That Time Brad Made All the Cool Things at the Car Show

4:28 PM

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Yessss. Auto show time. An exhausting, yet dazzling event that's suited to both car fanatics and people who just drive cars (or people who just like shiny things). Naturally, a perfect set-up for Brad and me.

Being the intermediate Michigander that I am, I did notice this year's show was strikingly similar to last year's. Lots of the same themes and branding decor pointed to nearly identical setups in some cases, but I like interactive dance displays and electronic decor as much as the next person--regardless of a few repeats. If we're supposed to recognize Volkswagen by its disco/party image, or Lincoln by its retractable ceiling decorations, then they're doing what they need to do. Although I was drawn to some of the newer things as a result, I also got the chance to spend a little more time on some areas I didn't get to see in full during the 2012 show.

Particularly swoon-worthy was Ford's technology/product integration. In addition to live tweet and merchandise displays, the company provided free "Blue Oval Cards" to encourage engagement and track customer preferences. In short, I could swipe my card at any Ford car station and have digital brochures sent to my online account, as well as play product-related games to be entered in big prize giveaways. And no, I haven't won a car yet, but I'll keep you posted if anything comes up. ;)

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Clockwise, from top left:
Tweet wall at the Ford exhibit, the Ford Blue Oval card, "Higher or Lower" game, and the Ford Focus swipe station

Switching gears a little, I have to brag a little on Chevrolet. Mostly because--oh, hey, look--Brad helped create this truck! Say hello to the 2014 Chevy Silverado:

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It's like a grown-up science fair project.
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The Silverado in blue.
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Apparently, months and months of hard work can turn out incredible results like this one, as well as the GMC Sierra. I am/was so proud of this boy, I had to take about a zillion "mom photos."

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Standing next to one of his latest projects, the GMC Sierra.

Engineer I am not, but general observer of things I most definitely am. These trucks were massive, gorgeous, and quite a lot to be proud of. Basically, everyone should go buy one right now. And that is my completely unbiased assessment.

The remainder of our four-hour visit was spent admiring new trends (a lot of blue and matte paint finishes), new spins on old favorites, and completely rejuvenated body styles/everything styles. One of the most attention-grabbing new designs was the new Corvette Stingray, the drool-worthy talk of the NAIAS. Take a look at that bad boy.

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One of our favorite stops was the Camaro/Hot Wheels section, where visitors raced toy cars and received free, limited-edition Hot Wheels of their own just for playing. There was also a photo booth right next door, but the line was pretty long and we were getting pretty tired around the time we passed by. I did envy the yellow sunglasses they were passing out, though.

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Life-size Hotwheels at play.

Right before heading out, we made it downstairs for the second level of exhibits, something we did not get to at the 2012 show. In this area, commercial vehicles, an indoor race track, and tiny cars were all the rage. Urkel would be so excited.

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If you have any photos of your own from this year's auto show, I'd love to see them (and, of course, your stories and comments are always welcome)! Just visit my Facebook page to join in the conversation. I'll also have a whole album of additional photos from the 2013 NAIAS for you to browse through, so head on over and I'll see you there!

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