In the Motor City, the North American International Auto Show is a BIG deal. The Big 3, their competitors, and their suppliers are the top employers in Michigan and you will be hard pressed to meet a native who doesn’t have at least one relative in the industry. Off the top of my head we have 5 people in our immediate family who works or has worked in the car biz.
This year’s show runs January 12-25 at the newly revamped COBO Hall downtown. Hundreds of thousands* of people head to the city to check out the sleek and shiny designs. Consequently, traffic (and parking) in Detroit during these two weeks is awful and I won’t be too sad missing it on my commute to work. I also won’t be checking out the show. My Michigan cred falls short in the areas of cars and hunting.
My personal interests aside, the auto show remains a significant Detroit event and something worth covering for the blog; therefore, I sent my trusty side-kick and life partner out to take some pictures and report from the inside. Take it away Danny!
Well, first of all, this show is what Detroit is all about. It’s the Motor City for a reason! As Carrie mentioned, it’s kind of a big deal. I hadn’t been to the show in many years, and the venue has since been extensively renovated, so I was very excited to check it out this weekend. I’ll admit that I’m not a car guy. I like super-cars and high performance engines in general, but I just haven’t been around enough enthusiasts to be able to dissect an engine entirely.
Overall, the show was stunning and impressive. It was much more glamorous than I had remembered. I’m not sure if it’s the COBO renovations, the show-specific presentation, or both but everything looked spectacular and well planned out. One could easily find what they were looking for with company emblems and marquees spread throughout the show, visible from seemingly everywhere at once.
There were many beautiful cars and a few stood out from the rest but one in particular stole the show: the Ford GT. When you get to the show, look for the largest crowd, and the Ford GT will be at its center. Other notable cars pictured include the Maserati 100th anniversary edition Ghibli, the Toyota FT-1 concept car, and a Corvette Z06 convertible (there was also the new Stingray).
Of course, what goes better with cars than models? There were a lot of beautiful people representing the auto makers. I’ll even admit that some of them even made me uncomfortable to watch up there. You could tell right away that all the guys were lined up to stare at the girl, not the car. Nevertheless, they all did great jobs presenting their respective vehicles and technologies.
If you plan on seeing the show, go early. My friend and I arrived at around noon, and the crowds were much worse just a couple hours later. It is definitely a family-oriented activity, so bring the kids. There are plenty of things for them to look at besides cars.
*This years show has already broken attendance records, 208, 675 attended Saturday and Sunday and over 800,000 are expected to visit before it is over.