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“For the 35th year, the Houston Auto Show brings the automotive world to (South) Texas, allowing consumers to see, touch, drive and experience the industry’s latest and greatest offerings. The 35th Houston Auto Show is the largest auto show of the south, and the first place in 2018 where you can see, hear, touch, and even drive the most heart-racing cars and trucks from more than 30 of the world’s top automakers.”

So begins the information page for the Houston Auto Show. But it doesn’t tell the whole story.

Throughout the calendar year, automobile dealers organize auto shows in their specific areas; Houston is no exception. But with most research done online these days, why go to the show? After all, you can go to a number of dependable outlets – including this one – online to find out which cars or trucks are the best, can’t you?
The simple answer is yes…and no.

Nothing takes the place of comparing models side-by-side. A walk down the floor of an auto show yields a sensory impression of what is available now, and what will be available in the future. And then, of course, are the vintage displays typically tied to an auto show, examples of what we now regard as classic examples from the past.

There are vehicles for the well-heeled, and vehicles for your average consumer, each of which serves a purpose. In 2017 it was reported that worldwide there were over 77 million(!) new vehicles constructed. Of that number, only 30,000 or so were hand-built. And of those 30,000 less than half that number reached the United States. Cars from Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Bentley and the like are still few and far between, the fine dining of the automotive world. But most of us like to look at these and admire the craftsmanship, while jumping up into the latest pickup trucks, or settling down into the latest sports offerings that we might actually own someday.

Once upon a time not so long ago, we thought of sports cars as having a convertible top, two doors and a performance-based engine. It was something that could blow the doors off of whatever was sitting next to you at the traffic light. Today however, we see sports offerings in what are family sedans and SUVs.

No other country on the planet can say – as well as we do here – that we are what we drive. Nothing else can explain why New York City (New York City? – ed.) has a premiere auto show when most New Yorkers use public transit in their daily lives, and few own personal transportation.

We seem to never grow tired of auto shows, and Houston, which follows immediately on the heels of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, still manages to attract huge crowds.

For 2018, the Houston Auto Show will also commend the work of Houston’s first responders during Hurricane Harvey, hosting a First Responders Day on Thursday, January 25, 2018. Various first responder agencies will be honored with a special ceremony at 11:30 a.m. in the lobby of NRG Center before doors open to the public. First responders with a valid ID will also be allowed to enter the show for $1 on First Responders Day.

The 2018 Houston Auto Show at the NRG Center is open daily, Wednesday, Jan. 24 through Sunday, Jan. 28. Show hours are:
Wed. – Fri. Noon – 9:30 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Adult tickets are $12 and $5 for children six to 12 years old when accompanied by an adult, kids under six are free. From Wednesday to Friday, coupons for $2 off are available online and at participating Houston area new car dealerships. For more information, visit See you in Houston!

Alan Pease

Alan Pease is our Central Texas correspondent, covering city, county and state government, as well as all that's taking place at the Circuit of the Americas. Alan is a long time automotive and motorcycle industry professional, and covered the approval, development and opening of the Circuit of the Americas for Autoweek magazine. Prior to writing for Autoweek and txGarage Alan designed and executed over 350 individual press introductions, drive routes, and ride-and-drive events for BMW cars, BMW Motorcycles, MINI Cooper, Aston Martin, Jaguar Cars, and several General Motors divisions. Press introductions took him across the entire United States (including Alaska), as well as Canada and the United Kingdom. Alan also raced in the Inaugural Iron Butt Rallye, riding as a Factory Rider for BMW Motorcycles. He finished the 10 day, 10,000 mile solo rider race tied for 1st place. He lives in Austin, Texas, and can be reached by email at .

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