Detroit isn’t the only place in the country to get your drive on.
In less than two weeks, motor-minded crowds will be closing in on the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the Philadelphia International Auto Show, a much easier trip and a weather-friendlier place for us East Coasters. With hundreds of vehicles from worldwide manufacturers and special programs and exhibits, the oldest auto show in the East is always a worthwhile excursion. Depending on what your goals are and how much money you’re willing to spend, the average Jill or Joe can make it a once-in-a-lifetime gala event or a day for the entire family to enjoy together.
The show kicks off with the Black Tie Tailgate Gala on Friday, February 7, from 7:00 to 11:30. Tickets for this exciting event start at $225 per person. Food, drink, live music, dancing, gorgeous gowns and tuxes, hobnobbing with the rich and famous – and oh yeah, it benefits the Division of Neonatology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and you can preview lots and lots of cars and trucks. Note: you do NOT have to care one whit about vehicles to have a terrific time.
The show opens for the hoi polloi the next day, and tickets are waaay more reasonable: $12 for adults, $6 for kids 7-12 any time and for seniors on weekdays, free for 6 and under and active military with valid military ID (but not friends, family or inactive military). Some but not all tickets can be purchased online, so visit the website for details.
Show times are 9 to 10 on Saturday, 9 to 8 on Sunday and noon to 10 on weekdays, which gives you plenty of time to take in all the sights. Highlights include an array of concept, classic, luxury, pre-production and exotic models. At our publication time, the list of featured exhibits were these:
Simeon Automotive Museum Buckingham Concourse D’Elegance
Subaru Legacy Concept 2015 Cadillac Escalade
2015 Chevy Colorado 2015 Corvette Stingray Convertible
2015 Chevy Silverado HD 2015 Chevy Suburban
2015 Chevy Tahoe 2015 Chrysler 200 2015 Ford Mustang
2015 Ford F-150 2015 GMC Yukon 2015 GMC Sierra HD
2015 GMC Canyon 2015 Lincoln MKC 2015 Porsche Macan
2015 Subaru WRX STI 2014 Buick LaCrosse
2014 Buick Regal 2014 Buick Encore 2014 Cadillac ELR
2014 Corvette Stingray Coupe 2014 Chevy Camaro z/28
2014 Chevy Spark 2014 Chevy SS 2014 Chevy Camaro ZL1
2014 RAM 1500 Eco-Diesel
Check for updates to the list.
A little about the Philadelphia Auto Show
The Philadelphia International Auto Show began in 1902, and the Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia (ADAGP) has been producing it since 1997.
Last year’s Black Tie Tailgate Gala was attended by nearly 4,000 people and resulted in a record donation of $451,000 to the event’s beneficiary.
Almost every manufacturer’s display welcomes show-goers to sit inside the vehicles, pop the hood and kick the tires; however no one is allowed to sit in the concept or exotic vehicles.
You can also take photos and video to your heart’s content – in fact, it is encouraged.
The Philadelphia Auto Show is designed so that consumers can inspect all angles of the vehicles and have a pressure-free environment in which to do it. The product specialists at each manufacturer booth will answer your questions, but this is a no-sell event.