What happens to an automaker’s progeny when the brand dies? If you live in southeastern Michigan, you can play witness to a family reunion of sorts at the Ypsilanti Orphan Car Show.
For more than a decade, owners of classic cars with storied, discontinued marques, have gathered in Ypsilanti to share their sentiments of orphanhood. The event, which resembles a concours, showcases the best examples of brands that are no longer produced. Classic car owners from around the country gather at picturesque Riverside Park to talk shop and oil leaks, and receive some car-club awards.
This year, however, the night before the show was scheduled to take place, rain fell on Ypsi in epic proportions, drowning the field and canceling the event. But a determined group of collectors decided to camp out at the parking lot adjacent to the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum, and the show, albeit a smaller one, went on.
So, OK, how do you know if your car is an orphan? Your cherry, 2005 Pontiac Montana SV6 is just sitting in the garage waiting to make its auto show debut. Does that count?
Not exactly. Though the show’s rules for exhibiting might be considered loose — this year’s featured orphan was the Chevrolet Corvair — marques aren’t eligible as soon as they’re discontinued. Sorry, Mercury, Hummer, and Saturn. Your day will come.
Check out our coverage of this year’s show (and past shows) in the galleries, and keep visiting throughout the week for the images we didn’t have room to post all at once.