The Cars of the 2012 New York Auto Show

At the New York International Auto Show, in between all of the regular consumer cars, we glimpsed rare and exotic cars alongside concept cars.

The outside of the Jacob Javits Center may be partially under construction with scaffolding scaling the face of the building, but the crowds for the New York International Automobile Show were undaunted.

And why not? At the NYIAS you’re guaranteed to see not only the newest models, but next year’s models, concept cars, rare and expensive cars, and classics.

Before you even enter the actual show, before you have to relinquish the tickets you bought, you can see the Shelby American cars. Right next to the very first Shelby Cobra is a brand new car as the company unveiled the Shelby 1000.

There will only be 100 units made of the Shelby 1000, so it won’t be cheap. The car will cost you roughly $200,000. But, the lady on the floor informed us, purchase of the car gets you a nifty watch for free!

We always swing by the classic cars first once we enter the car show. It’s nice to see where it all started before making your way onto the main floor to see where it’s all headed.

Among the 1922 Buick Racer, the white 1962 Imperial Crown and the 1936 Hudson 65 Custom Eight Convertible Coupe — the last owned by Nicole Bulgari, grandson of the founder of Italian jeweler BVLGARI — is a beautiful 1937 Cadillac Series 85. And it was originally owned by a doctor in Beverly Hills.

Even on the preview day the floor is jammed — good luck getting to sit in the driver’s seat for some of the more popular cars. While the cars at Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz are understandably crowded, so is Fiat. Or as we heard one person mention, “It’s the car JLo drives.”

American Idol

But people don’t come to the car show to look at the cars they could conceivably find on just any dealership lot. That’s why the most crowded areas were in front of concept cars or the high-end, uber-expensive cars. Because mixed in with cars like the Nissan Rogue and the Hyundai Sonata are cars like the Mazda Takeri and the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Blanc Noir.

Takeri

But Fiat is more than just sponsored by an judge. One of the cars on display is its model designed by Gucci. Sparkly black with Gucci scripted on the side and back, it looks pretty much just like every other Fiat.

SRT Viper

The swoopy design of the Takeri is different from much of Mazda’s current cars. Since it is a concept car, Mazda has not decided whether or not it will be making the Takeri, but it did announce that some of the design will show up in other cars.

Also introduced was Chrysler’s 2013 SRT Viper. The car is the flagship for the company’s new Street and Racing Technology brand, and it garnered a lot of attention.

Perhaps what was my favorite car of the show was the Fisker Karma. As a casual car lover, it wasn’t a company that I was familiar with, but the design caught my eye. Not only does it look sleek, but the roof has solar panels. A plug in hybrid, drivers can switch between electric and gasoline.

Also, there’s no stick gear shift. Instead, Fisker has included buttons in the center. There might be a bit of a learning curve, but it sure looks nice.

Top to bottom: Bugatti, McLaren, Lotus, Lamborghini

Finally, finally, we hit the really high-end cars. I mean the cars that are so expensive they’re roped off. Cars so exotic that the company only brought one model, because one model is all they need. Lamborghini, McLaren, Lotus. And there’s the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Blanc Noir mentioned earlier.

The best thing about the car show, however, is that there is more than just pretty cars to gawk at. There’s the outdoor Jeep driving range, and downstairs there’s the EV Pavilion, or the electric car course.

The first level also has a remote control course for kids (or gleeful adults) to play with. The first floor is interesting because it’s a mash up of everything that couldn’t be put onto the main floor. So you’ll find commercial vehicles, RVs and, oh yeah, the Delorean.