The Way It Was


Published:

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL AUTOMOTIVE HISTORY COLLECTION, DETROIT PUBLIC LIBRARY

1911

The short life of the Abbott-Detroit automobile resembled a fiery nova: It shone bright but briefly, and is remembered only by gearheads and automotive history buffs. The Abbott-Detroit (1909-19) was renowned as a luxury drive, but its marketing department also touted its durability and speed. Publicity from the period reveals it was entered in several auto races, and it was featured prominently in cross-country endurance journeys. In 1911 advertising, the Abbott-Detroit was being touted as the “Up-to-the-Minute Car.” This fashionable quartet of women sitting in an Abbott-Detroit in front of the Belle Isle Casino reflects the “up-to-the-minute” claim — at least for 1911. The car, whose 4- and 6-cylinder engines were built by Continental (there were also some 8-cylinders built by Herschell-Spillman), were assembled at the company’s plant on Waterloo Street, on Detroit’s east side. But in 1916, the firm’s board decided to move to a bigger location in Cleveland, at which time the name “Detroit” was dropped, and the auto was known simply as the Abbott. It turned out to be a bad move. The company filed for bankruptcy in 1918, and the 1919 model was its last. The Abbott drove off into automotive oblivion, something these carefree women hardly thought possible only a few years before. 

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

North American International Auto Show Charity Preview

A Survivor’s Story

A West Bloomfield resident shares his memories of living under occupied Poland during World War II

What’s in the Stars for Detroit

Under the pseudonym AstroTwins, celebrity astrologers Ophira and Tali Edut found their calling as undergraduates at the University of Michigan. Here, the identical twins share their predictions for metro Detroiters.

The Way It Was

Nash Metropolitan, 1958

Holiday Giving: Children's Charities

Help make the holidays merry and bright for little ones by donating to these charities.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Under Wraps
    Lionel Perkins, senior project design engineer for camouflage at GM North America, unveils his...
  2. Heavyweight Estate
    Cadillac King Don Massey's property hits the market
  3. Machine Learning
    The next wave of artificial intelligence is making critical decisions in health care
  4. All About the Zip Sauce
    Food blogger and Instagram sensation, Seoung Lee, a.k.a. @chowdowndetroit, says Eddie’s Gourmet...
  5. The Meat of the Matter
    The latest West Village eatery, Marrow, carves a space for Detroit’s meat-eaters
  6. Food Recipe: Middle Eastern Spiced Roasted Carrots
    The mother-daughter team behind recipe development site, Crowded Kitchen, cooks up mindful dishes...
  7. Metrics of Mary Jane Motoring
    Research in a modest lab at John R and Mack addresses questions about cannabis and driving and...
  8. Detroit’s Got Spirits
    Inside the local craft distillery boom from Ferndale to Ann Arbor and beyond
  9. Eating in Translation
    What happens when centuries-old vegetarian traditions are transported across oceans
  10. Driver's Ed
    We’ve got auto questions, leading authorities have answers