Pontiac — Car enthusiasts came out in droves on a sunny Sunday morning at Motor Bella, a clear departure from the rainy start of the auto event last week at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac.
Folks wandered around the sprawling display, lining up to test drive the newest models and stopping to admire restored vintage cars at the Detroit Auto Dealers Association’s mostly outdoors replacement of its twice-cancelled North American International Auto Show.
“It’s kind of a mom and son thing,” said Keymari Eddings, 26, who attended with his mother, Karen Eddings-Howell, 49. “We’ve been doing this ever since I was a kid, every year except for the last year.”
Eddings-Howell, a nurse assistant, said her dream car was the Lincoln Aviator she and Eddings were circling. They both love cars, she said, and for them, Motor Bella is a chance to potentially shop but also to just take in as many of the displays as they can.
On Sunday, mother and son attended the event despite working until 6.30 a.m. and 6 a.m., respectively, a few hours prior.
“It’s just nice to see it’s outside this time,” said Eddings, noting that they prefer this over past car shows that were held indoors and in the winter.
Dan Aldrich’s car experience also began with a parent, his father.
“I’ve been around cars since I was born, basically,” said Aldrich, 72, whose father would bring him along as a child when he raced cars and motorcycles.
Aldrich lives in Costa Rica, and said he was excited to hear Motor Bella was taking place while he visited Michigan for the month, despite not having plans to buy himself a car like the 2022 Corvette he spent a few minutes scrutinizing.
“If a car costs $80,000, they would add another $60,000 on just to get it into Costa Rica,” he said.
“So I’m just here to look around,” he said. “Everything seems well done. Very well done.”
Elsewhere at the fair, vintage Corvettes were stealing the show, and for a good cause. The Lost Corvettes Giveaway booths enticed visitors with a chance to win “a piece of automotive history.”
Participants enter a raffle to win one of eight remaining Corvettes that were first given away in a 1981 VH1 sweepstakes and restored for the competition. Thirty-six cars were originally “discovered collecting dust and rust in parking garages across New York City” after a psychedelic pop artist, Peter Max, bought them.
To do this, folks are invited to make a donation to Stand for the Troops, a nonprofit that offers support to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.