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Auto Show:  2011 St Louis Auto Show

Preview - St. Louis Auto Show

January 21, 2011

As explorers Lewis and Clark embarked from St. Louis on their transcontinental expedition in 1804, they had neither an Explorer nor an Expedition. That automotive shortcoming won’t befall the 2011 St. Louis Auto Show, where some 500 vehicles – including Ford’s own Expedition and all-new Explorer – will engage consumers and enthusiasts in an early display of all that’s new in personal transport.

As one of the first auto shows following Detroit, St. Louis provides attendees with an early look at the 2011 model year, along with an even earlier preview of what might be coming in 2012. The automotive landscape has – since at least World War II – never been more diverse, and that variety will be front and center within the expansive confines of America’s Center and the Edward Jones Dome.

The annual gathering wheels into St. Louis on Thursday, January 27th, and goes ‘wheels up’ on Sunday, January 30th. During those four days showgoers can enjoy a wide array of available models, along with a number of automotive opportunities – visual and hands-on – unique to this particular show.

Building on a recurring theme, and even more relevant as gas prices move consistently upward, is EcoCity, an indoor area devoted specifically to alternative fuel vehicles and those businesses supporting this timely initiative. Consumers can both see and drive many of the new entries, while getting product info from designated product specialists. You simply can’t drive one – car or specialist – to Chicago...

In contrast – make that ‘stark contrast’ – to EcoCity is Million Dollar Mile. And with the rising price of European, American and Asian exotica, a million dollars might be only two cars and two blocks. It begins with Bentley and Bugatti, and concludes – in all likelihood – with Rolls-Royce. In between it’s just you, your dreams and your credit score.

Carmakers Kia, Toyota and GM will offer the chance to drive some of their newest products, while Chrysler will ably show off a number of new or aggressively freshened models, including the just-released Fiat 500 and – at the other end of the automotive food chain – Dodge Durango. Providing a differentiation similar to EcoCity and the Million Dollar Mile is the auto show’s Kid Zone and a display staged by the Model T club. Of course, kids come in all ages.

The excitement begins at the America’s Center and Edward Jones Dome, 701 Convention Plaza in downtown St. Louis. The show runs from noon until 9:00 on Thursday, noon until 10:00 on Friday, 10:00 a.m. ‘til 10:00 on Saturday and 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 on Sunday. Adult admission is $10, kids 6-12 are $5, and children under 6 are free. The St. Louis Auto Show is produced by the St. Louis Auto Dealers Association.

author photoDAVID BOLDT began his automotive career in BMW and Saab showrooms in the 1980s, and he moved to automotive journalism in 1993. David has written for a variety of regional and national publications, and prior to joining AutoTrader, he managed media relations for a Japanese OEM.

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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