Michigan is widely known as the center of the U.S. auto industry. In 1903 Henry Ford founded Ford Motor Company in Detroit. 10 year later he introduced the assembly line, an innovation that reduced the Model T’s chassis assembly line from 12.5 to 1.5 hours. Ford Motor Company could now produce affordable cars at a faster pace than anyone else. In 1914 Henry doubled the pay rate for the factory workers, and he reduced their workday from nine to eight hours. The day after the “$5 Day” was announced, an estimated 10,000 people lined up outside Ford’s employment office hoping to be hired. Henry eventually filled Detroit with automotive workers, and in the 1930s his River Rogue Complex employed over 100,000 hard-working men and women. Even though Detroit and Michigan boomed with automotive workers, it took almost half a decade before Ron Clark and Bob Kaiser would open up what is known as the first custom shop of Michigan. Clarkaiser Customs Shop was established in 1948, the same year as Robert Petersen’s first issue of Hot Rod Magazine went into print. As the hot rod and custom scene spread across the country, the Motor City would breed several talented builders such as Mike and Larry Alexander of the Alexander Brothers fame. The capital of Michigan, Lansing, is located 100 miles West of Detroit. While Detroit had Henry Ford and his Ford Motor Company, Lansing was the home of Ransom E. Olds and his Olds Motor Vehicle Company. By the mid 1950s the hot rod and custom craze had also reached the state Capital.
Another legendary Kustom car builder from Detroit is Bill Hines the Leadslinger. Hines moved to Detroit at the age of ten. In 1941 at the age of 19, he quit school, so he could begin building kustom cars. In 1958 Bill left Detroit, and headed down to California, where he began working for legendary George Barris and Barris Kustoms. One year later, he moved back to Detroit, and continued building kustom cars in Detroit. In 1960 Bill Hines left Detroit for good, and opened up Bill Hines Kustom Auto in Lynwood, California.
Hot Rods of Detroit, Michigan
Customs Cars of Detroit, Michigan
The Alexander Brothers' 1931 Ford Model A Pickup - The Grasshopper]]
Jack Pieknik's 1934 Ford Victoria
Gene McCrickard's 1937 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe
Jack Telnack's 1941 Mercury Convertible
K. E. Binder Company's 1948 Lincoln Continental
John Jenick's 1950 Buick
Andy Rae's 1952 Chevrolet
Ray Russell's 1953 Ford Convertible
Sy Gregorich's 1955 Ford
Johnny Krzysik's 1955 Oldsmobile - The Vagabond
Bill Whetstone's 1960 Ford Starliner - The Adonis
Mike Budnick's 1960 Pontiac - The Golden Indian
The Dodge Deora
Homebuilt Cars of Detroit, Michigan
Shops in Detroit, Michigan
Speed Shops of Detroit, Michigan
Custom Accesory Manufacturers of Detroit, Michigan
Car Shows in Detroit, Michigan
People of Detroit, Michigan
Marvin D. Jarnagin
Did you enjoy this article?
Kustomrama is an encyclopedia dedicated to preserve, share and protect traditional hot rod and custom car history from all over the world.
- Help us keep history alive. For as little as 2.99 USD a month you can become a monthly supporter. Click here to learn more.
- Subscribe to our free newsletter and receive regular updates and stories from Kustomrama.
- Do you know someone who would enjoy this article? Click here to forward it.
Can you help us make this article better?
Please get in touch with us at email@example.com if you have additional information or photos to share about Detroit.
This article was made possible by:
SunTec Auto Glass - Auto Glass Services on Vintage and Classic Cars
Finding a replacement windshield, back or side glass can be a difficult task when restoring your vintage or custom classic car. It doesn't have to be though now with auto glass specialist companies like www.suntecautoglass.com. They can source OEM or OEM-equivalent glass for older makes/models; which will ensure a proper fit every time. Check them out for more details!
Do you want to see your company here? Click here for more info about how you can advertise your business on Kustomrama.