The (Detroit) Auto Show

by Dave Weller

We went to the auto show in Detroit today. The very first Detroit Auto Show was held in 1899 at the Light Guard Armory. It was organized by the Tri-State Sportsman’s and Automobile Association. This first show featured major attractions of big-game trophies bagged in Africa and an exhibit of fishing tackle, hunting equipment and sporting goods. Also on display were two steam mobiles and two Waverly electric cars.

The auto show that eventually changed its name to The North American International Auto Show, began in December 1907 at Beller’s Beer Garden at Riverside Park (an amusement park also called Electric Park), located on Jefferson Avenue near the Belle Isle bridge. It was the first show put on by the auto dealers and exhibited 33 cars vehicles from 17 exhibitors.

This show attracted 200 sportsmen from all parts of the country and so elated the promoters that they threw a party which absorbed all the profits from the show!

1910 Detroit Auto Show

Well, the Detroit show has certainly grown and changed over the years. More than 6,700 journalist from all over the world attend the show. Over 700 vehicles are on exhibit in Cobo Center, with attendance at more than 700,000 people.

We go to the auto show every year. The last couple of years, we’ve parked at the Detroit Zoo and taken a shuttle bus downtown. Since parking down there is such a pain, this has really worked out well. We got down there soon after the show opened, so we beat the crowds. They really need more space. Hopefully the powers that be in Detroit will come to an agreement to either expand Cobo or build a new facility.

2008 Auto Show

We had a great time looking at all the new cars. Our personal favorite is always the Corvette, especially the new ZR1. We enjoyed the new concepts as well, especially the Buick Riviera, the Fisker Karma, and the Cadillac CTS Coupe.

Once inside the show, it’s easy to forget about the Michigan recession and the struggles of the Detroit automakers.