MotorCities National Heritage Area
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Find Your Road Trip
Browse destinations, activities or interests to plan your automotive heritage trip! With arts and entertainment, parks, gardens, cemeteries, libraries, archives, museums, historic homes, motor sports and roadside auto culture, there is truly something for everyone. Pick your places, pack up the car, put the pedal to the metal and explore the MotorCities! Explore MotorCities Button

 

Junior Ranger program

 The stories of how this region put the world on wheels cross all 

 

{slider title="Making Tracks"}

The auto industry provided a new opportunity for those who lived in Michigan, as well as those who traveled from near and far. MakingTracks.org looks back at the African American experience in the auto industry. This culture represented the migration of workers and families to the Motor Cities. Their work was hard, and their paths were not smooth. The website talks about adjustment to the north, the climate in their communities and treatment at their jobs. It also highlights the triumphs and tragedies of a people who contributed to building the auto industry. 

This video serves as a preview of the Making Tracks website and how the project came together.

 

{slider title="Southwest Detroit Auto Heritage Guide"}

This part of the MotorCities website chronicles the auto legacy built by the diverse entrepreneurs, workers, businesses and unions of Southwest Detroit over more than a century. Learn more here.

 

1839

The Spark Plug is InventedAfrican-American inventor Edmond Berger invented the precursor to the modern spark plug.

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1890

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SWD AHG Msthd 5.7.20

5 CLARK ST MI AVE COS FS

MANUFACTURING FREIGHT CARS & AUTOS FOR 150 YEARS

Few sites in Southwest Detroit provide more insights into the city’s industrial evolution than those that were established on 46 acres south of Michigan Avenue. American Car and Foundry was one of the city’s early manufacturers of railroad freight cars. Although it evolved into one of the nation’s largest industrial trusts prior to the turn of the 20th century, its facilities were moved out of state in the course of consolidation. 

In 1919, General Motors began construction on the Cadillac production facility.  When completed in 1926, it was one of the most modern operations in the world − producing luxury automobiles for more than sixty years. In 1997, its operations and those of its sister Fisher Body Fleetwood plant were consolidated into the GM Hamtramck facility. General Motors and its partners then launched the development of the Clark Street Industrial Park, Vitec a minority owned supplier of plastic gas tanks was one of the early anchors and was recently acquired by Kautex / Textron. The Ideal Group led an effort to develop, with two other Hispanic owned businesses, the Hispanic Manufacturing Center on a portion of the site. The Guide hopes to highlight these firms in future posts.

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PHOTO CREDITS

General Motors Media Archives
Clark St Cadillac Assembly

Kel Keller
Clark Street Technology Park Entry

 

 

SWD AHG FTR June20