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Behind the Wheel: 2018 St. Louis Auto Show has something for entire family


By KEVIN WEAKS

In the market for a new car? 

Since 1982, the St. Louis Auto Show, which runs from Thursday, Jan. 25 to Sunday, Jan. 28, has been the area’s biggest automotive event.

Show-goers can kick the tires on more than 500 new cars, trucks, SUVs and luxury vehicles from over 25 manufacturers spread over 350,000 square feet of exhibit space at America’s Center and The Dome downtown.

General admission for adults is $11; children younger than age 12 are free. Military and first responders get $2 off the price of admission. Tickets are available in advance through ticketmaster.com or at The Dome’s box office. Discounts are available for groups of 25 or more.

Show hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Thursday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. Details, including where to park, are available at stlautoshow.com.

Here are some of the highlights:

Smoking tires are back!

Back by popular demand, the Auto Show welcomes drifting champ Vaughn Gittin Jr. and his Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR on a special track outside America’s Center.  Experience the amazing skills of the two-time Division 1 Grand Prix winner with his aggressive, foot-to-the-floor, big-smoke driving style.

Go Karts in The Dome

Ready to burn some rubber? Extreme Go Kart racing on a special track in the Edward Jones Dome, hosted by Gateway Motorsports Park, will do the trick. These special Go Karts can hit speeds of 60 mph riding only one inch from the ground. No need for speed? Try the new Segway rides nearby.

Speed is the New Black 

Classic Car Studio Speed Shop from television’s Velocity channel program “Speed is the New Black” will be at the Auto Show with “Tiffany,” the show’s 1966 Chevrolet C10. Show-goers can meet the crew at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Kid Zone

This year, there’s an auto show experience crafted just for kids. Sponsored by Phillips 66, the fun includes St. Louis Zyp Flyte, a 32-foot-high, 400-foot-long indoor zipline; an “ultimate bungee” trampoline; an LED mobile rock-climbing wall; and a “Wacky Chaos” obstacle course.

In addition, youngsters can enjoy a 16-foot slide, bounce house, super hero camp games [Saturday and Sunday only], Daytona racing simulators, a giant foosball table, air hockey, dome hockey, “Pop-a-shot,” Skeeball, “Giant Jenga,” “Giant Connect 4,” and four arcade games. A pair of superhero characters also will be onsite for photo ops and high-fives.

Jeep Wrangler build-off

Eight local Jeep dealers compete in a Wrangler build-off without limits. Show-goers can vote for their favorite and win prizes.

Guess the Mess contest

Think you know cars? Here’s a chance to test your knowledge and win prizes – simply guess the correct year, make and model of the crushed car.

Stray Rescue adoption 

Come to the auto show and go home with a new car and a new friend from Stray Rescue of St. Louis’s adoption event on Saturday and Sunday.

Million Dollar Mile

A trip to the auto show is not complete without a stroll down the Million Dollar Mile – a collection of exotic luxury and sports cars from Lamborghini, Lotus, Bentley, Maserati, Rolls-Royce and more.

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