The 107th Chicago Auto Show started on Feb. 14 and runs through Feb. 22 at McCormick Place. This annual new-car exposition is the largest in size of all the big shows. According to the Chicago Automotive Trade Assoc. that runs it, McCormick Place is large enough to host the Detroit, Los Angeles and New York auto shows all at the same time!
Even though the CATA recognized its long history with posters showing a 1930s car being unloaded at the show decades ago, none of the U.S. Automakers exhibiting this year seemed to give much of a real nod to their heritage.
Buick mentioned that its new convertible was the first Buick ragtop in 21 years and a few model names like SS, ZR 1, Z/28, Challenger, Charger, Dart, GT40 and Mustang that date back to the ’60s and ’70s are still around. Mopar and Ford had some vintage style lifestyle accessories. But other than that, the German, Japanese and Italian automakers were the only ones that seemed to incorporate their history into their displays.
Toyota had a bunch of signs and two actual vintage cars telling the story of the company’s past and what a crowd they had around them! Mini had a product display mentioning its racing history and association with race car tuner John Cooper. Miata had a “vintage” 1990 model on display.
Alfa Romeo was definitely the winner of the show with a fabulous array of historical red racing classics that included a multi-million-dollar 1932 Gran Premio Tipo B P3 and a 1951 Gran Premio Tipo 159 Alfetta, as well as a sporty 1967 Tipo 33 Stradale GT coupe.
Now, old car buffs are gearheads and every gearhead will enjoy seeing this year’s Chicago Auto Show, but it sure would be nice to see more American car companies showing a keener interest in their past.