Opening day at the first big auto show of the season — the 2013 Texas State Fair

Big Tex is back; brand new and looking good. He's the star of the show.

Big Tex is back; brand new and looking good. He’s the star of the show.

Automakers roll out new 2015 cars, trucks and more trucks

It’s auto show season once again, and one of the first U.S. shows where the big automakers make their upcoming model year debuts takes place in a state where they do everything big — that’s the state of Texas, at the 2013 Texas State Fair.

It’s no surprise that Texans love their trucks, but what many people don’t know is that the truck manufacturers come to the Texas State Fair to square off and show off their new products. If you want to see the new 2015 truck offerings, this is the place to be.

It’s opening day, it’s nearly 90 degrees and I have my eye on the corn dog stand and some lemonade. But first we must stop and say hello to Big Tex, who’s looking good and healthy after last year’s fire. After we say howdy to the big guy, we make our way to the first automotive building. There are two large buildings according to our map — 300,000 square feet all together. The first one is surrounded by large tents and outdoor displays showing off nothing but trucks.Entrance to Building Two at the State Fair of Texas Auto Show

Once inside, we begin to cool down and  weave our way through the crowd as the product specialists’ voices boom over multiple speakers. Yes, this is an auto show. For a second, I forgot we were at the fair.


Chevrolet, this year’s automotive sponsor, unveiled the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, and on display were the 2015 Tahoe and Suburban. Chevrolet also brought along two concept trucks, the Silverado Black Ops Concept and the Volunteer Firefighter Concept truck.

Ford had it’s 2015 lineup of Super Duty trucks — the F-250, 350 and 450 on display. These trucks offer a range of upgrades, each with a 6.7-liter, turbocharged diesel engine.

Chrysler’s Ram division, named the 2013 Texas Truck of the Year, showed off it’s lineup of regular and heavy-duty trucks. With its new trucks on display outside in a special tented area, Bruce Chapman, cowboy from Lubbock, Texas and his dog Jack entertained the fair-goers from the back of a Ram Heavy Duty showing off his wrangling skills, as the mechanical bull raged on in the background. The kids loved Jack the dog. With one simple command, he jumps through the rope and in to Chapman’s arms like Scooby-doo to Shaggy.

Bruce Chapman with Jack

With more than 3 million in attendance each year, no wonder it’s a popular place to show off new cars and trucks. There were more than trucks on display. We stopped at the Cadillac stand to see the new 2014 CTS and then Chevrolet area to sit in the 415-horsepower, all-new 2015 Chevrolet SS. At Fiat we sat in the new Fiat 500L, the roomy four-door offering that we had to stand in line to see and then on to the new Jeep Cherokee. (We liked the front grille and the rear interior features.)


At this point we were ready to venture over to the next building where we found Hyundai and one of our favorite SUVs, the Santa Fe. After experiencing the new seven-passenger vehicle, we walked through Toyota, Nissan, Scion, Lincoln, and Kia. If you don’t want to carry all those brochures on the Ferris wheel, friendly representatives with ipads were ready to e-mail electronic brochures to your in box or take your address to send you more information to your home.

2014 Chevrolet Impala

We didn’t get a chance to ride the Ferris wheel as planned, but the dual experience of an auto show and state fair was fun. One warning: this isn’t cheap, as we paid $17 per person to enter and $15 to park on the fairgrounds. For $20 in tickets we bought two corndogs, one hot dog, fries and a drink. But I must admit, we did experience a really great auto show, thanks to Big Tex.


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