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2014 North American International Auto Show

2014 NAIAS: Bringing Muscle Back to Detroit

PHOTO BY MIKE WRATHELL / ©AMERICAJR.COM

Heather Gatti strikes a pose next to a blue Equus Bass 770

 

by Mike Wrathell
mwrathell@yahoo.com

 

|

DETROIT -- I have Netflix. I love it. Everyone should get it and rent out Alphaville and Kiss of the Dragon. If you're into politics, like I am (not by choice, but by the realization that art alone cannot save the world when there are hare-brained rulers with virtually all the power), you'll love “House of Cards,” the knockoff American version for Netflix streamers. In it, Kevin Spacey plays Congressman Frank Underwood, who sometimes escapes the pressures of insider politics by dining on yummilicious ribs at an off-the-grid restaurant called Freddy's BBQ Joint.

That's how it felt for me when I stumbled upon the Equus Automotive exhibit at the 2014 NAIAS at Cobo Center in downtown Detroit last Wednesday.

Equus is a small, independent, Rochester Hills-based car manufacturer that produces a very cool-looking muscle car called the Bass 770. They had three of them there, nearly hidden away in the basement of Cobo in The Michigan Hall. They came in red, white, and blue, but have other colors. The Bass 770 has a cool, retro-60's/70's look to it – looking like it can probably outrun most anything on the road – barring a giant, Michigan pothole taking aim at one of its tires.

Equus's product specialist Kevin Freeman said proudly of their signature car that Equus is “bringing muscle back to Detroit.” It sure looks like it, Kevin!

Their spokesmodel, Heather Gatti, was even kind enough to pose next to a blue Bass 770. Thanks, Heather! Nicely done!

On the Main Floor, the new Ford F-150s look huge, like something out of a Transformers movie. They have some King Ranch editions that sport very soft, durable leather interiors that are beyond cool.

The new 2015 Mustang looks awesome, too. So does the 2014 Shelby GT500 Coupe, a Mustang with a Cobra logo on it and a 6-speed manual transmission. I could see Jason Statham driving one of those on Mulholland Drive. No wonder Ford didn't need a bailout! Hey, put some of those profits into some free agents for the Lions! Please!

Ford had some stunning models, too, like Tizzy, who had an uncredited part in the making of Clint Eastwood's “Gran Torino,” and the Lincoln exhibit ladies were superfine! I liked the MRX a lot, too. It's an all-wheel drive SUV that seats five. It'd be great for a road trip to Alaska in the winter to see the Northern Lights.

As far as foreign cars go, the Bentleys looked absolutely magnificent. When I have a spare 300K to drop, I might just get a white Mulsanne and take a West Coast tour and see some of my old haunts from my six years on the Left Coast, and a few new sights like Mt. Whitney and Yellowstone. I miss the open road.

Maybe after Blue-Green Audumbla's soon-to-be-posted music video “Undertunnel” goes viral on You Tube, I'll get a record contract. I'll tell them, “No Bentley, no signee.”

Hyundai also had some nice-looking cars and SUVs. They've definitely come of age and were a major presence on the Main Floor.

I would be remiss if I weren't to mention the kind of car that Paul Walker died in during the production of “Fast & Furious 7.” He died in a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT – a car without electronic stability control that can make turns very quickly, perhaps too quickly.... I made a point to see the newest model, a 2014 or 2015 Porsche 911 Carrera. It looked like a nice, silver, shiny, little death trap; but I'll pass. I must add that the driver of Paul's car was going too fast on a public road, and should've known better. Such driving should only be done on a closed course by professional drivers – that warning is even posted at the end of “Fast & Furious 6,” which I just saw for the second time. Rest in peace, Paul! We miss you!

My only complaint is I couldn't ever find where to enter to win a trip for two to Paris. I was told The Michigan Hall, and then across the hall from there; and then I was told I made a wrong turn in Albuquerque. But, since I'm an inspired and inspiring artist, it's only a matter of time before major Parisian art galleries and art museums try to beat down my door, begging to fly me there for an opening night soirée featuring my artwork. With wine, cheese, and escargot for all the guests. I only hope I'm not dead first; it seems dead artists are always all the rage; hmmmm.....maybe that wouldn't be so bad....if only I could Houdini.

In the meantime, I'll just tool around in my 2002 Grand Prix GT....

Enjoy the auto show, Detroit and the World! Watch out for the potholes on the way there; some of them reach down to the center of the Earth! Oh, and remember, you haven't experienced Detroit at all if you haven't been to Lafayette Coney Island and ordered their signature dog! Make sure you enter into the olive green joint and not the poseur joint next door!

Related Stories: Automotive industry expected to grow in 2014, analysts say; 2015 Honda Fit debuts as the next car for everyone's lifestyle; 2015 Ford Mustang makes its auto show debut in Detroit


 
PHOTO BY MIKE WRATHELL / ©AMERICAJR.COM

Another Equus Bass 770

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.COM

The Bentley Mulsanne would be great for a grand tour of the United States.

 

PHOTO BY MIKE WRATHELL / ©AMERICAJR.COM

2014 Mustang Shelby GT

 

PHOTO BY MIKE WRATHELL / ©AMERICAJR.COM

It even features a Cobra on the front!

 

PHOTO BY MIKE WRATHELL / ©AMERICAJR.COM

The King Ranch Ford F-150 has genuine leather seats

 

PHOTO BY MIKE WRATHELL / ©AMERICAJR.COM

Upper Header and B-Pillar Assembly made of Aluminum

 

PHOTO BY MIKE WRATHELL / ©AMERICAJR.COM

The Porsche 911 Carrera was turning a lot of heads.

 

PHOTO BY ROY ZORNOW / AMERICAJR.COM

AmericaJR.com's Mike Wrathell at Lafayette Coney Island

 

ORIGINAL ART BY MIKE WRATHELL

"The Winter of Our Vortexian Discontent" may be someday exhibited in Paris.

 

 

This page was last updated on Mon, January 20, 2014 10:05 AM

 

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Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer and Privacy Policy.

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