In the Motor City suburb of Warren, just north of Detroit, there’s a neighborhood where the streets are named after historic automobile marques. Mac’s Motor City Garage pays a visit.
The “car streets,” as they’re informally known, are clustered in the neighborhood around East 9 Mile and Hoover Road, a stone’s throw east of GM’s Mound Road engine plant and the Chrysler Warren truck plant. One former landmark at the northeast corner of E. 9 Mile and Hoover was the old Holley Carburetor headquarters, demolished only a few years ago. The sprawling GM Technical Center and the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant are a few miles north.
Just who named the car streets is now lost in the fog of time, but it’s safe to presume that real estate mogul Walter C. Piper, who bought up and platted much of the area in the early-to-mid 20th century, had something to do with it. One of the major residential real estate developers of the Detroit area with his partner, Hugo J. Hesse, Piper has been credited with inventing the term “realtor” and was a champion of the 35-ft. lot.
Southwest quarter of E. 9 Mile and Hoover
Today the neighborhood consists of blue-collar homes, mainly of 1950s vintage, along with machine shops and other small businesses. The two north-to-south car streets are Automobile and Marmon Avenues, with Automobile one block east of Van Dyke and Marmon one block west of Hoover. The east-west car streets north of E. 9 Mile include Jewett, Essex, Timken, Lozier, Republic, Continental, and Paige. South of 9 Mile you’ll find Dodge, Maxwell, Cadillac, Ford, Hupp, Packard, Hudson, Studebaker, and Chalmers.
Of course, nearly all of these automotive and related marques are now long extinct, but that only adds to the charm of this little piece of Motor City lore. If you’d like to explore the area further, here’s a google satellite link to E. 9 Mile and Hoover Rd, Warren, MI 48089.