Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Car Show Number 1

Just over a month ago, I was able to attend one of the monthly meetings of the Electric Automobile Association hosted by the Phoenix Chapter.  It was entertaining and I had the opportunity to meet a few interesting people.  One of the people I met was a gentleman named Jim who has been interested in converting a car for some time, and he asked me if I'd be willing to come show the car to him and some of his friends at work.  I told him that I'd be happy to do so.

Well, as luck would have it, the company he works for, General Dynamics, decided to put on a car show for it's employees.  He invited me to attend that instead, and I agreed, thinking it would be a great way to get the car seen and hopefully inspire a few people.  I think all the cars there were actually owned by employees, with one exception; mine.

It started off yesterday with a request to feature the Z3 and one other guy's car in a press release meant to garner some publicity for the event.  I consented and gave them a little information about the car.  Today, as I pulled up to the check in desk, they knew me right away.  I guess word had gotten around, and they all seemed genuinely grateful that I brought the car out.  They told me I was going to be parked along side all the "showcase" cars. 

I pulled around and parked next to a couple of Cobras, and a slew of 60 muscle cars.  I found the whole thing a bit incongruous.  Here are all these loud, big, beautiful muscle cars, and then there, in amongst them, almost lost, was my little Z3.  I began to wonder how much interest it would garner.

Well, it didn't take long to find out.  Before long there was a crowd gathering around the car and people asking the usual questions you'd expect.  "How far can you go?  How long to charge it?  Did you build it yourself? How long did it take you?"  Through most of the event there were at least 6 people gathered around smiling, and asking questions.  Everyone seemed to have the same opinion; they all thought it was cool. 

I confess, I'm not a big muscle car fan.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not a green car snob.  I love nice powerful, well engineered cars, but I tend to prefer European models.  If I could afford it, I'd have an Aston Martin Vantage in one of my garage bays, and a Tesla right next to it.  But as the day went on, I noticed something interesting.  People stopped to look at the Cobras, the Cudas, the Camaros and the Vettes, but they didn't stay long.  Generally there was one or two people around any given car.  The little car, that seemed so out of place in the group, oddly enough was the one that drew and kept most of the attention. 

It was about 10 minutes after I arrived that I reached into my pocket to get my camera when I realized that I'd left it sitting on my kitchen table.  DOH!  I desperately wanted to take pictures of the event and of some of the people gathered around the car, but it wasn't to be. 

The good thing is that I have another chance tomorrow, at a different car show.  One of our local power companies, SRP, is putting on a festival called "Party for the Planet," and they've invited me.  I'll be taking the car there tomorrow, answering the same questions I did today, and hopefully remembering to take the camera so I can take a few pictures to share with you.

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