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Art & Inspiration Ruins of Detroit/Industrial Archeology Trip Planned

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by phartman, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Boryca
    Joined: Jul 18, 2011
    Posts: 597

    from Detroit

    There's only one completely assembled car in that entire mural. It's a little red Ford coupe, see if you can find it. lol.

    As for food, Lafayette Coney is better than American (lafayette is in that photo up above). Mexicantown has great food, especially if you go down Vernor to Armando's - great tamales. Eaton spring company is a cool spot to visit, they still produce springs out of their building on Michigan, right in the heart of redeveloping Corktown.
    Bearcat_V8 likes this.
  2. derbydad276
    Joined: May 29, 2011
    Posts: 1,164


    OK... If you want to try the local cuisine ...
    Lafayette & American Coney !
    Buddys Pizza !
    gotta have a Faygo RedPop Rock & Rye or Orange .. Grape..
    Kowalski Sausage !
    Better Made Potato Chips !
    Superman Ice Cream !
    Stroh's Ice Cream Parlours
    Ice cream shop
    3162 Biddle Ave Wyandotte
    (734) 285-5480
    Real Greek .....without the wait for a table in Greek Town

    Amazing Mexican Food any place on Bagley is good

    Fantastic Deli ......The Rueben is Amazing
    Todd553 and Bearcat_V8 like this.
  3. quick85
    Joined: Feb 23, 2014
    Posts: 1,533


    My wife wants to take the same sort of excursion, as do I. I'm not interested in museums,
    though. I want to see the ghostly remnants of the city, it's industrial skeletons. Living
    just outside of Chicago we take photo journeys all over the city. There are treasures to be
    seen and photographed if you're not afraid to step out of your comfort zone. If we worried
    about what could possibly happen we wouldn't step out of the house. I had an uncle tell
    me years ago, "Go wherever you want, just act like you belong there". Yeah, well, that's
    not always possible, but I don't show fear and I'm not too good to talk to anyone.
    LBCD, Lepus, Fordors and 2 others like this.
  4. Well said. We are kindred spirits.

    Instead of worrying what might go wrong, why not be open to what might go right, something that surprises you way beyond your expectations. It is the difference between touring in an old vehicle and being a tourist in a late model.

    It is a way of traveling and exploring that is quite similar to what we do by being involved in the old car hobby.
  5. Hey hit me up when you arrive...I love showing off my town! And for you folks saying flack jackets and be armed... stay out of those areas and you’ll be fine..
  6. derbydad276
    Joined: May 29, 2011
    Posts: 1,164


    Tiki... I think we have a new side hustle ... Gear Head Tours of Detroit
    captain scarlet likes this.
  7. ricky_tbird
    Joined: Aug 20, 2015
    Posts: 25


    Aaahh, you guys are making me homesick. Grew up as punk kid in East Detroit in the 80's and would pass by these factory skeletons on my way to Todd's or Bookies or the City Club. Anyway to add to this discussion I have a love affair with middle eastern food probably from growing up in Detroit as it has one of the largest populations in the US. So while in Dearborn grab some kibbeh, kafta, manakish or sfeeha. You won't be dissappointed.

    Sent from my XT1710-02 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  8. Hahahahahahahaha! Yes, by all means. May I suggest confiscatory pricing, surcharges, and hidden fees?
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
    lothiandon1940 and Bearcat_V8 like this.
  9. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,257

    from California

    # 2 in murder in the entire United States. piss on that. Detroit is one of the 7 or 8 cities in the country where if the murders were removed from the count the US would be in the top 10 safest places in the world.
  10. It’s a shithole...we all get it..Stockton, Ca sucks balls, as does many of the areas aroundLA..Compton...Englewood...all parts of the country, especially an urban area are going to have a bad’s the way things changed when Suburbs were created...
    Still I stopped and had Jack in the box tacos in Englewood...twice....order from the bullet proof glass...ate em in the restaurant...I was the only honkey in there...guess what I survived...sometimes it’s how you carry yourself..
  11. Damn, I want to go now. All the history and forgotten relics, sounds like a great trip. Take some pictures so we all can come along.
  12. ...Let's go!... The Autorama has been on my bucket list for about 40 years!
  13. I actually wasn't too far from Detroit earlier this week. I thought about a detour but I was on a mission.:)
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  14. Lots of comments about the safety of Detroit. You know, there are good and bad everywhere. Detroit or Compton or anywhere else. It doesn't matter.

