From the curved shapes of the 1940s to the sleek sports designs of the 1970s, the demand for cars produced in the US was once the beating heart of Detroit. With General Motors, Ford and Chrysler all operating in the city, the city was as well known as the home of cars as it was for Motown music.
Many workers made the pilgrimage to Detroit, as the city promised thousands of jobs in the motor industry. At Ford Motor's River Rouge plant alone, there were, at one point, over 90 000 workers.
The industry saw an incredible rise in Detroit's population. By 1930 Detroit's population stood at 1.6 million and then to almost 2 million just before 1950.
As General Motors, Ford and Chrysler all began to move operations outside of Detroit, the city was hit hard. By 1960, River Rouge's workforce went from 90 000 in 1930, to 30 000, then to 6 000 in 1990.
At the beginning of the 1970s, the American motor industry witnessed a significant decline and Detroit was hit the worse. Following the crash of the US motor industry, Detroit suffered mass unemployment, and such devastation led the state of Michigan to file for bankruptcy in 2013, which was successfully exited on December 10, 2014.
A small shimmer of hope that came out of the decline in the US motor industry is that these cars have become collectables. They are emblems of great American manufacturing, engineering and design. Catawiki's vintage American cars sale on January 13 features cars by the giants of America's 20th century motor industry.