I will be attending the Chicago Auto Show this year as a Correspondent for MotoringExposure. I regularly attend the show but for the first time, I will be part of the media. This time of year, I reminisce about my first Auto Show, 30 years ago; the glistening lights, the fabulous stages, the booming sounds and the cars – acres and acres of them. I don’t think my eyes returned to their normal size until a week later. My feet and my heart bickered the entire time whether to soldier on across the vastness of McCormick Place. Needless to say, my feet lost. They say that you are impressionable at that age. The year of my first show left a lasting impression.
In school, I was fascinated by my first-ever car magazine (that I bought myself), The Buyer’s Guide Issue of Road & Track. I won’t say the year, I will only say that the car on the cover was a brand -spanking new Isuzu Impulse, which I thought was the most beautiful car in the world (at that time). I was fascinated by the illustrations and soon spread my wings to other magazines and auto-related newspaper articles. My friends were all talking about the latest in fashion and music while I was drooling over the new Audi Quattro and Ferrari 308 GTBi Quatrovalvole.
It didn’t hurt that I was taking Journalism that same year and became fascinated with writing. My focus turned from the pretty pictures to the even more beautiful text. I grew to love the journalistic giants in those pages. John Lamm (from Road & Track), Jean Jennings (I loved her former name: Lindamood) and David E. Davis. I gobbled up 3-5 issues in one sitting, loving the humorous hyperbole and romantic metaphors that drew me in with every turn of the page.
When I found John Davis on Public Television, I fell in love with his calm demeanor and informative commentary. John Davis and Chris Economaki (ABC Wide World of Sports) taught me that you can use all the techniques you want, but you had better know what you’re talking about.
The Gray Lady was no stranger to me either. I was the only kid who came to class regularly with a newspaper. Not for stock market updates or sports scores. No! I read The Chicago Sun-Times for two reasons: Mike Royko and Dan Jedlicka. I loved the fact that I could get a car review and look more mature at the same time.
I look forward to covering the Chicago Auto Show this week for MotoringExposure. My two childhood passions (cars and writing) will finally be united. I only hope that I can follow the long-standing tradition of concise, well-written prose that these and many others have laid before me. If I can review the cars, tell the stories, meet the execs and provide insight with the journalistic appeal that my role models have, maybe then their tutelage will not have been wasted on me. I can only hope to do a fraction of what they have done and make them proud to have been my predecessors.
So I turn to you, MotoringExposure and the Members of the Motoring Hobby at large. What can I do to provide you with the Auto Show coverage you would like to see? What is it you want and what is it that you don’t? Help me to help you.