<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Car and Auto Trends, Car News, and Auto Show Info]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcchicago.com/the-scene/cars http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.com en-us Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:02:08 -0500 Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:02:08 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Museum Auctioning Princess Di Rolls Royce]]> Wed, 31 Oct 2012 10:05:31 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Diana-rolls-8.jpg

Museum Auctioning Princess Di Rolls Royce Car used to transport Diana, Prince Charles during first U.S. visit A suburban auto dealership is selling a piece of royal history.

The Volo Auto Museum is auctioning off the armored Rolls Royce used by Princess Diana and Prince Charles during their first visit to the U.S. in 1985.

The Silver Wraith II, valued at $2 million, is silver with a red leather interior and features heavy-duty bulletproof windows. The Rolls is also sealed to prevent the entry of toxic gas and has a full intercom system.

The online, no-reserve auction will be held on November 9. Volo's director Brian Grams estimates the car will sell for anywhere between $150-$200,000.

The vehicle served as the UK's official embassy car and was used to transport major dignataries.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit Children with Cancer UK, a children's charity founded by Princess Diana.

Other cars featured in the auction will include Bon Jovi’s personal BMW and the last car ever owned by Groucho Marx.

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<![CDATA[Chicago Auto Show Launches New Website]]> Wed, 13 Nov 2013 14:12:25 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/2010+Ford+Exhibit.jpg

Fans gearing up for the 2014 Chicago Auto Show can get a taste of what’s to come with the auto show’s renovated website.

The new website boasts a format readable from any electronic device, including desktops, tablets and smartphones.

“Fans across the world can now experience the Chicago Auto Show through interactive and engaging elements regardless of the device they are using,” said Kurt Schiele, the 2014 Chicago Auto Show chairman.

The website offers daily image galleries, a listing of vehicles on display and integrated social media content from the Chicago Auto Show’s official blog, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels.

Staples from the previous site remain in the new format and viewers can still check out floor maps, purchase online tickets and get directions to the show.

“Each year we aim to bring Chicago Auto Show fans dynamic content that keeps them coming back for more, even outside of the show dates,” said Michael Svanascini, president of AmericanEagle.com, the company that developed the site.

The “Vehicles on Display” section of the new site adds real-time inventory from the city’s new-car dealers and allows visitors to sift through nearly 40,000 new cars, according to a release from the Chicago Automobile Trade Association.

“We’re proud of many things, but the Chicago Auto Show History and Vehicles on Display sections are unmatched," said John Webb, 2014 Chicago Auto Show co-chairman. "With a robust history like the Chicago Auto Show, we wanted to capture the memorable moments and vehicles dating all the way back to the show’s inception in 1901.”

The 2014 Chicago Auto Show is set for Feb. 8-17.
 

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<![CDATA[How the Wells Street Bridge Affects Your Commute]]> Fri, 01 Mar 2013 11:29:38 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/kyestandupp1.jpg Traffic reporter Kye Martin talks you through an alternate commute plan when Brown and Red Line trains stop crossing the Wells Street Bridge this week.]]> <![CDATA[New Car Techology Modeled After James Bond's Car]]> Wed, 16 Jan 2013 09:54:22 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/bondastonmartin.jpg Bond's Aston Marton DB5 on display at Detroit Auto Show.]]> <![CDATA[Grand Opening: Downtown McGrath Acura]]> Fri, 26 Oct 2012 09:27:35 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Mich_Mag_mcgrath_27.jpg Michigan Avenue Magazine helps automotive family throw celebratory bash.

Photo Credit: Onasis Odelmo Photography]]>
<![CDATA[Quinn Reiterates Texting/Driving Message]]> Wed, 19 Sep 2012 17:16:10 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/texting-while-driving-06071.jpg

Pat Quinn is urging Illinois drivers to keep their eyes on the road and not on their phones.

The Illinois governor joined Secretary of State Jesse White Wednesday at a news conference urging drivers to take the pledge to never text and drive again.

It's part of an AT&T initiative discouraging texting and driving, a campaign that includes a public service announcement starring Derrick Rose.

"There's a saying in scripture that if you save one life, you save the whole world, and it's so important that we get the word out that texting while driving is a dangerous activity," Quinn said.

Quinn previously declared September "Texting and Driving Awareness Month" and signed the statewide ban in 2009.

More than 2,600 people have been convicted of texting while driving since the ban went into effect.



Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[CS Mag Hosts Fiat Chicago's Grand Opening]]> Mon, 27 Aug 2012 09:40:40 -0500 Moshpix: CS Magazine helped welcome Fiat to Chicago with a grand opening bash at its new Randolph Street showroom. The dealership sits at the base of a condo high-rise and marks the first dealership for the Italian automaker with city limits and the fifth in the Chicago area. Guests enjoyed an Italian theme, sipping Peroni beer, Mionetto spriz cocktails and a fall fashion show from designer Edith Hart. ]]> Moshpix: CS Magazine helped welcome Fiat to Chicago with a grand opening bash at its new Randolph Street showroom. The dealership sits at the base of a condo high-rise and marks the first dealership for the Italian automaker with city limits and the fifth in the Chicago area. Guests enjoyed an Italian theme, sipping Peroni beer, Mionetto spriz cocktails and a fall fashion show from designer Edith Hart. ]]> http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Fiat-Opening-BLURB.jpg Fiat Chicago

Photo Credit: Chris Shields]]>
<![CDATA[Uber Offers Free Taxi Rides This Week]]> Mon, 25 Jun 2012 11:49:43 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/181*120/chicago-taxi-GENERIC.jpg

Take some of the pain out of your next trip by taking advantage of a free ride this week.

Uber is offering complimentary city cab rides from June 25-27th.

The company started out offering private driver town car service in the city using location-based iPhone and Android apps, but a couple of months ago expanded its offerings to on-demand taxi service using the same app.

The free rides are limited to $20 and includes a 20 percent gratuity for the driver.

Uber users must sign up for an account through the app and provide a credit card number for payment. The app uses GPS technology to automatically map where vehicles are available and how long it will take to get to you.

Uber officials claim that most city cabs ordinarily take less than 5 minutes to reach clients, but warn that demand may be a bit higher during the free offer period.

The company has hundreds of taxis in its system and uses only licensed Chicago city cab drivers.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Technology Aims to Avoid Rear-End Collisions]]> Tue, 23 Jul 2013 16:21:34 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/rear-end-collision.jpg Is new safety technology is cars making inroads when it comes to preventing crashes? A first look at how they are performing in the real world, and why some are more effective than others.]]> <![CDATA[Quinn, Chrysler Show Off New Dodge Dart]]> Wed, 27 Jun 2012 21:55:52 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/soldier-field-dodge-darts.jpg

Soldier Field was overrun by red on Wednesday, with nearly 300 Dodge Darts from Chrysler's Belvidere Assembly Plant on display before they headed in exodus to dealerships across the Midwest.

The "drive away" event -- part meet-and-greet and part photo opportunity -- gave Dodge CEO Reid Bigland a chance to show off the new 2013 model and gave Gov. Pat Quinn a chance to tout the apparent success of investment in the plant near Rockford.

"The auto industry is alive and well in Illinois," said Quinn. "Chrysler has gone from 200 jobs to more than 4,000 jobs this summer, and we want that growth to continue.”

Chrysler two years ago invested about $700 million to retool the plant and upgrade production in order to build the new Dart. The facility expand to 4.8 million square feet and includes a 330,000-square-foot-stamping plant.

One dealer said the company plans to expand its workforce at the plant from the current 1,800 employees to more than 4,500 by the end of next month.

Since January 2010 Illinois has added 40,700 manufacturing jobs and as also added 136,300 private sector jobs.

Reports the Rockford Register Star:

The Dart is the first compact sedan for Chrysler dealers since the company eliminated the Dodge Neon in 2005. The new small car has created lots of excitement among automotive media, being named the named the "Most Significant Vehicle" of the North American International Auto Show by AutoWeek, one of Vanity Fair Magazine’s Seven Hottest New Cars at the 2012 NAIAS and the "Coolest New Car Under $18,000" by Kelley Blue Book.

The governor says his favorite words are "made in America" and "made in Illinois."

The Belvidere plant also  produces the Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot.



Photo Credit: Natalie Martinez]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: Lexus First Look Bash]]> Tue, 14 Feb 2012 09:58:08 -0500 Moshpix: The Chicago Auto Show provided the perfect opportunity for Lexus to host a big bash in the city. The luxury car-maker took over the Chicago Illuminating Company to give invited guests a sneak peek at the new 2013 Lexus GS. The party encompassed several rooms of entertaiment including performances by DJ Mia Moretti and Violinist Caitlin Moe and DJ Tony Arazdon. Photos courtesy Onasis Odelmo Photography. ]]> Moshpix: The Chicago Auto Show provided the perfect opportunity for Lexus to host a big bash in the city. The luxury car-maker took over the Chicago Illuminating Company to give invited guests a sneak peek at the new 2013 Lexus GS. The party encompassed several rooms of entertaiment including performances by DJ Mia Moretti and Violinist Caitlin Moe and DJ Tony Arazdon. Photos courtesy Onasis Odelmo Photography. ]]> http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Lexus_First_Look_46.jpg Luxury car-maker takes over Chicago Illuminating Company to promote its new ride.

