The first Atlanta Auto Show was held in 1909. It was the first for Atlanta and Georgia, but also for the entire Southeast. Its name upon inception was the Atlanta National Automobile Show.
The Atlanta Auto Show Committee was spearheaded by Asa G. Candler, founder of the Coca-Cola Company. He also founded the Atlanta Automobile Association and appointed his son, Asa G. Candler, Jr., as the first president.
67 Automakers applied for a spot on the 64,000 square foot show floor (in present day, the show is over 400,000 square feet). After this first Auto Show, Atlanta hosted two more Auto Shows in 1912 and 1917 and then had a long wait of over 65 years before the bright lights returned downtown.