Detroit headlines hark back to the early days of the auto industry


Rear entry Packard Model C tonneau.

Editor’s note: “Scorchers” were speeders and “Buzz buggies” were another name for cars 120 years ago when Detroit was giving birth to the auto industry. It was a new world. Today, as modern industry shifts to another unknown future – electric and self-driving cars – a flashback reprints excerpts from Free Press articles that have documented revolutionary changes since the turn of the 20th century.


A “horseless cart” on the streets of Detroit

“A New Wagon for Cars”, August 16, 1896

“A lot of people have been astonished for a day or two to see a cart being torn down along the street at a lively rate, dodging people and teams. The strange thing is that it has no cart, nor is it being pulled by fast horses. The car in question is an example of a class It was developed over the past five years and is now fast in its favor. …

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