Curbside Classic Visits The 2017 New York International Auto Show, Part 4: Conclusion

Foot traffic in the Javits Center tends to gravitate towards the new cars on Level 3 and at the North Hall. The other areas offer more breathing room, at least by New York standards. While Part 4 starts off with shiny new metal, it ends with classic rides that span a good portion of the 20th century. 

The first generation CX-9 hung around until the 2015 model year, badly outdated and in need of a redesign. Mazda more than made up for the previous generation with the new model.

The first generation CX-9 appeared bulbous and a bit awkward. The new model does not suffer from such maladies, and although it borrows a bit from the CX-5 and CX-3, it wears the look well.

Unfortunately the CX-9 boasts a floating screen motif that doesn’t work. The screen is mounted miles away from the driver, and there is a significant amount of dead space between the bottom of the screen and the top of the HVAC vents.

It really is a shame that modern Mazda interiors are marred by poor aesthetics and functionality because the materials quality is outstanding.

The Jeep Compass possibly represents the first entry in a new crossover segment. Does it compete with the Renegade or the Cherokee? Hard to say, as it slots between the two with regards to sizing and price. The Compass boasts superior styling to its stablemates, shunning the boxy appearance of the Renegade for a look that immediately bring to mind the Grand Cherokee. This is what the regular Cherokee should have looked like when it debuted several years ago.

The interior of the Compass contains many parts also found on the Renegade and Cherokee, with the most noticeable item being the steering wheel.

Like its stablemates, the Compass receives trail rated versions meant to tackle demanding off-road situations, although I imagine most shoppers will keep their examples on the pavement.

This admittedly blurry photo shows the new Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, which is not a Hellcat, but could very well be, as it sports the same supercharged 6.2 L V8 and eight speed automatic found in the Charger.

One big advantage for the Grand Cherokee is the addition of a four-wheel drive system, which undoubtedly helps with traction under heavy acceleration.

Unlike the Trackhawk, FCA thought the Ram Rebel needed a less restrained look.

Out back things are less in-your-face, but still aggressive.

Unsurprisingly, Jeep had a display full of their own swag, which included some outdoor gear.

This year many aftermarket performance companies hawked their wares at the show. I don’t know if this was a conscious effort from the folks who run the Javits Center or not, but there was a noticeable increase in heavily modified late model vehicles, like this Camaro convertible.

That wasn’t the only modified Camaro at the show either.

This Camaro was probably the most tasteful of the bunch.

Here is a current generation Camaro with gull wing doors. I’m always curious as to how much a project like that costs.

Big Power Racing operates out of Long Island and works on newer cars in addition to vintage vehicles.

They brought several older models out, with both sporting some pretty beefy tires.

If you’re looking to modify your brand new Super Duty in preparation for the apocalypse, Elite LT Series has you covered.

I imagine a project like this one costs considerable coin.

Aftermarket modifications also appear on this Huracan, although its unclear if anything changed under the hood.

This Audi coupe sports a ride height that looks unsuitable for speed bumps or any type of pavement that isn’t in pristine condition.

The Mazda RX-7 isn’t exactly common anymore, so its a treat to see one in the flesh, even if the body kit is a little too garish.

That’s also a very strange color choice. Not ugly by any means, just different.

Here’s something we’re bound to see in increasing numbers: tricked out crossovers. I suspect we’ll see more factory performance crossovers as well. Ford and FCA already have products like the Explorer and Edge Sport, Durango SRT, and the recently discussed Trackhawk. Will we see something like an Escape ST or CR-V Si?

A number of Corvettes sat roped off from the general public. This particular example probably gets driven more frequently than most cars of this era, given its regular New York license plates.

This powder blue Corvette looks fantastic, but what does that plate say?

Someone seems to be living the dream.

This 1969 has an excellent paint scheme.

It also appears to be in very good condition.

The New York City Police Museum continues to be a presence at the Javits Center,  and this year they brought some new vehicles to display, like this 1930 Mack Emergency Response Truck.

I accidentally skipped this section last year, but I’m pretty sure this Plymouth coupe was at the show in 2015.

This 1951 Plymouth showed up in previous years, but it always stands out.

I’ve definitely never seen this Fury wagon at the show before. Looks great!

There’s always several Fury squad cars at the show.

More Fury!

This Fury wears the NYPD paint scheme that saw use from the early 70’s to the late 90’s.

Ford was also represented with this Custom 300.

The NYPD doesn’t solely rely on automobiles for their transportation needs, as evidenced by these motorcycles.

The smart car might just be the weirdest vehicle used by New York’s finest, although its use in NYC makes a lot of sense given the tight spaces that characterize the roads of the five boroughs.

And here we have what may very well be the predecessor of the smart car: the three wheel scooters. The NYPD is currently evaluating whether or not the smart car can function as a worthy replacement.

Twenty years ago the Caprice cruised around the city. Today they’re practically collectors items. Work vehicles tend to be chewed up and thrown away, especially in states that use salt. Even late model Crown Vics are becoming scare, at least in my neck of the woods.

I still see some early 2000’s Impala sedans running around, but they are also dwindling in number. Is this one still in service? It has an orange EZ-Pass tag and lacks a registration sticker, a typical setup for government vehicles.

Oddly enough, the most perplexing vehicle in the display was this NYPD Emergency Service truck. It doesn’t seem like the truck is used for fire fighting purposes, so what could it be? Are these just used to transport equipment?

From coupes and sedans to smart cars and crossovers. I suppose fully electric cars are next, right?

Military vehicles generally aren’t present in New York, and if they are, its in the form of a Humvee. This Oshkosh branded truck certainly makes an impression.

On a side note, every time the name Oshkosh is mentioned I am immediately reminded of Oshkosh B’Gosh, the children’s clothing company. Fun fact: Oshkosh B’Gosh was founded in 1895, while the Oshkosh Corporation was founded in 1917 as the Wisconsin Duplex Auto Company.

The Oshkosh absolutely dominates this Humvee.

The South Concourse is typically home to an exhibit featuring classic cars. This year was no different.

The Saratoga Automobile Museum did a great job with their section, which focused on the history of the automobile in New York State. This Midget Racer won quite a bit of races back in the day.

Unfortunately, the Playboy Prototype never won much of anything. Its creators wanted the car to become the go-to choice for households in the market for a second vehicle, but the idea didn’t resonate with enough people to make production viable, and the Buffalo-based company called it quits in 1949.

Our dearly departed Jana Lingo visited the Saratoga Automobile Museum back in 2014 and based her inaugural post on this exact car. Its really worth a read if you have the time.

The 1909 Alco-6 Black Beast is what happens when a locomotive manufacturer wants to get into the business of making cars and racing them.

This particular example is one of a kind, as all of the other models were never used as racers.

This Allard J2 might be British, but it participated in a number of races in New York State.

It’s first owner was quite an interesting fellow. Before taking up racing as a hobby, Alfred Erwin Goldschmidt served in the OSS, the precursor to the CIA.

What a difference fifty years makes! This 2009 Miller Lite Dodge was driven by Kurt Busch and donated to the museum by Roger Penske.

Roughly 90 years before Ford released the aluminum body F-150, the H.H. Franklin Manufacturing Company was using aluminum for its own vehicles, like this 1923 Franklin Series 10B sedan.

At 2,740 Ibs, the Franklin weighs about the same as your average compact car.

The Continental Mark II is a little more common than the Franklin, but with a total production run of under 3,000 units, the odds of seeing one on the road are pretty slim.

This is not a flattering angle for the Mark II, as the long hood clashes a bit with the small cabin.

Getting a little closer makes you appreciate the exaggerated proportions of the Mark II. It may not be the most attractive luxury coupe of the era, but its imposing exterior certainly leaves an impression.

Paul wrote a great CC on the Mark II late last year.

This one-off car may have been the most intriguing vehicle in the section, and it isn’t even a classic.

The Sensuale is powered by a vintage Ferrari engine, and its styling is an homage to cars like the 250 GTO.

Our last vehicle is not currently part of any museum’s collection, but in the future it may very well be. The Lucid Air aims to challenge Tesla and carve out its own portion of the electric luxury car market. Fifty years from now, will the company be the subject of a CC post describing its success, or will a future contributor encounter it and write about its place as a footnote in history, like the Playboy?


Parking: $3.50

Round trip Metro North ticket: $39

MetroCard ticket: $10.50

NY auto show ticket: $17

Bottle of Vitamin Water: $5.00 (didn’t eat anything due to queasy stomach, possibly induced by Vitamin Water)

Total Cost: $75

Superlatives for 2017 NY auto show:

Most likely to succeed: any crossover

Most likely to fail: any sedan

Best classic car: 1947 Playboy

Worst classic car: Modified Mazda RX-7

Most improved interior aesthetic: floating screen motif

Least improved interior aesthetic: volume “sliders” or touch sensitive volume controls (in lieu of knobs)

Most Valuable Manufacturer: Subaru

Least Valuable Manufacturer: Tesla (for not attending)

Related Reading:

Curbside Classic Visits The New York International Auto Show, Part 1

Part 2

Part 3