New Model Year at the Auto Show

New Model Year at the Auto Show

It’s that that time again. Gleaming new automobiles are being previewed at auto shows, and pretty young girls are leaning on them. This symbolism sends messages you won’t find in manufacturers’ specifications. Men: buy this car, get that girl. Women: buy this car, be that girl.

Back in the last century, when the USA manufactured real products instead of just bad business deals, the auto show circuit started in Detroit, the Motor City, and fanned out around the country. Today the auto industry is globalized, and so is the car show circuit. The U.S. may not sell many American cars abroad, but the Girls-Leaning-on-Cars concept is a hot export. Compare the ladies of the Detroit, Delhi, Tokyo, Geneva, Guangzhou, and Qatar auto shows.

The meme has permeated all levels of American culture. See selected Flickr images from family photos, movie mags, and amateur hot rod shows in these galleries.


“The Secret Life Of A Car Show Model,” Hannah Elliott, Forbes

“All the hot models on display at car show,” Pete Holley, Houston Chronicle

“Ten Cars And The Type Of Women They Attract,” Andrew Didorosi, Jalopnik

“The Queen Bee Of The Car Show Models,” Micheline Maynard, Forbes

“Smiling Faces: A sneak peek into the lives of Auto Show Models,” Rituraj Mishra, Vehicle Passion

New York Times adopts Jalopnik-coined term “Booth Professional,” Matt Hardigree, Jalopnik


Short Link:

Image (from a 1956 Dodge ad) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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