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Philadelphia International Auto Show is back!


If you're thinking about getting a new car, but don't want to deal with the pushy salesman at the local dealership, then we know the perfect place you can go this week. The Philadelphia International Auto Show is running through Sunday, February 7 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Sprawled out over 550,000 square feet of display space, the event showcases some of the latest cars for 2011 set to hit the market later this year. Just this past weekend, show organizers say, more than 50,000 guests attended the show, which started in 1902. Offering a pressure-free environment for consumers to come and see the latest models offered, the show also displays pre-production models, concepts, hybrids, exotics and antiques. Philly Auto Show

"This is the 108th Philadelphia Auto Show and we are particularly thrilled with the caliber of this year’s event,” said Dominic M. Conicelli, chairman of the 2010 Philadelphia International Auto Show and president of Conicelli Autoplex. “It’s no secret that 2009 was a historic year for the automotive industry, and auto shows across the country were faced with new challenges. However, to our satisfaction and delight, we are ecstatic to deliver another world-class auto show to the city of Philadelphia. Nearly every manufacturer will be back on the display floor and new features will also be present!”

Almost every display gives show-goers a chance to sit in the driver's seat of the vehicle to get a first-hand feel of what it'd be like to sit in the seat permanently. Pop the hood, check out the trunk, or see if there's enough leg room in the back. One display even turns a car on its side to offer a glimpse of the underbelly of the car where you can see all of its working parts. Because it's a non-selling show, the manufacturer's employees are really only there to answer questions. No sales are allowed, so it's a no-pressure situation. Papers and pamphlets are made available at almost every exhibit to offer specifics of each make and model. The main hall on the second level features some of the more common car-names like Mazda, Toyota, GMC, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen, Subaru, Buick, Hyuandai, Scion, Acura and more.

The Grand Hall's lower level features Mercedes-Benz and Lexus  and has elevators, escalators and stairs leading up to the cafe and the upper level ball room. Here is where you'll get a chance to drool over the cars only an elite populous ever have enough money to own. In addition to cars made by Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche, and Audi, an "exotic" car section is located in the middle of the show room. It features cars like Rolls-Royce Phantom convertible and sedan; Lamborghini LP 560 Spyder; Astin Martin Vantage Coupe and Roadster, and Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed, or Continental GT Speed Convertible. Philly Auto Show

Downstairs at the lower level halls, show-goers will find models by Suzuki, Kia, Mini, Mitsubishi and Smart cars, as well as exhibits from the Simeone Museum, and Buckingham Concours. Here, you'll find both vintage and classic cars like a 1938 Jaguar SS100, 1966 Corvette Stingray, a 1948 Ford Sportsman, or a 1965 21 Window Volkswagen Microbus.

Fast forward from history to the present day and the future, the show also features some of the new green technology cars like a Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, the Honda Insight, and the electric powered Tesla Roadster.

There's also an auto accessory alley to find products to keep your cars healthy, or to decorate the garage. Behind this alley, DUB LIVE! has more than 30,000 square feet of space where they're displaying modified vehicles and offering games and giveaways.

It's easy to get lost in the massive convention center, but maps of the show floors are offered throughout to make sure you don't miss a single car.

Tickets are available online and also at the door. For adults, tickets are $10 during the week and $12 on the weekend, or $10 any day if bought online. For kids ages 7 to 12, and senior citizens over 62, tickets are $6. Kids aged 6 and under are free. One dollar of every ticket sold will be donated to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia through the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation.

The show is located at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC), 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia PA 19107.

Weekdays Noon - 10 p.m.

Saturday 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 7 - 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Contact Jessica Beym at jessicabeym@gmail.com