Friday is the only day in a two-week span when there’s no news coming out of NAIAS, except for the fact that the Barenaked Ladies are playing the $400-a-head Charity Preview (which — let’s be honest — would only be news if this were 1998).

But the dearth of auto show happenings is welcome. The day between the end of the industry preview and the start of the public show is the perfect time to explore The Automobile outside the confines of the COBO Center’s concrete walls.

In the quest to better understand the American car, the Ford Rouge Factory Tour in nearby Dearborn seems as good… More…

I have never owned a new car. My first automobile was a Jeep Wrangler, 11 years old when I bought it. It was a fine car, but it had a broken passenger door, and one time someone fell out in the parking lot of an ice skating rink.

I bought my second car just out college. It was an Oldsmobile Intrigue, 4 years old. It was intriguing in name only, but was a boat of a car and, at 6’2”, I loved it for its boatyness. Our relationship, though, was short-lived. I fell asleep one night while driving home, swerved across the opposing lane of traffic, and… More…