From the curved shapes of the 1940s to the sleek sports designs of the 1970s, the demand for cars produced in the US was once the beating heart of Detroit. With General Motors, Ford and Chrysler all operating in the city, the city was as for cars as it was for Motown music.

blog.php-1229 Plymouth - Savoy 3.8 L 3770CC 230CI - 1956

Chevrolet - Pickup - 1948 Chevrolet - Pickup - 1948

blog.php-1227 Cadillac - Series 62 Cabrio - 1946

Many workers made the pilgrimage to Detroit, as the city promised thousands of jobs in the motor industry. At Ford Motor's River Rouge plant alone, there were 90 000 workers recorded in the 1930s.

The industry saw Detroit's population rise at an incredible rate. By 1930, Detroit's population stood at 1.6 million and then at almost 2 million just before 1950.

Chevrolet - Impala Coupe - 1959 Chevrolet - Impala Coupe - 1959

Ford - Mustang Cabriolet - 1968 Ford - Mustang Cabriolet - 1968

Pontiac - Firebird Cabriolet - 1968 Pontiac - Firebird Cabriolet - 1968

As General Motors, Ford and Chrysler all began to move operations outside of Detroit, the city was hit hard. By 1960, River Rouge's workforce went from 90 000 in 1930, to 30 000, then to 6 000 in 1990.

Chevrolet - Camaro RS - 1969 Chevrolet - Camaro RS - 1969

Chevrolet - Corvette StingRay Cabriolet - 1969 Chevrolet - Corvette StingRay Cabriolet - 1969

Buick - GS 350 Convertible - 1972 Buick - GS 350 Convertible - 1972

At the beginning of the 1970s, the American motor industry witnessed a significant decline and Detroit was hit the worse. Following the crash of the US motor industry, Detroit suffered mass unemployment, and this devastation led the state of Michigan to file for bankruptcy in 2013, which was successfully exited on 10th December, 2014.

Buick - Riviera V8 455CI "Boattail" - 1973 Buick - Riviera V8 455CI "Boattail" - 1973

Chevrolet - El Camino Big Block 468 ci (7,7 l) V8 – 1979 Chevrolet - El Camino Big Block 468 ci (7,7 l) V8 – 1979

Pontiac - Trans-AM - 1979 Pontiac - Trans-AM - 1979

A small shimmer of hope that came out of the decline in the US motor industry is that these cars have now become collectables. They are emblems of American manufacturing, engineering and design in all it's showy glory. Catawiki's vintage American cars sale on 13th January features cars by the giants of America's 20th century motor industry.

Check out the full catalogue here.

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