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February 9, 2018

2018 Chicago Auto Show: New vehicles big and small

by Paul Daniel

It’s the largest show in North America

Mark and I love this show and have been making the trip down south from Milwaukee for a long time. Besides seeing the latest from the auto manufacturers, we spend time catching up with our fellow reporters. And we got some exercise walking two miles in the one million square foot exhibit area at McCormick Place. The best-remembered intro, or re-intro, was Ford’s Transit van when actor Jim Belushi appeared and played Sweet Home Chicago.

Other fun stuff

Smallest car intro

Earlier this year Ford turned back the clock by introducing this Bullitt Mustang. For the kid in every one of us Ford rolled out this LEGO 1968 Mustang Fastback at the Chicago Auto Show. It’s an easy kit to build with just 183 blocks and priced affordably at $14.99. Own a classic without busting your budget.

 Most ways to spend more money after you buy your truck.

Nobody was even close to Mopar who came up with 200 ways with aftermarket products to lighten your wallet and displayed examples in a Ram pickup and Jeep Wrangler.

Best Media Kit

Most of the manufacturers have gone to pushing us to a special section of their websites for more information, images, and b-roll video except for Mopar. While they have no real competition in media kits, they always one up themselves. Mopar’s media kit this year utilized one of their product cans and tucked inside was a USB stick containing all their info and designed like a stick shift. Very clever!

Largest information center

Hands down, the Ram, where not just one 12-inch display but two stacked are available as an option.

Best turn/brake light on a concept vehicle

No contest, the Lexus LF-Limitless, which blended the light around the rear corner.


Most fun exhibit

Ok, I’m biased on this but love Camp Jeep and was anxious to get a ride in the new Wrangler since I’m in the market. Get there early or be prepared to wait for an hour.

Worst drawing of a Corvette

This is my feeble attempt to render a Vette at the Chevrolet design studio. And I wanted to be a car designer at one time. The Chicago Auto Show wraps up on February 19th.

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