Engines are art at Detroit Auto Show

Automakers proudly display engines at NAIAS

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DETROIT - Attendees of the NAIAS Charity Preview are dressed to the nines, and ready spend an elegant evening with the latest and greatest in the auto world.

But it's not just fancy cars on display. Much of the spotlight is on something from deep under their hoods — the engines. 

Engines are getting their own model displays that show off their anatomy. Many of them are buffed, painted and lit. Some of the engines move to show how they work.

The reason engines stand alone at the Detroit Auto Show is because the hoods of the vehicles must remain closed so people don't get away with stealing parts.

Chrysler alone has 11 engines on display at NAIAS. Those engines are pulled right off the assembly line. 

Engineers with the company work to get the engines and transmissions "show ready." 

They choose what features should be shown and how to best display them. 

That means figuring out the best places to actually cut into the engine or transmission to best show off the inside. 

Once the cutting is complete the whole engine must be taken apart, which includes the repositioning and painting of hundreds of pieces. The engine is then reassembled with lights and motors. The final product typically weighs about 500 pounds.

Chrysler representatives say it's a way to educate and impress people on the inner workings of a vehicle. They say people in Detroit are far more interested in the engine displays, as compared to all other cities that host auto shows. 

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