Car Show Report- Actuals, Fistfights and Fish Bellies: Fresno’s Annual Car Show Delivers.


Ah November, the season for overeating and overspending and general pleasure lovin’ hedonism, but in an acceptable, middle of the road, kinda way that your grandma is okey-dokey with; unlike say Wasteland Weekend™ which if your grandma found out you’d attended she’d have the prayer chain activated post haste.  “I think we’re losing the boy!!”

Each and every November since life crawled out of the primordial goo and began the heroic assent to bread machines, I drag poor hapless Esposita to spend a day at the Fresno (California) New Car Expo.  For me it’s a sheer delight of shiny, curvy, dreamy unattainable goodness.  I was just informed by Esposita that, “Hey I like it too”.  Here follows random pics and commentary about future Curbside Classics.



This is the venue.  Saroyan Theater area in downtown FresYes.  Like everything that actually matters in life it’s all free.



Off to the side they give free test drives.  I’ve never done this because they pester you forever afterwards to buy said car.



First up was this Alfa Giuila in Sophia Loren Red.

Tis a pity she’s a sedan.



Next up with this Alfa Stelvio.

The wheels on the Stelvio are exactly what we expect from Italy.  Capisce?



Esposita liked both Alfas.  A lot.  Here she is in the Stelvio.  Who knows what will happen when her Challenger lease is up in 18 months.



Meanwhile here’s a Fiat Spider topless.  I like these far better than their pedestrian twin the Miata.  (OMG did he just call the Miata pedestrian??!!)



Here’s the general lay of the land in FCAlandia.



The 300, handsome and always ready for The Great American Roadtrip.  But wait, did I detect a faint whiff of corruption?



A Dodge Durango GT Brass Monkey AWD.  Yeah, that’s the name.



And in case you were wondering, which I’m betting you weren’t, here’s the sticker.



Ah a Hellcat.  With the widebody option, a mere 6k additional for so much more awesomeness.



Here’s the sticker.  I continue to regularly have to talk myself out of getting one of these.  (will not buy Hellcat this week…will not buy Hellcat this week…)



Jeep Cherokee in red.  Finally some decent headlights.



Speaking of Jeep, here’s the plum new Wrangler.



Interior got the wife’s approval.  I would certainly not turn one of these down, and this is the right color.



Ooo, the new Ram pickup.



Meesa like.  And inside is the amazing huge 12″ screen.  We’re a long ways from my ’72 F-250.



As we leave FCAlandia this fender callout on a Charger pretty much sums up their wares:



Gas shortages?  Global Warming?  Diminished expectations?  Receding hairlines?  Erectile dysfunction?  Bah, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!!

Off to Acura and Lexus land.



I don’t know what this is.  But the bike on the roof was a statement of, uh, something. Walking on.

Then there was this, which I also don’t know what it is.  Walking on.



However I do know what this is.  It’s the NSX.



Wowza.  The car gal keeping a watchful eye on us riff-raff told me that I could drive away with this particular one for a cool 210k.



One of those total fantasy cars that’s too cool for me.



Okay, let’s move on to a really cool and sexy Lexus.



Oh, not that one.  I don’t even know what that thing is.  Dear lord it’s ugly.  Captain Underbite.

How about this?



The LC.  What a great, great looking car.



This one was right around a cool 100k.

Meanwhile Lexus offers lots of these.



I don’t know what they are.  Probably LX/CX/VX/345/675/820/NVRQTci’s or whatever.  I can attest some of them have very comfy seats.  Walking on.

In one corner were the exotics:



And this…



And this…



I think the new Magnum P.I. guy drives one of these.  What?  You haven’t seen the new Magnum P.I.?  Don’t be a Philistine.  Guess who the new Higgins is?



Yup, that’s Perdita Weeks and she is playing crusty grumpy, “get off my lawn” Higgins!  Amazing.  Well it’s Current Year™ eh.

Meanwhile, off to see what Das General has to offer.



But first, my annual rite of getting the free yearly subscription to Motor Trend.  A perk for coming to the free show, is a free mag in your mailbox each month.  Nice.  Would I pay my own actual hard earned cash for said mag?  Nah, that’s why it’s free.  Notice I didn’t have to wait in too long a line to sign up.  Only old people read things printed on paper.



Okay, back to GM.



Esposita is giving us a sense of scale here.  I like this rig.



The new Chevy/GMC pickup for 2019 is nice and all.  But I liked the Ram better.  Now this grille is doin’ it right though, there is NO such thing as too much chrome.  Still, it’s not quite as good as my favorite truck prow, the ’58 GMC.




Thank the truck gods the wheel wells ain’t square no more!  But sticker shock can be yours, they are proud of it.



GMC’s new trick tailgate was gettin’ the love.



You can get a “little” Chevy pickup these daze.  Again note the wife unit for scale.  (she’s 5’3″)



Ah the Camaro.  I test drove one herewhileback.  Nice.  Was like driving das bunker down the road.



Great car.  Not easy to live with.  Probably like living with an A-list Hollywood actor/actress ya know, but then maybe we all need something like that to keep us alive, I mean what else we gonna do with our free time and spare cash?

Chevy had the usual assortment of SUVs.  I think this is a Chevy Frak AWD with the 1.9 Hoonigan Super Bi-Turbo V-1.



Buick!!  Yes indeed the only real, honest to dog, old school, long and low, wagon in the whole joint was this Buick!



Esposita loved the Buick wagon.  As did a fair number of the youngs we noted looking it over.



And that’s it for Buick.  For me.

On to Toyotaland.  Here is the new “Not Your Grandma’s Camry” being looked at by the new desired demographic, “Not Your Grandma”.



