I have been to the local to the big and it is different.
Press day in Detroit is real food and two story displays while Cleveland is Donuts and a new color option on the Corvette.
Now not to bad mouth Cleveland too much as it is the largest show in square feet. I drove a hydrogen cell vehicle inside the building at the event. It also has been the site of the GM ride and drive where I got to take Z06 Corvettes around an autocross course at full tilt with drifting in the corners and Hummers on hills and tilts to the limit.
But still Detroit is still the next level up. You see all the show cars and all the new cars often for the first time.
But to be honest with recent cut backs even the best shows are not what they once were. There is just a bit less of everything. Less MFGs, new models, less show cars and less freebies. I used to come home with fleet shirts, hats, fans, bags, and brochures for many vehicles. Now not much of anything.
In Detroit GM had two floors of displays, Benz has a 3 story glass building. Some brands had complete rooms with 4 walls and ceiling for a display.
There has been talks of going to an out door event in warm weather. I hope Detroit does this as the present show is just not what it was and with the economy and Covid it could decline more.
If you can try to hit one of the large global shows even just once. I live close enough to Detroit it is just a day trip as long as the snow off Lake Erie is not stranding us in Sandusky Ohio on the way home. I have had the sun out in Detroit and 12” of snow by the time I hit Akron.
The best memories of Detroit. The global show cars that came from Paris, Frankfurt and Tokyo. The greatest disappointments, the original concept Aztek and the quality of the first gen. Colorado.
Also got a ride in a EV1 inside at the Detroit show.
Absolutely great review and article. I totally agree, these shows still play a huge part in any auto enthusiast's world. Or shopper. They are just fun if you like cars. I read articles and watch lots of car videos and shop on auto trader and manufacturer sites, but something about actually touching and feeling can never be replaced.
This is true! I've spent a few summers camping along the snake river, and Idaho is just beautiful. But it's a long, long drive to a major metropolitan city with OEM/Dealerships with enough $$$ to rent out a big convention center!
What was cool was back in 69 Chevy had a new Monte Carlo on a turn table that opened the car up as it tilted the body. It was at a local car dealer.
just a year or so ago the same display in full function was at the Cleveland Auto show. It was just as I remembered as a kid. The Crawford Museum has preserved this well.
@Sajeev, I wholeheartedly agree that the WRX's quirky-ness has made it admired for years. And although I'm much more into V-8, V-10, or V-12 "music", the stumble/rumble/bumble-bee sound of a WRX is so distinctive that I instantly can tell that one is near with even seeing it - which in itself is admirable. Here I am with my friend Paul and one of his older models (this shot taken years ago) that, among others he had, was rallied in places from the Arctic Circle to Africa.
Hah - not so "well said" when I now re-read it and realize I wrote the word "with" instead of "without" when referencing knowing a WRX just from the sound! 😁
I should have elaborated on the car and driver in the pic. Interested parties can find out more at About us - Primitive Racing (get-primitive.com)