By David Reininger -

WASHINGTON (December 21, 2001) - The 60th edition of the Washington Auto Show opens its seven-day engagement at the Washington Convention Center on Wednesday, December 26. Hot Wheels, one of the world's largest producers of cars (toy cars that is), is back as the show's title sponsor.

Visions of Washington D.C. rarely conjure up images of high performance automobiles and the district, known for black limousines, Volvos and BMWs, holds an auto show that distinctly reflects the tastes of the town. That's not to say the show is completely void of racing machinery.

On July 19-21, the American Le Mans Series bursts into town with a series of sports cars races at RFK Stadium, culminating in the National Grand Prix for Sports Prototype cars, which will be televised live on NBC.

As soon as you enter the convention center, you'll be greeted by one of these 800 horsepower sports prototype monsters. The Panoz LMP 900, as driven by David Brabham and Jan Magnussen, graces the National Grand Prix stand. Stop by, have a look at the car and learn more about the exciting programs held in conjunction with the four sports car races to be run next July.

Hayne Dominick, Chief Operating Officer for the race, said the event website would be fully functional on January 1. Located at, the site now includes a layout of the race circuit, which will be located in a parking lot on the east side of RFK Stadium

If you prefer a more rough and tumble form of motorsport, the GraveDigger monster truck will also be on display. Be sure to stop by on Friday, December 28, when Dennis Anderson, driver of the awesome monster truck GraveDigger, will be signing autographs from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Several other racing cars, including two Indy racing cars from the Indy Racing League, are expected to be on display when the show opens its doors on Wednesday.

Rarely known as a town where automakers introduce their latest and greatest, the Washington show plays host to the premiere of three brand new passenger vehicles. In addition to the world premiere of the 2003 Lincoln Town car, this year's show boasts the national premiere of Honda's Civic Hybrid and the Washington area premiere of the Cadillac CTS.

The show also promises to dispaly some of Detroit's latest styling designs. Concept cars from Daimler Chrysler, producers of the Prowler and Viper, include their latest concept vehicles, the Chrysler Phaeton and the Chrysler Hemi C Convertible. Other concept cars include the Chevrolet Borrego, Pontiac Rev and the Pontiac Piranha.

The show runs through Tuesday, January 1 at the Washington Convention Center located on 9th Street, NW.