    Years ago, my art-loving, redneck friend Billy was in LA for technical training, and decided he wanted to visit the Hammer Museum. He is unusually thrifty, and foolishly decided to take the bus (this was before the days of Uber). Through a series of horrible mishaps, he ended up on the edge of Compton, and was understandably scared. He got off the bus at the next stop without a clue as to what to do.

    One of the locals- an older man- saw him, walked over and said, "You ain't supposed to be here. What you trying to do?"

    Billy explained he was lost, and was just trying to get back to downtown. The man cocked his head and said, "You from the South- you a Southern boy."

    Billy answered, "Yes sir, I'm from Hanover County, Virginia."

    The man said, "I'm from Carolina. It has been so long since I've heard a real Southern accent."

    The man sat down there on the bus stop bench, waited with Billy until the next correct bus came along, explained to the driver what his new friend was trying to do, and sent him back on his way. It was the highlight of his trip to LA, and a fine story about the serendipity of life.

    Billy got lucky. What he did was foolish. I don't want to have to depend on a friendly stranger coming along to bail me out of a jam of my own making. But that said, there are good- and bad- in Detroit and everywhere else.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
    egads, LBCD, R A Wrench and 6 others like this.
  15. derbydad276
    Joined: May 29, 2011
    Posts: 1,164


    I work for a tour bus company...
    If I can get 45-50 people that want to go on a tour of The D next year during autorama I can get a bus and show all the cool stuff without worrying about going in the wrong area
    wraymen, rod1 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  16. GearheadsQCE
    Joined: Mar 23, 2011
    Posts: 2,110


    Hell, I live between Pontiac and Flint and I might go on that bus trip myself. You guys might want to see if @jimdillon would act as the tour guide. He knows more about Detroit auto history than anyone I have ever met.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  17. I'm telling you, somebody could build a nice, tidy business acting as tour guide for enthusiasts like me. Nothing beats local knowledge. Great way for a car club to make some $$$.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 7,715


    Speaking of Flint, there's a large amount of automotive and carriage industry locations that have great stories. There's a smaller version GM museum in town as well that holds excess concept cars. You simply ring the buzzer and give donation to see it. Good stuff in there. There's a few private collections sprinkled about outside of Motown that like having small groups come in for a visit. Lingenfelter and La Fontaine come to mind. Sorry I don't know either well enough to set something up but it can be done.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 7,715


    Well if the older members still abide by the GMB handle then 'Greater Metro Bus' transportation and tours is a good start...:cool:
  20. dan griffin
    Joined: Dec 25, 2009
    Posts: 418

    dan griffin

    Bakers in Milford on Sunday afternoon 600-1,000 cars
    derbydad276 likes this.
  21. carcruse
    Joined: Aug 20, 2007
    Posts: 580


    If you go to Kate's Kitchen across the street is a road across the dam. At the end of the road is a building that was the Ford Light Plant from 1921 to 1950. If you are a Mopar fan about 5miles away in Trenton is the Chrysler Trenton Engine Plant where early hemis were made.
  22. Gold, solid gold. Exactly the kind of esoteric information I was looking for. Thank you, sir!

    More of the same here, Fabulous Ruins of Detroit on-line tour:

    Demolition of the "Seven Sisters" (and "Two Brothers") power plant that provided electricity to the auto industry:

    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  23. A little dated in that some of the sites featured have changed,Mobutu interesting comments here, from 2013 from a UK-based media company:

    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  24. A fascinating film of old photos of Detroit, and new shots of what the same scene looks like today. From and their enormous photo archive here:

    Their website has a map of the city. Click on any part of the map and find a vintage photo of a scene from that same spot.

    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  25. Amazing historical footage indeed, especially the young hoodlums coming out of the paddy wagon at 22:02. Lots and lots of vintage cars here, "in situ", as we say in egghead circles:

    Lepus and lothiandon1940 like this.
  26. 6t4
    Joined: Jan 3, 2010
    Posts: 12

    from Ohio

    Growing up in Dearborn, the Ford Mansion at Fairlane was a high school hangout.... it now has been rediscovered and restored.... some great history... the power house designed and built by Edison powered by the Rouge River DC power, the garage had a rotating platform and electric charge station.. had great gardens bomb shelter, Henry died at this home... a real gem of Detroit’s auto history...

