Friday, February 3, 2017

Some Cars

The Michigan Internationl Auto Show is in town this week. A friend and I went downtown to check it out.
A pair of Prii.
If you're not in Michigan, you've likely never heard of this particular show, which is held in Grand Rapids. The much more famous North American International Auto Show takes place in late January over in Detroit, and pretty much every year it makes the national news. Once that's over, the car companies pack up a small portion of their wares and truck them over to Grand Rapids for the smaller Michigan show in early February.
The modern muscle car lineup. None of them transformed, sadly.
I'm not much of a car person, but I like looking at shiny things as much as the next guy. I won't go much out of my way to see a bunch of new cars (say, driving to Detroit) but when it's happening nearby, I figure why not? Especially when the entry was free, since Michigan Radio was kind enough to provide me with a couple of tickets (via a contest drawing).
The modern Meijer would need a whole lot of these to keep the stock coming in.
When you walk in the front gate, you could be forgiven for a bit of confusion since all the cars are old. That's the Gilmore Car Museum collection, which is right in the front hall. There's also a replica of the very first Meijer truck, complete with replica 8.5 cents-per-gallon gas pump. Which gives you an idea of what era was represented.
A small herd of student-built vehicles.
Behind the classic cars was an area with student-built vehicles from local schools. As an engineering school graduate, I found those interesting, even if they weren't the solar-powered types that I remember from my days at Rose-Hulman. One was a restored classic car to be driven in the 2017 Great Race - a student driver, adult navigator, and no modern navigation devices going from Michigan to Florida.
A Great Race vehicle.
Then there was the giant room of modern automakers, showing off all the various current models. I'd say about half were trucks or SUVs, which I mostly ignored except to be thankful that I have no need for such a gas-guzzler. There were plenty of luxury models as well, some in the "you can buy a nice house for that" price range. Makes no sense to me, but some folks have more money than they know what to do with, I suppose. I spent most of my time looking at hybrids and economy models.
Pictured, approximately 2 mansions worth of car.
I found the 2017 Toyota Yaris, which didn't look much different from my 2010 (except cleaner, of course). About the same price and fuel efficiency, and no major form changes. I consider that a good thing, no reason to be anxious about upgrading.

Wandering around looking at all the new vehicles made for a fun couple of hours. Certainly there are plenty of interesting options out there in the market. In the end, though, I mostly was glad that I'm in no immediate danger of going through the hassle of getting a new car.

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