Behind the wheel at the Oregon International Auto Show 2024

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One of the many locked prototype vehicles on display at the Oregon International Auto Show. Photo by Erik Paul.

By Erik Paul

A/V editor

For many people, the prospect of buying a new vehicle might be out of the question. With all of the other costs that life incurs, transportation may be the least of a person’s worries. But for many, it can still be fun to window shop. 

On Feb. 22 the Oregon International Auto Show (OIAS) opened its doors to the public, displaying vehicles with a wide variety of models and makes. 

“We’re thrilled to be back and have worked hard over the last year to bring Oregonians an auto show that will impress, educate and entertain – always in a family-friendly environment,” said OIAS Executive Director Greg Remensperger in the event’s press release. “Auto shows are a reflection of the industry and help automakers tell their brand stories – that might mean vehicles with internal combustion engines, vehicles with electric motors, or popular hybrid vehicles.”

The average visitor used the occasion to scope out new and unreleased vehicles while also getting answers to their questions. But for the aficionados, it was a chance to live out their fantasies.

“This is the best opportunity for car enthusiasts to evaluate new models, talk to product specialists, and decide what’s the best fit for their lifestyle and family needs. Thanks to a strong collaboration between auto dealers and automakers, we’re able to feature over 20 brands and dozens of highly anticipated new models,” Remensperger added. “I’m also happy to report that we have several sponsors and fan favorite features returning to the Oregon Convention Center, where it’s always a pleasant and balmy 73°.” 

Among the fan favorites was the Ride and Drive event where visitors could ride in a number of vehicles with a professional driver. In this event Ford decided to showcase the Mustang Mach-E and Ford F-150 Lightning, some of the newer electric vehicles being offered in their lineup. 

From widely recognized brands like Ford, Honda and BMW to lesser-known companies such as INEOS and Genesis, the OIAS found a way to appeal to a wide variety of consumers. 

It was also a place where local vendors and car clubs came to make an appearance. Companies like Vintage Underground and Pro Tek Automotive showed up with their own purposes in mind: to market their services.

The owner of Pro Tek Automotive, Michael Christopherson, said, “The idea is if you purchase a car from BMW, from Volvo, from Honda, how do you personalize it, how do you make it your own? So, you bring the car to shops like this and personalize them, making them your own and making them unique to your style.”

In addition to local vendors, various membership programs, including Avants, participated in the event. The Portland chapter of Avants creatively designed their display as a tribute to the American sitcom “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” The theme, playfully dubbed “It’s Always Sunny in Portland,” added a distinctive and vibrant touch to the show, exclusively featuring yellow vehicles.

Until the doors reopen next year, the spark of innovation kindled at the Oregon International Auto Show will persist, fueling the aspirations of both passionate car enthusiasts and casual onlookers.

OIAS will be taking place through Feb. 25 at the Oregon Convention Center. For more information visit https://oregonautoshow.com

 



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