The end of the first day of an auto show is always a mix blessing; you're thankful the day is over, but you still know there's plenty to do the following day. Yes, we know the end of Day was actually yesterday but we find ourselves a little behind right now. Still, we thought you'd appreciate having the order somewhat chronological so you can have an idea of what we go through to bring you as much of the information as we can gather. There is always a lot of walking, a lot of smashing other bodies (usually male) for seats and a good view, and a lot of physical pain if you happen to wear the wrong piece of clothing or pair of shoes. But all that effort and fatigue does provide for a solid eight hours of sleep at the end of the day...as long as you don't have to attend a manufacturer's dinner party or meet some friends at the hotel bar later that night. Anyway, we finished our first day with some interesting memories and a few bits of information we thought we'd pass along.
Ford 1948 F-1
One of our favorite displays on the show floor was a mint 1948 Ford F-1 pickup truck, sitting pretty to show off the fact that Ford is celebrating their 65th F-Series anniversary--what a great way to celebrate a rich and deep history. Especially when you plan on debuting an amazing concept truck the next day that is likely to point the way toward the next-gen design and technology language for both light- and heavy-duty pickups.
College of Creative Design
It's always nice to take a look at what projects the local design college assigned to their students to highlight at their auto show display. There is usually something interesting on display after they select which renderings they want to create 3D models of. Thankfully, Alex Kish decided to design a modern interpretation of the Nissan Titan (we assume). We love the idea of a "plug-in" bed and more pliable suspension setup.
Creating quite a stir with one of the last press conferences of the day, VIA (pronounced Veeahh, like the Italian word for Main Roads) Motors had two high-flying acrobats putting on quite a show forty feet above the hard concrete floor (no nets). The two muscular women were very good at making all those journalists underneath them worried about their own safety. And then Bob Lutz came out to talk with celebrated inventor Thomas Edison on the big screen. Even Bob called Edison a contemporary, when intrdocing an 800 horsepower 4x4 fully electric concept truck.
Jeff Luke is sitting pretty right now, finished with all the heavy lifting regarding the 2014 Chevy and GMC half-ton trucks. We tried to get the horsepower and torque numbers out of him but he was quite clear about not being ready to make those announcments yet. We also reminded him that fuel economy numbers still have to be released and he told us that those numbers are likely to pretty important to them so seeing a big deal made of it could make sense, and maybe even another press conference at a future auto show.
Ford Transit skeleton
Ford had a new Transit skeleton on display to highlight all the incredible wieght-saving technology the various high-strength steels provide; Boron, Magnisium, and high-strength steel. We're told they are going to bring the stripped Transit to a few auto shows this year and progressively add on more and more production parts and pieces, simulating a regular build. The new fullsize Transits are a big part of Ford's future push for more commercial share with more commercial vehicles--they'll have T-150s, T-250s, T-350s, and T-350 HDs.