DETROIT -

The international automotive press is set to descend on Detroit in a matter of days for what is expected to be the glitz and glamour of the shows before the 2008 recession hit.

This is the first year since the market sank that it’s a big party atmosphere going into the North American International Auto Show instead of pessimism.

"Everyone’s got great momentum now, the economy is very slowly improving but we're seeing people coming into showrooms at record rates. Everybody’s in a good mood,” said Dave Sullivan, Manager of Product Analysis for AutoPacific.

Sullivan says to expect more of the auto shows of old with big rollouts and all the bells and whistles. The first major reveal takes place to kick off the show for press preview week: the Ford F150. Expect that debut to reverberate around the world.

“It’s the first thing Monday morning, there have been no leaks, very few people have had access. It’s been a top secret thing,” Sullivan said.

Fitting with the party atmosphere around this year’s show are the spiffed up surroundings. Cobo’s face lift is ready to be seen. Threats had been made to move the show out of Cobo because of poor conditions, that’s no longer the case. Add to that a newly refurbished Crowne Plaza hotel within walking distance and new restaurants around town.

Detroit may be in bankruptcy but the city is ready to put its best foot forward.

What are Sullivan’s top three picks for the big newsmakers from this year’s show? 1. That aluminum Ford F150, 2. The Chrysler 200 , and 3. The GM Corvette Z06.