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Published February 22, 2016

WARREN — It’s February, and that means it’s crunch time for car buffs putting the finishing touches on this year’s dazzling entries headed for Autorama.

For some of them, this has been going on for years.

“I’ve been putting one in every year since 1984,” said Bill Kellogg, a Warren resident of 16 years, who will roll into Detroit’s Cobo Center for the 64th annual Meguiar’s Autorama Feb. 26-28 with his “barn find,” a 1940 Willys coupe.

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Published February 22, 2016

Miniature pits of despair will soon mar roads and commutes in metro Detroit, but some road officials and experts say they will do what they can to make the season as tolerable as possible.

According to Bob Hoepfner, roads director at the Macomb County Department of Roads, the pothole situation has been about the same as last year, though he added that problems might have arisen a bit earlier due to generally milder weather. Frequent transitions between freeze and thaw damage roads at a faster rate, he explained. 

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Published February 18, 2016

DETROIT — Bruce Kimmen doesn’t fool around when it comes to building a car for the dragway.

Known around the country for his supercharged Chevys, Kimmen, owner of Heads Up Racing in Mount Clemens, set a record in Memphis in 1999 by driving the quarter-mile in 6.83 seconds at 211 mph with his 1969 Camaro, earning him a Flowmaster listing and jacket for having one of the quickest “street legal” cars in the country.

The Harrison Township resident is also known to impress at Detroit Autorama.

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Published February 18, 2016

METRO DETROIT/WEST BLOOMFIELD — West Bloomfield resident Larry Filipczak is well-immersed in the automotive world.

An automotive engineer for General Motors Co. by day, Filipczak dedicates his free time to traditional hot rods.

Filipczak has been attending Detroit’s Autorama since he was a kid in the 1970s, and what he enjoys most about the event is the community friendships that have been built over the years, he said.

“You go to see your friends; you go to see ... people you haven’t seen in sometimes a year,” Filipczak said.

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Published February 17, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — While the North American International Auto Show has wrapped up, auto enthusiasts don’t have to hide out in the garage, waiting for summer cruises — Autorama is just around the corner.

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Published February 17, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — While the cold, snow and salt keep classic cars covered for the winter, it’s not stopping plans from progressing for this year’s Shorewood Kiwanis Harper Charity Cruise. 

The winners of this year’s logo contest were announced Feb. 5 at Macomb Community College. 

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Published February 15, 2016

In order to build a car, you need the right materials. And over at Ford Motor Co.’s exhibit at last month’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, some of the automaker’s toughest, lightest and most sustainable materials shared the spotlight with its new, upcoming vehicles.

Some displays showed sustainable materials that Ford says it is using or testing in vehicles. It says algae foam is being tested as an alternative to oil-based foams. It also says using soy foam cuts down on the company’s carbon dioxide emissions.

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Published February 10, 2016

SHELBY TOWNSHIP/UTICA — The 64th annual Autorama, a custom car and hot rod show, will return Friday, Feb. 26, through Sunday, Feb. 28, with a fresh lineup of more than 800 vehicles and celebrity entertainers at Cobo Center in Detroit.

Five residents of Shelby Township and Utica will display their vehicles, including a 1965 front-engine dragster restored by the original owner’s son, and an all-original 1970 Dodge Challenger owned by a member of the Utica City Council.

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Published February 9, 2016

C&G Newspapers

Royal Oak resident Jarod MacNeill, 40, was always obsessed with hot rods.

His nickname is J-rod, and his father called him “hot rod.”

“It’s all I liked,” he said of hot rods.

MacNeill owns and operates The Hot Rod Shop in Troy and plans to bring his 1986 Buick Grand National and silver 1992 Camaro to this year’s Autorama.

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Published February 8, 2016

Whether it’s through ride-sharing or computer assistance, the future of innovative transportation was revealed a bit more at last month’s North American International Auto Show.

At the Ford exhibit, Patrick Ellis, who handles Ford’s connected vehicle research, explained a little about a ride-sharing shuttle service that his company is currently testing out in beta.

