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7 Top Cars at the Detroit Auto Show

Tickers in this article: F GM HMC TM

DETROIT ( TheStreet) -- To me, the most important vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show was the 2014 Silverado, except it wasn't because GM (GM) chose to roll out the new version of this long-established pickup truck on Dec. 13.

So by consensus, the top car of the auto show was the 2014 Corvette Stingray. This seemed puzzling because Corvette sold just 14,132 Corvettes in 2012 and the customer profile leans heavily to aging baby boomers seeking to recapture their lost youth. During the year, Silverado sold 418,312 units and was the second best-selling U.S. vehicle.

Furthermore, 2013 seems to be the year of the pickup truck , with a recovery in housing construction expected to boost sales and new trucks either on the market or coming to market from Chrysler, Ford (F) and GM.

We asked Chevrolet spokesman Michael Albano why GM rolled out Silverado a month before the auto show, and he responded: "The Corvette was the star of the show and we suspected it would be and didn't want to compete with ourselves.

"In addition, unveiling the Silverado at a standalone event allowed us to take the time and explain the technical details of the truck to media," Albano said. "It's a sophisticated machine and the capabilities require explanation."

Last week, in advance of the auto show, TheStreet reported on the outlook for the six hottest cars. This week we are making one change in that list, adding the Honda(HMC) SUV concept.

Plus this week, we have pictures of all the vehicles; few photos were available in advance of the show.

Here is our list:

Chevrolet Corvette

The 2014 Corvette Stingray got lots of attention, just as GM had hoped. A Sunday night introduction, in advance of the show's Monday morning opening, probably helped.

Why was the Stingray considered so important? We found one answer in a Detroit Free Press article, where Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, said, "I joined the company because of this car" and recalled that on his first date with his future wife he drove a 1969 Corvette that he "was redoing at the time." In other words, at an auto show that is aimed at the auto industry rather than the region where it is staged, GM focused on a car that is important to the industry.

During a brief interview, we asked Reuss whether the Corvette can move beyond its core consumer group of baby boomers, and he responded: "Anybody who's got money and is interested in buying it, we'll sell it to them.

"This car represents freedom," he added. "It is unapologetically American."

Ford Atlas Concept

The Ford F-150 has been the best-selling U.S. vehicle for the past 31 years, as we have heard a thousand times in the past week, so the introduction of the concept for the 2015 F-150 is, of course, a big deal.