You might be familiar with stock cars, but have you ever heard of late models?
Often considered the step between stock cars and race cars, late models are all the rage these days. Thanks in part to the success of the new “Made in Detroit” movie series, which highlights this form of motorsport, more people are learning about the fun, racing sides of Detroit.
With a long history in the city dating back to 1915, it’s only fitting that Detroit would become the center of the racing universe! As with any city, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye, and behind the scenes there are plenty of stories and characters that you might not even know existed.
Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know about the infamous “yellow brick road” that is the Detroit racing scene.
As mentioned above, late models date back to 1915, when they were first raced in Detroit. At that time, the cars were all-white, all-American and all-male. Since then, however, it’s become pretty much an open secret that women are just as welcome as men, and nowadays you’ll often see teams of both driving side by side. The cars also became a lot more colorful as part of a stylistic overhaul in the 1960s, and the form was eventually categorized as “art cars” due to the custom designs that some drivers would go through.
Just like any other form of motorsport, there are rules and regulations that govern late models. The most important difference is that the cars are a lot more fragile, so much so that they aren’t allowed to run on the street. They are also required to be homologated, which means they have to abide by all the rules that are set down by the Auto Sport Association (formerly the Automobile Racing Club). These rules include the maximum weight, tires and horsepower that the car can handle, among others.
Like any other form of motorsport, there are also governing bodies for late models, and these are called the Automobile Club of Detroit (or just the “ACD”). The ACD is a not-for-profit group that was originally founded in 1915 and is responsible for setting the rules, organizing the events and ensuring that all the cars are driven safely. They also set up ancillary competitions, such as the Christmas Trucks event that is held every year in Detroit (in which the trucks are decorated with Christmas decorations and go around the city displaying free tickets for children).
Unlike other forms of motorsport, where the objective is to bring in the most money for the team that wins, the goal in late models is simply to compete and have some fun. The team with the most points at the finish wins, which can lead to some interesting team competitions! For example, in the World Series of Racing, the two drivers with the most points at the end of the season are crowned world champions. This can lead to some epic battles between teammates as they vie for the top spot.
If you’re a fan of old-school Americana and love nothing more than a good old-fashioned competition, then you might just have found the sport for you! Check out www.acdracing.com for more information on the World Series of Racing and how you can get involved.
One of the things that makes Detroit such an interesting city is that it’s in the middle of America yet feels like a world-class metropolis. It was once the center of the automotive industry in the US, with over 1.5 million vehicles being manufactured here per year, and you’ll still find many iconic car companies originating from Detroit, such as Chevrolet, Ford and GMC. With all these car companies thriving, it’s no wonder that Detroit became the center of the racing universe!
In addition to the car culture, Detroit is also known for being the “musical” capital of the U.S. One of the biggest and most renowned annual events in Detroit is the Motown Festival, which celebrates the city’s musical heritage and huge contribution to the music scene. This year-round festival is packed with fantastic concerts, and if you see a car being driven in Detroit, there’s a good chance that it’ll be playing some kind of music and displaying a customized paint job!
Another thing that makes Detroit an interesting city is that it has such a distinct climate. Much like Los Angeles, Detroit gets a lot of rain and a lot of sunshine, which results in a lot of pleasant surprises for pedestrians walking outside! You won’t get wet even if it rains heavily, as Detroit is protected by a massive roof that keeps the rain off of most of its inhabitants. As for the temperature, it can range from pleasant to brutally cold, so make sure you’re prepared for anything!
As a music fan, you’ll definitely want to visit Detroit if you love old-school Americana. There are so many amazing things to do in Detroit, and you’ll certainly want to experience them all. Another thing that makes Detroit so unique is that it is a city of neighborhoods, and not one big “metro” area. This means that there are a lot of small communities here and within each community there are a lot of distinct cultures and ways of life. This brings us to our next point…
Last but not least, we have variety. As we’ve established, Detroit is a city of neighborhoods, and these neighborhoods all have their distinct charms. This means that even if you visit one part of the city, you’ll still run into something completely different, which is one of the things that make the city so interesting. Of course, this also means that there are plenty of races to choose from whenever you visit Detroit. It might be a little difficult to find your way around if you aren’t familiar with the city, but fortunately for you we’re going to give you a crash course in the basics of racing in Detroit!
One of the most iconic sports cars ever made was the 1960s Corvette, which was actually designed in Detroit and can trace its roots back to the city’s automotive industry. Even now, over 50 years later, the Corvette still holds up as one of the most classic American cars of all time. If you see a Corvette in Detroit, be sure to catch it driving because, as we mentioned above, they are a lot more fragile than the typical stock car, and they can only be driven on the race track!
If you’ve made it this far, then congratulations! You’re now well on your way to becoming a full-fledged motorsport fan and have discovered the amazing world of Detroit racing. We hope this article has helped shed some light on this great city and its wonderful inhabitants, and we can’t wait to see you cheering on your favorite cars at a future race event!