Detroit, Michigan was once considered the epicenter of auto manufacturing. The recently held Motor City Car Crawl reminded car lovers of what made the town so special. The all-new car show gave attendees the chance to see the automobiles available for sale in and around the Detroit metro area. While encouraging potential buyers to check out the local inventory, the free event was important to The Motor City.
The history of car manufacturing in Detroit, Michigan
In 1896, Henry Ford drove down Detroit, Michigan, tree-lined streets, in his first vehicle. In 1903, The Ford Motor Company was established, building the first Model T five years later. The automotive pioneer created the assembly line, changing the future of manufacturing in the United States.
General Motors and Chrysler soon opened production facilities in Detroit, and the area became the heartbeat of the automotive industry. Automakers attracted workers from across the country as the “Big Three,” offering steady work and a safe place to raise a family.
The Motor City had a thriving population of almost 2 million at the height of production in 1950. Unfortunately, the city started to decline because of racial tensions, rising gas prices, and the popularity of fuel-efficient foreign vehicles.
Over the years, Detroit continued to decline as people left the city and car manufacturers started to close. According to Parts Geek, “By the late 2000s, both Chrysler and GM were forced to file for bankruptcy and reorganize, and by late 2013, Motor City itself filed for bankruptcy in the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.”
The Motor City Car Crawl
The North American International Auto Show, typically held in Detroit, did not happen this year because of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Instead, auto enthusiasts had the chance to check out the newest vehicles at the first Motor City Car Crawl. Cars were on display at six downtown parks as attendees enjoyed food vendors and family entertainment.
The Detroit News said the event featured more than 50 vehicles, showcasing the latest models from Ford, Stellantis NV, Toyota, and General Motors. The car show gave consumers a chance to “see new vehicles up close after a year of virtual reveals and canceled auto shows during the pandemic.”
Vehicles in the Crawl included the Chevy Silverado LTZ, Toyota Camry, Chevy Camaro SS, Ford Bronco, Toyota Tundra TRD, and Cadillac Escalade. Luxury models such as the Jeep GCL Summit Reserve, GT500, and Ford F-150 Platinum were also displayed.
Electric vehicles for potential buyers to check out included the Pacifica Hybrid, Chevy Bolt, Mustang Mach-E, Ford F-150 Hybrid, Wrangler 4XE, and Toyota Rav4 Hybrid.
The Pace Car for the Michigan International Speedway and the Detroit Grand Prix Formula One racing vehicles were also part of the event.
Bringing cars back to Detroit
A charity gala, which included singer Sheryl Crow as the headline performer, topped off the festivities. Funds raised supported nine local area children’s charities. Detroit WXYZ reported the $250 a person ticket event had a summer chic dress code with catering that included strolling appetizers and drinks.
Today, Motor City has a dwindling population of approximately 639,000 residents. Poor infrastructure, increasing crime, inadequate schools, and public transportation problems are causing people to leave the once prosperous city.
The Motor City Car Crawl helped shine a light on all the city has to offer, reminding residents of the history of automotive success in their neighborhoods. Pods explained, “this is a unique place – and it’s not for everyone. Bright sparks of the invention and lingering shadows of disappointment paint the history of Michigan’s capital, and both have left their mark on the city.”
Bringing cars back to the streets for residents to enjoy reminded attendees of what Motor City is all about.