How Michigan's early car dealers transformed the state

Jan 13, 2016

In the early days of the automobile, car dealers helped forge a fledgling industry in Michigan and across the country.
Credit Flickr / Ford Europe

From Battle Creek to Flint, metro Detroit to the UP, the history of cars and commerce in MI runs deep.  It’s a big part of Jay Follis’s life. 

Follis is director of marketing at Hickory Springs’ world-renown Gilmore Car Museum and author of the recent Michigan History Magazine article, Agents of Change: Michigan’s Early Car Dealers.

Jay’s fascination with car culture began as a boy growing up in Michigan - and continues with his current writing and research.

Though familiar with much of American motor lore, Jay found that the picture of early Michigan dealers and sales was somewhat hazy.