Michigan, centre of United States car production, last week-end became the focal point for a display a American automobile history.
Michigan, centre of United States car production, last week-end became the focal point for a display a American automobile history. The Old Car Festival at the restored Greenfield Village, not far from Detroit, attracted 350 entries from every corner of the country.
The festival, now in its 20th year, is considered the largest of its kind in the United States. The cars, ranging in age from an 1898 Loomis Carriage to a 1925 Martin Wasp Victoria Phaeton, were driven in various contests to demonstrate their versatility and the skill of the drivers.
Antique bicycles were also included in the week-end programme, This, said the organisers, was to emphasise that cycle-makers -- not carriage manufacturers -- were most instrumental in furthering the development of the automobile.
As for the cars themselves, they were driven in, shipped in and towed in from 13 states and from Canada. There were Maxwells, Lafayettes, Oldsmobiles and a number of Fords -- Greenfield Village is close to one of the Ford Production centres.
But the two top prizes went to cars of foreign make. The winner of the pre-1917 group was a British Rolls Royce Roadster, dating from 1910, which had come up from Florida for the festival.
First award in the 1917 to 1925 range went to a Belgian Excelsior Touring car. This model, made in 1924, is thought to be the only one of its kind in existence -- a large number of Excelsiors were used for scrap-metal by the Germans during World War Two.