It’s the largest and longest running car show in the nation. The Chicago Auto show is back and there is still time to gawk at all the concept cars and 2017 models. The week long show, which opens each year with a ribbon cutting ceremony, will feature almost 1,000 vehicles at McCormick place and will run from February 13 until February 21st. This year is the 108th edition, but it has been around for 115 years.
The car show is owned and operated by The Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA), which was founded in 1904 and has been in charge of the car show since 1935. Before CATA, the first show debuted March 23, 1901 at the Chicago Coliseum, which was the largest hall during that time. There were only 65 cars on display and the exhibit was visited by about 5,000 of the wealthiest people.
Seven years later, Henry Ford revolutionized the car industry with the first affordable automobile, the Model-T.
Today, crowds flock in by the thousands and roam the one million square foot space to look upon cars that Ford could only dream of. Some concept cars gaining hype at this year’s show are the Toyota Mirai, a contemporary take on the time machine from Back to the Future
and the Buick Avista with 3D printed trim, carbon fiber accents, and touchscreen controls. Then of course we have all the redesigned cars and interactive booths that engage the audience.
Camp Jeep is a returning favorite, which offers a ride in one of four featured Jeep vehicles in a revamped obstacle course that offers an “off-road” experience. Toyota is said to showcase new safety packages with the help of Oculus Rift and will also bring back the TeenDrive365, a simulator that shows the challenges of distracted driving.
If you were anticipating the show, you may have spotted the LivingSocial and Groupon deals offering discounted tickets. Otherwise, tickets are $12 for general admission available online or at the door. If you can’t make it to the show, you can check out their live webcams.