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2009 Auto Show Preview

By Benjy Lipsman in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 12, 2009 5:40PM

2009_02_chicago_auto_show_l.jpg Times remain tough for the auto industry, with sales having fallen off a cliff due to a perfect storm of high gas prices, tight credit and the poor economy. But while we may be avoiding showrooms like the plague, we still want to check out the latest metal from Detroit and Munich -- especially if we can do so without packs of hungry salesmen nipping at our heels. While it's likely to be a less elaborate affair compared to years' past, the Chicago Auto Show must go on.

Friday marks the public opening for the the annual ten day event at McCormick Place. The largest auto show in North America, most of the major car makers will display nearly 1000 of their current and concept vehicles among 1.3 million square feet of display space. Running from Feb. 13 - 22, the Auto Show is open from 10am - 10pm each day (until 8pm on final day). Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and kids -- or you can get your free tickets from a local Chevy dealer.

Among those who will be displaying their lineup of cars and trucks is Nissan. Back in November, they initially announced that they'd skip the '09 show. After some reconsideration, Nissan and Infiniti will in fact display their latest here in Chicago. According to the show's floorplan, other brands rumored to be taking a pass on Chicago also decided to attend. Except for a few of the high end makes like Ferrari, Maserati and Aston Martin -- all our faves. GM is also debuting its line of cars that will be featured in the upcoming summer blockbuster Transformers 2.

Even if our dream cars won't be there, we plan to attend the show on Sunday and we'll report back next week with our impressions on the show. Given that we just spent over a grand on repairs to our current ride yesterday, this could be a dangerous time to ogle hundreds of new cars.

For those who can't wait until Monday for our recap, a number of local TV stations will be airing Auto Show specials on Saturday.