January 18, 2015

Things you shouldn't say to an auto show model

WARNING: This post mimics how auto show models commiserate with one another after a long, hard day on the auto show floor, and, therefore, is steeped in a heavy brand of sarcasm that is quite unlike what you've become accustomed to reading on this blog. If biting, acerbic humor tends to offend you, please leave now.  

I was an auto show model (Read: narrator and product specialist) from 1998 through 2007. I started my career at Honda and then ended it at Jaguar.

And the auto show industry has changed a lot through the years.

Gone are the days when they'd smear some make-up on us, squeeze our feet into a pair of heels, and throw us on stage next to a car only to stand, wave, and smile.


For some time now, this gig has required lots of studying, hours of training, and then even more studying.

And although it's been many, many years since I last stood on a turntable and pontificated on everything automotive from torque to tinted windows, I still kind of miss it.

Just a teeny, tiny bit.

But I'll tell you what I don't miss: Hearing the eight items on the following list:

1. "Do you drive this car?" 
This question is usually rendered with sexual overtones by a male who looks to be more than twice our age. Auto show models get paid damn good money, yes. (I actually drove a Jaguar X-Type back then.) But c'mon. If I could afford to drive a Jaguar XJR -- the $95,000 one on the turntable -- do you really think I'd be standing here talking to you?

2. "Can I have a car brochure?" (And then snatch 10 of them.)
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but they aren't worth anything. They are made of recycled paper. Not platinum.

3. "Hey, little lady, who can I talk to about this engine?"
To which I would reply with a smile through clenched teeth: "Well, for starters, it's a 4.2-liter supercharged V8 that produces 420 bhp (brake horsepower) at 6,250 rpm and 413 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. So, it is capable of propelling the coupe version of this vehicle to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph. Any more questions, @**hole? I mean, sir?"

4. "I don't like any of these colors. In fact, I don't like anything on display here! C'mon honey, let's go over to Mercedes!" 
This statement is usually uttered with shade by a female who, for some strange reason, feels threatened by an auto show model's presence and is somehow under the delusion that her words hurt our feelings when, in fact, we could care less.

5. "Your feet must be so tired in those heels! I bet you need a pair of slippers."
Not as bad as you need a breath mint.

6. "How 'bout I come back after you get off so I can show you a night on the town?"
How 'bout I call security?

7. "Can you make this turntable go faster?"
I sure can. There's a speed on this sucker called Fly Me to the Moon. Wanna come up here and try it out? But let's make a deal first: You puke, you're cleaning it up All. By. Yourself.

And I've saved the best, I mean, worst, for last. Consider this one a bonus...

8. "Do you come with the car?"
Wow! How creative. Why, I've never heard that line before. Really, pal? Really???  Is that the best you can come up with?


  1. I've never been to a car show... or truthfully, thought much about their existence. It's just not part of my world, you know? But all of these definitely resonated with me and I'd be annoyed too... what IS it with people that assume women cannot absorb technical information and more - have it make sense! And act on it! Ugh!!!!

    1. Hi, there! Yeah, I totally get it. Where are you, Montana? I've never been there. Here in Michigan, cars are big here because they are, in large part made here. You know, the whole Motor City thing. But the International Auto Show tour actually goes all over the country -- I've done shows in Chicago, New York, San Jose, Seattle, Atlanta...just to name a few. But I don't think the show as I know it even comes to Montana...

      Anyhow, it's sad how people see a female and think we don't get it, when, in fact, *they* don't get it.

      Thanks for commenting.

  2. I keep saying that I want to go to one, but I haven't done it yet. I love the idea of cars. People are funny. I'm not surprised though.

    1. Hi, April! You're in Florida, right? You've got some good ones down there! I LOVE the vibe at Florida shows. I've done Ft. Lauderdale twice and Miami three times; I was, in fact doing the Miami show for Honda when Hurricane Irene hit. I swear, I loved every single Florida show I've done...

      Go when you can. And your kids will probably love it, too.

      Thanks for commenting. :-)


  3. I bet you got hit on a lot, but I bet it's worse at a boat show. Sometimes I think men can't help it. Their little head does more thinking than their big head too much of the time. Have a nice week!

    1. Thanks for your compliment, but, heck, we all got hit on. It's the perfect formula: cars + women + (sometimes) booze. The inventors of this knew full well what they were doing. And, truthfully, it didn't really bother me. It's just that, a gazillion shows later, the same 'ol refrains start to get a tired; lol

      Thank you for commenting...and Happy New Year to you and your husband. (I can still wish you a Happy New Year since this is our first correspondence of 2015!