Ford To Unveil 2013 Shelby GT500 Mustang in Chicago

Ford Motor Co. said it will unveil the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 convertible today at a press preview for the Chicago Auto Show. The 650-horsepower muscle-car’s debut marks the 20th anniversary of the car maker’s Special Vehicle Team, or SVT.

The SVT unit, which modifies some of Ford’s standard models to improve their performance, has turned out more than 210,000 cars and trucks during the last 20 years. The lineup includes Ford GT, Mustang Cobra R, SVT F-150 Lightning, F-150 SVT Raptor and Shelby GT500KR. There were also SVT versions of more modest vehicles like the Focus economy car and Contour midsize sedan.

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Corvette as Canvas or Artifact?

In the last few weeks I’ve witnessed the extremes of the classic Corvette continuum.

My first encounter was in St. Charles, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, at Bloomington Gold, considered the ultimate pilgrimage among many Corvette owners. The annual gathering honors Corvettes maintained as closely as possible to the condition in which they left not just the showroom, but the assembly plant itself, whether the car was one of the 300 first Corvettes crafted in 1953 in Flint, Mich., those produced from 1954 to 1981 at St. Louis, Mo., or those built since June 1981 at Bowling Green, Ky.
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The Peninsula’s New Fleet: the Mini Cooper

The Peninsula Hotels are known for their upscale perks, like the fleet of Rolls-Royces that its Hong Kong flagship uses to ferry its guests to meetings and to the airport. In New York and Chicago, however, the hotel has opted for an amenity that’s more sporty than glam: chauffeur-driven Mini Coopers.

The cars are available for up to three hours a day to guests who book a suite at either hotel. Passengers can follow city tours that are stored on iPhones or iPads in the cars, or they can simply tell drivers where they want to go.
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