- 1 Washington Boulevard
- Detroit, MI 48226
- (313) 877-8111
I really didn’t want to miss the auto show. My family has always talked about making the drive to Detroit, but this year, I live an hour and a half away. I really didn’t have an excuse not to go, so J and I got up early and made the trip to Detroit. We were going to the auto show.
The Cobo Center is in downtown Detroit near the river. We made it downtown with no problem. Being veterans of Chicago traffic made navigating Detroit that much easier. The problem was, we didn’t know where to park. There was some confusion on Jefferson street which put us down by Joe Louis Arena. We didn’t want to park there because we didn’t know where we were, so we took a “Michigan Left” and headed back the way we came. After another “Michigan Left” we were back in front of Cobo. Still not sure where to go, I took a right where we finally saw some parking garages. Surprisingly, it was only ten bucks and a really short walk to the entrance of the conference center.
Inside, the Cobo Center is huge. It’s probably comparable to McCormack Place in Chicago…but I wouldn’t know. I’ve never been there. Sad, huh. Anyway, we walked the lobby area until we found a ticket kiosk. There were options to either buy from a ticket window or use a computer. Buying tickets from a person meant cash only. Using the computer wsa the only way to use a credit card.
We made a quick stop at the restrooms….after finally locating one, then headed to the show floor. I was on the phone with my brother when we walked into show area. I almost dropped the phone. What an awesome set up. The exhibit space at Cobo is huge. There’s over a million square feet of exhibit space. The only time I had ever been to an auto show was back in Peoria. At the Peoria show, local dealers showed up with their new cars to show off. There were no concepts or prototypes or all the hype.
We headed to Ford first which had the biggest display of the Big Three. I used to own a Mustang, so that’s what I wanted to look at. It took us a while to get there, but it was neat to see the new ideas, concepts and 2010 protypes. From there, we hit the GM and Chrysler displays before going to any of the foreign dealers. I really wanted to see the new Dodge pickups. I drive a 2005 Dakota and I love it. I had heard 2009 was a design change for Dodge pickups. The Dakota was rather unimpressive, but the Ram looked awesome. The addition of tool boxes built into the bed rails was really cool.
The rest of the show was cool. I had never seen an Astin Martin or a Bentley in person, so that was cool. We didn’t spend a lot of time anywhere else. We glanced at Toyota., peeked at Volkswagon, and glimpsed at Hyundai, but didn’t spend anytime really checking them out. They had some nice cars, but I’m a truck guy and no one builds a truck like Detroit….(yes, I’ve looked. My truck was assembled in Flint).
After spending about two and a half hours on the main floor, we found our way down to the Michigan Hall to see what was going on there. We could have waited in line to drive a “eco-friendly” SUV from the different manufactures, but what was the point. There were a few displays from the engineering schools of local universities. Not much.
Downstairs was also the food court, but we were interested in checking out some Detroit restaurants,so we didn’t check it out. They opened up Cobo Arena and put tables on the floor there so you could find a place to sit after picking up your food. Scattered throughout the floor were fudge stands run by Ryba’s Fudge of Mackinac Island. We almost got sucked in at their main stand where they were actually making the fudge. We made plans to go back, but never did. It looked and smelled delicious. The only thing we ended up buying was a $3 bottle of water out of a vending machine.
We were really impressed with the Cobo Center. The place looked spectaular, but I’m sure that’s because the manufacturer’s came in and dressed the place up. I know a commission was formed to upgrade the facility in order to keep the NAIAS and it would be really sad if that didn’t happen. I only wish my dad and brother would have made the trip. I like cars, but I’m not really a car guy. They’re car guys. We would spend hours at the show in Peoria. We probably would have stayed for days had they come. I’m already looking forward to the 2010 North American International Auto Show.