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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Zoom, zoom to Detroit for automotive bliss

   One-Tank Trip for Jan. 7/17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   When it comes to planning an automotive-themed getaway, all roads lead to Detroit – the “Motor City.”
   Highlighting annual events in this motor mecca is the world renowned North American International Auto Show revving up next week.
   It attracts more than 800,000 people over nine days to view 750 vehicles and countless interactive displays.
Glitzy models showing off the latest models at the North American International Auto Show Charity Preview in Detroit. (Jim Fox photo)
   While in town, cruise over to the Henry Ford museum, tour auto baron homes and cap it off with a stay at Marriott’s Dearborn Inn built by Henry Ford.
   The auto show from Jan. 14 to 22 at the Cobo Center is the place to see “next-generation automotive products and technologies” as they make their world debuts.
   Among those is the new fifth-generation Lexus flagship sedan said to have an extended “bold new look with a coupe-like silhouette” and premium rear-wheel drive “for a more dynamic experience on the road.”

   There will be Disney Pixar sharing “an early sneak peek” at its next film “Cars 3.”
Writer Jim Fox sizing up a little red Corvette convertible at the auto show gala. (Barbara Fox photo)
   The AutoMobili-D showcase features a start-up expo of international companies “tackling every aspect of future automotive mobility,” said Sam Slaughter, show chair.
   Some 1,500 workers have been transforming Cobo’s huge interior into this high-tech automotive showcase since October.
   The night before the public show opens is the party of the year – the gala, black-tie Charity Preview on Jan. 13 to mingle with the cars, sip champagne and see the Beach Boys perform. Tickets are $400 US and support children’s charities.
   Cobo Center is at 1 Washington Blvd., Detroit. Hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily (except 7 p.m. on Jan. 22). naias.com

   Start your engines
   They’ll be popping the hoods of 50 rare automobiles for a closer look at the Henry Ford museum in suburban Dearborn (20900 Oakwood Blvd.).
A 1951 Studebaker Champion and a 1956 Chevy Bel Air convertible on display at the Henry Ford museum. (Jim Fox photo)
   Engines Exposed from Jan. 14 to Feb. 28 will “share the insider’s story of this evolving technology.”
   Visitors will discover the thinking behind how the most advanced hybrid and electric cars started more than a century ago and current innovations in self-driving, autonomous autos will be explained.
   There’s the 1919 Model T, which had Ford’s first electric starter, to the 500-horsepower 1967 Ford Mark IV Le Mans Race Car and the Goldenrod Land Speed Record Car on display.
The 1961 Lincoln Continental limo in which President John F. Kennedy was assassinated is on display at the Henry Ford museum. (Jim Fox photo)
   The museum is packed with the “world’s premier auto collection” and presidential
limousines including the one in which President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
   It showcases American ideas and innovations, technological and social, that have “fired our imaginations and changed our lives.”
   The museum also offers the Ford Rouge Factory Tour of the historic plant that was the birthplace of the Model A, V-8 engine, Mustang and Thunderbird, and where F-150 trucks are made today. thehenryford.org; 1-800-835-5237

   Sweet dreams
   Complete the auto-visit experience with a stay at the hotel that Henry built.
Ford’s Dearborn Inn was said to be the world’s first airport hotel. (Jim Fox photo)
   Ford opened his Dearborn Inn in 1931, a striking Georgian-style hotel across the street from his airport (now a Ford test track) on Oakwood Boulevard in Dearborn.
   He commissioned famous architect Albert Kahn to design what became the world’s first airport hotel that quickly was one of the nation’s premier inns for lodging, dining and service.
The ornate lobby of Henry Ford’s hotel, the Dearborn Inn. (Barbara Fox photo)
    Now part of the Marriott chain, it has undergone expansions and multi-million-dollar renovations and is designated a National Historic Site.
The Patrick Henry home is one of the five historic replica houses (Jim Fox photo)
   Among the additions were five historic replica houses in 1937 in a Colonial Village setting that are still available today as guestrooms apart from the main inn, said the hotel’s Stacy Tontalo.
Front desk staff beside some of the antique photos at the inn. (Jim Fox photo)
   Reproduced in exacting precision were the homes of Edgar Allan Poe, Oliver Wolcott, Barbara Fritchie, Walt Whitman and Patrick Henry.
   Throughout the renovations, care was taken to keep the traditional style and to tell the story of the hotel through historic inn and automotive photos and artifacts. dearborninnmarriott.com (313) 271-2700


Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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