Global Auto Salon Riyadh – Trucks and SUVs of The Show
From The Weird & Wonderful to the Exotic & Unbelievable!
Auto shows and expos are nothing new in our world. In fact, we attend many of them each and every year. So, when the opportunity came to attend the inaugural Global Auto Salon in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, we couldn't help but to jump at the opportunity if for no other reason than to see how they do things on the other side of the world.
This auto show was one unlike any other, while being completely familiar at the same time. Let us explain. As part of the Riyadh Season Festival, the Kingdom invited companies from around the world to attend the Global Auto Salon. And because the Kingdom fronted at least some of the bill, many companies from the United States shipped vehicles over to either display or place for sale. Companies also brought product to sell and set up booths to display their latest projects. Because of this there was a lot of our typical American truck and SUV builds mixed in among the local vehicles.
We loved seeing the local Saudi Arabian take on our typical "overland" style vehicle builds. While most vehicle modifying is illegal in the Kingdom, getting outfitted for a bit of sand dune exploration and car camping is not. With the abundance of desert, there were plenty of local off-road builds to ogle at.
From our side of the world, there were tons of lifted and lowered trucks, performance customs, classic restorations, and even a handful of desert race trucks. Even more fun than looking at the trucks was watching the locals as they admired the custom vehicles. And even more fun than that was talking with them (most Saudis learn to speak English in school) about their love of cars and trucks.
We also had fun was walking the auto salon halls and laughing almost out loud at the prices some folks were asking for the vehicles. Case in point, a beautiful 1987 Jeep Wrangler YJ. The owner was asking an astonishing $70,000 for the Jeep. Sure, it was beautifully restored. But it was still just a YJ, leaf springs and all. On the bright side, for those who did splurge on a vehicle, the Kingdom offered the same exemption for registering and driving them on the roads, so that right there might just be worth the price of admission.
We had tons of fun walking the show, and it took us several days to see everything that was to be seen (and we still missed a few trucks). Hopefully, they'll hold the event again next year and it's bigger and better than ever.