50th Canadian International Auto Show

There was plenty of social media “pre show” chatter about manufacturers pulling out of this year’s Auto Show in Toronto (and Auto Shows all across North America for that matter). Yes, some manufacturers did choose not to set up for 2023… but that did not deter the hard working curators of the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS) from putting on one spectacular event for their 50th Anniversary.

The 2023 Canadian International Auto Show flawlessly filled in any Manufacturer gaps with so many amazing displays and features, that you hardly noticed anyone missing as you spent the day walking around and taking it all in, section by section, floor by floor.

Proof of Concept Buick Wildcat EV interior (stunning car inside & out)

This year’s show is heavily skewed towards showcasing electric & alternatively fuelled vehicles, their capabilities, and how they’re shaping the landscape of our transportation future.

Wildcat EV of the FUTURE

The biggest show stoppers in the Manufacturer’s category had to be the PoC (proof of concept) Buick Wildcat EV (seen in the feature images above) and the Hyundai N Vision 74 Hydrogen Hybrid alternative fuel supercar (seen being unveiled below). Both cars were stunning, top-to-bottom, side-to-side bumper-to-bumper, inside-and-out.

Both of these vehicles showcased how electric vehicles (EV’s) don’t have to be big and awkwardly boxy in design (like we’re accustomed to seeing in the early gen. versions on the road today – I’m looking square at you Mustang) to have function & style out the wazoo. If what we saw on the floors of this year’s CIAS is the future of electric hybrids… then lets ramp up production and get ’em on the road tout suite!

The Hyundai N Vision 74 concept unveiling…
Hyundai N Vision 74 Pony Concept

Chrysler/Jeep takes BIG advantage!

It did not seem like a big deal to have a few Manufacturers take a year off, all that did was create extra floor space and “BIG opportunity” for Chrysler / Jeep® to claim Manufacturer show-floor DOMINANCE – and that they did!

Jeep® eagerly scooped up the extra floor space and completely outdid themselves with a crazy live-action demo display of their hybrid electric Jeep® and SUV vehicles.

Jeep® took Media (and show visitors) for a ride around a huge (indoor off-road style) track that showcased the gutsy electric power of their Jeeps and SUV’s as they climbed the big man-made hills to show off their beefy torquey-ness. They were also able to showcase “Jeep® stability” by parking you on a 20º slope, right at the brink of roll over (what a sensation) before moving on and crawling up the next, taller & steeper hill climb, then back down and over a bumpy multi-step obstacle to showcase suspension. It was a massive display and worthy of any ‘wait in line’ to experience it firsthand.

Auto Exotica insanity!

If “electric” is still not your jam, don’t worry, Auto Exotica filled their wing with tons of incredible super cars and even an F1 car that you could get up close and personal with. You can see everything from a classic 1957 Aston Martin DB to a 2023 Lotus. Many of the cars featured in this section can also be seen on display and actually driving laps at CTMP’s Drive Festival every summer, it’s a great alternative to race-day action out at the CTMP track.

There was a filthy amount of money parked in this section of the Show, it was an absolute drool fest…

2017 Gold Ford GT MK II – 600+HP

Hot Wheels® makes a HUGE splash!

Hot Wheels® showcased a tabletop collection of new & previously enjoyed die casts of the cars we all know, knew and loved as kids (and adults). As an added bonus, there were a few of their “real life” counterparts parked on display, along with an info-sign that had the 1:64 scale die cast attached.

Featured in the corner was the Gas Monkey Corvette Custom Coupe. I was curious to see this car in real life, because quite often the cars you see being built on TV, look amazing… “on TV”! This car [in real life] however, was insane. I was shocked at the level of custom craftsmanship that this thing was (not to mention the over-the-top flawless gold flake paint job). Aaron Kaufman (who led this build) for Gas Money Garage is no joke. This was a stunning, full size, working replica Hot Wheel! AMAZING to see it in person.

In 2016 Gas Monkey sold this car at Barrett-Jackson $132,000USD.

Hot Wheels® Corvette Custom Coupe
Hot Wheels® Twin Mill

Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance!

Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance put on a very impressive showcase: “75 Years of PORSCHE”. Chair Rob McLeese took to the mic to tell us about his magnificent Concours d’Elegance Event (not to be missed by any car enthusiast) and described the collection of Porsche’s showcased on display in his private room located at the end of Castrol Alley on the 700 level. These were some of the most beautiful examples of Porsche out there today. Mr. McLeese also kindly interviewed a few of the owners that were on hand, and took audience questions about the cars and their back stories, it was fascinating stuff.

Rob McLeese – Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance

If you’re a Porsche enthusiast (and/or fanatic), you will be able to feast your peepers on these exquisite beauties, all courtesy of Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance and their generous owners:

1963Porsche356 Roadster “Janis Joplin tribute”
1970Porsche911 ST lightweight
1981Porsche924 GTR
1988Porsche911 Turbo Slantnose (930)
1996Porsche993 Twin Turbo
2004Porsche996 GT3 RS
2006PorscheCarrera GT
2015Porsche918 Spyder
2021Porsche911 Targa Heritage design
$150,000,000.00 1969 917 Long Tail Porsche race car, owned & restored by David Seabrooke

Well done once again Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance – you never disappoint when it comes to anything car.

In Conclusion…

Despite the “post pandemic challenges” of putting on an Auto Show, the 50th Anniversary – 2023 Canadian International Auto Show is WELL worth the price admission, there is so much to see, do, and experience, spread out over thousands of square feet of indoor Metro Toronto Convention Centre floor space for your enjoyment. Do visit.

It’s hard to do this Show justice in just one article, what you see here in this post is only a small cross-section/teaser of what you’ll see when you’re actually down there. Go check it out, you will not be disappointed, and you’ll see just what the Mustard Report is talkin’ about.


Mustard Side Note:

At the end of the day, the Mustard Report would like to express it’s sincere gratitude to the CIAS for granting “Media Day” access to cover this wonderful event. This was, once again, a great experience for the Mustard Report to be a part of. All Media on hand were treated fantastically by the friendly Show Staff, served an early breakfast before the Awards Presentations, fed snacks & coffee throughout, and were also treated to a delicious & nutritious lunch half way through the day to keep us all fuelled up. This is a world class event – and it shows. Mustard Report is looking forward to re-visiting the show again before it ends (Sunday February 26th 2023) for a follow up scoot around, and we hope to see you there too!

Media Personality: Sean O’Shea – Global News Toronto