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Auto Show brings auto enthusiasts, families to Civic Center

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kenzie Hendren stood with her feet on the seat and hands on the steering wheel of a 2013 Chrysler Town & Country. Her father, David Hendren, sat in the passenger seat as she played.

It was the 2-and-a-half-year-old's third time visiting the West Virginia International Auto Show.

The two Winfield residents make it a daddy-daughter day every year, he said. 

"When we first came she was five months old," Hendren said. "Last year she was walking but leaning on everything. I'd watch as she'd grab the turn signal (and say) 'no, no, no, no.'

"This year she's climbing all through (vehicles)."

The Hendrens were just a couple of the hundreds of people who braved the cold weather to attend the show, held annually at the Charleston Civic Center.

The show features hundreds of vehicles, from high-end exotics, to all-electric vehicles and natural gas vehicles.

For Brian Clay of Beckley, the 2013 Chevy Corvette ZRI coupe was a favorite. Clay has a Corvette already but stopped by to take a look at the new model, which sells for more than $126,000. He even got his picture taken with the vehicle.

"It's a lot but it's a good price for what you get," Clay said. "I like the white. I didn't think I'd like a white but it looks pretty nice."

Not only potential car buyers and admirers, the auto show brought out representatives from various dealerships in the area.

Representatives from Bert Wolfe Ford offered test drives of the latest Ford models.

The event is a showcase, not an opportunity to sell vehicles, but sometimes representatives make connections with people who come to the dealership later to buy a car, Mitch Nicholas, a car salesman for Bert Wolfe, said.

People have come to the dealership four and five months later and said they'd been to the auto show, he said.

Especially on a cold day like Saturday, the car show is the best place to browse the vehicles, Nicholas said.

"It'd take you two days to go to all the dealerships in the valley and get the representation you have here," he said.

The auto show continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Civic Center. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for children ages 7-12.

Reach Lori Kersey at lori.kersey@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.


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