Look closely: A Corvette caravan snakes its way to downtown Detroit today.
NICK BUNKLEY

GM's caravan for 'the big nasty'

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Nick Bunkley is an enterprise reporter for Automotive News.
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As if it's not hard enough to make sure an auto show press conference goes off without a hitch, General Motors decided to add freeway traffic to the equation as it unveiled the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 today.

Shortly before it was scheduled to pull the wraps off the Z06, GM loaded a camouflaged Z06 on a trailer behind a Chevrolet Silverado at its suburban Detroit tech center. The truck then led a parade of Corvette Stingrays down southbound Interstate 75 to Cobo Center, about 18 miles away.

As the Corvette convoy made its way downtown, media gathering at the Chevrolet stand were shown live video of the spectacle from a helicopter. It was a scene reminiscent of Chrysler's infamous 2008 cattle drive to introduce the Ram pickup, except without the regrettable decision to let hundreds of unpredictable, amorous animals wander along city streets.

More Corvettes joined the procession along the way until there were more than 50 cars by the end, according to a voiceover.

"It's a sight that will be remembered for a long time here in the Motor City," the voice said.

Along the way, the voice made sure to point out that not only was the Corvette Stingray named North American Car of the Year a few hours earlier, but the Silverado seen pulling the Z06 also won the corresponding truck of the year award.

Ultimately, the parade reached the auto show without incident, helped by police who allowed it to proceed through red lights on Jefferson Avenue for the final mile.

A few minutes later, Mark Reuss, GM's North American president, gave an enthusiastic fist pump as the yellow Z06, which he called "the big nasty," roared onto the stage.

Reuss was excited about the car, but GM's event planners were undoubtedly just as relieved that the car actually arrived on time.

You can reach Nick Bunkley at nbunkley@crain.com. -- Follow Nick on Twitter

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