One of the benefits of doing a site like MotoringFile is getting invited to the press days at major autoshows. And with the Chicago show obviously being in our backyard it’s hard to pass up the chance at an all-access look at every car on display while the automakers cater to your every whim. It’s certainly a night and day difference to what the one would normally experience at a public day. To make things more interesting, MINI had a two-level display full of new R56 MINIs plus the 2007 Convertible Sidewalk edition on hand.

The Chicago Auto how is the largest in the US. Over 1.6 million sq ft on one level and has entirely too much to take in comfortable in one day. But hey… someone had to do it to bring you the highlights. So we soldiered on through a combined 8 cappuccinos, a couple glasses of really bad Firestone wine and one Sam Adams (bonus points for whoever find it and links it back in the comments).

[ Chicago Autoshow Gallery (Gabe’s) [ Flickr

[ Chicago Autoshow Gallery (Matt’s) [ Flickr