Signe: No jolt or Volt at car show

Earth to Philly special correspondent Signe Wilkinson checks in from the Auto Show:

On a cold and snowy night in Philadelphia, I picked up my 20-year-old nephew off that trendiest of all modern transportation, SEPTA, and headed to the least trendy--the boring old internal combustion cars at this year's Auto Show.

With a smattering of other Delaware Valley fuel freaks, we turned our pasty, wan faces expectantly towards the burst of Detroit creativity--hoping for an electric surge of excitement.

There was no jolt - or Volt, for that matter: GM had left their new plug-in vehicle at home. There wasn't much else in the "hot and glamorous" category except the extremely cool Jeep Renegade which  looked like a giant green sneaker.

I felt sorry for the car companies.  Their hearts clearly weren't in this show.  There were no SUVs hanging from the ceilings or perched on steep inclines.  There were few comely spokesmodels purring about horsepower.  Even the Jaguar had lost its little Jaguar emblem on the front end. No Jag Bling. Of course "Fossil-fuel kind of guys" (how AAA celebrity autographer, Hugh Douglas, described himself) had some quite nice Corvettes and Camarros to drool over, and plenty of people did.

The show's salespersons, unfailingly solicitous and helpful, assured us that it is livelier on the weekends.  I hope for their sakes that's true. I almost wanted to buy a car just to make them feel better.

Unfortunately, it would be hard to park a Corvette at the bike rack in front of my house.

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