Speed powers auto show visitors
by Dan Jedlicka
Cars with power, speed and retro designs were among top attractions at the recently ended Chicago Auto Show.
Hybrid vehicles also got serious attention.
"I'm thinking about buying a gas-electric hybrid, but I keep a car a long time and am concerned about its battery replacement cost,'' showgoer John Griffith, of Sturgis, Mich., said Friday as he and his young son, Alex, closely examined a hybrid vehicle display at the show.
Drawing large crowds at the event were the Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro retro concept muscle cars and Ford Shelby GT 500 Mustang muscle car, which debuts as a production model this summer.
Showgoer polls near the end of the exposition showed the Challenger and Camaro to be judged the top two concept vehicles and the GT 500 to be the best all-new production vehicle.
The Challenger concept resembles the production 1970 model.
The Challenger concept resembles the production 1970 model. The Camaro concept has design features from the 1967-69 model, although the Camaro lasted through 2002. The GT 500 was a top 1960s muscle car from legendary race car builder Carroll Shelby.
"People of all ages are familiar with the Camaro. They ask when the Camaro concept will be built and how much it will cost,'' said Chevy representative Kelly Stroud at the Camaro exhibit.
Show visitors were told the Camaro is only a concept auto at this stage, and were asked to visit the "Chevy.com" Web site to give their opinion of the car. Such reaction will help Chevy decide if it will transform the concept into a production Camaro, said Chevy representative Shannon Kulma.
"We point out features such as the car's 'pistol-grip-style' transmission shifter, and showgoers nod in recognition."
The Challenger exhibit also drew many visitors of all ages.
"The car's styling mainly grabs attention to it. It mostly attracts males familiar with muscle cars," said Dodge spokeswoman Elizabeth Hupfel. "We point out features such as the car's 'pistol-grip-style' transmission shifter, and showgoers nod in recognition."
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Source: Chicago Sun-Times
by Dan Jedlika - Auto Reporter
Tuesday, February 21, 2006