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.

blog.php-1229 Plymouth - Savoy 3.8 L 3770CC 230CI - 1956

blog.php-1228 Chevrolet - Pickup - 1948

blog.php-1227 Cadillac - Series 62 Cabrio - 1946

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.

blog.php-1230 Chevrolet - Impala Coupe - 1959

blog.php-1231 Ford - Mustang Cabriolet - 1968

blog.php-1232 Pontiac - Firebird Cabriolet - 1968

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.

blog.php-1233 Chevrolet - Camaro RS - 1969

blog.php-1234 Chevrolet - Corvette StingRay Cabriolet - 1969

blog.php-1235 Buick - GS 350 Convertible - 1972

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.

blog.php-1236 Buick - Riviera V8 455CI "Boattail" - 1973

blog.php-1237 Chevrolet - El Camino Big Block 468 ci (7,7 l) V8 – 1979

blog.php-1238 Pontiac - Trans-AM - 1979

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.

Check out the full catalog here.