February In Chicago - The Best Time to Go Topless
Few would argue that Chicago in February is as close to Santa Claus's neighborhood as people would like to get. What better time of the year than to bundle up in a winter coat, wrap yourself in a scarf, put on a pair of mittens and head to the legendary Chicago Auto Show to view a special exhibit of historic convertibles. Convertibles are as much a symbols of Americana as drive-in restaurants and drive-in theaters. You might also be surprised to know that Chicago is our country's third largest convertible market!
The Chicago Auto Show is the nation's largest automotive exposition, utilizing 1.2 million sq. ft. of the McCormick Place Convention Center on the city's lakefront.
Through the years the famous Volo Auto Museum, sometimes referred to as "America's Largest Toy Box," has exhibited various vehicles from its collection of over 300 high-performance and Hollywood show cars.
This year it's exhibiting nine special convertibles, ranging from a 1915 Ford T Speedster to a 2007 Ford Hertz Shelby. Volo's display is on the main floor, situated in the North Hall. The rest of the display consists of:
- 1932 Duesenburg Dual-cowl Phantom (the most expensive car in the world at the time and only sold to very affluent millionaires and movie stars).
- 1936 Auburn Boat Tail Speedster playboy car of the '30s.
- A very rare 1957 Oldsmobile 88 Convertible with the "J" option (three two-barrel carburetors and one of the fastest cars of the '50s).
- 1961 Corvette Roadster with twin four-barrel carburetors and a four-speed gearbox.
- 1963 Lincoln four-door Convertible (widely believed to have been the only factory four-door convertible built since WWII).
- 1969 Shelby GT500 Convertible (Carol Shelby's self-proclaimed favorite).
- 1969 Chevelle SS 396 Convertible powered by a 375-horsepower L78 V8.
According to Greg Grams, president and owner of the Volo Auto Museum, "Anybody can look at a vehicle and nod their head approvingly at its styling, but only a convertible can universally put a smile across one's face."
With the economy (and public) suffering the way it is few things offer an escape-albeit it a limited one. Touring an exhibit of vehicles representing a happier lifestyle is truly one of those escapes. You may not actually be topless, but the cars will!
The Chicago Auto Show is open to the public Friday, February 13 through Sunday, February 22. For more information on the Chicago Auto Show, visit www.chicagoautoshow.com. For more information on all the attractions found at Volo Auto Museum's 30-acre facilities go to its Web site at www.volocars.com or call 815/385-3644 or contact owner Greg Grams at(815-245-3938.
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