Smith: Chicago gets its auto show turn

Paul W. Smith

Outta’ My Mind on a Monday Moanin”

Dateline: Chicago

Broadcasting from the 109th Chicago Auto Show, the largest consumer show in the nation.

Dave Sloan is the show’s affable president general manager, kind of the Rod Alberts of Chicago.

By the way, Rod has always wanted to head to Lakeland, Florida, to participate in one of the Tigers fantasy camps. This year he was able to live the dream. As in everything he does, Rod gave it his all, including his leg and shoulder, both now broken, going after a flaming ground ball a lesser man would have let pass. He’s in therapy in Florida, with wife Tammy nursing him back to health.

OK, where was I ?

(Note to self : No fantasy camps for me.)

Back to Dave Sloan.

Dave is another former Detroiter done good.

This year’s show truly is bigger and better than ever before.

We are broadcasting our show once again from the FCA stand, surrounded by Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Ram, Maserati, SRT and Mopar Garage displays. The FCA vehicles are looking good and, frankly, more colorful than ever, leading the extremely talented Ralph Gilles, head of design FCA-Global, to pass along that someone compared the selection of colors on the stand to the contents of a big bag of Skittles.

Ralph, a proud graduate and now trustee of the College for Creative Studies, stopped by to talk on his way to being the keynote speaker at the Auto Show Media Preview breakfast.

Ralph also kicked off the Drive for Design contest for all U.S. high school students in grades 10-12 to design a Dodge vehicle 30 years in the future.

Fun? Yes! Lucrative? Possibly! Among other prizes, a $50,000 scholarship to Lawrence Technological University. Go to:

Paul W. Smith is host of The Paul W. Smith Show on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.