2010 Ford Fiesta
2010 Ford Fiesta. Click image to enlarge

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Article and photos by Anthony Murdoch

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2009 Calgary Auto Show

Calgary, Alberta – The 2009 Calgary International Auto & Truck Show kicked off at the Stampede Grounds Round-up Centre and Corral on Wednesday continuing a tradition that is now in it 29th consecutive year.

Running March 11 to 15th, this year’s show’s hours are the same as last year’s, with Thursday and Friday’s open times from noon to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. A discounted price of $10 for adults is in effect for Thursday and Friday, with the price going up to $14 for Saturday and Sunday’s shows. Children under 10 are free, and seniors and youth aged 11-17 pay only $7 for all show dates.

Whereas last year’s show was all about flash, money and a booming economy, this year’s focus is on economy. It is apparent that automakers have made huge cuts to their show budgets, something that is definitely noticeable to those who have frequented the show during the boom years. Still, all of the major manufacturers are on hand, and shoppers can still do side-by-side comparisons in one convenient location.

The Ferrari display
The Ferrari display (top); Spyker. Click image to enlarge

This year’s show is completely different in terms of layout as well. Gone are the fancy displays for most of the manufacturers. For instance, both GM and Chrysler share the front of the main hall. On display are most of their current offerings, however there are no concept cars in sight or any fancy vehicle display cases. It is quite stark in appearance overall compared to last year.

This year, Ford is located in the second smaller hall located at the back. Their display shows budget cuts as well, although not as drastic as that of GM and Chrysler.

If you’re into fast machines, then head to the Corral where luxury lane is located. You’ll find Ferraris, Bentleys, Lamborghinis, Aston Martins and a couple of Spykers, which are new to this year’s show. For those not in the know, Spyker is a Dutch carmaker that hand-builds some very exotic looking machines. On hand were a pair of C8s, which you can now buy at Spyker Calgary’s new dealership, which just opened its doors this year. What makes this dealership unique is that it is the only Spyker dealer in the country. Despite the slowing economy worldwide, the Spyker representative at this year’s show was positive that sales will be good enough to support such a niche vehicle in the Calgary and area marketplace.

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