New-Car Smell: Nostalgia and the Story of Grand Rapids Car Dealerships

New-Car Smell: Nostalgia and the Story of Grand Rapids Car Dealerships

Before Grand Rapids car dealerships relocated to today’s sprawling lots on suburban streets, early automobile dealers operated in more confined urban spaces near downtown and in city neighborhoods. Tom Wilson will track their movement as the car business expanded, first into neighborhoods like Eastown and Cheshire Village. They sold familiar cars like Plymouth, Pontiac and Chrysler, but also but also provided area outlets for the forgotten, such as Austin, Maxwell, Hupmobile and Studebaker. Take a look back at the heyday of car sales and automotive expansion from its beginnings before the Model T to the explosion of the Big Three and the arrival of imports like Volkswagen and Toyota.

 

Presentation by Thomas R. Wilson
Sponsored by the Grand Rapids Public Library

This presentation is part of the 2016 History Detectives program on Saturday, January 23, at the Ryerson Auditorium, Grand Rapids Public Library. Download the Full PDF Brochure Here