Posted by: Jerry Garrett | January 12, 2014

What You Won’t See At The Detroit Auto Show

VW’s 1999 New Beetle Concept, unveiled at Detroit. (TCC)


What won’t you see at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show?


The Associated Press sent out a slide show today, recalling some moments in the history of the 116-year-old Detroit Auto Show, or the North American International Auto Show since 1989.

One of the slides showed the New Beetle Concept, which was unveiled by Volkswagen at the 1999 show. The New Beetle went on to become a production car. But the model that ended up in dealerships had little to do with the J Mays-designed concept that was deemed so dazzling.

Take a look at it. That silvery gold paint – a real stunning shade called “Auto Show Baloney” – never has made it to the production model.

Neither have those bold five-spoke wheels, or those huge “show pony” tires.

The Porsche-style headlights never quite got approved. And neither did that 911-ish rear wing.

But it looked pretty cool. And enough people liked it that VW decided to build it. And it’s been a pretty successful car.

I’m not singling out VW here. All the car companies engage in this sleight-of-hand. But when the four dozen or so brand-spanking new models are unveiled this week at the 2014 version of NAIAS, just don’t expect what you see to end up in your dealership. Or your driveway!

Jerry Garrett

January 12, 2014


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