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In an incredible coincidence, I lost my cars keys at the Enormous Chicago Auto Show this afternoon, and got them back almost immediately due to some wonderful people whom I don’t know.

I had parked in the large indoor lot behind the McCormick Place show building. The place was swamped with kids and others with the day off — President’s Day. When I left, I paid my ticket and stepped into the garage and started fumbling through my pockets for my keys. Not finding them, I walked over to a garbage can and began spreading out the contents of my pockets to complete my self-search. I had also left my cell phone in the locked car, so was contemplating my next step.

Just then, and attractive young McCormick Place employee stepped up and asked if I’d lost keys, and asked what kind of car I had. She asked if there was a micro flashlight on the key ring. Yes! She had already turned them into the office, so we walked the few steps over there, and wa-la, I had my key back. She said a woman leaving the show had handed them to her a short while before.

What were the odds? A show with a thousand cars and thousands more in garages, tons of people crowding everywhere, multiple garage entrances. A responsible person who must have seen the keys on the floor, somewhere, who turned them into this responsible employee, who immediately took them to the office, and then was on the alert for someone who looked like they might have lost their keys! I love these people!

And, by the way, another great auto show, with all the latest on display. The prototype Buick Avenir sedan is the classiest thing to come out of Detroit in years. Of course, the new Mercedes Mayback is even classier.

Here is my brother-in-law Jay pulling his hot vintage red AC Cobra continuation sports car onto the car park at Applewood Lodge, after over-wintering in our garage.  Jay bids his sister Vicki (my wife) farewell, before he motors off down Woodchuck Way toward the County road, back to Glencoe on a sunny spring day. 

I learned some history by seeing the 1938 Cadillac limo that George Patton was riding in Germany shortly after WWII, when he had the accident that cost him his life. And, beautifully restored. The Army still had limos for generals and VIPs when I served as a young officer in the late 60s. I felt nostalgia when I saw the new VW Beetle, in red, just like the 1963 one I had in college, and adjusted for inflation, I think it is cheaper, and more of a car, but with the old charm. I missed seeing the Rolls and Bentleys, which are always good for a dream. And I thought the new Jaguar XJ version, unlike the classy one I owned a decade ago, is outclassed by the new Buicks. It’s also a kick to see a $60,000 Korean sedan. The only thing missing are the Chinese cars, which I suppose will show up when they can meet their own internal demand. Meanwhile, they’ll just have to keep importing those Rolls and Lamborgini’s, to meet the demand of their rising capitalistic class.


— The Toyota GT2000 of 40 years ago!

Read about the role of public relations in building the “Acceleration” of Toyota into favor in the U.S. market of the early 1970s, in this insightful first person account.

http://chilit.org/Papers%20by%20author/Ebeling%20–%20Acceleration.htm

If you’re interested in purchasing some or all of my six 1975 vintage Rolls Royce brochures, collected at Rolls Royce of Beverly Hills, just let me know. Here’s also a shot of me in Montreal with a classic Rolls.

May 2022
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