Photo Credit: Onasis Odelmo Photography ]]>
<![CDATA[Extreme Lessons For New Teen Drivers]]> Mon, 23 Apr 2012 19:46:42 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/OPERATIONTEENSAFEDRIVING_722x406_2226051389.jpg The Operation Teen Safe Driving program teaches teens driving skills that can save their lives when road conditions turn potential dangerous.]]> <![CDATA[Car Charging Stations Coming To Midway, O'Hare]]> Fri, 20 Apr 2012 20:51:52 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/car+charger.jpg

Electric car drivers will soon have more stations at Chicago's airports where they can charge their vehicles.

The Chicago City Council approved the proposal Thursday to expand the number of electric charging stations.

O'Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport each will have six stations that can charge a vehicle in four to six hours and one station that can charge a vehicle in less than an hour.

A concession agreement lets the Chicago Department of Aviation collect a portion of revenue from the charging stations. CDA will be reimbursed for the cost of electricity as part of the revenue sharing agreement.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the charging stations are an example of his administration's commitment to make Chicago a green city.



Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Website Makes Car Shopping Easy]]> Sat, 24 Mar 2012 10:22:40 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/272*120/080813bmw.jpg Web2Carz.com Senior Writer Tim Healey stops by to talk about their website makes car shopping easy online.]]> <![CDATA[Chicago Gas Prices Highest in the Country]]> Fri, 23 Mar 2012 20:37:18 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Gas+Tank+p1.jpg

Chicago is No. 1 ... in gas prices. 

The second city surpassed Los Angeles this week as the most expensive in the nation to fill up your tank.

The website Gasbuddy.com reports a gallon of regular gasoline here in Chicago runs an average of $4.50, which is about .65 cents higher than the national average.  Los Angeles averages about $4.25 per gallon of regular.

To make things worse, NBCChicago found some stations in the city selling gas close to $4.90 Friday morning.

Gas prices around Chicago have risen more than $.70 a gallon over the past five weeks.

Experts blame the spike on growing demand from Asia, volatility in the Middle East, and gas stations switching to summer-blends, which are more expensive.

They predict gas prices will continue to rise in the coming days.

