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One-Tank Trip for July 22/17
(c) By Jim Fox
Pull over Corvettes, classic 1955-1957 Chevys, Mustangs and others to make way for the stars of the show in Ypsilanti, Mich.
Long-overlooked DeSotos, Franklins, Hudsons, Parkards, Plymouths, Studebakers and Willys get some respect at the “Orphan Car Show” on Sept. 17.
“Orphan brands do not die – they live on with this annual reunion of vehicles,” organizers say in this community 30 minutes west of Detroit, the “Motor City.”
|An antique vehicle is seen reflected in a hubcap at the Concours d’Elegance in Plymouth, Mich. (Barbara Fox photo)|
In what has been called one of the best car shows in America, this gathering at Riverside Park will feature the “orphans” of Ford- Mercury, Edsel and the Continental Mark II.
As an auto aficionado, I enjoy attending the big shows in Detroit and environs but was unaware until now of the “orphan” show.
These really big events include the annual North American International Auto Show in January, Concours d’Elegance this month, Woodward Dream Cruise in August and the Old Car Festival in September.
Honouring the orphans is intriguing as I must admit our family had a bullet-nose Studebaker Champion that I drove as a kid (before the ’56 Chevy convertible).
Show founders Randy Mason and Jack Miller said they talked about “how Hudsons, Studebakers, Willys and many other orphans were always over-shadowed at car shows.”
Those makes and models are “parked in the back rows behind Mustangs, Corvettes, classic tri-5 Chevys and others.”
|A 1950 Studebaker Champion
has a coveted spot along with a ’56 Chevy at The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn.
(Barbara Fox photo)
The first show was held in 1997 in Ypsilanti that has “a rich history of orphan-made development and production,” Mason said, making it a natural location.
The Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum also hosts the National Hudson Motor Car Company Museum with its story told in a preserved 1930’s dealership.
The city also has connections to the Chevrolet Corvair, Tucker, Hudson, Kaiser-Frazer and General Motors’ hydramatic transmission.
Displays include Motor State that held patents on power convertible tops, Ford’s generator plant and local car dealerships.
The park is at 6 West Cross St., Ypsilanti, with admission $6 for adults and free for children to age 12. Details: ypsiautoheritage.org; (734) 482-5200
Also coming to the park is the Fire Truck Muster, presented by the city’s Michigan Fire House Museum, on Aug. 19. michiganfirehousemuseum.org; (734) 547-0663
Get your motor running
The events are part of Autopalooza, called “a celebration of Southeast Michigan’s automotive heritage through a series of major cruises, races and shows during the summer months.”
The Motor City doesn't just make cars, it also celebrates them and the events attract “upwards of one-million people,” said Michael O'Callaghan of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.
It includes Concours d’Elegance of America at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Mich. on July 30, showcasing only the best – 300 invited world-class vehicles.
|This couple shows off their classy chassis at the Concours d’Elegance of America. (Jim Fox photo)|
The organization is “dedicated to the preservation and historical relevance of prestigious automobiles.”
Vehicles on display will include a 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C2300; 1938 Bentley coupe; 1931 Duesenberg Model SJ; 2011 Porsche 911; 2011 Ferrari Italia 458; 1989 Dodge Viper Concept; and a 2018 Dodge Demon.
More than one-million people will gather along Woodward Avenue on Aug. 19 for the Dream Cruise.
Nine communities from Ferndale to Pontiac participate in what is called the “world’s largest one-day celebration of classic car culture.”
There will be more than 40,000 “muscle cars, street rods, custom, collector and special-interest vehicles” cruising the avenue from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. along a three-kilometre route.
|Riding through the streets of Greenfield Village in an old Ford. (Jim Fox photo)|
The Old Car Festival takes a trip back in time on Sept. 9 and 10 at Greenfield Village at The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn.
It features hundreds of authentic vehicles from the 1890s through 1932 filling the streets of the picturesque village.
For links to the Autopalooza events: autopalooza.org To plan a Detroit getaway: visitdetroit.com; 1-800-DETROIT (338-7648)
Jim Fox can be reached at email@example.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca