Chicago Auto Show Report

Went to the Chicago Auto Show today. Took a look at alot of foreign & domestic cars this year.
First off I didn't look at any GM mini vans, SUV's or Trucks.
Pontiac had a bland display. The GTO was kind of hidden around a wall. They had two of each model. I don't think the Sunfire was there?. Not many people mingling around the Pontiac's.
Gran Prix's - Some joker locked the back doors so nobody could get in the back seat. The electric was off and the door unlock button is all the way on the top back edge of the rear door.
Solstice - 2 Solstice's were there, one had the top up one had the top down. When I sat in the passenger seat of the top up model a kid in his twenty's got in. Knee's jammed into the dash, He was trying to move the seat back - but it was back all the way. A tight fit for most people I watched get in. The poor fitting rear portion of the top drew alot of attention.
Heard a few people say " There's NO Bonneville?!" or " Where's the SSE? "
Buick - Heard a few positive comments concerning the Lucerne. Mostly older folks liked its looks. But most agreed the back seat didn't have enough head or legroom for the Buick's flagship. Seats were comfortable. Most people were surprised Buick only has two cars - period. One old guy commented " I'm glad I bought my Park Avenue". " Me Too"! I relpied.
Chevy - Camaro concept car had a decent crowd around the turntable when I walked up to it. The little gurl up there was telling all about it. In person it seemed a little better looking that on paper.I like the grille design & the recessed headlights and that's about it.
Impala LT / SS - Here is where I heard the most negatives comments about any one single model on display. Comments ranged from horrible looks, cramped rear leg room, bad interior design and unattractive wheels.
Sat in a few HHR's. Knid of a nice novelty vehicle. Hope it does well. The people seemed to like it.
This one dainty little gal that was barely 5 foot tall fell in love with the dual rear wheel, 4X4, Diesel Silverado Crew Cab.
Corvette had a que line to have a free photo taken with you & the Vette.
Monte Carlo had the best feel buckets seats.
Cadillac was set up in the second room with Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Volvo, VW, Infinity, Audi. etc.....
The new DTS which replaces last years DeVille has a new look front & back. Lot of folks like the new look. Best seats in the house in the DTS. Max headroom & leg room in back too.
The $75,000 price tag on the XLR convertible was shocking to some. The mega bass stereo'sin the Escalades drew the rappers in close. Women in buisness suits liked the STS & the CRX.
While I was in this building amongst all the foreign car I thought I'd try some of them out. I have to say the Infinity model were most impressive. They have a huge center consoles in them and the wood & aluminum trim looks great. Very nice seats and lots of room in front & back.
VW has a new car called EOS - I heard of that years ago - wait that's the Cannon EOS camera I'm thinking of. Anyway the VW EOS has a retractable Steel & Glass top.
When the top is up a glass panel can be slid half way back like a sunroof only its damn near the full width of the roof. Only like six inches of roof remains in place along the each side. When the top is lowered the trunk opens and the roof lifts and seperates into 2 or 3 ? sections and goes into the trunk. The side rails I mentioned earlier come just beyond the rear seat when the top is lowered. Once the button is activated mini boot covers hinges outward along the top of the quarter panel up to the door jamb so the top side rails have a place to go. The front edge of the roof which is glass is right behind the rear seat when lowered. What a piece of engineering this car's roof is. The car is to be priced under $30,000
Speaking of cool folding tops the new Volvo C 70 convertible has a 3 section hardtop that also collapses under the trunk lid. The older C70 had a canvas top that went into a well behind the rear seat.
All the foreign cars had tons & tons of people around them. A lot of younger people too were drawn to them.
For some reason Audi decided to leave the TT's hard top & convertibles and A 4 convertibles at home this year.
Porsche, Bentley, Maybach & Ferrari's were all locked up. I guess you had to show your last bank statement to sit in one.
Jeep had a test track set up. They actually had a roller coaster like structure to drive on. Long line to wait in for a 1 minute ride.
Probably the biggest drawing vehicle's at the show was the " Take me back to 1970 Orange Dodge Challenger " concept car. It looked every bit of fantastic as it did in the magazine ! The little gurl on the turntable said Dodge hasn't officially announced whether or not they were going to build it.
The meer mention of its 425 Horsepower and 490 Torque raised eyebrows and drew a murmur over the crowd.
Dodge had a voting area to vote on your favorite color. I think it was for a new color for the Charger. For casting a vote you got a rubber band bracelet that reads Charger Is Back! You also got a Charger Decal.
I voted for Go Bananas - yellow, and later after a shift change, I went back and voted for Plum Crazy - purple. 4 Hemi Chargers on the floor drew all kinds of people of all ages.
I asked where white and black was. Black or White wasn't one of the choices on the ballot. I said to the little gurl there that the Charger in the movie Bullet was Black! She just looked at me.
On another turntable was a yellow & black Super Bee package on a Charger body. Black grille, hood decal, hood scoops, Chorme Bee badging on the front fenders. Same old helmet wearing Bumble Bee decal on the 1/4 panels that the 68-70 Super Bee's had. It looked cool.
Harryface 05 Park Avenue, 34,145 91 Bonneville LE 305,890
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Thanks Harry Face, I enjoy your yearly report and have so for some time. You should do this for a living or find a way to charge some one. LOL.........Very nicely done, Cheers ......sounds like the charger was a hit!

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One of the admins from my site went to the show, and he took a TON of pictures. I won't post a link to the thread otherwise I'll have people jump all over me for spamming. But for the most part he said he was impressed with the show. A lot of cool stuff
------------------------------------ Mike Mangione http://www.carforums.net
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No one will jump on you for posting a link Mike - go ahead.
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Harry Face wrote:

Nice report. I've noticed the same thing at auto shows in Boston: the show is packed with people. With very few exceptions (Saab, Volvo, Kia) people are mobbed around the japanese and european brands. There are no crowds at any of the american brands with Cadillac being the sole exception. At some of the brands (Buick, Pontiac, Mercury) it is so deserted it's embarassing. I wonder what their highly paid executives think about this (or if they even realize!). For the most part, people at car shows aren't thinking about price or reliability. They want to check out cars that catch their attention. And it is obvious the American car companies are not building cars that interest a lot of people. They can pretend their cars are as a reliable as anyones (they're not!) and they complain about their high costs (labor and healthcare) but it's just lame execuses. Because you can forget about price and reliablity- you need to design a car that gets people interested. That's first and foremost! Once you get their attention, then you can worry about getting the sale (where price and reliablity come into play). But I guess it's easier for the executives to dream up new rebate and incentive programs than to produce a car that people actually want!
Steve long time VW owner (reliability sucks, but at least I like how the car looks and drives!)
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As always, great report!
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Harry Face wrote:

Nice write up. Thanks Harry.
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Here ya go.... this is the first set of pics. I guess they are going back on Friday and they said they'll get about 100 more photos for us.
http://www.carforums.net/showthread.php?t%858
------------------------------------ Mike Mangione http://www.carforums.net
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Are you putting them up on a site somewhere Mike, where they can be seen? The carforums site is just thumbnails. Nice looking stuff and I'd like to get a better look.
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We have the board set for only members to be able to enlarget he attachments, it' to preserve bandwidth and encourage people to join the site. That's why I always get shit from people that I'm spamming so I don't even bother to post this kind of stuff anymore :)
If you have 30 seconds register and you'll be able to click the thumbnails and enlarge them all. Sorry about that
------------------------------------ Mike Mangione http://www.carforums.net
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