Bus Trip to Chicago Auto Show 2014

What Will YOU Be Doing Saturday February 15, 2014 at 4am????

By Rick Talbot, DMVR, SCCA; Iowa Chapter, BMWCCA, Heart of Iowa Miata Club

Still sleeping perhaps? “Some say” the Stig never sleeps..why should you?

Instead, you have an opportunity to venture to Chicago to see what the auto industry has in store to temp you next year…and share that experience with 54 other car “enthusiasts”; or car nuts as my wife would say. Trip is open to first 55 to reserve a seat with their check. Participants are not required to be car club members (SCCA, BMWCCA, Miata Club, or other marques) but those are the groups to whom this trip is being promoted. Spouses/significant others are welcome (see Options below should you want to consider perhaps combining the auto show with a Valentines weekend in the “Big City”). The trip would also make a nice stocking stuffer for the any car nut!

Yep….it’s been 5 years since our last one-day marathon bus trip (2009) to McCormick Place; home of the Chicago Auto Show. First staged in 1901 and now featuring over 1,000 vehicles, it’s one of the premier auto shows in the world. It is the largest in the U.S. Here’s how the trip will work.

  • Bus is reserved thanks to deposit advance by Des Moines Valley Region, SCCA.
  • But…we must fill the bus NLT January 25th, at which time; if the bus is not filled, the trip will be cancelled to avoid liability to DMVR, SCCA.
  • Trip Plan
    • Precise 4am departure from Des Moines metro location (TBD) with local parking available. Timing is critical to arrive at the show as it opens at 10am. Saturdays are very busy from noon on; making it difficult to really see/photograph much in the afternoon.
    • Enroute stop likely in Coralville to board waiting passengers ( You have option of joining the trip in Coralville. If there’s demand, we’ll stop; otherwise, we’ll proceed directly from Des Moines to Chicago) When you send in your reservation check, please indicate you wish to join the trip in Coralville.
    • Arrival at McCormick Place ~ 10 a.m. weather permitting. Auto show tickets will have been pre-purchased
    • Bus departs McCormick Place for return trip promptly at 5pm
  • Fast food dinner stop along interstate enroute back to Coralville (dropoff) and onto Des Moines by midnight.
  • Bus – is a very nice tour bus that will have free wi-fi. It is restroom and DVD/monitor equipped so we’ll show a variety of films enroute.
  • Cost: $80 per person; includes bus transportation, driver gratuity and auto show ticket. This is “cost” without markup and would difficult to match either with MegaBus or your personal vehicle with current gas prices and McCormick Place parking. Plus, who wants to drive 10 hrs round trip in February? Must pay in advance to reserve your seat; by check payable to Des Moines Valley Region, SCCA and send it to Rick Talbot, Chicago Auto Show, 13105 Alpine Drive, Urbandale, IA 50323-2579. Checks will not be deposited until trip is confirmed which will be NLT Friday January 25, 2013. I will confirm receipt of your reservation check; please provide me your e-mail address and phone number. If trip is cancelled, I will return your check.

Options – Bus will drop off all attendees at McCormick Place upon arrival in Chicago. Participants will be given their auto show tickets as they leave the bus. The rest of the day is really up to you; spend some/all of your time at the Auto Show but you are free to explore Chicago on your own. Taxis are abundant and available right from McCormick Place. Explore nearby Fields Museum, Shedds Aquarium, and/or a favorite restaurant…BUT…the Arrow Stage Lines “carriage” will depart for the return trip from McCormick Place to Des Moines at 5pm sharp. If you’re on it, you get a return ride; if you elect to remain in Chicago for the evening (which you’re certainly welcome to do) that is your option and the bus will not wait. No refunds for not returning with the bus.

I’ll be developing additional info for the trip of possible “other activities”, nearby restaurants, possible hotel accommodations etc. but those are for each individual’s option and cost.

Chicago Auto Show info/web site:

Reservations are open now….I know 2 seats are taken as Kathy and I are going… Now, for the other 53 of you…help me promote this event and get me your checks! You will have fun….ask those who went in 2009 and urged me to plan the 2014 trip!!!

Questions? E-mail Rick Talbot at: or leave message 515-278-2026

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