A Look Back At The 2019 New York International Auto Show

Concept cars. Compact vehicles. Trucks. Vans. SUVs. Sedans. Racecars. You name the car and it was in Manhattan.

As April showered in, auto manufacturers showed they are as creative as ever, debuting everything from new body styles to different paint jobs that you’ve never seen before on the streets of New York—or anywhere else for that matter.

The 2019 New York International Auto Show at the Javits Center was a smash hit. Some manufacturers unveiled brand-new cars, while others wanted to give fans a blast in the past with nostalgic vehicles.

When all was said and done, the show, which spanned from April 19 to 28, was the place to be for automobile aficionados. To kick things off, Porsche revealed the all-new 911 Speedster, one of the lightest and quickest cars on the market. It was followed by a wild unveil from Subaru, which literally created a mountain in the middle of the Javits Center to show how durable its 2020 Outback is. The Outback comes with a sporty turbocharged engine, all while keeping Subaru’s traditional exterior beauty.

Some manufacturers made sure to have fun with attendees. Chevrolet had several futuristic concepts, including virtual reality tours of its testing facility in Michigan. But that wasn’t all.

The bow-tie gang also had an interactive station set up to showcase its driverless technology. Set up like a radio control car track, Chevrolet had bodyless cars with a remote control for fans to drive around a circuit. The track was dense, complicated and tough to maneuver. Fans had no clue they were actually being timed until after the fact, when their score would pop up on a screen behind them. Suddenly, a member of the bow-tie team would click a button and the car would easily slide through the course, raising all sorts of questions about the amazing self-driving technology that will soon be featured in their street vehicles.

Ford even partnered with The Lego Group to have younger fans join in on the fun. The blue oval had life-size racecar drivers made out of Legos, as well as miniature ones. Kids made their own Lego Ford Performance buddy, and parents joined in on the fun, too.

Of course, Toyota had to showcase its ingenuity. The Japanese auto maker opted to show off its cars of the future. Not only did it feature its NASCAR racecars—a Camry and a Supra—but Toyota had a vehicle there that you’d think is a mirror. When passing by this concept machine, its shiny rims, sleek yet awkward look made attendees ask just about every Toyota worker what in the world it is.

Toyota also debuted a new-look Highlander, creating a fresh design for one of the manufacturer’s most popular SUVs.

One of the most viewed exhibits at the auto show was Nissan’s “Ultimate Dream Garage,” featuring none other than the legendary Datsun.

Datsun, the American version of Nissan in the late-1960s to early 1970s, took the nation’s streets by storm. It all started with the 1969 launch of the Z series in New York City. This sports coupe was cheap compared to other international sports cars. Its 240Z was a highlight amongst car collectors, and it still is to this day. The Datsun was rare, selling only 16,215 in America in 1970 and 33,684 a year later, according to Hagerty, a classic car valuation organization. And that made it even more popular.

The New York International Auto Show provided New Yorkers a chance to see the past, present and future, and it doesn’t get much better than that.

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Joseph Wolkin
Joseph Wolkin is the editor of the Levittown Tribune, Syosset-Jericho Tribune and Anton Media Group's automotive special section and county news section. A graduate of Stony Brook University, Joseph has been published in dozens of publications. He is the author of Grandma: The Story Of A Boy And His Grandma.

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