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Remembering the Michigan Central Station By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher Images: Courtesy of the Burton Historical Collection
The historical Michigan Central Station Terminal opened to the public on December 26, 1913 and for many years was the travel gateway to the city of Detroit and other popular cities. Hundreds upon thousands of travelers each day would pass through the ticket windows. They could listen to the sounds of departing trains or say “good bye” to loved ones as they left for the war. Some would travel on special occasions to Chicago to see family members. The Michigan Central Station is located at 2405 West Vernor near downtown Detroit.
The Packard Plant: A History of Memories By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/ Researcher Images: Courtesy of The National Automotive History Collection & Dr. Gary Gagliardi (Today's Packard Factory image)
In the early days of Detroit's history, the Packard Motor Car Company was one of the first automotive companies that helped move the city of Detroit forward. The Packard Motor Car Company started its journey in the late 1800's with Warren Packard, James Ward Packard, and William Doud Packard. In 1854, Warren along with his brother John R and uncle Dr. Daniel B. Packard established Packard & Company which was located in Greenville, Pennsylvania and later, the Packard Hardware Company.
1935 Ford By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher Images: Courtesy of The National Automotive History Collection
For many, the 1930’s is often associated with the great depression. But in the automotive world, even in these times, Ford Motor Company was manufacturing stylish and appealing products. During 1935, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, Mr. Henry Ford, and his son Edsel were responsible for the production of many great Ford products in the automotive and truck industry. For more than 40 years, Mr. Henry Ford had been considered an impactful figure not only in Detroit but also in the world.
The Plymouth XNR: Concept Car of 1960 By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/ Researcher Images: Courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection
The XNR was a remarkable show car that was introduced by the Chrysler Corporation in 1960. The name XNR was derived from the name of Mr. Virgil Exner, who was Chief Stylist of Chrysler design. Designed on a Plymouth Valiant chassis, the Plymouth XNR concept model was first introduced to the public on March 1, 1960.
Richard Petty: Racing Legend By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher Images: The National Automotive History Collection
Richard Petty, a famous race car driver can be looked upon as the face of automotive racing in our history books and is considered to be a legend among racing fans. Born on July 2, 1937, Richard Petty was a second generation driver.
General Motors of 1954: A Year to Remember By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/ Researcher Images: Courtesy of Robert Tate's Collection
1954 was a good year for General Motors because of its new automotive products made available to American consumers. During this time both Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole’s hit songs were played in car radios everywhere. Also, during this time, car enthusiasts admired special automotive concept models on display at the GM Motorama in New York City. Perhaps you remember going to the movies at the popular Riviera Theater on Grand River and watching films like “On the Waterfront” featuring the legendary actor Mr. Marlon Brando.
1971 Plymouth Barracuda, Great Style & Muscle By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher Images: Courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection
Chrysler Corporation’s 1971 Plymouth Barracuda models were impressively-designed automobiles during the early part of the 1970's. At the beginning of this era, the Barracuda models also represented change offering exciting new designs and styling features. Mr. R. K. Brown (who was the Division General Manager) was quoted as saying, “Styling improvements and mechanical refinements for the coming year should make Barracuda a solid contender in its market segment”.
Two Great Women of Automotive History By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher Images: Courtesy of The National Automotive History Collection
I wanted to take the time to write a feature about two great women who, in my opinion, should be remembered not only for their contributions but also for the successful leadership roles each of them played in supporting our auto heritage. It is most appropriate at this time to offer kind words in remembrance of both these women, Ms. Helen Earley (September 4, 1917- January 8, 2005) and Ms. Beverly Rae Kimes (August 13, 1939- May12, 2008).
Sounds of the 1960's: Remembering great car music By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher Images: Courtesy of Billy D' s Record Collection.
The great music and the sensational singing groups of the 1960's remain as some of the most memorable moments in our American culture. These tunes often highlighted the popular Hot Rods and the car culture during that time period. Our society has always been fascinated with music and cars. Today, when I attend many car shows, you still can hear those great songs from the Beach Boys. You might even groove to the famous Rip Chords and their popular song “Hey Little Cobra”, which was one of the highest ranking hot rod songs of all time.
Historical Snapshot: The Pierce-Arrow Automobiles By: Robert Tate, Automotive Historian/Researcher Images: Courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection
As we look back over the early days of our automotive heritage, we admire the Pierce-Arrow automo-bile as a unique and fascinating vehicle. The vehicles manufacturing dates back from 1901 through 1938 out of Buffalo, New York. Ironically, the Pierce-Arrow journey began with the production of bi-cycles in the late 1890's, followed by light cars produced and powered by Dion-Bouton engines shortly after.