Presenting one of our favorite collector car events: the annual Ypsilanti Orphan Car Show in scenic Riverside Park in Ypsilanti, Michigan. And if you’re drawn to the rare and unusual in vintage cars, you’ll love it, too. Here’s our report with a big photo gallery.
In the vintage car world, what is an orphan make? As the organizers of the Ypsilanti Orphan Car Show see it, the concept is fairly adjustable. First, the label applies to discontinued makes, naturally: Hudson, Studebaker, Kaiser-Frazer, Packard—the virtually endless list of defunct automobile manufacturers.
However, here an orphan can also be a lapsed brand or division from the existing Detroit automakers: for example, DeSoto, Edsel, Continental; more recently Plymouth and Pontiac. The Orphan Car Show folks also take in the former Canadian brands of the Motor City manufacturers (Monarch, Fargo, etc.) as well as foreign brands that are no longer imported to the USA—like, say, Citroen and Renault. Corvairs are included, too, mainly because they were manufactured just down the road from Ypsilanti in the big plant at Willow Run.
So that’s the orphan concept in a nutshell. If it’s rare or different and they don’t make ’em anymore, there’s a good chance it’s in the show. The Ypsilanti Orphan Car Show has been described as something like the island of misfit toys, but for automobiles. This is the event for vehicles that don’t fit any of the traditional pigeonholes, and The New York Times, among others, has named it one of top shows in the country. Sound interesting? It is. Check out the gallery below.