Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and Illinois Secretary of State Jim Edgar were on hand to cut the traditional ribbon, commencing the start of the 1984 Chicago Auto Show. More than 700 vehicles were exhibited that year, including the new sporty Pontiac Fiero, the Honda CRX, the Nissan 300 ZX and the Ford Mustang SVO. Chevrolet offered visitors a glimpse of the redesigned Chevrolet Cavalier Type 10, displayed with a special Chicago appearance package. Concept vechicles shown that year included the four-wheel steering Mazda MX-02, Nissan NX-21 (dubbed family car of the Nineties), Ford Ghia Barchetta convertible, mid-engined Toyota SV-3 prototype, Oldsmobile diesel Ciera ES, and Chevrolet's fiberglass Citation IV.
Chrysler Corporation chairman Lee Iacocca (center, wearing light grey suit) poses with several executives in the lobby area of the Chicago Auto Show.
Chicago Mayor Harold Washington (center) and Illinois Secretary of State Jim Edgar (left) are cutting the ribbon to open the 76th Chicago Auto Show, as CATA executives look on. Pictured are (far left to right): CATA vice-president John Mathias; Secretary of State Jim Edgar; CATA president Kenneth Bennett (only head is visible); Mayor Washington; CATA executive vice-president Ross E. Kelsey (in light blue suit); and Executive Show Committee chairman Jack Haggerty (holding Mayor Washington's arm).
Large number of people are lined up to enter the Chicago Auto Show, in the lobby of McCormick Place.
Several different types of racing vehicles, including a motorcycle, are pictured in this scene at the display space for the Chicago Region of the Sports Car Club of America, in the lobby of McCormick Place. The white coupe in the center is a Mazda RX-7, equipped with a Wankel rotary engine.
Several different types of racing vehicles, including a barely-off-the-ground model with fully enclosed wheels, are pictured in this scene at the display space for the Chicago Region of the Sports Car Club of America, in the lobby of McCormick Place.
Large number of people are passing the display space for dragstrip vehicles in the lobby of McCormick Place, preparing to enter the Chicago Auto Show. Dragsters are barely visible in the background of this rather dark photo.
A number of people are passing through or stopping at Buick's exhibit space on the main floor. Several are leaning over a Riviera coupe, at left. Rivieras could have a new turbocharged V-6 engine (in the T Type), a regular 252-cid V-6, a 5.0-liter gasoline V-8, or a 5.7-lliter diesel V-8 (available for the first time as an option). Most Rivieras were fitted with a V-8, however.
A "bustleback" Seville sedan sits on a raised platform in this scene at Cadillac's main-floor display space. Not quite fully visible in the foreground is a subcompact Cimarron sedan, which shared its basic J-body structure with the Chevrolet Cavalier. A Sedan de Ville sits toward the right rear. All the Cadillacs in this scene are white. An all-new front-drive DeVille soon would debut, as an early '85 model.
A Camaro Z28 coupe with its T-roof panels removed occupies the right foreground of this scene at Chevrolet's main-floor display space. A 305-cid V-8, delivering either 150 or 190 horsepower, sat beneath the Z28's hood. Other Chevrolet models can be seen toward the rear, including a Cavalier hatchback coupe at far left.
A red Corvette two-seater coupe sits in the foreground of this scene, at one corner of Chevrolet's main-floor display space. No 1983 Corvettes had been produced, but the new 1984 model had a one-piece roof (lift-off acrylic panel optional), steeply-raked windshield, and frameless glass back window/hatch. Other Chevrolet models can be seen toward the rear, including a full-size sedan (most likely a Caprice Classic) at left, and a Cavalier hatchback coupe at far right. On a raised platform in the center is the new Astro van, introduced as a 1985 model.
Two women in exercise outfits, each holding a microphone, are on a small round stage in the Chevrolet display area. A fair-sized crowd has gathered to watch. Behind the stage is the GTP Corvette, a prototype for Chevrolet's expected entry in the International Motor Sports Association's GT racing series, with a turbocharged 720-horsepower engine.
Sitting on a raised platform, a Toronado coupe with the new Caliente package is in the center of this scene at Oldsmobile's main-floor exhibit space. The Caliente option included a padded landau roof and stainless steel crown molding. Portions of several other Oldsmobile models may be seen elsewhere in the photo, among the modest-size crowd.
Several models, including a pair of coupes near the foreground, can be seen in this wide scene at Oldsmobile's main-floor exhibit space. The car at right, facing away from the camera, is a Cutlass Supreme coupe. The coupe at left is a Cutlass Ciera. A sign above the entry portal features the Oldsmobile logo, accompanied by two hearts, each containing the words, "The Gallant Men of Olds."
Only partially visible, a mid-size Cutlass Supreme coupe with its trunk raised is in the foreground of this crowd scene at Oldsmobile's main-floor exhibit space. A Cutlass Ciera coupe, also partially visible, may be seen at right. Also see photo 1984-80 and -81.
Several auto-show visitors have gathered at Oldsmobile's main-floor exhibit space, to look over an engine displayed within a large round transparent case.