The concept, branded as Go Ride Intelligent Shuttle, is being developed as a mobility option for people in urban environments who otherwise might not have access to a car. 

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Published February 1, 2016

Whether the vehicles were blue, silver, green or purple, hues were huge at the 2016 North American International Auto Show, which took place at Cobo Center in Detroit in January.

Violet vehicles dazzled at the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles exhibit. A Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger showed off a paint color called Plum Crazy, and a Jeep Wrangler was painted in a similar purple color.

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Published January 25, 2016

The North American International Auto Show at Detroit’s Cobo Center may now be closed to the public for another year, but it’s not too late for prospective car buyers to drive over to a dealership showroom to take advantage of some deals.

According to Nick Schrah, new car sales manager at Bill Fox Chevrolet, the auto show tends to bring a huge increase in business around this time of year.

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Published January 18, 2016

The winning vehicles from the 2016 North American Car & Truck/Utility of the Year Awards could receive additional publicity and prestige when they appear on the dealership floor, according to some automotive industry insiders.

Those awards — which were based on North American journalists’ opinions — were announced Jan. 11 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. 

The 2016 North American Car of the Year distinction went to the Honda Civic. Other finalists in that category were the Chevrolet Malibu and the Mazda MX-5 Miata. 

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Published January 12, 2016

Online Only

Chrysler, Ford and General Motors all attempted to wow the world in different ways during the North American International Auto Show’s first media day Jan. 11 at Cobo Center.

Chrysler officially kicked off the event at 7:35 a.m. Tim Kuniskis, head of passenger car brands, gave the keynote presentation.

The message was one of simplicity: Chrysler changed the auto game with the inception of the minivan, and decades later it’s doing it all over again.

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Published January 11, 2016

It was a media metropolis at the beginning of the 2016 North American International Auto Show.

A daylong event open to media members kicked off around 7 a.m. and concluded at 5:15 p.m. Jan. 11 at Cobo Center. Those associated with various car brands made keynote presentations: Chrysler, Chevrolet, Audi, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo, Porsche, Ford, Infiniti, Lexus, Honda, Hyundai and Kia.

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Published January 11, 2016

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to tour the North American International Auto Show in downtown Detroit in January. 

And in between all the sneak peeks of upcoming and concept vehicles, visitors should expect to see plenty of other sights during their visits, according to auto show organizers and exhibitors.

The media were invited to check out the Cobo Center exhibits in advance Jan. 11-12, and the general public may see the show Jan. 16-24. 

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Published December 29, 2015

AAA Michigan has some advice for drivers to keep in the back of their minds when deciding how and where to park.

The auto association is now saying that motorists should back into parking spaces because it is safer for them and others when it is time to leave. According to AAA, parking lot accidents make up around 14 percent of crashes that end up with a claim.

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Published December 21, 2015

The start of a new year signals the green light for the start of a new season at the North American International Auto Show in downtown Detroit.

The auto show season will start Jan. 9 with an event at MGM Grand Detroit called “The Gallery.” Then the media will be invited Jan. 11-12 to tour the exhibits at Cobo Center. 

Industry professionals will convene Jan. 13-14 for their own preview, and a charity preview will take place Jan. 15. Finally, the general public is invited to personally see the displays Jan. 16-24. 

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Published December 14, 2015

Whether you choose to make a toast to the holidays or not, police and driving safety experts say that preventing drunken driving is something that everyone should celebrate.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said police plan to be very vigilant in spotting drunken drivers on the road and arresting them. He said while he has no problem with people celebrating and having fun, police are “not at all for mixing alcohol and driving.”

Under the influence, drivers pose a danger not just to themselves but everyone else on the road, he explained.

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Published December 7, 2015

STERLING HEIGHTS — Even if a new car doesn’t fit on your Christmas shopping list, local dealerships say they sell other items and merchandise that could please fans of certain automakers and brands.

According to staff at Dean Sellers Ford in Troy, the dealership offers vehicle accessories such as special floor mats and vehicle remote starters that can be activated by cellphone. 

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