When’s the last time you saw a cool Camry interior like this?  Never, right?



Times they have changed at boring old Toyota.



I don’t even know what this blue thing is, but I like it.



They just keep on giving. The “straining to poop” Prius face.



Space: the final frontier…



Would you roll in this Tacoma?  Sure, why not.



Now Toyota hood scoops have hood scoops…



This was Toyota ten years ago.  Solid.  Conservative.  Safe.  Getting the job done.



And this is Toyota today.  Bonkers anime gal with a magic sword.



Moving on.

Mercedes was here.  This is very nice, almost a real hardtop.  92% of a hardtop.



I don’t know what this is, a uh, CESuL 329.7 perhaps?  Walking on.



Betting the guy looking at the red SUV of some sort is in some kind of finance, makes a seven digit income each year, and understands what the word “actuals” means…



But Mercedes isn’t really my thang.  In fact I get nothing but fish bellies from Mercedes and BMW, only VW (cruddy old ones) cause me to burst forth in Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, über alles in der Welt!

So how about Brit stuff? Compare the red SUV above with the red one below.



The Rover is cool, sexy.  It’s what the ballers drive.  I’ll take the Rover any day.  But that’s why Mr. Actuals up there lives in a leafy hood where the homes are stately and dead silent, and all the kids are above average, and why I live in crappy hood where my neighbors have fistfights in the street over women.  (not kidding)



Esposita likes Rover stuff as well.  She gets pretty excited when we get to their section each year.



One of the Rovers had this handy dandy coat hanger gizmo.  What will they think of next?



Jag was here with their usual style.  #FresnoProud…hahahahahahhahahahhahahahahaha!!!!!  Fresno and Proud in the same phrase and they mean it, snort!  Hilarious.

Meanwhile this was nice.


And this.



Prap’s in Jolly Old England the average Brit is reduced to driving a 1.1 liter super compact sedan with all the appeal to the senses of a gray waste bin, I dunno what they drive there.  But here in #FresnoProud (snort) we get only fantasy Brit cars with more appeal…



Emma Peel.

Nissan was there.  Here’s a new leaf.  I think the sticker wanted 42k for it.  They sure are proud of it.



And of course a Frontier, the truck that won’t die.  O’Reilly’s auto parts needs these though, delivery duty and all.  Walking on.



Honda!  The new Accord!  The wife had an ’08 and loved it.  She checked out the new one.



“I don’t like that”



“And I don’t like that”



The new Ridgeline, with the line between the cab and bed, attracted a crowd of very happy women.



Like Espoista here they were all smiling and happy about that hidden trunk and side swinging tailgate.  Were I a truck designing exec, one who knows about leafy hoods and actuals, I’d be taking note that the fairer sex liked this truck trunk thing.  Hmm.



But for me it’s boring. Even trying to be hard edged in black it’s a snoozefest.  Walking on.



A fuel cell powered Insight.  The future?  Flash in the pan?  Speaking of flash…



CIVIC TYPE R!!!!!!!!



The sticker.  All this sweet boy racer goodness can be yours for $35,595.  Best deal at the show!  If I parked it in front of my house overnight it’d be jacked ASAP.



On to Subaru.  It was one of the busiest sections of the whole show.  Well except for this car, the only car Subie makes that I like.  No one was looking at it, ever.



But they were all over this.  I mean a non-stop crowd crawling over it like it was made of chocolate and caramel.



I think it’s called the Ascent.



Really?  Really people?  This thing is as cool as John Foster Dulles:



Remember there was dull, duller, and Dulles.

This brings us to Ford.



Last stop for the Ford sedan, all aboard!!!  On second thought, nah, good riddance in my book.  I won’t miss sedans.  (ducking the thrown shoes and tomatoes)



The wife likes the Flex, it reminds her of a Rover.  I like it too, but not enough to actually pony up loot for one, pretty much like everyone else it seems.  So stick a fork in it cuz’ it’s done.  Now onto the meat and taters of Ford:



Love me the ‘Stang.  This GT can be yours for:



$46,730.  Not bad.  It’s sharky.



Speaking of Mustangs, who can forget Farrah Fawcett with her Mustang II?  I know the H8ers loathe on the II, but I don’t care, they were a great car.  Great!  (I think about the Mustang II a lot)



The new Ranger made a guest appearance.



Actually looks good to me.



Esposita liked it too.  But not as much as the Ridgeline with it’s funky friendly truck trunk.  The Ranger doors were locked.  No sticker.  Keep out!



These things are thick in my burg.  Thick.  You won’t see many Prii, but by God you’ll hear the roaring V-8 Ford engines (cuz we cut all the dang mufflers off) of the first gen Raptors!  But this new one is a V-6!?  Heresy!!



Slick taillight.  Radar.  We really are living in the future now, I can see the robots from here.  Just don’t back this taillight into Lulu Mays fence on a Saturday night and bust it, you’ll release the radars.



Explorer.  No T-Rexs in sight.  Boring.  Walking on.



And lastly we come to this.  Frankly, if we were to get Mr. Spock, Vulcan Science Officer, rationality, we ought to all be driving these.  You don’t need what you are driving now, nor do I need what I’m driving, this is what you need.  They just make sense.  Perfect use of space, ample and flexible cargo room for people or chickens or bread machines.  “Right Sized” as all the internet car people like to chant; in a circle, in the forest, on full moon nights, in a clearing in the glade, drums beating in unison, “right-sized…right-sized…”.  Ugly.  Boring.  But logical.  What we ought to drive.



Then again, Mr. Spock drove a Riviera.