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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Zoom, zoom soon, soon: North American International Auto Show in Detroit

   One-Tank Trip for Jan. 13/18
   (c) By Jim Fox
    Sun Media/Postmedia News

   All roads lead to Detroit as that “new car smell” permeates downtown Cobo Center.
   Some 800,000 people will make the trek to the “Motor City” for the 30th annual North American International Auto Show from Jan. 20 to 28.
   It launches with the “party of the year” for auto aficionados and the industry putting on the glitz at the lavish Charity Preview on Jan. 19.
Mugging for the camera beside a Bentley Continental GT worth $260,000 US. (Jim Fox photo)
   That’s when thousands of formally clad, would-be auto barons admire the latest models in a high-society event.
   For this sneak preview, some 15,000 people pay $400 US each to attend the three-hour, black-tie affair in support of children’s charities.
   They sip champagne, munch on hors d’oeuvres and will be entertained by the iconic Detroit Motown group, the Four Tops.
   While strutting their stuff, attendees slip behind the wheel of some of the world’s most exotic vehicles and pose for photos.

   Showcasing 750 cars and trucks, this is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world.
   “It provides unparalleled access to the automotive products, technologies, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place,” said show executive director Rod Alberts.
   The automotive world comes together here, providing the public “an opportunity to see the vehicles and technologies that will shape the future automotive landscape,” he added.
Putting on the glitz at the auto show’s Charity Preview. (Jim Fox photo)
   From muscle and electric cars, to high-performance supercars and full-size trucks, they’re all here.
   Among the bright-and-shiny offerings, there will be about 45 cars, trucks, crossovers and concept vehicles making their global or North American debuts.
   Trucks are in the spotlight with a Ford 150 pickup offering a first-time diesel engine and bringing back the Ranger midsize while Chevrolet has made over Silverado and Dodge Ram has a renewed 1500 series.
   There will be the next-generation Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini’s Urus, Nissan’s Rogue, three new models each from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, and Toyota’s full-size Avalon.
   Lexus shows its luxury crossover concept, LF1 Limitless, Volkswagen has a renewed Jetta, Honda has its hybrid Insight and Infiniti has a fastback concept, Q Inspiration.
Writer Jim Fox trying to squeeze into Daimler’s Smart Fortwo (maybe for one) at the show. (Barbara Fox photo)
   Longer-range and less-expensive battery cars are in the Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf while show-goers can learn about semi-autonomous, hands-free and driverless vehicles.
   Cars on Parade happens daily at 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. from the Parade Company.
   It features a procession on the main show floor of luxury and performance automobiles, local TV, radio and sports celebrities, clowns and special props.

   If you go:
   Cobo Center is at 1 Washington Blvd., Detroit. Show hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Jan. 20-27, and closing at 7 p.m. on Jan. 28.
   Tickets are $14 US; $7, seniors/children, seven to 12; free, six and younger. Details: naias.com; (248) 643-0250. To plan a getaway: visitdetroit.com; 1-800-DETROIT.

   The shows keep on coming
   This is the place for major cruises, races and auto shows throughout the year as the DMCVB and MotorCities National Heritage Area (motorcities.org) support auto heritage events throughout southeast Michigan.
   The lineup includes the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear, June 1-3, at Belle Isle Park; Motor Muster, June 16 and 17, highlighting 1933 to 1976 at Greenfield Village in Dearborn; and the Sloan Museum Auto Fair, June 23 and 24, with 600 vehicles.
Watching the passing parade of vintage autos at Concours. (Barbara Fox photo)
   Concours d’Elegance of America, July 27-29, at The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth showcases invited world-class vehicles.
   The Woodward Dream Cruise, Aug. 18, is the “world’s largest one-day celebration of classic car culture,” and the Old Car Festival rolls through Greenfield Village, Sept. 8 and 9.


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

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