Pontiac renamed its subcompact series the 2000 Sunbird (formerly, the 2000) for 1984. In the foreground of this scene is a dark red 2000 Sunbird convertible. Another open 2000 Sunbird sits on a raised platform, toward the rear. At right is a 2000 Sunbird station wagon.
Under the guise of a mid-engine economy car, Pontiac got its Fiero into production for 1984, after which it promoted it as a mid-engine sports car. The pace car for the 1984 Indianapolis 500 is shown in white, while a one-off Roadster concept car was featured on a turntable in back.
Foremost cars in the Ford display area on the upper level of the Chicago Auto Show is a Thunderbird, which was available in four series this year: base, elan, Fila, and Turbo Coupe. "Try the seat you sit in, not on," says a sign posted in the windshield. Additional Thunderbirds may be seen toward the rear. Either a 232 CID V-6 or a 5.0 liter V-8 could be installed in the three regular models, while the Turbo Coupe got a turbocharged 140 CID (2.3 liter) four-cylinder engine.
A new Chrysler Laser coupe sits on a raised platform ahead of a reflective panel, at the Chrysler-Plymouth display space. Introduced this year, the front-drive, aerodynamically-styled hatchback was nearly identical to the Dodge Daytona and featured flush glass. Both turbocharged and regular four-cylinder engines were available.
Billed as 'The Magic Wagon," a white Plymouth Voyager minivan with woodgrain body trim sits on a raised platform at the Chrysler-Plymouth display space. A mime troupe performed several times each day to help promote the new Voyager. Both the Plymouth Voyager and the Dodge Caravan were brand-new for 1984, and the first of the front-wheel drive minivans.
Photograph taken before the opening of the 76th edition Chicago Auto Show, captures a scene at the Chrysler-Plymouth display space. On special display is the new Conquest sport coupe import. The sign above refers to the Conquest as "imports with a purpose." Replacing the Dodge import Challenger, the Mitsubishi-built Conquest had a turbocharged 2.6 liter four-cylinder engine.
Ribbie, the seven-foot tall mascot for the Chicago White Sox during the 1980s, entertained starry-eyed youngsters at the 1984 and '85 Chicago Auto Shows. Both Ribbie and Roobarb appeared with Tom Wilger dressing as the orange Roobarb and Bob Wrebel as purple Ribbie. Exhibited behind Ribbie is the 1984 Chrysler LeBaron K-body compact with simulated wood paneling.
A 300ZX Turbo sport coupe occupies a raised round platform, with a square raised section, at Nissan's main-floor exhibit space. Redesigned this year to a more angular appearance, the Z-car (formerly called 280ZX) switched from an inline six-cylinder engine to a 3.0-liter V-6, delivering 160 horsepower (200 if turbocharged).
A blue Stanza hatchback sedan dominates this scene at Nissan's main-floor exhibit space. Stanzas used a 97-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Lettering on the red 300ZX sport coupe to its rear says this is an Official Car for the United States Gymnastics Federation. All models from the Japanese automakers now used the Nissan name, finally abandoning the Datsun designation.
A red Porsche 911 Carrera coupe is the highlight of this scene at the German sports car maker's main-floor exhibit space (shared with Audi). The "Carrera" designation replaced the prior "SC" suffix. The 911's engine grew to 3.2 liters this year, rated at 200 horsepower. This coupe has a small sunroof, but the 911 also came as a Targa coupe or a Cabriolet.
Built by AMC in Wisconsin using Renault drivetrains (from France), a new Encore sits on a raised rectangular platform at the main-floor exhibit space for AMC/Jeep/Renault products. This year, Encore hatchbacks joined the Alliance sedans that had debuted in 1983. AMC (American Motors) was Renault's partner in the U.S. market. Other Renault/AMC models may be seen toward the rear.
Ford of Europe and Ghia of Italy joined forces to create the Barchetta convertible, displayed at Ford's exhibit during the 76th Chicago Auto Show. Riding on a 90-inch wheelbase, the two-passenger, front-drive Barchetta ("little boat" in Italian) measured only 138 inches long overall. It used the same platform as the European Fiesta XR2.
On display at the 1984 Chicago Auto Show is Ford Motor Co.’s Thunderbird that was scheduled to be a pace car in the CART-sanctioned PPG Indy Car World Series. The car was powered by a 400 horsepower V-8 engine with a five-speed manual transmission. A lower roof line, longer front and wider track combine to create a “slippery” aerodynamic design. Note the flush glass, aero headlights, blacked-out trim and rear spoiler integrated into the quarter panels. The chassis was enhanced by independent rear suspension with four-wheel disc brakes and rack-and-pinion steering.
Over the decades, auto manufacturers strived to display vehicles in elaborate, eye-catching settings. For several years during the 1980s, Pontiac featured huge illuminated monoliths that seemed to hover over the cars, including the gold-tone Fiero convertible concept from 1984. Rumored as a production possibility, the Chicago Tribune referred to convertible as a "show stopper." Launched that same year, the production plastic-bodied, mid-engine Fiero coupe was built through 1988, but never was released as a roadster.