Excitement is running high in Detroit right now, as the countdown begins for this weekend’s opening of the North American International Auto Show, and the annual unveiling of what’s hot, what’s cutting edge, and what’s in the future of the car industry.

From its inception in 1907 (how many cars were they showcasing then?) to the international showcase that it is today, Detroit has showcased our love affair with the car.  Originally called The Detroit Auto Show, this event now ranks with the best of the best in the auto world, holding its own with the major auto shows in Frankfurt, Geneva, Paris and Tokyo.  In 1989 it became known as the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

Some highlights of past shows:

  • 1992 ““ The President of Chrysler “crashed” a Jeep Grand Cherokee into the site through a special plate glass wall.
  • 1995 ““ Debut of North American Car and Truck of the Year awards.
  • 1997 ““ MSN CarPoint (Microsoft’s auto website) became the official website for NAIAS.
  • 2005 ““ 68 new vehicles were introduced, many seen in a 2-hour special shows on NBC.
  • 2006 ““ 70 new vehicles were introduced, including the first Chinese vehicles to ever be displayed in the U.S. 

Last year’s show featured 91 exhibitors, one million square feet of exhibits, and a public attendance of over three quarters of a million people.  This year, attendance is expected to be even higher.

Dates:  Open to the public Saturday, January 13th-20th, 9 am-10 pm, and Sunday, January 21st, 9 am-7 pm.

Location:  COBO Conference/Exhibition, One Washington Blvd, Detroit.

Tickets:  $12 adults, $6 seniors (65+) and children (7-12), children under 6 free, with accompanying parent.  Advanced tickets recommended online.

Is there anything to do in Detroit that isn’t related to cars?  I’m not really sure as the only time that I’ve been to Detroit was for a car event ““ a sprint car race to watch a dear friend’s son compete.  Rumor has it the city has a fine zoo.  Other recommended (by fellow flight attendants) things to do include:  the Henry Ford estate, Greektown, the National Shrine of the Little Flower Catholic Church, or the Veteran’s Memorial Building.

Photo credit:  flickr