One-Tank Trip for Jan. 10/15
(c) By Jim Fox
They’re putting on the glitz in Detroit while in Toronto, there’s a party in the pits at “Monster Jam” and others will savour a taste of summer.
It’s show time as that “new car smell” permeates the lavishly expanded Cobo Center in Detroit at the party of the year – the Charity Preview of the North American International Auto Show next Friday (Jan. 16).
|Writer Jim Fox checks out a Porsche Boxster at the auto show Charity Preview in Detroit. (Barbara Fox photo)|
That’s when thousands of formally clad auto aficionados admire and even fondle the latest models in the “Motor City.”
This high-society event is a prelude to the public days from Jan. 17 to 25, featuring more than 750 new cars and trucks.
The auto industry – especially in Detroit – is enjoying resurgence after the dark days of the global recession only a few years ago.
“It’s all part of a positive new energy and exciting new vibe that’s prevalent in the city and in our industry,” said Scott LaRiche, show chairman.
For the sneak preview with about 50 new vehicle unveilings, some 15,000 people will pay $400 US each to attend the three-hour black-tie affair.
They’ll sip complimentary champagne – thousands of bottles of the bubbly – wash down hors d’oeuvres and be entertained by the Steve Miller Band.
|Striking a pose with a $235,000 Bentley at the North American International Auto Show gala. (Jim Fox photo)|
While strutting their stuff, the attendees will slip behind the wheel of some of the world’s most exotic vehicles and pose for photos.
The event will raise $5 million for children’s charities to bring the total since 1976 to $100 million.
“This is one of our biggest social and charitable events of the year and it’s the place to see and be seen for anyone connected with the auto industry,” said Larry Alexander, President and CEO of the Metro Detroit Convention and Visitors Bureau.
One of the afterglow parties is Studio 25 in Cobo’s new three-story, glass-enclosed riverfront atrium and Grand Riverview Ballroom.
There will be gourmet food and drink, and music by Your Generation in Concert featuring Fifty Amp Fuse. Tickets are $150. Call (248) 643-0250
|Haley Williams, Miss Michigan 2013, shows off the 50th anniversary 2015 Mustang. (Jim Fox photo)|
The public show will attract 800,000 people to view the new models and learn about the “re-envisioned automobile” of the future.
That includes sleek Bentleys and Rolls Royce models, Mercedes and BMWs, quick-paced Porsches, Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Jags, and snappy Toyotas, Hondas, Nissans, Acuras and Audis.
Not to forget the Volkswagens and Volvos, Aston Martins, Land Rovers and even Hummers sharing space with Detroit-based offerings from Ford, General Motors and Chrysler.
Need to know
Show website: naias.com; (248) 643-0250
Tickets: $13 US; $7, seniors/children, seven to 12; free, six and younger.
Charity Preview tickets: charitypreview.com; 1-888-838-7500
Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau: visitdetroit.com; 1-800-DETROIT.
Monster of a show
Coming to Toronto are the “biggest performers on four wheels” for Monster Jam on Jan. 17 and 18 at the Rogers Centre.
These massive trucks “race and rip up a custom-designed track full of obstacles to soar over – or smash through,” said publicist Beth Merrick.
|Grave Digger flies through the air at Monster Jam.|
The Party in the Pits gives fans a chance to see the trucks up close, meet drivers, take pictures and get autographs.
It happens from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. before the Jan. 17 show at 7 p.m. and 10:30 a.m. to noon before the 2 p.m. performance on Jan. 18. Pit passes are $10 with an event ticket.
Among those taking part is Cam McQueen, Northern Nightmare driver and freestyle champ.
Tickets range from $25 to $135 and only $15 for children, in advance, $5 more on the day of the show.
The jam roars in London on March 7 and 8 at Budweiser Gardens. monsterjamcanada.ca
Putting some summer into the winter is the Toronto International Boat Show on from today (Jan. 10) to Jan. 18 at the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place.
This is North America’s largest indoor boat show with some 500 exhibitors showcasing hundreds of new boats and engines, thousands of marine accessories and new products.
|Boats, motors and accessories of all types are on display at the Toronto International Boat Show.|
It’s also a “community gathering” where fellow boaters converge to engage, share tips, how-to advice, specialized knowledge and experiences,” said publicist Tran Nguyen.
There are 200 free seminars, a “do it yourself” stage, wacky water ski show with flyboarding on the indoor lake, trout pond and an appearance by Dawn Wells who played Mary Ann in Gilligan’s Island TV series. More info: torontoboatshow.com; (905) 951-0009
Jim Fox can be reached at email@example.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca