The car streets of the Motor City

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. 




8 thoughts on “The car streets of the Motor City

  1. On the Gogole satellite map, what is the thing at the corner of 9 Mile and Hoover that looks like a race track?

  2. you know the divco milk truck was made at hoover and hupp and chrysler warren stamping is a stone’s throw away too i ben on hupp for 50 years there was also a army camp at hoover and hupp.

    • Absolutely right, Thomas. Thanks for the great info. I always thought the Divco building had an attractive front. We’ll definitely do a story on Divco soon.

  3. By the way, the army installation Thomas Franzel refers to was one of a dozen or more Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA) batteries around the city during the cold war. Obviously, Detroit was considered of great strategic importance. Later the AAA batteries were replaced with Nike missiles and the remnants of a few of the intallations are still in existence. There is so much history all around us.

  4. Lots of streets in Detroit proper were named after automotive personages. There’s Chalmers street, Maxwell street, Edsel street, James Couzens, Farnsworth, Ewald Circle, the Edsel Ford, Walter Chrysler and Walter Reuther expressways and others.

    It doesn’t surprise me that a subdivision developer named streets after car brands. There’s a subdivision in Sterling Hts that’s nicknamed Tobacco Heights because the street names are all cigarette brands. A friend lives on Parliament, at the corner of Pall Mall.

    More here:

  5. In Waterford across from Mott High School, along Scott Lake Rd. are more auto-themed street names. Buick, Winton…to name two.

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