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Bus tours during auto show explore Detroit’s rich auto and brewing history … and more


If you like cars, beer and Detroit this tour is for you.


On two Saturdays, Jan. 17 and 24, you can take the 3.5-hour Detroit Bumpers & Brew Tour that looks at the story of Detroit – then and now – from Detroit’s earliest auto history to some of Downtown and Midtown’s most exciting new projects.

Here are just few things you will learn.

At one time Downtown Detroit had more than 40 breweries. In the early 20th century, 125 auto companies sprang up in Detroit.  Only a handful survived … Chrysler, General Motors, Packard, Ford, and a few smaller companies.

Hupmobile Series M DeLuxe_Century 4-D Sedan_1929

Hupmobile Series M DeLuxe_Century 4-D Sedan_1929

The tour happens during the 2015 North American International Auto Show and is a provided by Motor City Brew Tours and Show Me Detroit Tours. It’s a fun way to see the city and learn its history. The tours start at the Atwater Brewery at 10 a.m. and conclude at 1:30 p.m. The brewery is located at 237 Joseph Campau.

The tour looks at the early years and significant sites of Dodge, Ford, Chrysler, Olds, Fisher, Hiram Walker and Albert Kahn, and companies like Carhartt, Huppmobile, Detroit Stove Works and the US Rubber Company (which became Uniroyal), as well as former sites of the old Detroit Driving Club and Hamtramck Race Track. It includes a craft beer sampling and light lunch at Grosse Pointe’s Atwater on the Park.

It’s a great time to tour Detroit.


“Interest is higher than ever in seeing and understanding Detroit’s rich history in tandem with its current challenges and successes,” said Kim Rusinow and Pat Haller, co-founders of Show Me Detroit Tours.

The Atwater Brewery and its offspring Atwater in the Park Beer Garden are just a small sample of the many success stories in Detroit.

“Detroit’s downtown and lower east side represent an industrial and manufacturing legacy in the names of the innovators and companies once located there,” said Steve Johnson, founder of Motor City Brew Tours.

For example, Detroit is reclaiming more of its manufacturing heritage. The Mt. Elliott Employment District is being rejuvenated as a manufacturing cluster. Running from I-94 along Van Dyke and Mt. Elliott roads north to 8 Mile and with almost 15,000 people employed by 1,700 companies, Mt. Elliott is already the largest industrial corridor in the Motor City.

Atwater Brewery

Atwater Brewery

There is a lot more going on. Development downtown and in Midtown is bringing in more retail stores, residential space, restaurants and fun venues. Major historic buildings are being rehabbed. There are more bike lanes. The M-1 RAIL is on track. You’ll get to see it all.

The $49.99 ticket price includes expert historical commentary, guided bus transportation and the craft beer sampling and light lunch at Grosse Pointe’s Atwater on the Park. Tickets must be purchased in advance online and you must be 21 years old. Both tour companies also offer gift certificates. Advance reservations are required.

To purchase tour tickets visit: or For more information call (248) 850-2563 or (313) 444-2120.

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5 comments on “Bus tours during auto show explore Detroit’s rich auto and brewing history … and more

  1. Brilliant pictures! What an awesome glance back at right on time Los Angeles. The top picture demonstrates an awesome line of autos that would now be the jealousy of any excellent auto gatherer. What year was the Shrine Auditorium fabricated? I recall my dad taking us to see leisure activity appears at the Shrine in the 50's. There is such a great amount of history in this town.

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