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<![CDATA[Auto Show Daily: February 17]]> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:29:55 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/auto+show+2012.jpg What's on tap for this weekend at the Chicago Auto Show? Friday is the last day to bring in non-perishable foods for Safe Haven.]]> <![CDATA[2012 Archive: NBC 5's Auto Show Special (Part 1)]]> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:31:49 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/2012AutoShowLogo_722x406_2198018424.jpg Brant Miller takes a tour with the Chicago Auto Show chairman Steve Foley Jr. ]]> <![CDATA[2012 Archive: NBC 5's Auto Show Special (Part 4)]]> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:32:22 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AutoShow4_722x406_2197660027.jpg LeeAnn Trotter takes a look at the Super Car Garage and Charlie Wojciechowski looks at the affect of social media on the auto show.]]> <![CDATA[2012 Archive: NBC 5's Auto Show Special (Part 3)]]> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:32:12 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AutoShow3_722x406_2197659365.jpg We take the Chevy Volt and a Kia Sedan out on the streets of Chicago to test drive.]]> <![CDATA[2012 Archive: NBC 5's Auto Show Special (Part 5)]]> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:32:32 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AutoShow5_722x406_2197660479.jpg Art Norman hits the dance floor at the Kia display while LeeAnn Trotter takes a look a new Lexus coupe concept car.]]> <![CDATA[2012 Archive: NBC 5's Auto Show Special (Part 7)]]> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:32:50 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AutoShow7.jpg We take a look at the First Look For Charity, an event that raised over $2.1 million.]]> <![CDATA[2012 Archive: NBC 5's Auto Show Special (Part 6)]]> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:32:41 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AutoShow6_722x406_2197660922.jpg Cheryl Scott takes a look at the newly redesigned Dodge Dart. The car will make a huge impact to Chicago since it will be built here in Bevildere Illinois.]]> <![CDATA[2012 Archive: NBC 5's Auto Show Special (Part 2)]]> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:32:03 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AutoShow2_722x406_2197657527.jpg Cheryl Scott test drives some of the auto show's newest concept cars.]]> <![CDATA[Auto Show Daily: February 16]]> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:29:55 -0500 Take a look at this interview with the president of the Chicagoland Speedway from the Auto Show.]]> <![CDATA[Auto Show Daily: February 15]]> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:29:55 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/auto-show-women.jpg Take a look at what's going on at Auto Show Wednesday.]]> <![CDATA[Shanna McGrath Talks Technology]]> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:30:23 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/ShannaMcGrathp1_722x406_2196297993.jpg The newest trend at the auto show, new dashboard technology.]]> <![CDATA[Auto Show Daily: February 14]]> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:29:56 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Today_s_Webisode_Feb_14_2012_YouTube_722x406_2196555007.jpg What's hot at the Chicago Auto Show this Valentine's Day? Everything! Come down to McCormick Place and fall in love with the car of your dreams.]]> <![CDATA[PHOTOS: First Look For Charity ]]> Fri, 10 Feb 2012 11:27:55 -0500 Moshpix: Once again, First Look for Charity served as the offical kickoff for the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place Thursday night. More than $2 million was raised for area non-profit organizations. Black tie-clad guests strolled the grounds of the auto show while sipping on cocktails and sampling a wide variety of hors d'ouerves. And yes, two lucky guests won a free vehicle! ]]> Moshpix: Once again, First Look for Charity served as the offical kickoff for the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place Thursday night. More than $2 million was raised for area non-profit organizations. Black tie-clad guests strolled the grounds of the auto show while sipping on cocktails and sampling a wide variety of hors d'ouerves. And yes, two lucky guests won a free vehicle! ]]> http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/First_Look_2012_31_blurb.jpg Chicago Auto Show kicks off with swanky bash.

Photo Credit: Marcus Riley ]]>
<![CDATA[2012 Archive: The Other Eye Candy at the Auto Show]]> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:33:20 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Damsels+in+Dance.jpg

Automobiles are the constant and obvious evolution on display every year at the Chicago Auto Show, but a quiet progression has emerged with the models displaying the cars themselves.  No longer are they “human hood ornaments,” rather, in today’s age they are expected to be clever and engaging with attendees.

"Most of the people we select are highly intelligent," says President and Cofounder of Production Plus agency, Margery Krevsky. She has been selecting and training auto show models since 1981. However, she prefers to call these ladies and gentlemen "product specialists."

Krevsky helped change the demand for models draped over the car to product specialist experts who are walking encyclopedias of hybrids, fuel economy, and other intricacies of vehicles.  The differences are apparent in her book, "Sirens of Chrome," which provides a visual timeline of the model transformation into product specialists.

Today, looking for specialists to work the auto show is beyond being a pretty face and takes a little longer to mold together.

"It's a year-round process," Krevsky says about auditioning talent. "We begin recruiting at auto shows about a year out and selections are made during the summer."  Those lucky enough to be selected travel to auto shows all over the globe, according the Krevsky.

In addition to costly costumes, much money is spent on training the models.

Krevsky says models selected receive materials over the summer and are then required to attend a 3 to 4 day auto boot camp. The first day they are given a test. Those who fail are sent home immediately. The ones who pass go on to learn about the company brand, the new line, and even test-drive the cars.

So what does it take to be a specialist?

"We look for strong communication skills and the ability to talk about the product, but above all they need to genuinely like people," says Krevsky.

She adds that most people hired have obtained at the least a college degree. Being fluent in more than one language is also helpful, according to Krevsky.  In fact, she makes sure all model teams are bilingual or trilingual.

The job isn't just limited to girls either.

"About a third of each auto show team consists of men, but most people don't notice because of the beautiful women," said Krevsky.

For those who believe their charm and automobile knowledge would suffice Krevsky’s expectations, auditions will be held Feb. 19th at the Production Plus offices on Michigan Avenue.



Photo Credit: National Automotive History Collection at Detroit Public Library]]>
<![CDATA[Auto Show Daily Webisode Feb 10]]> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:29:56 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AutoShowDailyp1_722x406_2195372596.jpg The Auto Show Officially opened today. Check out the action on the McCormick Place convention floor.]]> <![CDATA[Auto Show Charity Event Raises Over $2 Million in 2012]]> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:34:22 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/First_Look_2012_31.jpg

Before Chicago startedits engine for the annual Chicago Auto Show, socialites and car buffs gathered at McCormick Place for a sneak peak at First Look for Charity.

