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Houston AutoBoative Show: STOW. TOW. SHOW YOUR BOAT.


Houston AutoBoative Show: STOW. TOW. SHOW YOUR BOAT.

Houston AutoBoative Show:


Houston, TX – The first (ever!) Houston AutoBoative Show is here at the NRG Center. And I – for one – hope it’s not the last. It might be a marriage of convenience, but it’s hardly a shotgun wedding. Cars, boats, trucks, SUVs, EVs, travel trailers and fishing equipment are all here on display inside the cavernous NRG Center; everything – EVERYTHING – is in one convenient location. 

GENIUS. Whoever thought this combination up, is a genius. If one show is good, two are better! And both shows are included with your ticket.   

Vehicle Test Drives are outside in the parking lot, while RAM Trucks and Camp Jeep ride-alongs are inside. And you can get a bird’s eye view of the show from atop the RAM and Jeep roller coaster demos. 

You won’t get hungry either, since there’s a variety of food and beverage available to purchase, including walk-around snacks like popcorn and fudge. Want the latest scale model cars? They’re there, and unlike the cars and trucks on display you can purchase the scale models right on the spot. 

It’s true that you can’t buy a car at the show, but you can buy a boat! And there’s a boat for everyone. From kayaks to sailboats to big boats, they’re all there!  

Texas Parks and Wildlife has a booth in the boat section to help introduce you to boating, or to help you become a better boater if you’ve already – you know – dipped your toe in those waters.  

Vendors are excited to see you and talk to you; they’ve been cooped up, just like you and me. (Be sure and check to view the latest Covid information and recommendations.)  

SHOW PREVIEW: I arrived the day before the show to watch the final phase of the show setup take place, and to talk to the folks you rarely see, but help make it all possible. And while walking the enormous show floor, the same song kept rolling around in my head, as it always has at well-orchestrated events, whether it’s an auto show or a concert:   

Now the seats are all empty/ let the roadies take the stage
Pack it up and tear it down
They’re the first to come/ and the last to leave
Workin’ for that minimum wage.

It was no different here. Hundreds of people were working behind the scenes to make it all happen.

THE DEALERS MAKE THE SHOW. While Toyota and Nissan sent representatives to accept awards from the Texas Auto Writers Association (Toyota for the “Truck of Texas”.  Nissan for “Mid-Size Truck of Texas”.), it’s the local dealers and dealer association that deserve the praise for making their vehicles available for display at the show. Especially this year, when product is in high demand but in short supply. 

With rare exception, the cars and trucks you see at the Houston Auto Show (and the majority of auto shows around the country) are the product of the local dealers, not the major manufacturers. 

THE FANS. Still, at the end of the day, it’s the fans that make the show worth the effort. On my way out of the show, just before it opened to the public on Wednesday at noon, long lines of people had already formed in the lobby, and long lines of cars were entering the parking lot, one by one.  

Tonight the people were so fine/ they waited there in line.
And when they got up on their feet/ they made the show
and that was sweet.
Jackson Browne, The Loadout

So, here’s to all the roadies. And, of course, the Houston Auto Dealers and Boat Dealers and their representatives, as well as the vendors; all of them make this show possible. Well done, folks.

Alan Pease is our Central Texas correspondent. He covers state and local government, as well as racing events at the Circuit of the Americas. His articles have appeared in Autoweek, and Automotive News. Prior to joining our staff, Alan produced automotive and motorcycle press introductions for BMW, MINI, Aston Martin, Jaguar and GM. Alan lives in Austin; you can reach him at

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