I’ll be spending the next couple of days in an auto lover’s dream…getting a front row seat at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. This is the Super Bowl of car shows, so to speak, and even though I can’t quote you engine size or years and styles of all the classics, I can tell you my heart starts racing at the idea of what I’m going to be part of over the next few days.
I’m the daughter of an auto mechanic. He’s gone now, but my dad loved his cars, and he was a genius when it came to fixing them. I’m channeling all of his brainpower into what I’m about to soak up over the next few days. His, and Mr. Dave’s, the grandpa-like neighbor of ours who became my stand-in dad when my father passed away. Dave was an exec with Ford for years, and loved to tease when we bought anything but a Ford. He made the Detroit area home for decades, so seeing this area for the first time feels a little like visiting with him again (he also left the world too soon, passing away just a year after my dad).
I know a lot of guys have the notion that a girl with so little knowledge of cars is probably a wasted ticket to this prized event, but I have to tell you women like their wheels, too. Personally, I like them for very different reasons than most guys. I’m an emotional car buyer. My favorite car was a Camara with t-tops I bought right after a divorce. I can still remember how it felt to take that for a spin in my single days…top off, wind in my hair, a wild world in front of me. I’ve also bought cars for other reasons, especially the kids. They take a lot of room, you know, especially when they start playing football or tennis or marching band…all the kids, all the gear…it means bigger cars like a Suburban take over the driveway. Now, it’s a Hyundai getting me from point A to point B, a super fancy Sonata with a moon roof from the front of the car to the back, with great gas mileage, and more safety features than you’d think for an affordably priced vehicle (yep, blind spot and rear view cameras are part of the package). We want safe cars, and these days, we want them to keep up with our chaotic lives with some very high-end technology. If we can lock (or unlock) the car doors from another city, you’re putting smiles on our faces. If we can limit the area where our teenager can take the car, or the speed they can drive it, we’re downright giddy.
The fact is, women are the ones in the cars the most, and we dominate the car-buying decisions. So, it should make perfect sense that we’d fill the halls of the Cobo Center, where the NAIAS is happening.
So, it’s with pride that I’ll be sharing all the news from Motor City over the next few days. You let me know if there’s something interesting you want to see or hear about and I’ll do my best to cover it for you. Buckle up, kids. This is going to be a fun ride.