Look closely into the eyes of vehicles at the show, and it is clear that headlamps have crossed the line into modern art.
Those old circular metal housings with little round bulbs? Please.
Lamp fixtures nowadays are so complexly shaped and textured that they defy description.
On cars and trucks across the price spectrum, the new lights sit on front corners like magnificent jewels. The new look is an outlandishly sculpted ornament full of hidden textures, molded whimsy, electronica, surfaces and colors.
These are ordinary production cars, mind you, not a display case at Tiffany.
Purists will protest that this is design gone mad. They might say that headlamps are supposed to express consistent brand design, not look like they want to fly off the front end like psychedelic birds.
But rest assured: 25 years hence, collectors will be embracing 2012's show offerings for the golden new era of expression that it was.
Photos and text by Lindsay Chappell