Just a theory, in the days before computer chip technology arrived in cars, sudden changes in elevation played havoc with car engines. Maybe elevation was reported to allow car owners to adjust their engine, and then later just became tradition. Might need someone associated with auto history to answer this for us.
that’s still true today, it’s just not as big of a deal. whenever you move somewhere with a significant change in elevation, you should take your car in for a tune-up. there are a few things that can be tweaked to avoid wear on the engine.
living in the mile-high-city myself, elevation has a whole lot of significance around here. since within this one state the elevation has a range of over 10,000 feet, you can do just a little in-state traveling and be in a whole different ballpark. health is a main factor, as altitude-sickness is prevalent around here. if you see the elevation on a sign coming into a city, you can know whether or not to pick up some tums at the gas station. and what about air? it seems to be a tad thin. sports teams that come here ALWAYS have oxygen on hand, as their players often feel like their breathing isn’t doing any good. another importance of elevation is just so you know–a cool back-country snowboarding story is always better when you can brag about the elevation.