Reporting Pat Sweeting
HIGHLAND PARK (WWJ) – A special event in Highland Park Monday focused on saving an important part of the city’s auto history.
Whether people standing on the Model T plaza parking lot on Woodward Avenue in Highland Park know it or not , they are standing on ground that once held an important part of the historic Ford Model T plant.
In 1913, Henry Ford launched the moving assembly line at the Ford Highland Park Plant, making it the home of industrial mass production.
Deborah Shutt is with the sponsor organization, Woodward Avenue Action Association , and spoke with WWJ’s Pat Sweeting.
“(We are) celebrating the 100th anniversary of the moving assembly line … an event which changed the world,” said Shutt.
Barry Cogen took Sweeting for a little spin around the parking lot in his 1912 Ford Model T… one of 15 million manufactured between 1908 and 1927 … most of them in Highland Park.
Cogen said the car was “pretty much like you see it (pictured) when he bought, except it was painted a robin’s egg blue.” He had it repainted the real dark blue.
Arthur Pope, who checked out a 1927 Model T, said it’s important to save the Administration Building.
“I’m all very supportive of it. I can’t support em with a lot of money,” said Pope. “But I’m here to support them in any way I can because I think it’s very necessary that we do restore the building and keep the heritage of Detroit alive because this is all about the auto industry & this is where we put the world on wheels.”
With the addition of the assembly line the time to build the Model T was reduced from over 12 hours per car to 1.5 hours – which also reduced the price of the famed automobile.
The association is hoping to save at least one of the buildings and is working with the owner of the administration building that’s located on Woodward Avenue.