Back in 1971, when I was only but a gleam in my father’s eye, the South Florida International Auto Show, aka, the Miami Auto Show opened it’s doors to a host of curious onlookers. Since then, the event draws over 650,000 visitors during the course of the 10-day affair, pulling near the same numbers as New York, LA, Chicago and Detroit- the four biggest auto shows in the country/world.
So, if in fact Miami is one of the top five auto shows in the country, why doesn’t it get the same amount of coverage as others? Well, aside from blatantly poor execution by auto show execs and the South Florida community as a whole (remember the whole election thing?), Miami just doesn’t carry that same glamorous million dollar environment as it once did- which I assume ended in 1990 when Miami Vice was cancelled. Sigh…
Driving through the outlying areas alone, Miami’s inner city is plagued with a third-world persona, some of the most reckless violence in the country and blatant disregard for vehicles of any sort, cars aside, a sad, black hole in the once thriving South Florida community. And although South Beach continues to reek with Ferrais, Lamborghinis, Maseratis and a certain celebrities $2.5 Million Bugatti Veyron SuperSports
, it’s a far far cry from a high end automaker's dream.
But what does Miami need to do in order to become relevant? For one, the auto show needs a complete overhaul if it wants to be able to compete. Taking a stroll through the showroom floor, nothing really jumped out and said “look at me!” although, the LFA Nurburgring Edition
and Aston Martin Vanquish
were a sight for sore eyes. Other than a minor sprinkling of Ferraris and McLarens, the Honda Accord, Fisker Karma and Ford Fusion were the big ticket items on hand. Impressive in their own right, but breathtaking? Not in the least.
So at this moment, the Miami Auto Show is light years away from re-inventing itself to the automotive world as it once was. It’s decrepit, poorly managed and I wouldn’t wish a drive into the inner city by my worst enemy. Still, Miami is home to a massive community following, a host of world-renowned aftermarket specialists and more eco-nuts than you’ll find in a bag of trail mix; there in itself lies the possibility for potential in the future.
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Photo Credit: Marc Perrella/Flickr