Detroit, Motor City

Warning:  If you are not a car enthusiast, most of this blog post may not interest you.  Having said that, if you’re not a car enthusiast you probably got bored of this blog a long time ago…  Bring on the cars!!

Friday we said goodbye to Chicago and headed east into Indiana and then Michigan to Detroit.  I drove most of the way, and the roads ranged from pot-holed, narrow lanes to long, smooth multi-lane highways, and everything in between.  It was a lovely day though, and nice to just have a quiet drive without a million stops along the way.  We even had time for a dip in the pool at our hotel when we arrived.

Saturday we went to the Henry Ford Museum, which disappointingly didn’t have most of their cars on show due to renovations, but was still an entertaining day trip.  It would be a great place to visit for families as there are heaps of interactive exhibits and fun things for kids to do.

A 1962 experimental Mustang.

A 1962 experimental Mustang.

Nathan in a 1975 Combine Harvester.

Nathan in a 1975 Combine Harvester.

The Oscar Mayer Weiner-mobile.

The Oscar Mayer Weiner-mobile.

The Dymaxion House was designed to be built after the war using old aircraft factories.  It was cheap, lightweight and could be assembled in a few days.  Oh, and it's completely round!  The concept lacked funding and never took off...

The Dymaxion House was designed to be built after the war using old aircraft factories. It was cheap, lightweight and could be assembled in a few days. Oh, and it's completely round! The concept lacked funding and never took off...

We got to have a go at putting a few parts on a 1917 Model T Ford.  They take it apart every morning and let the visitors put it back together!

We got to have a go at putting a few parts on a 1917 Model T Ford. They take it apart every morning and let the visitors put it back together!

The "Tower of Power".  You cranked the handle to generate power, which was measured in 40 watt light bulbs.  It was hard work!

The "Tower of Power". You cranked the handle to generate power, which was measured in 40 watt light bulbs. It was hard work!

Sunday we saw the Walter P Chrysler Museum, which is significantly smaller than the Henry Ford Museum, but for car enthusiasts we HIGHLY recommend it.

Appropriate parking for the 300C.

Appropriate parking for the 300C.

1934 Chrysler Airflow - the first car to be designed in a wind tunnel!  This was my favourite car in the museum - it looked very "Al Capone" gangster-ish.

1934 Chrysler Airflow - the first car to be designed in a wind tunnel! This was my favourite car in the museum - it looked very "Al Capone" gangster-ish.

1953 Hudson Hornet.  Whether you're a "Driving Miss Daisy" or a "Doc Hudson" fan, this car is cool either way!

1953 Hudson Hornet. Whether you're a "Driving Miss Daisy" or a "Doc Hudson" fan, this car is cool either way!

1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500.  Complete with sound system - an actual record player!

1956 Custom Royal Lancer D-500. Complete with sound system - an actual record player!

1955 Chrysler 300, named because of the 300 horsepower Hemi V8 engine - the most powerful production passenger car engine in the world at the time.

1955 Chrysler 300, named because of the 300 horsepower Hemi V8 engine - the most powerful production passenger car engine in the world at the time.

1950 Jeep "Jeepster"

1950 Jeep "Jeepster"

1969 Dodge Charger Daytona.  Also known as the Plymouth Superbird, or "The King".

1969 Dodge Charger Daytona. Also known as the Plymouth Superbird, or "The King".

Test driving* a 1999 Plymouth Prowler.  *I wish...

Test driving* a 1999 Plymouth Prowler. *I wish...

Aaah, the classic Dodge Charger.  I heart American muscle cars.

Aaah, the classic Dodge Charger. I heart American muscle cars.

Other than being “Motor City”, Detroit is also famous, or infamous, for being a bit run-down.  What people often don’t mention, is this is a stark contrast from Detroit’s “glory days” when it was obviously a rich, prosperous, beautiful city.  Much of this beauty is still evident in the magnificent buildings in the down-town area.  Some are lovingly restored and maintained.  Others, are not…

General Motors World Headquarters

General Motors World Headquarters

Inside the very impressive Guardian Building

Inside the very impressive Guardian Building

The breathtakingly beautiful Michigan Theatre was built in 1926 and could seat over 4000.  It is now used as a parking garage.

The breathtakingly beautiful Michigan Theatre was built in 1926 and could seat over 4000. It is now used as a parking garage.

Looking towards the back of the theatre.  It was partially demolished in 1976, but you can still imagine how grand it must have been.

Looking towards the back of the theatre. It was partially demolished in 1976, but you can still imagine how grand it must have been.

I think this was originally the lobby.  It's now a home for several families of birds...

I think this was originally the lobby. It's now a home for several families of birds...

It’s hard to believe we only have one more week to go.  Next stop, Niagara Falls.

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3 Responses to Detroit, Motor City

  1. Graeme Hetet says:

    Awesome shots of those cars!! I like the Plymouth Prowler!!

  2. Andrew says:

    “the roads ranged from pot-holed, narrow lanes to long, smooth multi-lane highways”

    SMOOTH?!? Where did you find a GOOD road in Michigan? Unless MDOT has robbed Fort Knox since January, Michigan roads are still some of the cruddiest in the nation, as far as I’m concerned. Second only to Ohio roads (but that’s because Ohioans couldn’t organize the proverbial pissup).

    Looks like they’ve really scrubbed up Henry Ford Museum. I haven’t been back there in about six years, and a lot of the exhibits are new to me. Glad they’re making it so family-friendly, it used to be so stodgy and ponderous. They still have the Fats & Resins display?

    “1969 Dodge Charger Daytona”

    Now THAT’S a Charger. Check out that spoiler– you could use it to hang a man!

    That Airflow looks a lot like one I once considered dropping five grand on when I was eighteen. Probably not the same one, but a gorgeous car nonetheless.

    I know someone who owns a Prowler. If I’d have realized before you left that this was a car-centric trip, I might have been able to hook you up with a real test drive! Oh well…next time.

    And you engaged in some softcore ruin porn. Everybody does it in Detroit these days…just as long as you don’t think the RenCen was beautiful.

    BTW, the Joe Louis fist was vandalized recently…don’t know anything about that, do you? 😉

    And tell me you had a coney dog. Even at American…I’ll forgive you.

  3. Daniel says:

    Following you all the time and enjoy seeing a new update when they appear, it’s a great write up of an amazing trip. Keep having fun!

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