There were many cutaway engines and it was possible to step from a four cylinder inline to a six cylinder V to a range of V-8 engines, all in twenty feet or so. The new Ford engines with their double-overhead-cams for each cylinder bank stood in sharp contrast to the General Motors push-rod engines, though the latter included models for passenger cars that topped five hundred horsepower.
There were electric cars in profusion and one enterprising company had already started a charge car arrangement for recharging electric vehicles. Many race cars were displayed to demonstrate the linage of the passenger models. There were small but fascinating areas by Denso who is developing automatic lane keeping, crash avoidance and similar safety devices, though the representative offered when asked that he would wait for the steering correction devices ‘to be perfected’ before submitting to the experience himself. The other small display area of interest was that of ZF, the company that started as a zeppelin gear box manufacturer. True to their beginnings, there was a nine-speed automatic (think Jeep and Chrysler minivan) on display along with a host of suspension components lain out in chassis arrangement. Porsche had a cutaway car and was there in strength with a lineup of silver beauties accented with a few in black. Tucked behind glass was a Porsche 918 Spyder concept car. But, like several other very powerful cars displayed in the show, it was a work of art and not a conveyance of daily use for most of us.
The crowds were polite and reserved, and walking was easy except around the most cherished of vehicles, the Corvettes. We reassembled under the statue of Joe Lewis after four hours looking at many, many cars and walking more miles than seems reasonable. When we got back to the Greenfield Inn many of us had the energy to verify that the water in pool was warm and wet and we hung out there until we could make a fashionably late entrance to the lounge five minutes after it opened. Several hours later we had dinner before returning to the lounge to discuss more of our experiences and just enjoy everyone’s company.
The next morning, after another wonderful breakfast, Bob Simon got the attention of the conductor loading the car to Chicago and we got nice seats together facing the proper direction. Five hours later and with no bonus time at all, we arrived back in Union Station, said our goodbyes and hurried to our local trains. The consensus was that it was the CMGC members themselves who had made the trip a memorable success.