The 2009 Chicago Auto Show is fast approaching at McCormick Place. This is a fun week for a lot of people involved. Media previews, a charity event, and our big broadcast on Saturday (6pm on NBC 5). Unfortunately, Friday the 13th is opening night and that seems ironically symbolic considering the climate through which the auto industry has been operating as of late. But companies are shaking off the bad news, putting a smile on their collective faces and should have a great show for us this year.
It's the largest auto show in the country and yesterday I got a chance to take a look at some of the concept cars. It's one of the most popular features at the event. Rolling around in a Dodge Circuit, which I called "Dodge Viper, but smaller and angrier," I felt like I was in a race car. Inspired interior, tiny steering wheel, push button gears, cozy drivers side and passenger side tubs.
Tubs? Yah I said tubs. That's what the IndyCar Series officials refer to their cockpit so to speak. So that's what it felt like and it had such a low center of gravity, that you felt every bump in the road despite the smooth ride. Made me want to get out there and dip the car low into Turn 1 at the Brickyard!!
Oh and 0-to-60 in under five seconds. (I'll take it!)
Also got to take a spin in the latest model of the Chevy Camaro, which continues to upgrade their technological features. Still handles great of course! The Chrysler 200C can be controlled by a smart phone. You can roll up the windows, unlock doors, check security cameras, and turn on the lights from your IPhone. All for the low, low price of....well...yah it's not really low.
We'll show you more during the Saturday night broadcast, so stay tuned for that.
**Great weather today huh?!! Thank you Andy Avalos!! Mid 60's, and a bit windy. If you avoided the long lines at the car wash over the weekend, today is a better day to get that done. Roll down those windows, open the sun roof, bring the sunglasses and unwind on your ride home from work. This is one of those days where you don't mind sitting on the Eisenhower for 45 minutes trying to get to Mannheim.
**Pretty boring in the Traffic Lounge today, some of our traffic technology wasn't cooperating once again. The 5th of 6 days in which we've been a bit hamstrung in getting information, but we managed to get by.
**President Barack Obama was in Elkhart, Indiana yesterday to push his stimulus proposal in a part of the country which is worst hit. My father's family is from there and he went to Concord High School, where Obama spoke at the town hall meeting.
Very surreal to see him there on Monday, but it makes sense. The RV industry is crippled, and the specialized companies that feed into the rust belts around the Midwest have been dying for the past 20 years as jobs have gone overseas. I was in town for a wedding almost two years ago, the neighborhood near the church was completely unrecognizable with poverty creeping in.
**Let's end on a happy note. We're getting more rain tonight! Why is that a good thing? Well, have you walked on the sidewalks lately, or the edge of the street? It's about time the man upstairs take his power hose and blast all the grime, gunk, dirt, mud, salt and sand off the pavement.
Actually, maybe you should hold off on the car was for a day or two.