The city of Detroit has been defined by the automotive industry as much as America’s cars bear the influence of the city’s people and culture. Sadly, the city and its slow and infamous decline have been well documented over the years.
Fortunately, things are beginning to look up. A judge declared last November that the city was fit to emerge from the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history. The city is beginning to reinvest in some of its blighted neighborhoods, and Detroit’s “Big Three” automakers are finally running smoothly again.
However, Detroit has yet to fully recover from decades of crime, financial mismanagement, and population loss. Blight still exists. Reuters photographer Joshua Lott ventured into the city to document the noble symbols of Detroit’s struggles: its abandoned and neglected classic cars.
Lott found this Chevrolet Suburban from the early 2000s in a vacant lot. It had been stripped of its engines, a few of its wheels, and most of its more valuable parts.
This Japanese-built Mazda 626 from the late 1999s, minus its left rear wheel, sits next to a pile of empty pallets.
Lott found this 1980s-era Ford Econoline van and its rust spots parked next to a tractor. It also looks like the van had been used for target practice.
This graffiti-covered Chevrolet Astro van sits, without rear wheels, in front of a auto repair shop.
This 1980s Ford F250 can be found in someone's front yard. These F-Series trucks are pretty rugged. I bet this thing still runs.
This neglected ride looks to be a mid-70s Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Coupe. In its heyday, it was a fine example of American automotive engineering.
Half car, half truck. the Chevy El Camino -- complete with aftermarket plastic front door window -- is an automotive minotaur. Although in bad shape, this one looks far from abandoned.
This early example of America's pony car, the Ford Mustang, now sit abandoned in front of one of Detroit's derelict buildings.
Lott also found some more recent examples of Detroit muscle, such as this once-imposing Chevrolet Impala SS from the mid 1990s.
This late '90s Plymouth Breeze is one of Chrysler's many failed attempts to make a dent in the mid size sedan market.
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