The Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto is now open to the public. Having spent the press day there, I might head down for another shot at it and see everything I missed. While it's a lot more low-key that, say, the Detroit or Los Angeles venues, there's still a lot happening during the day that the automakers unveil the new models for the ink-stained wretches.
Not that there's much that's new anymore. Thanks to the Internet and to shows that go before it, including Detroit and Montreal, we'd seen everything before. For many of us it's more of a chance to pick up Canadian specs on the cars and to meet-and-greet with the publicity folks who funnel our information to us throughout the rest of the year.
I'd heard tell that the automakers were keeping the "suits" to a minimum, and I certainly noticed the difference in how easy it was to get around and get photos. The car companies often bring in large numbers of important dealers and executives to these events. It's not usually so bad at the Toronto show, but it can be ridiculous in Detroit, since they often escort these people to the front rows for the unveilings, when the rest of us are trying to get pictures. When the Camaro was originally reintroduced - a huge deal at the Detroit show that year - I stood for 45 minutes to hold a spot at the front, along with several hundred other reporters who had their cameras trained to get the best photo. A few minutes before the debut, GM brought a line of execs in and parked them directly in front of us. I got one of the few good shots by ducking under the rope and pushing several of them out of the way. Guys, do you want me to sell your car for you, or don't you?
Okay, rant over. If you're heading down to the Toronto show, be sure to visit the Concorso Exotica downstairs - it's hard to find, but make the effort - to see such beauties as the Lambo seen above, cars from Plethore, Lotus, Rolls-Royce and Ferrari, and a way-cool display of ten vintage Italian cars, including a Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Detomaso. Then go across the hall to the ten antiques and hot rods in the Cruise Nationals display. And then head upstairs to see the rest of the show - and don't forget to wear your sensible shoes.