Pop Culture

2017 Washington Auto Show: The Public Policy Show

Experienced by Anthony Pankey

Photos by Adrenaline Lifestyles

The 75th anniversary of the Washington Auto Show (WAS) also titled as the “Public Policy Show” was nothing short of amazing. WAS filled the Convention Center with exciting exhibits, the latest model cars to hit the street, classic custom vehicles, exotic luxury vehicles, celebrities and sports personalities and the well acclaimed Art of Motion exhibit. Since 1921, WAS has grown into a must-attend family event in the Washington DC area. WAS is known as the public policy show on the auto show circuit because it connects industry leaders with public policy makers during the preview days that are held in advance of the 10-day public show.

WAS is an annual local auto show held in Washington, D.C. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and is produced by Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association (WANADA). WAS is among the largest auto shows in North America, running with the North American International Auto Show in Detroit (NAIAS), the LA Auto Show, the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) and the Chicago Auto Show. The show displays more than 700 new models from over 42 manufacturers. Exclusive Automotive Group, Mr. Mooreheads’ Sterling Motorcars fleet and Competizione and Sports Cars showcased many beautiful vehicles such as Aston Martins, Bentleys McLarens, Ferraris, Lamborghinis and the luxurious Rolls-Royce Phantom, Ghost and Wraith models.

BMW, Ford, Subaru, Kia, Mazda and Toyota all hosted “Ride and Drives” for showgoers. Kids were entertained in Playland by various characters roaming the show floor. Automotive Rhythms welcomed The LEGO Batman Movie team by setting the perfect backdrop with a Joker themed Slingshot courtesy of owner David Harich as they awarded games, prizes, shirts, posters, and other giveaways to show attendees. DC Cool Night was such a fun and innovative experience for the Auto show. DC cool night was presented by The Washington Auto Show, The Washington Post and Destination DC. DJ Dimmy spun cool tunes while there was a full bar setup with drink specials, a photo booth and much more. What a great experience to bring casual automotive fans to the show for a great night of socializing, networking and experiencing the creative side of DC.

Anxious crowds rushed to see the Ford robot that was on site. Fans interacted with the robot during show sessions as it answered questions, posed for pictures and told jokes to the crowd. Celebrities such as WWE wrestler Randy Orton, Washington Redskin Jordan Reed and Washington Nationals Trea Turner dropped by to take pictures with fans and sign autographs. Hyundai curated a “Hands On” contest where contestants attempted to hold onto a 2017 Hyundai Tucson SE for five nights and six days, in which the last man standing won. George Abbott 44-year-old federal government worker from Springfield, VA won the contest. George suffers from an eye condition that will eventually keep him from driving but he has vowed to take the Tucson for a cross-country road trip with his father and friend.

Manifested by Automotive Rhythms (AR) was the cutting-edge, graphic presentation that highlighted more than 13,000 square feet of engaging and creative eye candy consisting of motorcycles, slingshots, luxury autos, hybrids, fashion, and murals. Nationally celebrated painter, Edward Joseph aka “Ed the Artist” showed off style as an abstract visualizer that specializes in lines that seek influence using shapes, forms, colors and textures on the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime and the 2017 Jaguar XE. Shawn Mitchell Perkins aka “SP the Plug” showcased his style of abstract, graffiti and realism to the exhibit using mostly oil and some acrylic paint on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica. Jamaal Newman aka “Jamaal Lamaaj” offered his famed realism style for his creative works on the 2017 Mini. Suite Nation and American artist SUPERWAXX’s used vibrant colors and fine line painting techniques, with animated cartoons on the 2017 Kia Cadenza.

In addition to the array of vehicles on deck, sophisticated fashion models from KennyKAS Custom posed stylishly while fusing couture and entertainment seamlessly as they provided the perfect complement to leave attendees in awe. Other attention grabbers that captivated included customs such as the McLaren 650s from IAP racing, our blazing sunset orange Chevy Tahoe, an iconic Porsche Livery, Audi S7, Nissan GTR, Nissan 350Z, Dodge Charger Hellcat, BMW 650, and Tesla Model S, custom Polaris Slingshots, the ice blue to gray gradient Harley-Davidson Road glide designed by Camtech Custom Baggers, a thunderous Harley-Davidson Street Glide from Artistic Custom Kreations and a stealthy custom Yamaha R1 from MSP Motorsports. Additional appreciation goes to APAC Auto, Street Dreamz, SS Takeover, Coleman Powersports, and Wise Customs.

Sponsored by Jeep, WAS also offered a Military Tribute Day that was in honor of the dedicated service of U.S. troops. Free admission was given to all active-duty military and veterans. In addition to free admission, Military Tribute Day featured special exhibits and entertainment that giving detailed attention to military special services. The American Red Cross in the National Capital Region brought in service dogs trained to assist soldiers with PTSD and space was given to consumers to wrap care packages to be sent to combat soldiers.

During the second Policy Day at WAS, three winners of Green Car Journal’s prestigious Green Car Awards were announced at a Washington Auto Show press conference. The awardees were as follows; the 2017 Connected Green Car of the Year™ is the Mercedes-Benz C350e, the 2017 Green SUV of the Year™ was awarded to the BMW X5 xDrive40e and the 2017 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ was awarded to Acura’s new NSX.

TV News coverage was heavy from stations such as NBC 4, Fox 5, ABC 7, News Channel 8, CBS 9, and many more. Anticipation is already running high for the 2018 Washington Auto Show. Thank you John O’Donnell and the entire WANADA team for curating this wonderful show. Please enjoy our photo gallery.

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