View Full Version : The North American International Auto Show

01-20-03, 05:40 AM
So I got there today. Me and a mate went around 6 pm and toured till they closed at 10. He isn't a racenut, although he will and has gone to races before. And let me apologise for not bringing the camera. I forgot. Twisty and War were supposed to have also gone, hopefully they brought the cam. Anyways......

A few observations of the racing kind:

- I had never seen an IRL car before up close.(probably because I never went out of my way to get up close to one :D ) Chevy had the panther car on display, and except for the side pods, you could get real close to it. I now completely understand why so many drivers get injured with that gearbox stuck out the back. :eek: That thing was huge. Both Chev's and Toyota's IRL displays were last years' model, I believe, as I didn't see the ramp nose. (I was kicking myself in the a$$ for not bringing crapwagon stickers.)

- I never claim to be an F1 expert, but looking at the car Toyota brought, I think it was just a mockup. Even though its a toyota, I still love the lines of an F1.

- Still on F1, I was shocked to think that Ferrari, although having a huge banner across the top of their display claiming F1 titles, didn't have an F1 display car. :shakehead Can't figure that one out.

- ALMS. Chevy had the corvette GTS car on display with the 29 Childress car and the panther IRL car. looking really sweet. Audi brought one of their cars with them, but kept it high up on the hospitality level, which was cordoned off. I asked to get a quick look up there and was denied. D'oh.

- NASCAR. Two Bill Elliot Dodges. The afore mentioned Harvick 29. A Craftsman Dodge truck. The two Elliot Dodges looked like real rollers, not completely sure though.

- WRC. Tommi Makinen's car and the Mitsubishi that Colin McRae will be driving next year(?), were there. Both were cordoned off.

- Other. Top Fuel funny car in the basement. Monster garage brought three of their cars from the TV show with them. Johnson Controls had a display, but didn't have any car with them, which in my mind doesn't make sense since Gentilozzi is an hour or two away.

- Ford, to the best of my knowledge didn't bother with any racing gear of any type, save one. A GT concept. :saywhat: And if you've read this far and have been questioning...... Nope. I didn't see a ChampCar.

It was a normal NAIAS show. I probably won't go again next year due to the fact that they don't always change their displays, so going every year gets tedious, seeing the same things. I was hoping for more racing oriented things. Some non-racing observations:

- Coolest option on a car: Rolls Royce's golf sized umbrella in the rear doors. Slides in the side, just above the door latch, and extends the length of the door. Didn't find out how much that option was.

- Big waste of space on display, Pt. 1: Mini Cooper. Ya have only one car you build and sell, but you had about a dozen there on display. Kinda pointless, unless you wanted to see how many roofs they could paint different.

- Big waste of space on display, Pt. 2: Honda. They decided as part of their display that they would show all of their various products. A roto-tiller belongs at a county fair and farm show, people.

- Car accidents on the rise, Pt. 1: Fully integrated LCD displays on the dash. I sat down at a couple of these displays and immersed myself in the new toys they want to add to cars in 1 to 2 years. I realized that I would stare at this screen for 10 minutes straight looking up things, WHILE I'M SUPPOSED TO BE DRIVING. Unless i'm in the middle of the desert with nothing to hit, this is going to cause problems.

- Car accidents on the rise, Pt. 2: I jumped in an F250 truck. Opened the center console to see that the storage comparment between the seats go all the way to the floor. I'm guessing 36 cans, 24 easy, with ice packs to keep it cold. Maybe a bag of chips with it. Sounds like a Warlock vehicle to me. ;)

- Retro Styling thats in, Pt. 1: Suicide doors. They're called suicide doors for a reason, no?

- Retro Styling thats in, Pt. 2: Squared off bodies. The best way to describe it, is that apparently Chrysler was way ahead of the times when they introduced the K car.

- Neatest free giveaway: Olds gave out DVD samplers. Assume its on their lineup. Haven't tried it yet.

- Most boring free giveaway: Ice scrapers from a company who's product on display was a warmed windshield washer fluid system.


01-20-03, 09:00 AM
Originally posted by devilmaster
(I was kicking myself in the a$$ for not bringing crapwagon stickers.)

Hum, the Cleveland show is coming up.

Originally posted by devilmaster
Ford, to the best of my knowledge didn't bother with any racing gear of any type, save one.

Last year in Cleveland they had an extensive display of racing stuff, although I do not recall if it included a Champcar (although Honda did).

01-20-03, 09:07 AM
Originally posted by devilmaster
Twisty and War were supposed to have also gone, hopefully they brought the cam
Oh... funny thing happened. I'm bending over (no... not like that!) so I can get a low-level pic of the Toyota F1 car. My camera, with the little teather wrapped securely around my wrist, slips out of my hand. Being teathered to my wrist, it's no problem. But, with a pendulum motion, it swings and smashes into the stainless steel rail surrounding the car, essentially ending my photography for the day.

Nice report tho, Steve. Mine woulda sounded a little less positive. Kinda like this...

We got there around 1pm, and there was far more people than floor space. We never actually walked anywhere... you could only shuffle your feet 6" at a time. All the cars worth seeing were surrounded by throngs of people, allowing you the opportunity to get a great view of the roofline, unless you were shorter than 6' tall. Knowing how many cool bars reside in Detroit's "Greektown", it was hard to want to stay at the show. So we didn't. Back to the Detroiter, Fishbone's, and the Old Sheleihlee. Ahhh... now THAT was fun! ;)

At least I can say I went to the Auto Show in my life, but it's safe to say that I ain't goin' back!

Winter Warlock!

01-20-03, 03:33 PM
Sorry to hear about your experience, war.

I know what you mean though. I usually don't go to these things on the weekend. When we showed up at 6, it had already thinned out some. The only bottleneck we got into was the aisle which had Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Rolls. By 8, the place was getting deserted.


01-20-03, 04:02 PM
The LA show was similar, but also had the Subaru WRC car, and Audi had their ALMS car on display as well. There were a couple of SPEED Touring cars there as well, in the aftermarket section.

01-20-03, 10:56 PM
I usually make the Chicago show, and the crowds aren't that bad, especially during the week. Of course, they don't take up space with cool things like race cars, etc. McCormick place is friggin' gigantic, too.

No pics at all? Slackers. ;)

BTW - Colin McRae is driving for Citroen next year. Alister McRae, AFAIK, will be driving the Mitsubishi again.

01-21-03, 06:50 AM
I may have snagged a half-dozen pics before my camera met the steel, but I dunno if I can DL to my computer with the shape it's in. I'll try today sometime.

Winter Warlock!