CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia International Auto Show opened to the public Friday morning with hundreds of cars, trucks, SUVs and vans on display.

Organizers predict thousands will walk through the Charleston Civic Center during the three-day event. On the showroom floor everything from electric-powered cars to some of the highest-end vehicles on the market.

Flem Stroud of Huntington and his wife were taking a look at the trucks.

“They’re pretty cool!”

However, he wasn’t in the buying mood. He was more interested in checking out the new technology and engine power.

Meanwhile, Kim Maxson and her husband David had a much clearer mission in mind.

“My husband and I are getting ready to buy my son a car for his graduation,” she explained. “I’m doing a little bit more than just browsing. I’m actually making connections to purchase.”

Most of the vehicles on display are brand new models, some are even pre-production. Show organizers stressed you get a good idea of what will be hitting the market in the next 6 to 12 months.

Gary Holliday of Fayetteville made it clear he’s not in buying mood but he likes to look.

“We’re here browsing really. I’m not looking for anything particular,” said Holliday.

But the vehicles he said he’s most interested in have something in common. They’re all made in the USA.

Phil Ross was one of the first through the door on opening day. He said he might be in the market for a brand new vehicle down the road.

“I’m just out kicking the tires, looking at trucks especially. I’m thinking about trading maybe this summer for a new truck.”

Ross said the show is a great way to get behind the wheel of a vehicle, see how it feels, what options are available and check out the new technology without getting the hard sell from dealers.

The show is sponsored by the West Virginia Automobile and Truck Dealers Association. On Friday and Saturday, the doors are open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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