Starting back in 1900, the New York auto show showed the would-be motoring public an array of "horseless carriages." Oldsmobile used the 1901 show to debut its little one-cylinder runabout that came to be nicknamed the "Curved Dash Olds," due to its design that made it look more like a small horse-drawn sleigh than a motorcar.
But the Olds would not be on static display, rather it was driven from Detroit to New York to appear in the auto show. Back then it was a way of showing that this new mode of transportation was reliable. Despite a number of mishaps, including a bent axle and some transmission trouble, the Olds made it to the car show and logged the longest automobile trip up to that time.
Through the decades, the New York auto show switched venues and saw a lot of changes to the automobile. For most of the first 50 years, the shows were held at Madison Square Garden and Grand Central Palace, but as the car show moved through the "new" century, the venue would change. For 1956, auto show management made the decision to focus on foreign cars, which were growing increasingly popular with the American motoring public. That year also saw a move to the then-new New York Coliseum and a change in the show's name to the New York International Auto Show. At the 1959 car show, Toyota and Datsun made their U.S. debuts.
Other highlights of the New York auto show include the U.S. debut of the stunning Jaguar XK-E at the 1961 show, the Mercedes-Benz C-111 rotary-engine sports car concept in 1970, Chrysler's minivans in 1984 and a number of SUVs in the '90s, including Mercedes-Benz's ML class and Honda's CR-V. Some of the more forgettable cars include the ill-fated Merkur division from Ford and the Chrysler-Maserati TC convertible. Within that time frame, 1987 to be exact, the New York auto show moved to its present location, the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Nicknamed the "Crystal Palace" for its extensive use of glass, the Javits has the capacity to display over 1,200 vehicles, making the New York auto show that much more enticing for exhibitors and patrons alike.
The Big Apple might not seem like the best place for a car show, but the New York International Auto Show remains one of the most well-attended car shows in the U.S. First held in 1900, it's also the longest-running car show in the States. With its April time slot, the New York auto show is the last major show of the season so it often gets debuts that weren't quite ready earlier in the year. The 2005 New York Auto Show was no different, as 17 all-new concept cars and production models made their world debuts. No one category stood out as we saw everything from classic muscle cars to futuristic import concepts. One of the most notable cars at the show was the 2007 Ford Shelby Cobra GT500. With more than 450 horsepower, this modern version of a Ford classic looked as though it had everything it needed to uphold the Shelby Cobra name.
With its April time slot, the New York auto show is also the last major show of the season so it often gets debuts that weren't quite ready earlier in the year.