One of America’s most popular automotive events, the Chicago Auto Show was held for the first time in 1901. It debuted in March at the third Chicago Coliseum. The first show included electric, steam, and gasoline-powered vehicles. It also offered an indoor track where visitors could test drive the vehicles.
The show continued each year after that, and by 1935 it had grown significantly and was moved to the International Amphitheatre. This year was also special, because in 1935 there were two Chicago Auto Shows. There was the usual one in January for 1935 models, and then a second one in November to debut 1936 models. This was the first time that the model year was debuted before the calendar year.
Because of World War II and its effects, the Chicago Auto Show took a hiatus between 1941 and 1949. In the second half of the 20th century, the show moved back to McCormick Place, then back to International Amphitheatre, then back to McCormick Place where it is held today.
Today, the Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in all of North America, taking up more than 1 million square feet. With new vehicles and concept vehicles debuting every year, it’s an exciting place to learn about what’s new in the automotive industry.