BY: CHRIS BRIGMAN
PHOTOS: BRYAN ESLER
This weekend is the Michigan International Auto Show and it has it all — from practical to grandiose and even downright exotic; if you love cars — or just pretty/shiny things — you will be in heaven at the #grautoshow16!
Car manufacturers from around the world bring their finest traveling displays with new vehicles – including sedans, vans, SUV’s, trucks, hybrids and sports cars to Grand Rapids. Not only is the Auto Show a great place to shop and compare options for every day vehicles, it is also the first opportunity for West Michigan residents to see many of the most recently released or “soon to be released” models!
On Wednesday, we had the unique opportunity of getting a sneak preview of this weekend’s show at the Michigan International Auto Show Charity Spectacular benefiting Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. The event supported more than 20 different programs at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. During the event, guests explored hundreds of new vehicles on display while enjoying a delicious strolling dinner and a live Wolverine Worldwide Fashion Show.
The excitement started as soon as we walked into DeVos Place. James Bond theme music was playing in the background and as the archway (the #grautoshow16 version of the red carpet) opened up, we encountered our first car – the Aston Martin DB9 GT. The car displayed is one of only 150 made, and is the official car used in the lasted Bond flick, Spectre. There was even a photographer on the ready to snap our pic as we struck a pose!Next up: the Million Dollar Motorway. The Aston Martin was just one of the many exotic cars available for inspection – also displayed was the Maserati, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Bentley, BMW, McLaren, and Ferrari. Every car had a representative available to answer questions . . . note: don’t ask about gas mileage (if you’re buying these cars, you’re not thinking about what you’ll pay at the pump)!
If you are looking for a grocery getter – a real one with an actual back seat (and you can’t afford the 4-door Aston Martin), not just the illusion of one – the main hall features everything from Ford to Fiat, along with some of the luxury brands like Cadillac, Lexus, Acura, and Audi.
For those that love he classic cars and muscle cars you won’t want to miss the display put forth from our friends at the Gilmore Car Museum. From the 1963 Studebaker Avanti, to the 1969 Camaro, you will definitely get your fill of torque, steel, fender skirts and whitewalls. Be sure to check out the Lincoln – we’re pretty sure people didn’t even try to parallel park a car that size!
If you need a distraction from January weather then head to the #grautoshow16 and imagine yourself cruising in the sunshine as you walk down the raceway. Who knows, you might just end up buying one! Dibs on “shotgun” if you get the Rolls Royce!
The show runs all weekend through January 31st! For tickets: http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/08004F46E3423137