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Auto Show:  2011 San Diego Auto Show

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December 2010 author photo


December 29, 2010

Although Detroit is the major car expo that kicks off the new year, the San Diego International Auto Show straddles the calendar between 2010 and 2011. And while everyone travels to the Motor City in January with a mixture of trepidation and thermal underwear, this corner of Southern California, just a few miles from the border of Mexico, can expect to enjoy much more civilized temperatures.

Show-goers can also expect to enjoy hundreds of 2011 model-year vehicles, plus sculptures fashioned from old auto parts, an exhibition celebrating five decades of the Ford Mustang, a mix of classics and exotic cars, and – because the west coast is a surfer’s paradise – a tribute to the classic VW buses.

The show runs from Thursday, December 30 through to Sunday, January 2. On the first day only, the BMX Pros Trick Team will be doing their best to defy gravity. And the final day is Mazda Family Day, where children under 12 are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Various activities are planned, but one highlight should be the chance to play Gran Turismo 5, the latest version of this much-loved video driving game.

During the course of the show, Ford, GM, Hyundai, Jeep, Kia and Toyota are all offering “ride and drive” events. And there’s one other attraction that gives the San Diego show its own particular flavor: the Mobility Zone. This is where people with physical challenges can check out equipment that may be added to vehicles, even high-performance race cars. There will also be the specialized off-road Action Track Chair on display.

The Scripps health company, based in San Diego, will offer free screenings and give information on its driving assessment program. This has been developed to help people who have had a stroke or are coping with other neuro-muscular conditions.

It all takes place at the San Diego Convention Center, 111 W. Harbor Drive, CA 92101. Showtime begins at 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. on the Thursday and Saturday, while Friday’s and Sunday’s hours are 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Admission is $10 for anyone 13 and over, with concessions for the military, seniors and children. Tickets may be purchased online, which could save time.

author photoCOLIN RYAN has driven hundreds of cars thousands of miles while writing for BBC Top Gear magazine, Popular Mechanics, the Los Angeles Times, European Car, Import Tuner and many other publications, websites, TV shows, etc.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
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