The car world is struggling through an era of cynicism and disillusionment these days, and I desperately want us to break through the fog into a world of optimism again. I’m not talking about general positivity, I mean Harley Earl, Raymond Loewy, Buck Rogers, atomic age, world’s fair, Eames chair, mid-mod kind of optimism. We still don’t have jetpacks or flying cars, but we are currently in a new wave of technology shift as electric propulsion steadily inches its way closer to the standard. Let’s throw it back to the early 20th century and be optimistic about the future of transportation again! That’s exactly what Autopia 2099 is for, and Jalopnik is helping out.
[Disclaimer: I am one of the co-founders of Autopia 2099. I will directly materially benefit if you buy a ticket or some merch. I am absolutely biased in favor of this show continuing to be a roaring success. It’s important to me, Autopia 2099, and Jalopnik that you know this information.]
A few years ago some friends and I started a little car show that would become something of a cultural phenomenon, Radwood. While Radwood continues to rage on across the country, and I love my periodic looks into an awesome era of automotive past, another of my passions is what’s coming for our collective automotive future. That’s why, earlier this year, I decided to try to capture lightning in a bottle a second time, joining forces with pals Jeff Glucker, Chad Kirchner, Ethan Tufts, and Kevin McCauley to kick off Autopia 2099 this December. And we convinced Nissan to come on board as presenting sponsor.
Today Jalopnik is joining forces with Autopia 2099 to announce the inaugural event on Saturday, December 4th This isn’t your average everyday car show. No parking lots or golf courses. No uppity suit jacket and mint julep crowd, just a gathering of electric car appreciators. Whether you daily drive a Tesla, race an electric streamliner at Bonneville, built a solar car for your university, or swapped some lead acid batteries and a forklift motor into a Ford Pinto as a weekend project (in fact we’d love to see that), you’re welcome at Autopia 2099. It’s going to be a hell of a party, and you should come.
Where: Optimist Studios in Los Angeles, at the end of the runway at LAX
When: Saturday, December 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
How much: The standard cost to enter the car show is $15 per car, or $5 to spectate (children 12 and under enter free). In addition to the cars, guests will be treated to some fun entertainment, and a real good time.
How to sign up: Head on over to the Autopia 2099 Eventbrite site
What cars: Anything powered by electrons. Whether they were built in the Contender Era, the Crap Era, or the Tesla Era, your electrically-propelled mobility gadgets are welcome with open arms. Battery electrics, PHEVs, hybrids, hydrogen cell, etc. Your home-built projects, your brand-new Arcimoto three-wheeler, your experimental hydrogen fuel cell in-line skates, or your kid’s powerwheels, it’s all welcome. Whether you’re a hypermiler or a racer or anywhere in between, if you have an appreciation for electric propulsion, Autopia 2099 is where you want to be.
There will be some awesome displays from Nissan, Livewire, Zero, AEM EV, and more, plus a whole slew of awesome swaps and projects from SoCal speed shops. Bisimoto told me he has nine cars to bring, and Jehu Garcia said he’d bring his whole electric-swapped Volkswagen crew. The brand new record holder for fastest electric car in the world, the Revolt Systems Tesla-powered streamliner, will also be there (more about that car soon). We’re even hoping to have a couple EV1s on display. It’s going to be a wide array of electrified machines, and you’ll want to see it first hand.
What else: We’re encouraging people to dress up to play along. Whatever your idea of the future is, dress like that. We’ll have a prize for whoever has the coolest or perhaps most elaborate costume. Enjoy the future of optimism, folks. We’re all friends here.
Keep an eye on Jalopnik in the coming weeks, because we’ll have a reader contest to win VIP passes to the show, a feature on the site, some Autopia swag, and a shiny trophy! And don’t worry — we’ll have plenty of reminders between now and when the show goes down.
See you there!