Expanded from a version in the comments on an earlier post, here is one of my favorite personal Auto Show stories. Fun from this year’s Auto Show starts right here, quite soon. Stay tuned.
This story takes place, as far as a combination of memory and internet research can determine, at the Chrysler stand at the 2003 Auto Show. I don’t have any pictures of the specific location, but luckily someone at carsandracingstuff.com does:
I was standing pretty much exactly where this photographer was standing, though on a different day, hanging out looking at this brand new Pacifica on the turntable. (Funny, but in my memory it was silver blue, not white.) I don’t know if you remember the Pacifica, but it was a minivan variant with a slightly lower, sleeker body. It was, supposedly, “sportier” than the standard Town and Country, though I don’t remember that the running gear was much different. They actually sold a fair few of them, and you still see them around once in a while.
Anyway, I’d heard about this Pacifica and seen some drawings and the Pacifica and Citadel concept cars, but this was the first time I had seen it in the metal. I was, as they say, underwhelmed. As I was standing there, I was approached by an extremely well dressed young woman from Chrysler corporate, who asked me what I thought. I thought, I said, that it looked like a minivan. (Which indeed it did, and does. The stance is unmistakable.) She, of course, immediately started in on a spiel about how it was lower and sleeker, and also sleeker and lower. Plus it had leather seats and a fancy radio.
“Any way you slice it,” I told her, “it’s still baloney.” She turned about 8 colors and choked her clipboard. It was great.
(Today, as I was thinking about retelling this story, I saw four first generation Pacificas on the road. Apparently they were nicer cars than I thought they were, or at least pretty reliable ones. If anyone out there has a Pacifica and wants to send me a picture, I will post it.)