They raised over $2 million for 18 local nonprofits in Chicago including Children's Memorial Hospital, Autism Speaks, and the Boys& Girls Clubs of Chicago was raised at this year’s event.

First Look for Charity began hosting the gala in 1992 usually the night before or the night of the auto show's opening day. As of Thursday night, the gala has raised over $32 million for charities.

Tickets for this year's event were $250 a person and offered holders a sneak peak at the 1000 cars on display while mingling with Chicago socialites and noshing on gourmet bites.

Two lucky attendees drove off with keys to a 2012 Cadillac Escalade and a 2012 Cadillac SRX, courtesy of a raffle held at the event.

The show officially opens to the public Friday and will run until Feb. 20. Tickets to the show are $11 for adults, $7 for seniors ages 62 and older and children ages 7-12.



Photo Credit: Marcus Riley ]]>
<![CDATA[Full Coverage: 2014 Chicago Auto Show]]> Tue, 21 Jan 2014 10:46:18 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/179*120/CoolShades03.JPG

Photo Credit: RealWheels]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago Auto Show Starts Engines Friday]]> Fri, 10 Feb 2012 11:38:45 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Auto+Ribbon+Cutting.jpg

Cars lovers, it's time to take the wheel. The Chicago Auto Show kicks off Friday.

Gov. Pat Quinn, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, and Secretary of State Jessie white helped cut the opening-day ribbon at 9:45 a.m. at McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive. The show runs through Sunday, Feb. 19, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Closing day wraps up at 8 p.m.

New this year at the Auto Show are four test tracks, including the new Ram pickup truck track, as well as an urban track simulating the potholes of Chicago side streets. You also can test acceleration of the new Dodge Challenger and try out a Toyota on the company's Monopoly theme track.

One of the most ambitious tracks isn't in McCormick Place, but on city streets. With some paperwork, auto show attendees can take the new Chevy Volt for a spin.

Among the nearly 1,000 new cars on display are Cadillac, Chevrolet and Kia's not-yet-on-the-market cars. In total, 31 manufacturers will be featured over 1.2 million square feet of the show.

Celebrities will be on hand ogling cars too. Blackhawks Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane arrive Sunday night to sign autographs and say hello.

Tickets to the show are $11 for adults, $7 for seniors ages 62 and older and children ages 7-12.



Photo Credit: Mary Ann Ahern]]>
<![CDATA[Toyota to Make Big Announcement At Auto Show]]> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:34:57 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Toyota+FJ+Cruiser.jpg

One of the biggest names in Japanese cars will use the Chicago Auto Show to make a huge announcement.

On Thursday, Toyota will announce how the public can have a chance to be active in deciding some of company's philanthropic donations this year. The news will come with some "local flavor," according to Toyota reps.

Chicago's Auto Show is the longest running auto show in the nation. The event runs from Feb. 10 through Feb 19 at McCormick Place.

Michael Rouse, VP of philanthropy and community affairs for the company, will be at the Toyota display to announce the information.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Vote for the "Best Of" the Chicago Auto Show]]> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:30:23 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/autoshowbestofvote_722x406_2191855734.jpg There's a fun, interactive element to the Chicago Auto Show.]]> <![CDATA[Auto Show Setup Under Way]]> Tue, 14 Feb 2012 17:42:42 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/autoshowsetup_722x406_2191564285.jpg Crews have about two weeks to get the massive production ready for the public.]]> <![CDATA[Auto Show: Show Us Your Sweet Ride]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2012 16:09:52 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*120/Acura+TL.JPG

With less than a month to go, the 2012 Chicago Auto Show wants to know one thing: How sweet is your ride?

The contest starts Friday and is offered exclusively through the Auto Show's official Facebook fan page. To enter, contestants just need to upload a photo of themselves with a car.

It does not even have to be your own car. Rules say it can be any car - even that jalopy permanently parked on the block -- as long as the photo is memorable.

Nine prizes are at stake, including two VIP-access tickets to the show, dinner for two at the Hard Rock Cafe and a one-night stay at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers/

The judging is ongoing through Facebook where the public will vote on their favorite photos by clicking "like."

The winner will be announced on Jan. 31.



