Oysters and Carbon Pianos at the 2012 Paris Auto Show

My native Seattle has as annual auto show, and it’s a great place to see what will be gracing showroom floors the following year.

But such shows aren’t the grand venues where automakers debut new models, display one-off prototypes, and spend millions to persuade attendees that their keychains need a new piece of hardware. The Mondial de l’Automobile (“World Auto Show”) in Paris is such a venue.

Kristi and I attended Le Mondial l’Automobile on the Thursday night before the third and final weekend and were blown away at the number of cars and people: it was shoulder to shoulder, bumper to bumper.

Highlights included Peugeot’s Onyx, a super car made of carbon, copper, wool, and newspaper; a carbon piano from Peugeot Design Lab; Citroen’s social media wall; the styling of Lexus’ LF-CC hybrids; and an AMC Pacer.

The crowds and high-lumen heat lamps hanging from every rafter inspired us to take a relatively quick tour of the event space—we even resisted the temptation to visit one of the multiple oyster bars.