DETROIT -

Hints of what's to come are springing up all over town as the North American International Auto Show promises to big, glamorous and groundbreaking.

Special section: Detroit Auto Show

After threats of moving the show out of Cobo because the facility was in such poor shape, this year that's a distant memory.

"This year there is some really important things to talk about not just from the Detroit three, but from Asian automakers and Germany," said Dave Sullivan, with Auto Pacific. "(It's a) really, really important show this time around."

The international automotive press won't just be seeing a renewed Cobo but a freshened up Crowne Plaza in walking distance, and a host of new Detroit restaurants and other venues.

The show itself is going to make big news, starting off with the grand dame of the reveals -- Ford's new aluminum F-150 kicks off the show.

"It's the first thing Monday morning. There are no details being leaked," said Sullivan. "Very few people have had access to the information. This has been a top secret thing."

There's a different feel in the air this year: more party, less pessimism.

"Everyone's got great momentum. Now the economy is very slowly improving, but were still seeing people coming into showrooms in record numbers, so everybody's in a good mood," said Sullivan. "They came off a great year."

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