Visiting the North American International Auto Show — or any auto show, for that matter — can be a challenge. The days are long. The crowds are dense. The elbows are sharp. And in Detroit, the winter weather can be nippy.
For journalists, the experience is perhaps twice as grueling because we’re on the floor for hours and hours at a time, for several days in a row. Sometimes, there are cocktails involved — which sounds awesome, but honestly, it’s a mixed blessing. (Ever been to an office holiday party? It’s exactly that.)
But no matter whether you’re here for the media preview or whether you come a few days later with the general public, the most frustrating part of any auto show is photography. Between the thousands of visitors, the swarms (flocks? herds? murders?) of automaker reps, and the foreign-language media crews — who don’t care if you’ve just lined up the perfect shot, they’re going to set up right in front of you without so much as an “Entschuldigen Sie” — getting good photos of cars on the show floor is tricky.
That said, here are a few of my shutterbugging attempts from yesterday’s visit to NAIAS. The pics aren’t perfect — certainly not as good as the “official” images distributed on jump drives and via QR codes in all the media kits filling my suitcase — but they’ll give you a taste of what these cars are like in the environment of the auto show.
Nor are they all cars. These are highlights of my day, from my 6:00am breakfast* to the late afternoon sunset, when my phone finally died and I decided that I’d had enough of snapping photos, thankyouverymuch. The pics that do involve cars, though, feature vehicles that seem most important or interesting to me, but some (like the Maserati Gran Turismo above) are just there because they’re damn nice to look at.
To make things simpler, I’ve created the gallery in Facebook and embedded it here. Click through to see my annotations, share the album with friends, and if you’re not already a fan, like Gaywheels on Facebook.
More pics to follow, along with a top-ten list that’ll include additional details about the importance of various rides. Stay tuned.
* Full disclosure: I was brought to NAIAS by General Motors as part of a diverse group car writers. While I certainly got a lot of up-close-and-personal views of GM vehicles, I was also given plenty of time to wander the show floor and talk to other automakers, too.