Attend the Auto Shows, See Cars, Watch People

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LONG BEACH, Wash. /Send2Press Newswire/ -- America's newest retro car, the 2006 Chevy HHR, gets its own club and web site: HHR Club ( Most who travel to the big auto shows in Los Angeles and Detroit in January each year go to see the new cars. HHR Club's founder, Mike Challis goes to watch the people looking at the new cars.

True, Mike's a car guy known inside the industry as a master mechanic. He also is known as an advisor to, and participant in, car clubs, organizations that people by the thousands join to exchange ideas with other owners, get high-level advice and ideas, and occasionally to form caravans to far-away places.

This year, Mike came away from the Los Angeles show in early January astonished by the interest people had in a crossover vehicle (that is, a kind of car/wagon/suv) called the 2006 Chevy HHR. Even before heading to Detroit for the next show, Mike created a web site called HHR Club. He's that certain.

What's surprising about the HHR Club is that so far, there are no HHR owners.

However, Mike is absolutely certain there will be, in the tens of thousands, and that they'll be the kind of owners who want to see it all online.

If you've never heard of an HHR, there's good reason for that. It is planned for introduction after mid-2005. Right now, there are a few auto-show versions around, and General Motors' Chevrolet Division owns them all, including an intriguing customized version tuned by Los Angeles-based West Coast Customs. TV viewers may know West Coast Customs from the MTV show called "Pimp My Ride."

"The HHR is ideal for customizing," Challis said. "I told my wife that this is a car for people who always thought they were born too soon, or too late and need to create their own place in this world. The basic HHR has a little retro, a lot new, and is designed so owners can add, subtract, or modify features to make it uniquely their own - you can transport yourself to your own moment in time."

"HHR Club is a place on the Internet where those interested in the HHR can meet, compare notes, think about custom features and later this year get ideas, comments and experiences of HHR owners," Challis said. "You don't have to own one, but you may want to."

Chevrolet is a little less poetic about it. They said the HHR resembles a cross between a 1949 Chevrolet Suburban and today's Chevy SSR roadster. But they know it's hot. GM is ramping up to produce 100,000 a year.

Mike's advice: go to and see it for yourself.

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REFERENCES: , , 2006 chevy hhr general motors chevrolet car club organization auto show retro custom concept cars west coast customs, news, press release from HHR Club, Jan 12, 2005, Auto and Motorsports, , , , , Attend the Auto Shows, See Cars, Watch People