeous was the engine of the Ferrari Challenger Stradata.
Snoop Dogg's custom Chrysler 300C with "Lambo doors" and "seats that took 7 hours to stitch by hand" was on display.  What a waste.
One amazing aftermarket product was the Camelback Chamois, which was the most absorbent thing I've ever seen.
Chevy took a photo of me in this 'Vette.  Yay.
Photo: chevyphotos.com
Some BMW motorcycles were on display too.
The Mercedes SLK looks pretty slick and is supposed to be a bona fide sports car now, unlike the previous generation.
The new Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder looked okay and has a nifty power top.
Amazingly, though, the Lotus Elise gets way better gas mileage (22/29 city/highway) than the V6 Eclipse (18/27)!
So does the Porsche Boxster (20/29)!
The Boxster has really grown on me over the years.  This was probably my favorite car of the show...
The Pontiac Solstice looked almost as good as it did to me 1.5 years ago as a concept at the SF Auto Show.