It was two years ago that Ford Motor Company began the painstaking process of converting Michigan Central Station into office workspace. It was two years ago that Ford Motor Company began the painstaking process of converting Michigan Central Station into office workspace. READ: Ford unveils plan for Michigan Central Station Thursday, Ford showed off some surprising artifacts that have been uncovered in the 107-year-old building
When the first legal drag race in the Detroit area took place in Livonia in 1953, the Michigan Hot Rod Association began making plans for the construction of a drag strip. MHRA was started as a partnership of local hot rod clubs. As part of their fundraising strategy for the strip, they put on a hot rod show, the Detroit Autorama, in an arena at the University of Detroit.
Dave and Al Tarkanyi belonged to the Downriver Modified Car Club, one of the clubs making up the MHRA. The brothers drove a chopped and channeled 1932 Ford three-window coupe with a hopped-up Flathead engine. The car was at the 1953 Livonia race. Five years later, when the Motor City Dragway in New Baltimore held its first race, the car was there too. It also continued to show up at the annual Detroit Autorama
Manuel “Matty” Moroun died on Monday at 93 years old. That name might not mean much to you if you’re not from metro Detroit or Windsor, Canada, but around these parts, he was known mainly as the billionaire who owned, among other things, the Ambassador Bridge, which just happens to carry roughly 27 percent of all merchandise trade between Canada and the U.S.
General view of the Ambassador Bridge that connects Detroit and Windsor, Canada on March 18, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. The U.S. and Canada have agreed to temporarily restrict all nonessential travel across the border after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic
Image: Gregory Shamus (Getty Images)
That’s $400 billion in trade a year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation with an average of $500 million in trade crossing the bridge daily. It generated $60 million in tolls for Moroun, according to the Detroit Free Press. At least 40 percent of trucking shipments into the US cross this bridge and the closest secondary crossing for big rigs is over two hours away, Forbes reports.
Not only is it the busiest international crossing in North America, but it is also the only one to be privately owned. Does it seem to you like this span is too important a crossing to be in private ownership? Because it always has to me! It spent two years as the longest suspension bridge in the world. How do you just own something so massive and crucial to the functioning of two huge economies?
I have lived with this strange fact in this strange town all my life and, no matter how it has been explained to me, it still boggles my mind. So I’m going to try and explain it to you, and hopefully, we can figure it out together.
First, how the bridge itself came to be.
1928 Detroit Police Escort Ford Cars
Shot by an unknown Detroit film maker in 1928 showing Detroit police escorting new Ford cars thru the streets of Detroit to an unidentifiable location. It appears the escort went from perhaps a Ford building in Dearborn thru the streets of Detroit. Please feel free to comment if you can identify any of the streets and or buildings. historicusjoe.
Related – 1928-’31 Ford Model A ”The Start of a New Line” remains one of the most popular collector cars of all time
At one point, wrapped in a graphic depicting it sans crumbling brick or rusted steel trusses, the bridge crossing Detroit’s East Grand Boulevard served as the emblem of the resurrection of Detroit’s decayed Packard plant. Now it lies in ruins after a late afternoon collapse recently
Read the story here at Hemmings
Here’s the bridge in its pomp back in the day
You can find a Detroit News story on the collapse here
A more recent view
By definition, a barn find is a car-guy’s car that’s fallen off the radar of other car guys. They’re vehicles that were stashed away in and on properties that haven’t changed ownership in decades. Of course, Detroit, AKA The Motor City, doesn’t have a whole lot of barns within its confines. But as Tom Cotter, the author of Motor City Barn Finds: Detroit’s Lost Collector Cars discovers, Detroit turns out to be an incredible hotbed of collectable cars in need of a new owner. One such tale from the book is the one about Sam White, the car collecting reverend and doctor.
Another excerpt from Tom Cotter this time it’s from his Motor City Barn Finds publication and it features Detroit preacher and car collector Reverend Sam White.
Read the the rest of the article here
Reverend White was also featured in Tom’s The Barn Find Hunter YouTube series
Interesting article on Americas first Urban Freeway, the Davison in Detroit.
Construction of the five and a half mile freeway began in 1941 and was completed by November 1942. The freeway became the first one of its kind – an urban freeway meant to connect one part of a metro area with another with as little interruption as possible
Read Ardelia Lee’s article here
Moves are afoot to save the former AMC building on Plymouth Rd Detroit
Read Daniel Strohl’s article here at Hemmings
The National Automotive History Collection in Detroit has suffered some water damage from a burst pipe back in January, hopefully this has not caused too much damage to the inventory as the collection is a major source of automotive research.
Article from the Detroit Free Press here
“The pipe burst on the third floor, where some NAHC materials are stored. The only damage to the collection was secondary materials, such as books and magazines. They are being dried by a recovery company. The library hopes they can all be saved.”
“The Arsenal of Democracy” was a phrase coined by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1940 in reference to the collaborative efforts of American industry in supporting the allied war effort by mobilising the mass production efforts to change production from consumer and other products to plane, tanks, bombs and other item required to win the war
As with all of A J Baime’s books this one is well researched and shows a deep knowledge of Detroit industry and in particular Ford Motor Company in wartime. The intricacies of the complex Father & Son relationship between Henry I and Edsel and the rise of Henry II are well described, along with Edsel Ford’s largely unsung role. Having read extensively on the subject of the early Ford Motor Company this book is a great addition and provided many new angles and facts.
A great read!
As an interesting footnote to the story of Willow Run, there is a campaign to stop the demolition of the bomber plant.