In a weed filled, overgrown lot on the fringes of Detroit’s New Center area sat a few classic cars slowly rotting away. I noticed the vintage vehicles on my last ride of the season, late last year. I’ve seen them in the past, but not as clearly as that fall day, because the thick-leafed trees and overgrown weeds were bare, no longer hiding them from sight. Looking up at the vehicles from the downward sloping street I was riding on, curiosity got the best of me. Therefore, I ditched my bike in a secluded area and climbed the steep hill to check them out.
What I saw was pretty amazing. There were 5-6 classic cars virtually disintegrating into the tire-strewn, fenced in lot they were enclosed in. Although I’m not a classic car aficionado (or a car enthusiast in general), they looked like they may be worth something to a collector. Even in their rough condition. In that abandoned lot was what I believed to be a 1950’s Studebaker, a few pastel colored Chrysler vehicles of the same era, and a vintage 1940’s Ford or Chevrolet. From the looks of them sitting in that fenced in area, I would not be surprised if they had been in that location for well over 20-years.
Poking around the outside of the fence, I discovered a chained gate, surrounded by overgrown bushes, trees and weeds that looked like it had not been opened in many years. A little further down, I came across a hole in the fence large enough for me to squeeze through. I decided to get a closer look and worked my way through the opening. Shortly after entering, an odd, creepy, unsettling feeling came over me. It felt like eyes were off in the brush, staring and watching my every move. I had visions of wild street dogs, bolting from their hiding spots in the underbrush at full speed, and launching themselves at my throat. Needless to say, I didn’t get too far past the opening in the fence before I decided I’d seen enough of those cars on that particular day.
One of my cycling goals this year was to revisit the site to get a better look at the vehicles, despite the “eyes off in the brush” staring at me. So, this past Saturday I pedaled to that area off Russell Street to take a closer look, and I was totally surprised at what I found. There was nothing. The cars were gone! There was not a sign of them anywhere in that isolated, overgrown, fenced in lot. Plus, the gate was still closed and chained as if it hadn’t been opened in years. Go figure. Those vintage rusted vehicles looked like they’d been there forever, but when I returned to view them once again a few months later, they had vanished…without a trace!
I don’t know how someone removed these vehicles from that weed choked lot or where they ended up. But it seemed quite peculiar that they were gone, considering the high secured fencing and the overgrown, secluded area in which they once were.