Here's the thing with the annual show at the General Motors Tech Center in the Detroit area: The show is held outside the very hallowed halls in which almost every Corvette and GM vehicle since the mid '50s was conceived, yet the turnout is inconceivably thin. We don't get it.

Compared to the countless other summer shows that are held on the tarmac of nameless, faceless parking lots, the Tech Center show lines up cars outside the GM Design Studio and alongside the man-made lake and gleaming, stainless spaceship-like water tower that combine to make the complex one of the architectural masterpieces of the United States-and almost no one attends.

You can actually see (and park next to) the famous Design Dome, under which proposals for countless Corvette designs have been blessed or rebuked, yet any number of the dozens of weekly cruise nights in metro Detroit draws more cars.

Now, the folks of the GMC Corvette Set-the host club-will likely take offense to this assessment of their event, and we're really not in the habit of highlighting an event to talk up its low attendance. But we attend zillions of events each year, and, well, the Tech Center show just doesn't draw.

And we can't think of one good reason for the poor turnout.

The club has done an admirable job of using the event to raise money for charity, too. So while it seems like we're throwing a wet blanket over their campfire, we really want to use these pages to get the word out on what could be a fantastic event. Perhaps some of the local Detroiters are a little jaded about all the car shows and cruises each year (it's a staggering number), or maybe the out-of-towners just don't know about it. Whatever the reason, we're saying that it's time to turn the event into a first-class affair.

It's the Tech Center for crying out loud! Let's see a display of Corvette concept vehicles or a wall of historical design sketches. GMC Corvette Set, consider this your wake-up call. The same goes to you enthusiasts. Go to www.gmccorvetteset.com for information on the next event.

It's disconcerting to attend an event at the Tech Center and find few participants. It's sort of like going to church on Easter Sunday and finding the hall empty. There's no excuse.

We want to see more cars in this reverent setting in 2005.