DETROIT: ONE OF THE BIGGEST events in the automobile industry calendar kicked off in Motor City last week, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), which has been hosted there for over a century and exhibits the latest innovations in cars and trucks.
The INQUIRER was on the show floor last week to scout out the latest releases and updates in automotive technology. Not only did we manage to get a peek at this year's concept vehicles from prominent carmakers including BMW, Tesla and Acura, but while we were in town Ford took us on an two day tour of its headquarters just outside downtown Detroit.
We were greeted on the grounds of Ford's home in Greenfield Village at the grand entrance of the Henry Ford Museum, which is unsurprisingly named for its founder, pioneer automobile industrialist Henry Ford. The indoor and outdoor museum complex is a tribute to Henry Ford's desire to preserve items of historical significance to the motor industry and the Industrial Revolution.
The museum houses a large inventory of rare vehicles from the past 150 years, from icons of Americana such as the 1956 Chevy Convertible to the much more modern Ford Focus Electric. There's also an area dedicated to the advances in aviation, featuring aeroplanes such as the 1926 Ford Flivver and a locomotive zone that features a rather hefty looking Canadian Pacific snow plough train.
All of these document the past two centuries' technological innovations and entrepreneurs in transport. Most notable is the exhibited John F. Kennedy's presidential limousine in which he was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on 22 November, 1963. Across the hall and a complete contrast in tone is the hilarious 1936 Oscar Mayer Wienermobile used back in the day to advertise hot dogs.
Following our tour around the exhibitions of some of the auto industry's earliest artefacts, Ford threw a party in the museum, with local Detroit bands blasting out somewhat unfitting rap tunes from a retro-fitted popcorn cart in the disparate surroundings of the historical centre.
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