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Get your motor running: The Auto Show is back

Sniff that new car aroma, sit in a vehicle you can't afford, and see what is available in your price range.

There will be no pressure to buy as attendees browse at the 2007 West Virginia International Auto Show. The popular event starts Friday and continues to roll through Sunday at the Charleston Civic Center.

"This is our seventh year and it has grown every year," said Ruth Lemmon, president of the West Virginia Automobile and Truck Dealers Association. "It is a high-quality car show. The reputation has grown significantly."

Consumers are free to look around in a comfortable indoor environment where experts are on hand to answer questions but nobody tries to sell the vehicles, she said. However, West Virginia car dealers benefit as well from folks who catch new car fever and buy later, she added.

"We display our vehicles in a popular setting," she said. "We feel it is positive for all concerned."

Shoppers can sit behind wheels, inspect engines, and learn about new automotive technologies. This year's event will showcase more than 400 cars, trucks, minivans and sport/utility vehicles.

One fellow told Lemmon he loves going to the show every year just to sit inside a car he could never afford.

The "Luxury Loft" will occupy 15,000 square feet of exhibit space on the second floor of the Civic Center with luxurious vehicles from Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes Benz, Porsche and Volvo.

The show will offer glimpses of the past and the future as well as a look at goodies for sprucing up your ride.

There will be a vintage collection showing the history of the Ford, courtesy of the Mustang Club of West Virginia. The display will include an array of Mustangs, muscle cars, and classics such as a 1926 T-Bucket, 1965 Shelby R-Model, and 1967 Shelby GT500.

Vintage Corvettes and Chevrolet muscle cars will be shown courtesy of Pam Lambert.

There will be a rare vehicle collection courtesy of Nancy Sergent-Long and Richard L. Long.

A collection of vehicles from the 30s, 40s, and 50s will be presented by the Golden Oldies Street Rod Association.

Aftermarket Alley is back by popular demand with the latest in car customizing products.

Among new or redesigned models to be displayed are the Audi A4, Ford Edge, Chevrolet Avalanche, Dodge Nitro, Jaguar XK, Nissan Versa, Saturn Sky, Toyota Yaris, and Vokswagen Eos. There will be

a variety of hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Camry, Honda Civic, Saturn Vue Green Line, Lexus GS, and Nissan Altima.

Attendees will also get a sneak peek at some models yet to hit the dealer showrooms.

Friday is College Two-Fer Day when college students who buy one $7 admission ticket with valid ID will get a second admission free with a second valid college ID.

Kids Day is Sunday when children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Clowns Halli-Lou and Kitten Kapoodle will be on hand from noon to 3 p.m. with face painting and balloon art.

The West Virginia International Auto Show is presented by the West Virginia Automobile and Truck Dealers Association, sponsored by Charleston Newspapers, and produced by Motor Trend Auto Shows, Inc.

Show hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $7 for adults, $4 for senior citizens 62 and over, and $3 for children age 7 to 12. Children age 6 and under are admitted free.

Those who visit a One Stop location and purchase eight gallons of gas will get a pass valid for one free adult admission ticket when a ticket of equal value is purchased. While supplies last, discount admission tickets are available at participating Appalachian Tire Products locations and participating new car dealerships.

Visit auto show Web site for more information, directions or to download a discount admission coupon.

Contact writer Charlotte Ferrell Smith at charlotte@dailymail.com or 348-1246.

If you go

What: 2007 West Virginia International Auto Show

When: 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday

Where: Charleston Civic Center

Tickets: $7 adults, 13 & older; $4 senior citizens, 62 & older; $3 children, 7-12 years; free admission for children 6 & younger

Info: Call 357-7527 or www.WestVirginiaAutoShow.com

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