    QUOTE="phartman, post: 13159400, member: 43448"]Before the summer is over, I have the opportunity to visit Detroit. Can any of you make some suggestions about what to visit and where to go to see first hand the early roots of the automobile industry and related crafts? My interests are multiple: automotive manufacturing, industrial archeology, and Industrial/Machine Age art. A couple "must sees" on the list so far are the Model T plant, the Rouge Plant, the Institute of Art, and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn.

    If anyone could help as far as suggestions of tours such as the abandoned Packard plant and the like, it is much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions. This trip has been on my bucket list for quite some time. Oh, and if makes any difference as far as sites along the way, I will be traveling up from Louisville, KY.[/QUOTE]

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  27. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,748


    Bruce never really thought of myself as a tour guide but thanks for the "compliment". I have always been fascinated with Detroit and it's history but some of the stuff I like may bore the masses.

    There are a lot of good tips on here but it depends to an extent of what really is of interest to you. Years ago I made a tour for myself as to where De Palma had his race shop and Louis Chevrolet had his shop on Grand River, or the location of a number of auto plants. Surprisingly some of the buildings still stood although they were used for other purposes. I worked for three years (paint projects for GM) in the mid 80s in the old Gemmer Gear building on Mount Elliott, just across the freeway from the Packard Grand Avenue plant. I walked the Packard plant a number of times and my sister stored an old Packard touring car then (until it was stolen). It was a grand old building but today it is extremely dangerous and I would not go there. I would research where you want to go and you have to be careful. Downtown Detroit is relatively safe but you have to be careful once you leave the confines of the Downtown area. I attended law school Downtown and got to know all the pandhandlers and the prostitutes used to ask if they could sit on the hood of my car during the winter in front of the now defunct Vernor Bar, so I am mildly familiar with the area as it once was.

    It depends on how much time you want to spend and what are your interests. There are several must sees in my opinion which include a full day at Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum. It may take longer on how involved you become in the exhibits. I also think the Ford Piquette Plant is a cool place. The rouge plant if you are really big on tours but it is now a truck plant and is much different than a historical site (and my paternal grandfather worked there until his retirement so I have feelings for the place).

    I am really interested in how the auto magnates lived and I spent one summer living in James Couzens house at Longfellow and Second. An amazing mansion for sure. Couzens worked for Alexander Malcomson in his coal business and Henry Ford had two failed attempts in the auto industry when he hitched his wagon to Malcomson (and a few others) in 1903. Couzens scraped up a couple of thousand to invest himself and when Ford bought out his shares in 1919 he paid Couzens 30 million dollars so he could afford a nice home. It is in the Boston-Edison area of Detroit where it is one mansion after another. Quite a few people associated with the early auto industry lived there. If you research the magnates you have an interest in you may find where they lived which may make the visit more enjoyable.

    If you are into these old homes the Edsel Ford Mansion is a must see in my opinion. I am not a real fan of Henry Ford but a huge fan of Edsel and I enjoy his home every time I have gone there. Meadowbrook was built with Dodge brother money although not specifically an auto magnates house but it is quite impressive. You may want to check and see if they are having an affair while you are in town. My wife likes to go to black tie affairs there and I have to admit I enjoyed myself there and attended many car shows there.

    I suppose you have some part of history that interests you and with a little research you could schedule a good time touring for sure. Not sure if I could answer any questions but I would try to help if I could.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
    egads and lothiandon1940 like this.
  28. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,280

    from Ioway

    When Henry died, they couldn't find a Ford hearse, so he made his last ride in a Packard, is that right? Does that make any sense?? I can imagine a Cadillac wasn't on the menu, still.
  29. Lepus
    Joined: Nov 18, 2016
    Posts: 103


    When my wife and I went to Detroit the first time we used Backseat Detroit tours.It was really great.You tell Joe what you're interested in, and he designs a tour for you. You drive, he sits in the back seat and guides you,tells you where to stop, and tells you about what you're looking at. I would highly recommend him.His website is
  30. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,748


    I seem to remember that they did use a Packard hearse although I never researched it. Many of the hearses were Packard although there were several other makes but generally cars with large frames and more powerful engines than a Ford or even a Lincoln at the time. Many of the Packard hearses were made by Henney. I owned a 1939 Packard V12 Henney bodied hearse. It had a 153 wheelbase and of course the almost truck like frame. In comparison the 1935 7 Passenger V12 Packard was a 144 WB and the V12 rumble seat coupe was 139WB (in 35-37). I had the hearse on a rollback one time and it was longer than the rollback.
    lothiandon1940 and Truck64 like this.

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