Detroit is the Motor City, but it’s never been home to vehicles like this.
Two Lamborghinis, two sleek concept cars, a Chevy Nomad, a Ford Mustang, and a Chrysler 300G – all carved from giant blocks of ice – are being assembled right now around downtown Detroit. The company Ice Creations sculpted the life-sized ice cars which can be found “parked” around various buildings flanking Campus Martius as part of a spectacular three-week display called CARved.
“All of this is done by hand,” explains Chad Harston, the owner and lead carver of Ice Creations. “There’s no 3-D carving here. It’s all chainsaws, die grinders and sanders.”
Using the specs of an actual Lamborghini Miura, Harston and his company created a frozen replica of the classic 1970s automobile. While an actual Miura weighs roughly 2,800 pounds, its icy counterpart weighs 9,000 pounds and is composed of more than 60 blocks of ice. Each block measures 20 by 40 inches.
“As far as I know,” Harston says, “there’s no one else in the U.S. that does this [sculpt life-sized replica cars out of ice].”
The decidedly cool display is part of the 12th Annual Quicken Loans Season of Winter Magic. CARved sponsors are Bedrock Real Estate Services and REDICO.
“CARved is a great addition to all the fun activities and attractions downtown and will be appreciated by kids and car enthusiasts alike,” said John Marcicky, Quicken Loans director of placemaking. “We have sculptures of classic cars that give a nod to the Motor City’s automotive roots, and brand new concepts that embody the city’s innovation, providing a fun experience the whole family can enjoy.”
Ice Creations’ talented team used their artistic skills and precision to assemble the seven cars downtown just in time to celebrate the annual North American International Auto Show at Cobo. The CARved display officially opens to the public this weekend.
“People from around the world flock to the North American International Auto Show to see the industry’s most innovative and high tech vehicles. CARved gives them another exciting, one-of-a kind experience outside of the auto show. You can’t find a frozen car display like this anywhere else,” said James Millar, Bedrock’s director of activation. “We encourage people to visit downtown, check out the ice cars, and then go skating at the Campus Martius rink – or warm up at any of the city’s great shopping and dining destinations.”
You’ll find frozen replicas of a 1957 Chevy Nomad and 1961 Chrysler 300G in Cadillac Square, a 1969 Lamborghini Miura and a 2017 Lamborghini Aventador outside of One Campus Martius, a 2017 Audi R8 at 1 Kennedy Square (by the Ernst & Young building), and a 1966 Ford Mustang and a 2017 Bugatti Chiron outside Chase Tower.
Visitors will not only be able to see and photograph these arctic automobiles, three of the ice model cars have interactive elements, allowing people to “chill” for a test drive. All seven will have lights within the sculptures to bring them to life at night.
“It’s the kind of photo you post on social media and people ask, ‘Wait, where is this?’ and the answer is ‘Only in Detroit!’” Millar said. “Be sure to use the hash tags #WinterMagicDET and #CARvedDET.”
The North American International Auto Show kicks off at Cobo with a press preview starting January 11 and a public show the following week (January 16-24). Every year, thousands of journalists from 60 countries attended along with tens of thousands of spectators – and this year’s auto show is expected to be the biggest one yet.
Tickets to the public show are $13 for adults or $7 for children and seniors. Click here to purchase auto show tickets. Seeing a glacial Chrysler 300, though? Priceless. And you can visit the ice cars day or night, free of charge!