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Weekend Break: Chicago Auto Show


CHICAGO — The 116th edition of the famous Chicago Auto Show features some of your favorite classic cars, along with old reliables, interactive courses and much more.

The show is now open at McCormick Place, 2301 South King Drive on the Near South Side, through Feb. 19. The Auto Show has hundreds of vehicles on display, along with plenty of other events, including Sunday’s Toyota Miles Per Hour Run, which attracted a flock of runners to McCormick Place.

“There’s all sorts of cool things to do here,” Mark Bilek, director of communications for the Chicago Auto Show, says. “You can donate blood if you want to, you can sign up for the Army and the Marines if you’d like to enlist.”

But the most popular spot is the Supercar Gallery, which features some of the most famous — and expensive — brands in automotive history, like Lamborghini, McLaren, Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce.

In other words, the vehicles any car-lover dreams of driving home.

“All the cars that you put up on your walls when you were a teenager, right?” Bilek said.

Of course, a down payment might be out of the question.

“There’s a couple things that go into making a supercar: No. 1 is price,” Bilek says. “Most of them start at $300,000 and go up from there. Some of them go as high as $3 million.”

But not everyone is a “gear-head,” so events like Sunday’s Toyota Miles Per Hour Run and a Gameday Celebration to mark the Super Bowl also drove a lot of people to the Auto Show.

“Really, what it’s designed to do is open the Auto Show up to new audiences,” Bilek said.

And new to the show this year is Tesla, displaying its Cybertruck. Tesla is just one of many electric vehicle manufacturers that are part of the show’s Chicago Drives Electric Education Center and Test Track.

“There’s nine different brands of EVs back there,” Bilek said. “Go for a ride, experience what it’s like to drive in an EV.”

Along with three indoor courses and three outdoor tracks, the Auto Show has special themed days, including Family Day, the Friday Night Flights craft beer night and — new for this year — Automotive Career Day.

“Something for everybody,” Bilek says.

The Chicago Auto Show opens every day, through Feb. 19, at 10 a.m. Closing times vary. For more information, including ticket prices and purchasing, visit chicagoautoshow.com.


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