2024 Car Show: 6 added to hall of fame, compact Chevy voted best truck

Ed Bozarth receives his award at Hall of Fame Gala. (Tim Jackson photo)

Denver was once called a “cow town.” It’s not. It’s a “car town,” and that tag was emphasized in the heart of the city during the first week of April with the 2024 Denver Auto Show at the Colorado Convention Center.

For a third year in a row, a compact pickup – this time the Chevy Colorado – edged out the more popular full-sized models (F-150, Silverado, Ram, Tundra) for Truck of the Year in voting by the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press at the auto show.

Taking top honors in the previous two years was the new Ford Maverick compact pickup. The last full-sizer to win the award was the Ram 1500 TRX Crew Cab in 2021 The Colorado, introduced in 2004 to replace the Chevrolet S-10, has gotten a bit larger and much stronger with each of its two previous generational upgrades. It is built at Wentzville, Mo.

Car of the Year honors went to the Acura Integra Type S, a sleek, four-door hatchback with coupe styling. It is one of the few models still offered with a manual transmission. Toyota’s three-row Grand Highlander, 4 inches longer in wheelbase than the standard Highlander and 6 inches longer overall, received most votes for Crossover of the Year. It is noted for its smoothness of acceleration, handling and braking.

Voted Electric Vehicle of the Year is the Genesis GV60. (Bud Wells photo)

The Genesis GV60, based on the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, was named Electric Vehicle of the Year. It features all-wheel drive, electronically controlled suspension, a Boost button on the steering wheel for extra horsepower and Bang & Olufsen premium sound.

Inducted into the Colorado Automotive Hall of Fame for 2024 are six auto stalwarts:

John Bowell

John Bowell, who at age 18 got his start in the car business under tutelage of Anne Goodro at Goodro Ford, became a best-selling dealer with Volvo and Mazda and in 2007 joined Don Hicks as co-owner of Shortline Automotive Group.

Ed Bozarth (Pic above), got his start in the 1960s in Topeka, Kan., and eventually owned five Chevrolet dealerships, including Ed Bozarth Chevrolet in Aurora, played pivotal role with CADA in shaping Colorado franchise law.

Steve Taylor

Steve Taylor, Peak Automotive Group, started as a salesman in 1970 for Sports Car Sales, was the first general manager of Stevinson Lexus dealership in 1990, teamed with Mitch Pierce to purchase a Nissan store, recently sold Peak Kia of Windsor.

Mike Feeley

Mike Feeley, attorney, Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck LLP, and former Colorado senator, was CADA’s lobbyist for nearly two decades, tirelessly championing the cause of new car dealers.

Thomas Botterill

Thomas Botterill (posthumously), assumed manager role at Pierce Arrow store in Denver in 1901, was first president of the Denver Automobile Dealers Association and a leading Hudson dealer in the 1930s.

Art Stapp

Art Stapp (posthumously), a three-sport star at Lakewood High School and Colorado College, with his father, Robert, founded in 1973 Longmont Toyota, now known as Stapp Interstate Toyota at Frederick.

CEO and president of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association is Matthew Groves; Eric Beutz is auto show chair and Todd Maul is automotive hall of fame chair.