100 Years and Running: OKC Auto Show Steps It Up a Level
Vintage & future classic cars made for one unforgettable 100-year anniversary party at Oklahoma City Int’l Auto Show.
“It’s a surprise to most people that the Oklahoma City International Auto Show has been around this long,” says Peter Hodges, president of the Metropolitan Auto Dealers Association, about the event celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. “We have some significant things that have happened.”
From March 10 to 12, quite a few significant things did indeed happen when Metropolitan Auto Dealers hosted the 100th Annual Oklahoma City International Auto Show. This year, the event was held at a massive new location, and Car Blog was there for the big celebration.
“It is the 100th anniversary and we just happen to have moved into the brand-new Bennett Event Center building,” Hodges adds. “For many years, we held the show at four different buildings. Now, we were able to consolidate the entire show into one central location.”
With 27 automaker brands under one roof inside the 201,000 square foot facility, we were able to walk from Mercedes-Benz to BMW to Lexus to Volkswagen and compare. Other brands on hand ranged from high-end names like Alfa Romeo and Cadillac to popular auto makers like Chevrolet, GMC and Toyota.
‘We re-created the first auto show in Oklahoma City, from 1917, and had on display nearly 50 one hundred-year-old vintage cars.’
Making the auto show more centrally located is one of the many changes the Metropolitan Auto Dealers Association has made over the years to keep the event relevant. But Hodges says it’s the cars that bring the people out year after year.
“People love their cars, which is why automobiles have remained such an important part of society for a long time,” he tells Car Blog. “Car owners like to have something that fits their needs, and the auto industry continually creates value for its customers.”
As part of the centennial celebration, officials wanted to give visitors a tangible taste of American automotive history. With the help of the Horseless Carriage Club of America, which just happened to be making its annual tour stop in Oklahoma, they brought the past back to life with rare finds, like a 1912 Buick Model 29 and 1911 Pope Hartford Portola Roadster
“We also re-created the first auto show in Oklahoma City, from 1917, and had on display nearly 50 one hundred-year-old vintage cars,” says Hodges. “So there is a little bit of a history lesson with all those old cars. We also had a facade of an old dealership. We are celebrating that history. Altogether, you have the old auto show recreation and the modern auto show with 27 brands. We celebrated a mix of it all.”
All in all, we have to say that the 100th Annual Oklahoma City International Auto Show more than accomplished its goal of providing an unforgettable, once-in-lifetime lesson covering 100 years of fascinating auto history. It’s understandable why this popular event remains one of the longest running auto shows in the nation.