HomeUncategorizedIs Philly unique in including classics at its annual new-car auto show?

Is Philly unique in including classics at its annual new-car auto show?


AACA displays a 1932 Auburn 8-100A Phaeton at Philly auto show | Photo by Larry Nutson
AACA displays a 1932 Auburn 8-100A Phaeton at Philly auto show | Photo by Larry Nutson

The Philadelphia Auto Show had its start back to 1902. Each February the show not only treats visitors to all the newest and hottest vehicles on the market today, but gives them a look back at some of the classics of the years past.

The Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia (ADAGP) has produced the Philly auto show since 1997. The dealers felt there was a need to show every aspect of the automotive world, whether that’s pre-production models, a trip down memory lane with a display of classics, or the opportunity for people to dream in the exotics display. Thus those attending the show get to experience both favorite vehicles of yesteryear as well as those of the future.


We always find it equally important to pay homage to our favorite vehicles from yesteryear.”

— Mike Gempp


[/pullquote]“The Philadelphia Auto Show has always been known to have something for everyone,” explained Mike Gempp, Philadelphia Auto Show director. “We take great pride in promoting all of the current vehicle options consumers have today.

“However, we always find it equally important to pay homage to our favorite vehicles from yesteryear as well as some of the most exotic vehicles ever designed. We find that by showcasing all facets of the automotive industry, including past, present and future, it gives our attendees the ultimate entertainment experience.”

The Philadelphia area is fortunate to have a number of classic car organizations and museums nearby. They are invited to be a part of the event. Each organization is responsible for selecting the vehicles it brings to display.

At the just completed 2014 Philadelphia Auto Show, classics from the Simeone Automotive Museum, the Buckingham Concours d’Elegance and the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) where displayed.

Photos by Larry Nutson

“Being part of the Philadelphia Auto Show gives us a unique opportunity to reach a large segment of people who are obviously interested in cars,” said Harry Hurst, communications director for the Simeone Automotive Museum. “We have found this show attracts an audience that is different from our traditional automotive and racing enthusiast. The auto show brings a wide spectrum of attendees, both old and young, and families and singles. It’s a great way to spread the word about the museum to people who would not otherwise hear about us.”

Another popular feature at the Philly Auto Show is the “Face-Off,” which this year matched up Ford Muscle vs. Mopar Muscle. This event is produced by Carlisle Events. Show visitors get to vote on their favorite muscle cars.

Annually, from early fall, through the winter and into spring, auto manufacturers and their dealers host a multitude of auto shows around the country, all intended to both inform and entertain the American car buying public. But the Philadelphia International Auto Show may be unique with its inclusion of a broad display of antique and classic automobiles that also serves to educate.

In addition to those already mentioned, also in the Philadelphia area are the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles, America on Wheels Museum in Allentown, and the AACA Museum in Hershey. Also noteworthy is the Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance that takes place in September.

Editor’s note: Does your local new-car auto show include any classics? If so, please use the Feedback form to let us know so we can let everyone know about it.


Larry Nutson
Larry Nutson
Larry Nutson is an auto industry veteran, a mechanical engineer by education and an automobile enthusiast at heart. His diverse automotive career includes a youthful stint in semi-pro drag racing, twenty-five years working for Volkswagen of America, three years of Chevrolet strategy planning at Campbell-Ewald Advertising, and a position as founding member of the Detroit-based Individual Communicators Network (ICN). He is a past chairperson of the SAE International Public Affairs Committee, has provided public relations services for SAE Congress and Formula SAE and was a consultant and sponsorship representative for the Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit. Larry is the Chicago Bureau Chief for The Auto Channel and resides in Chicago.
  1. I always love it when an automaker displays something of its heritage at the new car shows. In Detroit we usually find less than a half dozen. The same with Chicago and LA. Most shows don’t have a lot of extra space (with the exception of Chicago where the Volo Museum used to have a display) for separate old car displays but if the exhibits just had one old one for character and color we would be happy.

  2. The annual new-car show held at the Chicago McCormick Place Convention Center also includes a display of antique and collector cars each year.

Recent Posts