Car lovers jam Cobo Center for look at vehicles
Detroit — Swarms of car-lovers converged on Cobo Center for the North American International Auto Show, which opened to the public Saturday.
They were getting an eye-full of spectacular sets and 750 of the world's shiniest, most stunning vehicles. Fifty-five of them are all new machines pushing the limits of horsepower.
NAIAS officials reported Saturday night that 110,509 people attended the first day of the show, an increase of 3,949 over the first day in 2014 and the strongest in six years. The best opening day was in 2000 when 118,877 attended, officials said in a statement.
"The industry's in a good place and so is our show," said Scott LaRiche, chairman of the 2015 NAIAS. "You can feel the energy and positive vibe on the show floor – everyone's happy and Detroit's looking good"
One of the favorites this year is the super-sleek 2017 Ford GT. A crowd, three person-deep, encircled the supercar, taking pictures. The car is slated to be built in 2016. The pricing is not set, but 2005-06 models sold for about $150,000.
Phil Iott and his 14-year-old son Berkley, got to the auto show between 9:30 and 10 a.m. from Ann Arbor. Iott said they got pretty close to the Ford GT.
"I have been at the auto show every year for the past 9 or ten years," said Iott. "We just love cars. We have been into cars ever since he (Berkley) was born. When he was 2 or 3 years-old he had Matchbox cars."
Berkley said he is considering a career where he can be near cars full-time, such as an engineer.
Iott and Berkely said they also planned on checking out the 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R, which will be on sale late this year and is rumored to start around $50,000.
The father and son said they will also catch a glimpse of the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor, on sale next year. Pricing has not been announced, but the current Raptor starts at $45,000.
Another crowd favorite is the 2016 Acura NSX. Orders will be taken this summer and the price will likely start in mid-$150,000 range.
Some other must-see offerings are the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, Chevy Bolt concept and the 2016 Toyota Tacoma.
Nicole Valin of Roseville said checking out the 2016 Acura NSX and the Ford models were on her to-do list.
But before checking out her favorites Valin made sure her son Kallum, 5, got to see his first. On the second level of the Cobo Center, Kallum was in awe of the Army's display of beastly vehicles.
Kallum and his mom got into the infantry fighting vehicle called the M2A3 Bradley. Valin said Kallum has been anxiously awaiting the return of the auto show since last year.
"He has been bugging us for a full year asking when the auto show is coming again," said Valin. "We told him January 17, so he has been counting down the days."
The North American International Auto Show.
Hours: 9 a.m.-10 p.m. daily through Jan. 24; 9 a.m.-7 p.m Jan. 25
Admission: $13 adults, $7 for ages 7-12 and 65 and older
Location: Cobo Center,
1 Washington Blvd., Detroit