By Jon Maib
When I was young, my Grandfather would take all the men/boys in our family to the LA Autoshow. It was something I always looked forward to. I would get to see all the latest cars, the cool concept vehicles and would walk to each car manufacturer's booth, gathering flyers and brochures of all the cars I liked (and sometimes ones I didn't care about, because I got a free poster!). My dad and Grandfather would talk about the specifics of cars they liked and my brother and I would continue to stuff our car show bags until we could barely carry them. When we got home, we would go through our bags of car documentation and some of the pictures would end up on our walls.

As I became older and had my own family, it is one of the traditions I have tried to keep going; however, it seems that the excitement of the AutoShow has greatly diminished. Over the last couple of years, I have been to the Dallas AutoShow, and each year, I become less and less impressed with what seems to be the cookie cutter car concept. Car companies seem to have the same basic designs and there is no real style to their cars, that is, unless you are going to drop $100k + on one of the high end super cars but, who has that kind of cash?

Let's talk about off-road capable vehicles now. Well, they seem to be few and far between. Im sure that comes from today's society being focused on everyday driving and not getting out into God's beautiful nature he has provided us. Luckily there are still a few car manufactures that still get that concept. One of the ones that really shocked me was Kia. That's right, I said Kia!
At their booth, Kia had their PacWest Adventure Sorento Concept. This Sorento was given to the guys over at LGE-CTS Motorsports to create this ultimate adventure vehicle. While this looks like it's been wrapped, it is actually a multi-layer paint job they applied. The Sorento was then outfitted with a high riding suspension giving it about a 6" taller stance than the standard Sorento which allows it to fit some 285/70R17 Nitto Trail Grappler M/T's. To help soak up the terrain, the Sorento was given a set of Fox Racing 2.0 coilover shocks and Elbach springs. LGE gave the Sorento custom bumpers, included a MileMarker PE4500ES winch in the front and retained the Sorento's "tiger nose" grille look. They also customized a roof rack to carry camping gear and included an ARB Tow strap and E-Z tire deflator kit. Finishing this Adventure Sorento out, the teams added a WFJ Snorkel intake system to tackle deep water crossings, making this the ultimate Overlanding vehicle.

The interior of the Sorento was not left out as they continued the custom paint on the dash and door panels and included a Daystar switch panel and rocker switches to activate the twin low profile LED lights mounted on the roof rack and low in the custom front bumper. Even the seats got stitched with the Kia logo and cladded in a custom tire-tread embroidery with green leather.

Other than the Sorento, there really wasn't much more to write home about. I think I had more fun looking at the older car section where there were many classics, such as this beautifully restored 1967 Ford Bronco with custom white interior.

I do miss the old days of the AutoShow when it seemed car companies worked to create great cars with classic styles. Guess I am just tired of the cookie cutter looks and the cheap plastic... well, everything it seems now. I know that companies are using these products to cut the cost of cars and such, but would love to see a good solid classic looking car or truck. Guess I'll just go drive Project Rex, our 1948 Willys CJ2a.