Some came to see their next vehicle up close. Some came just to dream.

A day after the glitz and glamour of the $400-per-ticket Charity Preview, the first public day of the 2016 North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center brought people from far and wide Saturday to ogle the auto industry’s newest offerings — and futuristic concept cars.

One of the vehicles making the biggest buzz this year — the sleek, dark blue Buick Avista concept car — caught plenty of glances, including a close-up look by Joey Strozik and his son Mason, 6, who came to the show from Houston.

Strozik said he first visited the auto show 15 years ago with a Detroit-area friend and always wanted to come back, but he waited until Mason was old enough to appreciate it.

Mason was having fun, snapping smartphone photos of the Avista.

“I like how the color is,” Mason said, and proclaimed that his dad should buy one. Alas, it’s not a production car.

“It’s pretty sweet,” Joey Strozik said. “It’s not your grandmother’s Buick, that’s for sure.”

The show is packed with cars, of course, but also a lot of winding video screens and simulations, including virtual reality exhibits. At Ford’s displays, showgoers could get into an F-150 pickup and experience new technology that helps motorists more easily drive in reverse when towing trailers or a boat.

Brandon Kwiatkowski of LaSalle, Ontario, lingered awhile over the rugged-looking 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor. But it’ll be a while before he’s in the market to buy one.

“A few more years of working and I want to buy one, for sure,” said the 18-year-old. “I’ve always wanted a Raptor.”

Others came to eye their next vehicle.

Janell Jackson, 26, visited the show from Cincinnati and took a seat in a Lexus LS sedan. She said she’s in the market and was considering buying one perhaps by November.

“It has a lot of room, and it’s something I could see myself driving — very nice, very classy,” said Jackson, an account representative for a document management and technology company.  “I was actually looking for my mom, to get this one for her, but I might have to get it for me.”

Troy Black of Dayton, Ohio, took a seat in a BMW X6 M luxury SUV and declared it a beauty.

“Since I know nothing about the engines and all that, I could care less, but looking at the car, it’s awesome,” said Black, an educational support specialist. “The interior, the leather, is beautiful. It just made me want a BMW even more.”

Contact Matt Helms: 313-222-1450 or Follow him on Twitter: @matthelms.


Detroit Auto Show at Cobo Center

Daily through Saturday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m., No admittance after 9 p.m.

Final day, Sunday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. No admittance after 6 p.m.


Adults: $13.

Seniors 65 and up: $7.

Children 7-12: $7.

Kids 6 and under: Free with parent or guardian.