Seattle Auto Show

In a simpler era of cheaper gas, the Seattle Auto Show was a father-son treat, especially for boys raised on Road & Track and Car and Driver. Yet even back in the ’70s, during the OPEC shock, I knew what it meant when we’d kill the engine on our family Volvo station wagon to coast down long hills: Ferraris and Maseratis were fine for glossy magazines, but things were different in the real world. So it is again, three decades later. This year’s weekend extravaganza (Fri.–Sun.) features both road candy, like the Porsche GT2 (0–60 in 3.6 seconds), and the latest econoboxes, like the Toyota Yaris (rated 48–45 mpg for highway-city driving). And I would argue that makes it even more of a fun family excursion for future drivers who’ll grow up during the era of Zipcars-by-the-hour. GM and Chrysler may soon merge. SUVs may disappear from the roads. George Clooney’s beloved Tesla may fail. But there will always be car mags—or at least automobile Web sites—where futuristic renderings and first reveals inspire thoughts of winding roads, no speed limits, and state troopers always on their donut break. And if you want to save on gas, remember that you can get to the Auto Show via Metro bus. Which won’t make the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 any slower or less desirable. Seattle Auto Show, Qwest Field Event Center, 800 Occidental Ave. S., 542-3551, Free (kids under 12) to $11. 10 a.m.–7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

Nov. 7-9, 10 a.m., 2008

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