Hot cars at 104th Chicago Auto Show

Toyota Camry Daytona 500 Pace Car At Chicago Auto Show


CHICAGO - RIS - The annual Chicago Auto Show is known to get car buyers’ “engines” revving for the latest offerings from U.S., European and Asian car makers.

And the 104th edition, which runs from Friday, Feb. 10, through Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012, at McCormick Place, is no exception.

Sure, you can find cars, SUVs, pickup trucks and luxury vehicles of all sizes, engine combinations and styles. But the real hardcore “motorheads” have a treat this year the muscle car is back for all to see and even to hear.

Chrysler, Ford and Chevrolet have brought their “big guns” to the lakefront exhibition hall.

Ford is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first rollout of a trademark SVT vehicle - a 1993 Mustang Cobra. This year’s SVT is the 2012 Shelby GT 500 convertible, proudly called the fastest Mustang ever. While plenty of other racy Mustangs are in the Ford space, one in particular is guaranteed to get your motor running. It is set up on a device where the car can literally be revved to the limit without blasting off.

Chevrolet has a full complement of very racy examples, including Corvettes and Camaros, including an example of a 1953 Corvette nose-to-nose with the latest version of America’s favorite two-seat sports car.

Even Cadillac has gotten dicy with it’s CTS coupe, sitting next to a pure race version of the same car

But Chrysler has taken a different tact to entice the speed crowd.

For 75 years MOPAR has been the name of the brand’s parts line (MOtor  PARts). In the ‘60s MOPAR was linked to the company’s performance products.

Now, MOPAR has been assigned a much wider status. The new MOPAR links parts, customer care centers, more than 400 MOPAR clubs and the entire after-sales experience.

The MOPAR brand can also be found linked directly to four new specialty vehicles: MOPAR ’12 - 300, MOPAR Dodge Dart GTS 210 Tribute, MOPAR JEEP Compass True North and MOPAR Fiat 500 Stinger.

MOPAR’s new presence comes from a cultural change in the brand.

Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of MOPAR Service, Parts & Customer Care, said the company found that MOPAR was ingrained in the U.S. car culture. The company wanted to continue the three-quarter of a century heritage, aligning it with current trends and media venues.

Gorlier said a link has been forged with world-wide MOPAR clubs, whereby fans can find links to not only the new vehicles and parts, but can learn about past Muscle Cars and parts.

There is not only a culture of speed here in the U.S., Gorlier said, but a real passion that we hope MOPAR can now further nurture.

For more information about he 2012 Chicago Auto Show, go the

Bernie Bernacki

Involved with Journalism since 1969. Through the years, worked at several daily and weekly newspapers in northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana. During 1976 was editor of NSSN in Ridgewood, NJ. I have done features on racers from Gary Gabelich to Cale Yarborough, Bobby Rahal to Leon "Jigger" Sirois, Bay Darnell to Jack Bowsher, and Ed Rachanski to Arnie Beswick. I am a personal friend of Fred Lorenzen and frequently visit him at his nursing home. During the 1980s I covered the Indy 500 for different daily newspapers. As I am considered a senior citizen, my racing tastes favor vintage/historics - stock, sports car, Indy, drag racing, old race tracks. I try to focus on individuals  

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Volume 2011, Issue 10, Posted 1:49 PM, 02.09.2012