This 1935 Cadillac Imperial Sedan limousine garnered some attention.
Rarely does anything live up to its billing. For instance, the Super Bowl game is perennially billed as the creme’de la creme’ of football games, but inevitably the contest is a one-sided blow-out. Take your pick of nearly every championship boxing match and invariably the viewer is disappointed. It is a rarity in today’s age to find something that lives up to its promotion.
Well, take note — the 1990 Limousine & Chauffeur Show at the Las Vegas Hilton from March 4 through 7 surpassed all expectations. The show was billed as the “World’s Largest Limousine Show” and definitely lived up to its billing. With more than 120 vehicles, more than 40 suppliers, and more than 3,000 industry representatives, the show was a rousing success. Attendees were treated to an opportunity not only to view the latest limousines and products, but also to network with other operators from across the country. Attendees came from as far away as Alaska, Florida, Australia, and France.
The show’s program was filled with speakers, discussions, and workshops designed to help operators improve their business acumen. There was an icebreaking reception on Sunday, March 4 which gave operators a chance to renew old acquaintances and meet new business associates. The show jumped ahead with full force on Monday morning, March 5. After a brief welcome to the standing-room-only crowd by Ty Bobit, president of Bobit Publishing Company, attendees were addressed by keynote speaker Christopher Hegarty on “Winning in the Nineties.” Among other things, Hegarty warned operators that the American consumer is becoming more sophisticated and demands more service, and only the limousine operators willing and able to provide that type of service will survive. He also encouraged limousine operators to take risks.
Hegarty’s dynamic talk was followed by a panel of coachbuilders/manufacturers discussing vehicle improvements and the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Moderated by Scott Fletcher, editor and publisher of L&C, the panel also included Robert Hellmuth of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Hellmuth pointed out that the agency is ready to pursue a handful of coachbuilders who have not yet responded to their inquiry from last May. Other members of the panel included Cas Jasin of Cadillac Division; Marty Averbuch of the Limousine Industry Manufacturers Organization (LIMO); Bill Royle of Lincoln-Mercury; and Doug Donalson of Corporate Coachworks.
After the panel, attendees were addressed by Dr. William Cohen on “Building Your Business With Charisma.” Attendees were able to take a quick quiz to evaluate their own charisma. Cohen told the group that they need to use their own personal charisma in order to improve their business.
At noon, the throng of attendees poured into the Hilton Center to get a first-hand look at the 1990 limousines, products, and services on display. In addition to the new vehicles, some vintage automobiles were also exhibited.
(left to right) Bruce Cirlin of Dillinger/Gaines Coachworks, Frank DiGiacomo of L&C Magazine, and Ken Schwartz of Dillinger/Gaines
The following day, attendees were treated to an awakening speech during breakfast by Danny Santucci on “How to Get Cash Out of Your Business.” For the next two hours, the general session received instruction on telemarketing and management techniques by Dr. Darlene Bordeaux. She outlined the most effective ways to manage a business effectively and a simple telephone conversational technique that helps book an order. The final session of the day was an Operator Panel which fielded questions from the audience on numerous topics, including local licensing regulations, marketing, and operations. Again, the exhibit hall opened up for a full six hours of display time.
The highlight of the show came Tuesday night during the first-ever Limousine & Chauffeur Awards Banquet. After dinner and a slide show, Fletcher acted as the evening’s emcee by presenting awards to the winners of the inaugural Graphic Achievement Contest.
Bea Goop (left) of European Limousine in San Francisco accepts an award for graphic design from Donna Englander of L&C
A special tribute was paid to Robert Peterson of Lehmann-Peterson in Chicago. Peterson was a pioneer in the coachbuilding industry, manufacturing luxury limousines in the early 1960s. Slides were shown detailing some of the unique features that Peterson developed. Peterson was presented with the first Limousine & Chauffeur
Industry Achievement Award recognizing his outstanding contribution to the industry.
The evening concluded with the presentation of the first L&C Operator of the Year Award. Stephen Spencer of London Towncars in NYC was the honored recipient of the award. Spencer is a veteran operator who has been actively involved in the livery industry in NYC for 30 years.