Shiny Things I Saw: Int’l Auto Show Edition

I look forward to the 2016 Model Tampa Bay International Auto Show every year at the convention center for many reasons, but mostly because I’m a huge nerd. This year, I decided to take about a dozen of my closest friends – who are all car nerds just like me and we like to travel in packs. This year, there were some cars that none of us have ever seen in person and we all spent far too much time downstairs looking at the exotic car collection. There was a Lamborghini Murcielago-LP670-4-SV something or other, a super rare Lexus LFA and a couple of Ferrari’s, each costing about as much as a big house in South Tampa and then there was the unicorn: a black Laferarri that is about as expensive as one of those houses that face the water and garbage mountain on Bayshore Drive in south Tampa.

Because no kid ever puts a poster of a Smart Car on their wall. Credit: Erica Habedank

Because no kid ever puts a poster of a Smart Car on their wall.
Credit: Erica Habedank

Upstairs, there were acres of the latest and greatest cars, trucks, SUV’s and something known as a crossover, which I assume involves soccer moms and driving 63mph in the left lane. My friends and I were all curious to see the new Camaro SS, because Motor Trend has declared it “car of the year” and says it’s better than any BMW, Mercedes or pizza and cake birthday party. I’m sure it drives like the Batmobile on steroids but the styling did not blow any of us away.

Hello, I'm "Car of the Year" and I'm better than your car. Credit: Erica Habedank

Hello, I’m “Car of the Year” and I’m better than your car.
Credit: Erica Habedank

Logic and my sense of fairness made me head directly to the Ford display and I was very pleased to find the new Shelby GT350 sitting there in a very subtle yellow with black stripes. The new engine in this car revs to a screaming 8200RPM, it sells for a paltry $48,000 and is apparently the best Mustang that humans have ever built.

I think I'm better than that "Car of the Year" Camero. Credit: Erica Habedank

I think I’m better than that “Car of the Year” Camaro.
Credit: Erica Habedank

I didn’t get to sit in it because I don’t think they trusted me but I did get to at least try on the regular 2016 Mustang GT 5.0 because someone dared me. This is the first time I have been in a Mustang in years so don’t judge me.

Laughing at the thought of buying another Mustang... hahahaha! Credit: Damon Powers

Laughing at the thought of buying another Mustang… hahahaha!
Credit: Damon Powers

The biggest shock of the entire show was the 2015 Chevy SS that was parked right in the middle of the Chevrolet display. Selfishly, this was my favorite car at the show because I actually own one and I didn’t think anyone else knew what it was because everywhere I go, people ask me “It’s an SS what?” So THANK YOU, Chevrolet for admitting that this wonderful car, with a 415hp LS3, Magnetic Ride Suspension and big Brembo brakes exists.

So good, Erica actually bought one. Credit: Erica Habedank

So good, Erica actually bought one.
Credit: Erica Habedank

There were so many other cars I wish I had the time to talk about, but I can’t afford to mention the new Cadillac ATS-V and CTS-V because I don’t feel I’m in the right tax bracket to have an opinion on those insanely fast cars that I can’t even believe exist. I might also be forced to admit that if my income level were slightly higher, I might be trading my Australian made Chevy muscle car sedan for a Cadillac and I’m not sure that my mother could take that kind of shock at her age.

Most people will only see me from this angle. Credit: Erica Habedank

Most people will only see me from this angle.
Credit: Erica Habedank

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