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Your Chicago Auto Show

You hear enough about the Chicago Auto Show, now it's your turn to tell us a story. A lot of people have already shared great Chicago Auto Show memories with us, and we want to hear more of them. So dig out the box of 35mm slides and Betamax tapes and get ready for a drive down memory lane.

Ask your parents if they've got any good stories. Heck, ask your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and the rest of your family while you're at it, because if we use your story in our display at the Chicago Auto Show, we'll send you a pair of free tickets to the show.

Yes, you read correctly. If we like your story enough to make it part of our history display at the Chicago Auto Show in February, we'll send you two free tickets, good for admission any day of the show.

Think up your favorite Chicago Auto Show memories, write them down, and send them to anavrotski@drivechicago.com . If you have slides, pictures, or other physical media, we'll be happy to copy them and return the originals, just send an email and we'll work out the details.

Here are a few examples to get you going.


Probably the Chicago Auto Show that was most memorable was 1964.  I had been attending since the 1961 show, but it was the first one I would cover for the newspaper I worked for, the Milwaukee Sentinel. At the time I had no knowledge of press previews and plans were made to attend the show on the opening Saturday.  My girlfriend at the time, who had absolutely no interest in automobiles, agreed to go along if I would do penance by following her through seemingly every floor of every department store on State Street. That completed, I drove to the first McCormick Place in my new 1964 Rambler American 440 hardtop I was so proud of.  Once in the show, we toured the various displays, which I devoured while she stared at the ceiling, or somewhere where there were no new cars to look at.

Then we came to the American Motors display.  On a turntable was the Rambler Tarpon show car, based on the 1964 American.  I thought it was neat, considering my new ride.She, on the other hand, gushed that it was the neatest car she ever saw.  When I was ready to move on, she was not.  She had to look at the Tarpon from every angle and wouldn’t stop talking about it…this from someone up to this time that felt cars were invisible. During the tour of the remaining displays, she insisted we return to see the Tarpon again. After finishing my tour, we had to look one more time.  On the ride home I tried to impress her that my American was the same basic car as the Tarpon.  It didn’t register. I wrote my review and of course had to mention the Tarpon.

The 1964 show was months ahead of the introduction of the Ford Mustang and Plymouth Barracuda, the latter a fastback mounted on the Valiant compact, not unlike the Tarpon. With favorable reviews, the brain trust at American Motors decided to mount the Tarpon styling on the larger Classic body and call it the Marlin, a mid-year 1965 model. Neither my girlfriend nor the buying public was impressed and the Marlin was not a success.

Phil H.
Milwaukee, Wis.

 

Since 1976, I have traveled every year to Chicago from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, to view and photograph the new cars at the Chicago Auto Show. In 1981, I and friend Ric Lieberman drove to the show in Ric’s brand-new Renault 18i. During the show, we stopped at the Renault exhibit to listen to the spokeswoman give her presentation on a silver-and-black 18i. Ric and I talked with her about Renaults for about 15 minutes, and found her to be very knowledgeable. Her name was Lane. She had two children and ran a motel with her husband. Next year, Ric and I were touring the show and spotted Lane demonstrating the new Renault Fuego. She announced to the crowd that she recognized two gentlemen from the year before. This made us feel about nine feet tall. Our mutual friendship went on for six years. Lane always recognized and welcomed us to the show. The last time we saw Lane was in 1987, demonstrating Toyota trucks. One year, I took a photo of Lane next to a Renualt Alliance. A year later, I brought the photo to the show to be autographed. On the border, Lane wrote, “Dear Tom ‘Friendly’ kind people spread warmth and relate to even strangers as human beings. You have a wonderful personality. May you always enjoy people as they enjoy you! Good Luck, Lane”  

Tom P.
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

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6/30/2016 9:53:40 AM

We LOVE working with The Chicago Auto Show team on such a worthy cause

6/30/2016 9:47:06 AM

Want to host the Ultimate Backyard BBQ for the Troops, including a private cooking demo from Real Urban Barbecue’s chef, sample taste bud tantalizing BBQ and even mingle with a Chicago Blackhawks ambassador? Starting tomorrow, enter the #BBQ4Troops contest! Stay tuned for details

6/29/2016 4:50:52 PM

It's almost the month of July, which means 70 new-car dealers are firing up their grills next month all to support the USO of Illinois. http://abc7.ws/296C9f8 #BBQ4Troops

6/29/2016 11:51:03 AM

Chicagoland's new-car dealers kick off the 2016 USO BBQ for the Troops media kickoff event today to promote the 70 dealer fundraisers that'll be held on July 16! Find a BBQ near you at www.DriveChicago.com. Out at United Center with an assist from the Chicago Blackhawks. #BBQ4Troops

6/29/2016 8:32:23 AM

It's a busy day today working with The Chicago Auto Show and USO of Illinois promoting #BBQ4Troops. First, we're at Fox 32 Chicago grilling on the plaza. Tune in at 9:15am. Then, we're headed to the United Center for the media preview event

6/28/2016 10:13:03 AM

Who doesn’t love a good summertime BBQ? On Saturday, July 16, head on over to your local car dealership for a USO BBQ for the Troops! For more information, visit www.DriveChicago.com. #BBQ4Troops

6/27/2016 12:51:50 PM

The Chicago Auto Show is in 2nd place, but help them get to 1st in USA TODAY's Best Car Show Award! Vote here through 7/18: http://bit.ly/28JXrOY #10BestChoice

6/25/2016 10:12:03 AM

Want to help support local troops and their families? Chicagoland’s car dealers are firing up the grill on Saturday, July 16 to host USO BBQ for the Troops fundraisers. Find a BBQ Near you: www.DriveChicago.com. #BBQ4Troops

6/24/2016 3:35:13 PM

A day at the park...Honda Ridgeline style. #UltimateTailgate

6/24/2016 11:31:25 AM

I think we can all agree that The Chicago Auto Show is the best in the nation! Let's show our support by voting

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6/30/2016 11:20:33 AM

#TBT to the @ChiAutoShow! https://t.co/jDLAu9ISGc

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Get Ready! Tomorrow we're announcing our @USO_of_Illinois Ultimate Backyard #BBQ4Troops contest. Check back for details!

6/29/2016 3:08:24 PM

Ik hoor dat ik op tv was vanavond bij terugblik #CAS15 Genietend van @typhoon Dit heb ik er aan over gehouden ?? https://t.co/m20j5l1t0F

6/29/2016 2:51:50 PM

Zullen we dansen? ???? #cas15

6/29/2016 2:46:54 PM

eindelijk weer eens wat aardigs op TV #cas15

6/29/2016 2:35:53 PM

@typhoon Held. #cas15 #TheLau

6/29/2016 1:51:57 PM

#CAS15 nu op @NPO3 Wat was dat een #feestje vorig jaar ! https://t.co/ID5vychewZ

6/29/2016 1:50:29 PM

Het maakt niet uit wat Bart van Racoon zingt, ik heb altijd kippenvel! #cas15 #npo3

6/29/2016 1:47:48 PM

Altijd tof om de man waar het allemaal mee begon voor mij op tv te zien! #BartvanLiemt #TheSheer #Bade #cas15

6/28/2016 11:50:34 AM

Thanks for the recent follow @8packabs @ChiAutoShow @sonnyg Happy to connect :) have a great Tuesday.