Car Show 2002

April 4, 2002 - My most exciting moment at this year's car show wasn't even a car, but the sight of a Ford salesman running around the truck hall on a Segway scooter. It looked like so much fun, I offered to let him hold my digital camcorder in exchange for a test drive. But he refused. If someone rents these things when they come out later this year, they're going to make a fortune!

The epicenter of this year's excitement was the Toyota exhibit, which highlighted their new Matrix (not great looking, but kind of fun). The area was sort of a drive-in theater with a huge video monitor playing several fun 10-minute commercials like a Star Trek spoof starring Leonard Nimoy. Though Nissan's cars were nicer, their exhibit was pretty dull in comparison.

Perhaps by osmosis there was a lot of excitement next door at Cadillac. They are so intent on creating a new, younger image with their new, facetted cars that they didn't even show their senior mainstays the Seville, Deville and Eldorado. Hmmm.

My favorite new (affordable) car was the 2003 Mazda 6 mid-size series. I also love the new Mini Cooper S, which took a gamble on a small main floor exhibit next to Porsche, and the new Honda Civic hatchback with its dash-mounted gearshift lever. But the Honda area itself was pretty boring, and they had one of the most bizarre concept vehicles that looked like a pregnant space ship.

The most amazing non-affordable concept was the new Ford GT40, which almost surely will have to be built. The restyled Dodge Viper looked boring by comparison. As a matter of fact, the whole Dodge/Chrysler exhibit area was pretty dead despite several nice cars and interesting concepts.

Visit the official car show website,

After at least a decade of awful graphics, the car show seems to have hired a new design firm.

Looking north toward the Chevies.

Looking south towards the Fords.

Introducing the new Mazda 6 sedan, here cut in two.

The Mazda 6 headlight arrays are nicely detailed.

The Mazda 6's beautiful tailight arrays have amber turn signal bulbs!

The Ford GT40.

The Ford GT40 engine.

The Ford GT40 headlight array.

This retro interpretation of a 1962 Lincoln was fun, chrome and all.

It looked very much like a low-rider or the Green Hornet car.

Even the retro Lincoln's interior is full of chrome, just like the original.

Mini's daring main floor booth was right next to Porsche.

The hideous Nissan BBX van belongs gets my 2002 AMC Pacer award.

A gullwing Caddie? Just give me a 2003 Mercedes Benz SL500!

Copyright © 2008 Sandy Campbell. All rights reserved. Last updated April 15. Back to top.