Photo Credit: Charlie Wojciechowski]]>
<![CDATA[Are You Ready for First Look For Charity?]]> Tue, 14 Feb 2012 17:42:57 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/FirstLookThumbp1_722x406_2186687069.jpg The event benefits numerous Chicago area charities.]]> <![CDATA[Chicago Auto Show Timeline]]> Fri, 13 Jan 2012 14:41:37 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*120/Explorer.JPG

For years, the auto show has graced Chicago with its presence. Here is a quick recap of some of the events that marveled visitors each year.

March 23-30, 1901: The first official Chicago Auto Show was held at the Coliseum Exposition hall that was situated between Wabash and Michigan Avenues. Prices for the attraction were only 50 cents per ticket.

1916: All cars were American-built, with 85 gasoline-powered makes and seven electric vehicles. Prices for vehicles were anywhere between $295 and $6,000.

1923: Chrysler had an exhibit in the ballroom of Congress Hotel. Chrysler management said the hotel setup "provides a deluxe showing where inspection can be made more leisurely than at the show proper," according to the Chicago Auto Show.

1932: The Willys vehicle called "Overland" was advertised as the lowest priced car in the world, according to the Chicago Auto Show.

1942: The Chicago Auto Show wasn't held this year due to World War II. Factories made vehicles, planes and small weapons for the war, according to the Chicago Auto Show.

1950: The Chicago Auto Show returned post-World War II. The event drew 478,000 visitors, according to Chicago Auto Show.

1961: The Auto Show claimed a new home at Chicago's new McCormick Place. More than 400 cars and trucks were on display. It took more than 850 hours to prepare for the nine-day event.

1979: Pontiac received rave reviews of its display of Firebirds and the Tenth-Anniversary Trans Am.

1983: The 75th year anniversary of the Chicago Auto Show marked a new beginning for Toyota, which launched the Camry that replaced the Corona.

1995: The Bugatti made a re-appearance after shutting down production in 1951. Only a handful of Bugattis were built over the next years, according to Chicago Auto Show.

2008: The Chicago Auto Show marked its 100th anniversary.

2010: New off-road exhibits were added including the 'Camp Jeep," the 25,000 square-foot exhibit demonstrating 4x4 capabilities.

2012:  This year's auto show will be held Feb. 10 until Feb. 19. For more information check the Chicago Auto Show website.



Photo Credit: Charlie Wojciechowski]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago Auto Show: First Look for Charity]]> Thu, 02 Feb 2012 19:31:40 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/firstlookdress1.jpg

Where better place to win a car than at the Auto Show?

This year, the Chicago Auto Show's charity gala, First Look for Charity, will raffle off the keys to a 2012 Cadillac Escalade and a 2012 Cadillac SRX.

To be eligible, you must attend the one-day fundraiser and be present for the drawing.

The First Look for Charity, in its 21st year, donates the night's profits to 18 Chicago area charities.

Children's Memorial Hospital, Special Olympics Illinois and The Cradle Foundation are among the 2012 beneficiaries that will profit from the $2 million expected to be raised.

Guests, required to dress to impress, will be treated to food, drink and entertainment.

Tickets for the gala, scheduled for the evening of Feb. 9, are $250.

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<![CDATA[2012 Chicago Auto Show Visitor's Guide]]> Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:29:56 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/orangecarautoshow.jpg

The Chicago Auto Show is right around the corner (starting February 10). Here is everything you will need to know about the annual event -- aside from how much horsepower the Camaro has.

The Public Show: Feb. 10-19

Hours: Show hours are 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Feb. 10-18 and 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. on the final day, Feb. 19

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony: Takes place at 9:45 a.m. Feb. 10 at the Grand Concourse entrance of the show

First Look for Charity: The black tie event is on Feb. 9, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Where: McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive

Tickets: $11 for adults, $7 for seniors ages 62 and older and children ages 7-12

This year will be the 104th year of the Chicago Auto Show. Further information can be found on the Chicago Auto Show's website.

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<![CDATA[Chicago Auto Show By the Numbers]]> Fri, 30 Mar 2012 17:03:10 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/redfirebird1.jpg 2012 Chicago Auto Show: Feb. 10-19.]]> <![CDATA[Yard Waste May One Day Fuel Your Car]]> Tue, 14 Feb 2012 17:43:33 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/430PPKGGRASSTOGAS_7730862_722x406_2183936270.jpg Chances are high that cars of the future won't be powered with gas.]]> <![CDATA[Big Changes Planned for North LSD]]> Mon, 14 Mar 2011 15:45:23 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*120/lake_shore_drive.jpg

Many Chicago drivers may not want to even think about the traffic implications, but the process is in place for a plan to improve North Lake Shore Drive.

