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Big National Motor-Car Show Arousing Country-Wide Interest

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Big National Motor-Car Show Arousing Country-Wide Interest

The New York Times
December 24, 1922

Eighty-One Makes of Automobiles to Be Seen and Gold Watch Awards at Grand Central Palace in January—Record Production Year.

Within two weeks the annual National Automobile Show will be in full swing in this city.  It will be the first of the two big national motor car exhibitions held under the auspices of the National Automobile Chamber of Commerce, the second event being held in Chicago at the end of January.  The show here will be held, as has been the custom for several years, in the Grand Central Palace.  The opening time to the public is Saturday night, Jan. 6, and during the forthcoming week, from Jan. 8 to 13, inclusive, the exhibition will be open every day until 11 o'clock at night.

All of the well-known standard makes of cars and a few newcomers will be represented by their 1923 models, and some exceptionally fine designs will be seen in the closed bodies.  Owing to the increasing popularity of closed cars, of which the total production this year has been between 25 and 30 per cent. of all the motor vehicles manufactured, these models will undoubtedly be the leading feature of interest in the show.  In no previous year have so many closed types been turned out, and the demand has been so great that deliveries of many popular makes for Winter use have been subject to from two to six weeks' delay.

The New York national show will contain eighty-one different makes of cars, and as all will be represented by several models, both open and closed, the number of motor vehicles in the Palace will be close to 350.  The display of accessories will be more diversified than ever before.  There are more than 250 accessory exhibitors and several novel plans are being worked out to show the utility and convenience of many these motor necessities.  The display of motor car signals will be especially large, and several new devices for night signaling will be seen for the first time.

No longer does the foreign designer look with amused tolerance on American automotive products.  For several years most of the newer ideas have practically all been evolved in this country; workmanship and materials have improved to a point where they are on a par with the best Europe has to offer.  The domestic manufacturer no longer waits on Europe.

The indications are that distributers, dealers and salesmen will be present in New York during show week in larger numbers than formerly.  There will be many visitors from the Pacific Coast, and the leading distributors from all the Western States will visit the show.

The East, as usual, will be solidly represented.  Rochester has advised the show management that every one of the sixty motor car dealers in that city will be in New York for the show, some of them bringing their entire sales force.  Similar reports come from other cities throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

In motor-car production the year 1922 has set a new high record, surprising practically all of the leaders in the industry, who had not looked for so heavy a demand for motor cars at the beginning of the year.

"Shipment of assembled automobiles from factories and assembling parts during the year has reached the record figure of approximately 400,000 carloads, transporting 1,700,000 machines," William E. Metzger, Chairman of the Traffic Committee of the National Automobile Chamber of Commerce, reported to the Directors at a recent meeting.  In addition to this more than 750,000 machines were driven away by dealers from factories and assembling plants.

Manufactured parts will amount to about 100,000 carloads, and it is not unlikely that this heavy shipping will place automobiles and parts third in the number of carloads of manufactured articles shipped on the railroads.  In 1921 they ranked fourth, being exceeded only by refined petroleum, iron and steel products and cement.  Much of the refined petroleum and a considerable part of cement and iron and steel shipping, however, is the direct result of motor car manufacture and use.

About 18,000 new boxcars, with extra wide door openings, known as automobile cars, have been included in railway equipment orders during the year, which brings the total of such cars in service up to 111,000.  Notwithstanding this, automobile car supply became inadequate to handle the heavy production.  Driving over the highways increased, as did the use of open freight cars.

One of the novel features of the national show will be a "Fact Contest," as it has been termed, for three prizes, the first being a gold watch.  In the Palace placards will be displayed setting forth probably 75 or 100 facts.  Each will be numbered.  As an entrant the sole requirement will be that the visitor select the fact which he or she considers of greatest importance and write a brief comment.  At the end of the show the votes will be listed and the placard selected by the greatest number will be considered to have set forth the most important fact.  A committee will then pass upon the merit of the opinions submitted on this particular "fact" to determine the winners.  Back of the contest is the desire that every actual and prospective motor car user shall become acquainted with the growth and the substantial foundation of the motor car industry.

This competition is in addition to the one announced last week for three gold watches for the best answers to the following questions:

In what way are the national automobile shows of value to the general public?

In what way are the national automobile shows of value to my company?

In what way are the national automobile shows of value to me?

In addition to the big show in the Palace there will also be an automobile and accessory show in Madison Square Garden, opening Jan. 8.  One of its features will be displays of motor apparel, besides apparel to be worn in various sports that go hand-in-hand with the automobile.

Still another important show week event will be the second annual exhibition of the automobile body builders, to be held from Jan. 8 to 13 in the Twelfth Regiment Armory, Sixty-second Street and Columbus Avenue.

The show will not only afford an opportunity to motor car manufacturers to look over new designs and make contracts, but will also attract those motorists who desire to have their own ideas incorporated into their 1923 cars.

The display will reflect the increased vogue of the closed car, both in the number of designs shown and the variety of materials and devices adapted only for such models.

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