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20th edition of WV International Auto Show opens Friday in Charleston


Charleston Gazette-Mail

Ryan Walker, general manager of Walker Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, in Hurricane, lifts a sheet to show two guests a camera mounted on the front grill of a 2020 Jeep Gladiator before the vehicle’s official unveiling later Thursday evening at the 20th West Virginia International Auto Show at the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center.
(Gazette-Mail photo by Chris Dorst)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Twenty years ago, crowds of car lovers and prospective buyers lined up outside the Charleston Civic Center, awaiting their chance to see hundreds of new vehicles and a smattering of concept cars during the first-ever West Virginia International Auto Show.

Among vehicles on display were Cadillac’s first sport-utility vehicle, the Escalade, Saturn’s new three-door sports coupe and Plymouth’s ill-fated concept car, the BackPack, a tiny pickup/sport coupe hybrid that seated two and featured a laptop table and a rear-mounted bike rack. It never went into production.

The event drew big crowds and left manufacturers who did not participate in the 1999 show clamoring for floor space during the following year’s show.

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