The Chicago Department of Transportation, the Chicago Park District, and a number of agencies are identifying the top needs for the well-traveled roadway and surrounding areas, and are interviewing consultants for a reconstruction project, the Chicago Tribune reported.

According to the Tribune, some of the most pressing issues include resurfacing the pavement, fixing the sharp S-curve at Oak Street, implementing engineering changes to ease congestion at intersections like Belmont and Hollywood, and finding alternatives to the access ramps that cross the lakefront's bicycle path.

The reconstruction project would run around 7 miles, from Hollywood to Grand Avenue, and could also include expanding the green space around LSD and new tunnels for bicyclists and pedestrians.

More than 100,000 vehicles use portions of North Lake Shore Drive daily, according to city officials.

The project is in its early stages and several years away from actually coming to fruition.



Photo Credit: flickr.com/piratealice]]>
<![CDATA[Feds Want to Standardize Keyless Ignitions]]> Wed, 28 Dec 2011 21:59:37 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*120/090110+keyless+car.jpg

Federal officials want to standardize a popular feature found in many newer-model automobiles after several deaths around the country were blamed on the technology.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this month offered several rules connected to keyless ignition technology, where a fob replaces a traditional key. Among them: audible alerts when a driver tries to turn off the vehicle without putting it in park and a standardized half-second requirement to turn off a push-button ignition.

Keyless ignitions have been eyed in at least three deaths -- one in New York and two in Florida -- caused drivers inadvertently left engines running in the garages attached to their homes. Carbon monoxide poisoning resulted, with the victims dying in their sleep.

The feature is also at the center of a widely-publicized deadly crash in California where a family was killed when the driver, a skilled highway patrol officer, couldn’t stop the loaner Lexus he was driving. Sudden acceleration was suspected, and his apparent inability to push the on/off button considered a factor.

In that case, the Lexus required a full three seconds in order to direct the engine to shut off. Drivers who have had similar, harrowing experiences say the three second timeline is counter-intuitive.

"No one is going to think to push the button for three seconds when you're facing the kind of dangers I had on the road that day," motorist Jeff Pepski told NBC Chicago last year.

NHTSA's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:

 

Target 5: Investigating the Issues That Affect You Most



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Website Aims to Simplify Auto Repair]]> Fri, 08 Mar 2013 17:24:34 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*120/PHI+fender+bender+black+and+white.jpg Brad Weisberg, founder of Body Shop Bids, explains his new website that makes it easier to get a quote from multiple body shops.]]> <![CDATA[Design Your New Car This Holiday Season]]> Thu, 10 Nov 2011 20:57:39 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/telsa-cars.jpg Head over to Oak Brook Center when you can design a family-sized Model S to your very own tastes.]]> <![CDATA[Neiman Marcus 2011 Fantasy Gifts]]> Wed, 19 Oct 2011 23:57:34 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/neiman-thumb.jpg Get ready to do some millionaire Christmas shopping with a look at the Fantasy Gifts offered by Neiman Marcus this holiday season.]]> <![CDATA[1,100 Ford Jobs Bound for Torrence Ave. Plant]]> Tue, 04 Oct 2011 21:04:56 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*120/IMG_0246.JPG

More than 1,000 new jobs will be added to Ford's assembly plant on Torrence Avenue under a tentative deal reached between the company and the United Auto Workers.

Ford's workers will vote next week on whether to ratify the four-year contract, announced Tuesday by the company and the union. The tentative contract includes a $6,000 signing bonus and profit-sharing checks in lieu of annual raises.

Most of the new hires, however, -- about 5,750 nationally -- will earn a wage less than Ford's existing employees. That is expected to lower the company's labor costs, which are the highest in the industry, said John Fleming, Ford's Vice President of Manufacturing.

That could be a sticking point for some employees, who say the company is profitable enough to maintain the competitive wages and benefits for which Ford is known.  Ford was the only major U.S. automaker that didn't take federal bailout money in 2008.  In May, Chief Executive Alan Mulally received stock worth $56.5 before taxes after the company earned $6.6 billion in profit the year prior.

Still, in terms of jobs, it's positive movement for Chicago, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office was quick to congratulate Deputy Mayor Mark Angelson and the Mayor's Economic Council for their work on the deal.

