FORT WORTH — Jim Hardick is excited about the timing of the DFW Auto Show in Fort Worth.“I don’t think people are expecting it this time of year,” said Hardick, the show’s chairman and managing partner at Moritz Dealerships. “I think it will be a nice surprise, no pun intended.”The surprise at today’s opening of the annual extravaganza of wheels at the Fort Worth Convention Center is Trunk-or-Treat for Halloween. Lightning McQueen, hero of the 2006 movie Cars, will give complimentary bags to each child accompanied by an adult with valid admission.Caches of candy at each of more than 50 exhibits — one of which is a Ford C-MAX hybrid in a Halloween-themed full-vehicle wrap — will help fill those bags. Organizers are encouraging first-day visitors to the 270,000-square-foot show to come in costume. Hardick said he’s on the fence about wearing a costume but has no doubt that the event will be successful.“It gives kids a safe, fun place to go trick-or-treating,” Hardick said.Participants include 20-year car show veteran Stacey Riley, who said this show is especially exciting.“The big attraction is the Corvette Stingray,” Riley said of her GM exhibit. “But I’m also excited to have the 2015 Suburban that’s built in Arlington and the 2015 2500HD, a 3/4-ton crew cab pickup.”Along with more than two dozen 2014 models from Acura to Subaru, the show has 2015 models that include the Cadillac Escalade, said Lee Chapman, president of the Dallas Fort Worth Metropolitan New Car Dealers Association.“It’s a completely redesigned vehicle that will be made right here in Arlington, where they’re also making the Yukon and Tahoe,” Chapman said.Returning visitors expect to see the latest technology and designs from fuel-efficient hybrids to ragtop roadsters.The 2013 show also introduces high-end manufacturers with a 2014 Bentley Flying Spur, a 2014 Maserati Quattroporte S Q4, a 2013 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe and a 2014 McLaren 12C Coupe.At the adjacent Fort Worth Water Gardens, all it takes is a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance and an auto show ticket for anyone 18 or older to get complimentary access to the Ride & Drive Event. Vehicles including the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Chrysler 200, Dodge Challenger, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ram 1500, Fiat 500, and Ford’s F150, Focus, Fusion and Edge will be available for test drives Friday through Sunday.Saturday takes some of the attention off the new cars when the Memory Lane Classic Car Show returns with 100 all-American cars and trucks, none built after 1979. Visitors may see the classics in the convention center exhibit annex and vote for favorites, Hardick said.“If you love classic cars, this is the place to be on Saturday,” Hardick said.But if you love cars in general — or, even better, are in the market for a new one — the DFW Auto Show in Fort Worth is the place to be today through Sunday.“I think kids and parents both get excited about new cars,” Hardick said.
Terry Evans, 817-390-7620 Twitter: @fwstevans