Fords Shelby GR-1 concept car: a car that pleases all of ones senses. Click image to enlarge
Story and photos by Anthony Murdoch
When people talk about Calgary’s oil boom, it usually involves a lot of whining about the city’s ever increasing traffic loads. A growing population brings more road traffic, yes: but the simple truth is that Calgarians love their cars, and in particular, their trucks. So it’s not surprising that last week’s annual Calgary Auto Show was one of the year’s most popular shows for consumers, many of whom were in the market for a new vehicle.
The 2007 show was a rare opportunity to see all of the latest vehicles under one roof, both production and concept cars.
Ford had one of their biggest and best displays in recent memory, dominated by what Calgarians love the most, trucks – and lots of them. Upon entering the show from the main gates, visitors were greeted by massive Ford’s F-250 Super Chief concept truck. To say this truck is huge is an understatement. This concept truck is powered by a supercharged V10 which can run on gasoline, E85 ethanol or hydrogen.
Top: It would not be the Calgary Auto Show without a good truck on hand. Ford’s new Super Duty should be a hit when it goes on sale; Bottom: Ford’s F-250 Super Chief concept: the photo says it all. Click image to enlarge
The main highlight for Ford however was their new Ford Super Duty Truck. This truck is one mean looking machine. It has a brand new turbo diesel engine with twin-turbos, and when it goes on sale here it will sell like hot cakes. Ford also showed their new Edge mid-size crossover/SUV and their still-new Fusion sedan. Also on display were the Shelby GR1 concept car and a new Ford GT painted in the original Ford GT race-car colours of the 1960’s.
GM had their new GMC Sierra HD truck on display, along with their complete new line of much improved full sized pickup trucks. The interiors of GM’s new trucks, in particular, have improved greatly with better materials and a more contemporary design.
GM’s large display included their Chevrolet Camaro concept car. Though originally introduced at the January, 2006 Detroit auto show, it was still a hit with the Calgary crowd. If GM really does pull through and build this car like they say they will, the Mustang will have some competition again – it might be the domestic muscle car era all over again! GM also displayed Chevy’s attractive new Malibu sedan, a much better package than the car it replaces.
The stunning Lamborghini Murcielago; too bad it costs the same as a small house! Click image to enlarge
Also on display were the newly redesigned Mini Cooper and Cooper S which, although new from the ground up, look so similar to the first generation that a lay person would find it hard to see the changes. Kia had two versions of their new Rondo on display. This is a vehicle which offers exceptional value for the money. For new families and people on a budget who need a car with a lot of seats and space, this is a good choice. Volkswagen also had an interesting display, the main highlights being their new EOS convertible and their new GTI and Rabbit. Also on display were versions of their value models, the City Golf and City Jetta.
In addition to some concept cars on display, there was an exotic car display in the old Stampede Corral with Bentleys, a pair of Lamborghini’s, a Ferrari F430 Coupe, an Aston Martin, and a Maserati Quattroporte.
For those who wanted some hands-on driving experience, Toyota offered show-goers a chance to test drive some of their trucks on a special off-road track on the Stampede Grounds, including the all-new Tundra pickup. Great idea!