"This is a victory for Ford, a victory for workers and a victory for Chicago. It will not only create new jobs and unleash new prosperity in Chicago but the company's commitment to manufacture fuel-efficient cars and trucks will help pave the way towards a more energy-independent future," Emanuel said in a statement.

Gov. Pat Quinn said he was pleased that Ford is "strengthening its committment" to the state and said the deal is a "direct result of a strong relationship we have forged with Ford."

"Ford and the UAW have worked together to reach an agreement that -- when finalized -- will provide a solid increase in jobs and investment. The kind of economic growth in Illinois that this agreement outlines would have multiplying benefits for our communities," he said in a statement.

Chicago's Torrence Avenue plant first opened in 1924 as an alternative production side for Ford's Model T and now serves as the assembly center for the the Lincoln MKS, Ford Taurus and the recently-redesigned Ford Explorer.

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<![CDATA[Car Owners Upset About Bad Paint Jobs]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2011 20:11:18 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/ford-paint.jpg

Dorese Ramsey, Midlothian mother of five, needed a combination of form and function when she was shopping for a vehicle three years ago.

She decided on a used white Ford Expedition, the same kind model her husband drives.

"I liked this big car," she said. But three years later, she doesn’t like how it looks.

The paint on her SUV has been bubbling and peeling, making for a cosmetically challenged ride.

"It first started as bubbling paint," she said. "Eventually the whole thing got worse"

Ramsey is not alone.

She found thousands of other car owners with a similar peeling problem by just performing an Internet search, and she even landed on a Facebook page dedicated to Ford-Mercury peeling paint problems, where she said hundreds of disturbed vehicle owners go for advice on the bubbling, peeling paint. 

The problem, according to former consultants to the auto industry, is a business model that puts paint suppliers in charge of quality control inside carmakers’ plants. That, they allege, has resulted in two major problems now bedeviling car owners: thin paint, and corroded parts that lead to peeling paint.

It’s a problem that Steve Gaiski, a chemical engineer and former consultant to the auto industry, says Ford Motor Company knows all too well. 

"Several years back they hired us to do a study of all their facilities. And so we did and came back and said my gosh, do you realize you have thin paint in all your facilities?" Gaiski said.     
 
To be clear, the problem isn’t just with Ford. Gaiski says other automakers face the same issue. But none have been hit harder with complaints, Gaiski says, than Ford.  After Gaiski and his colleagues raised the issue with Ford, he says the carmaker had no interest in the research it paid for. Three weeks after raising a red flag, Gaiski says his company’s contract was terminated. Ultimately, the company sent him a “cease and desist” letter.

"I've been instructed by Ford basically, ‘stop contacting us,’" he said. "Now, as of 2011, what's happening ... it's ridiculous!"

Ford is no stranger to the problems of peeling paint: in recent years, it has issued technical Service Bulletins, TSBs, on a number of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles that suffered from “aluminum corrosion” which led to ‘bubbling to blistering under the paint”

Nationally, a problem involving Crown Victoria police cruisers in dozens of cities led to another TSB and repairs. Internationally, in Australia, one shade of blue paint on a Ford prompted a recall.

Consumers here, however, say they’ve only received excuses from Ford. Three Ford owners who met Gaiski via the FaceBook page came to show Target 5 the peeling paint on their vehicles: a four-year old Expedition, a seven-year old Explorer, and a nine-year old Escape that its owner says started peeling paint at one-year old. The three owners shared the range of excuses they say they’ve heard from Ford:

"They say it could be bird droppings,” said Deb McGarry, the Expedition driver.  “There are no birds in my car- only kids.”

“They kept telling me,’Oh, it’s just all the rust spots and rock chips you’re seeing from rail dust near the railroad tracks,’” Escape driver Kristine Oldham told Target 5. “And I’m like, ‘I don’t live near railroad tracks!’”

Donald Kroll, who says he just found the paint problem on his wife’s Explorer two months ago, said, “ It's their way of saying it's not our fault."

A Ford spokesperson would not comment on Steve Gaiski’s allegations, but offered the folliwng statement to Target 5 regarding Ford paint:

Ford vehicles, including the Expedition, offer high-quality paint that is very durable.  Ford continually monitors its vehicles and is confident paint on our vehicles performs at or beyond customer expectations.  When customers have questions, we work quickly to resolve their concerns.
 
Finally, one bit of good news for the Ramsey family of Midlothian. After questions about how their case was handled by Ford corporate and at the local level, the dealer reversed course and offered to paint the problem area on their Expedition, at no cost to the family. 

Target 5: Investigating the Issues That Affect You Most

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