Classics at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show
The Chicago Auto Show is the locale to catch all the latest and greatest in wheeled transportation. Besides the cutting-edge glitz and glam, it also holds wonderful classic gems, too.
This year is no different. As I crisscrossed the McCormick Place show floor taking it all in, I assembled a handful of retro rides that simply stole the show.
The Chicago Auto Show runs through Presidents Day, Monday, Feb. 17.
1982 Subaru BRAT & 1976 DL wagon
Subaru's outdoor-themed display sported not one, but two, rad treasures from times gone by. First up was the automaker's take on the half car/half pickup game, a 1982 BRAT.
Standing for Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter, this hip hauler offered car customers a more cargo-friendly way to get outdoors and explore. This particular one has been fitted with a custom camper created by a San Francisco-based artist who used recycled materials. The exterior pieces are red cedar scraps saved from another project while the pop-up material is old retired boat sails.
There's also a wood-burning stove, converted from an army surplus ammo box.
The other hip hauler is a 1976 Subaru DL station wagon. The little red mover is powered by a 68-horsepower, 1.6-liter boxer engine and wagon offered "On Demand" all-wheel drive. That meant customers could switch from front-wheel drive to four-wheel drive while on the go and all by pulling a lever next to the shifter. Combined with rugged capability, the car appealed to those with an active lifestyle, a hallmark still found with the brand's offerings today.
1962 Oldsmobile Starfire
1962 Oldsmobile Starfire -- Connie's Pizza
Connie's Pizza is serving up a slice of deep motoring history in the form of a 1962 Oldsmobile Starfire. The classic belongs to Jim Stolfe and mirrors one he bought new at a dealership in Cicero. He let it go just one year later to focus on his new venture of running the family pizza business. For his 60th birthday, his sons surprised him with this exact duplicate of that first car.
1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S
Mazda would like to leave spectators starry-eyed, showing off a snazzy 1967 Cosmo Sport. The little coupe is significant for two reasons; it's the first sports car the brand brought to market and it's powered by a rotary engine, a powerplant Mazda once built its legacy around.
This Cosmo is one of three known to be exported to the U.S., and this one was owned by the Curtiss-Wright Corp., the North American rights-holder of the Wankel rotary engine. It was used for aerospace development application research. The Cosmo changed hands several more times before going back to Mazda, where it now resides in the automaker's Heritage Collection.
1983 Toyota pickup
Various clubs are usually represented at the show and this year members of the Chi-Town Toyota Off Road Group have gathered together a collection of rough n' ready rides. One such rig is this 1983 Toyota four-wheel drive pickup, which belongs to Keegan Bouma. The enthusiast has added upgrades such as a 2-inch lift, 31-inch tires and, for those way out in the wilderness journeys, a 25-gallon fuel tank.
1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S
1966 Ford Mustang
Another group rounding up cool member rides is the Northern Mustang Corral car club, based in Bourbonnais. President Roger Sanzenbacher led the charge, bringing out his 1966 Mustang, which is a Millionth Mustang Edition. He bought it in 1995 and is proudly the second owner. It's powered by a Spring 200 engine, which makes 120 horsepower.
• Share your car's story with Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.