Geneva 2018: my first motor show

Written by Alfie Blue

At the age of 15, I’ve just returned from my first ever international car show. Hosted since 1905 in one of Switzerland’s largest cities, the prestigious Geneva International Motorshow is surely a bucket list trip for any self-respecting car enthusiast, with the world’s biggest manufacturers setting their stall out for the year ahead with a range of new models making their public debut. It’s particularly interesting from a Porsche perspective, as the company usually uses Geneva to showcase its blue chip GT models.

I’d prepared myself for a long day, as countless, daunting online tales told me how to survive the gruelling heat and mazes of people all over the sprawling plaza. Yet within the first few moments of entering Hall One, I instantly realised that my crusader-style preparations were unnecessary. Hot, sticky, tiring and over-crowded, right? Wrong.

Huge, clear signs draped from the ceiling signposting heaps of extraordinary car manufacturers. Wide, carpeted channels cut through the forest of motor stands housing curious punters, wishing they had heads like owls, frustrated that they could only drool over one machine at a time. Strolling between the array of supercars, there was a definite lack of the notorious congestion. Where were the angry amateur-photographers battling their way to the stands? And before you ask, yes, I went on the last Friday, very much one of the busiest public openings.

First, I sat down to plan my route. Drinking from my ridiculously over-sized water bottle and scanning the signs for my favourite marques, I noticed what was truly meant by an ‘international’ car show – seven halls full of the best cars in the world. Not the best in England, France or Germany, but the entire globe. The pinnacle. The atmosphere was something only a first-hand experience could ever do justice to. It felt raw and real but just as polished as the immaculate vehicles I’d travelled so far to see.

Each stand was a focused collection of the brands’ latest and upcoming models, seemingly driven off the production line just minutes before. My personal favourites were the Porsche Mission E and the Aston Martin Valkyrie, because of their shared futuristic style and the way they symbolise where the car world is going, rather than an update of where it has already been.

As a massive Magnus Walker fan, I love to see modified and tweaked cars, especially if they happen to be supercars to begin with! The Japanese modification empire, Liberty Walk, was showing four of their magnificent creations this year, including an electric blue Nissan GTR. Far from the pristine ‘correctness’ of many other stands, these Far Eastern cars had a spirit not dissimilar to that of an Urban Outlaw build. I was sifting through the LBW merchandise when I looked up to see Waturu Kato (owner of LBW) smiling back at me! Revving up all my courage, I managed to ask for an autograph. We could speak very little of each other’s language but he still managed to glow with an energy and warmth for his cars and fans.

Writing this, I am wearing a Liberty Walk t-shirt, getting distracted by my signed sticker and deciding that my experience at Waturu’s stand was in fact a demonstration of what an international motorshow can do: bringing all kinds of people from every different nation together in celebration of a shared interest.

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