No Nudes Is Good News?

January 18, 2006
OK, we auto writers often talk about going topless, but we're normally thinking about the joys of putting the top down in a convertible. Apparently, some folks had a very different idea of how to approach things at this year's North American International Auto Show.

Seems sometime around 2:30 on Monday morning, a young woman snuck into Detroit's Cobo Hall, long after the show was closed to the public. She did more than peel back her, ahem, convertible top. Stark naked, she climbed atop the Dodge Challenger concept car. Civic duty be damned, a dozen or so workers decided to help out by snapping pics with their cell phones. Guards finally interrupted the impromptu modeling session, the Detroit News first reported.

As details come out, it appears two of the overnight Cobo crew, more than a little under the influence of devil rum (or was it beer?), convinced an aspiring young model that they were talent scouts. How that led to her au naturel pose, well, we'll just have to use our imagination.

No word yet whether officials at the conference center will take disciplinary action - or if any of the union workers will care.

Incidentally, while automakers have toned down the auto show skin game in recent years, there was a time when sex really was used to sell cars. Back in the early days of the Jaguar E-Type, it was not uncommon for topless models to drape the car at the old London Motor Show. Perhaps the young woman on the Challenger thought she was auditioning for a job. A few years back, Chrysler touched off a bit of a scandal with one of its typically wacky auto show previews. Models were assigned to pose in life-size recreations of classic paintings. The event generated unexpected headlines, however, when local papers learned the model's body suits were, in fact, body paint on bare skin.

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