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The John C. Lodge Expressway Detroit, Michigan

The John C. Lodge Expressway (M-10) was built between the early-1950s and in 1953 connected with the Edsel Ford Freeway (I-94.) The Highway runs in a northwesterly direction from downtown Detroit, Michigan, through the suburbs for close to twenty-three miles and ends in West Bloomfield.

The Roadway was  initially constructed in segments that also include the James Couzens Highway and the Northwestern Highway. All three thoroughfares were finally named the John C. Lodge Expressway in 1987. Lodge was a politician and the Mayor of Detroit for two terms in the 1920s and later was a City Council member for three decades.

Share with us what you find of interest in this late-1950s “Detroit News” photograph courtesy of the Wayne State University Libraries.

17 responses to “The John C. Lodge Expressway Detroit, Michigan

  1. In the foreground, center, is a 1956 BUICK Super Sedan [non-Riviera].

    In the same lane as this ’56 BUICK Super, five cars back, is a 1953 BUICK.

    • 1954 was the last Buick Super and Century to have three venture-ports. 1956 Roadmaster had “flat” sweep spear side molding, 1956 Super’s trim was “convex” appearing. So it looks like a Super, Someone correctness if wrong.

  2. I can’t make out what it is (might be a ’39 or ’40 Buick), but I did notice that tall, stately prewar sedan just about to roll under the overpass. In the slow lane, naturally.

  3. Two things struck me. First, how pristine the highway is with manicured embankments and no litter in sight. Second, how dominant the big American car was just before the introduction of compact cars and later the import invasion. I don’t see a single example among the dozens of cars pictured.
    That beautiful building in the background is the Fisher Building, built just across the street from the former GM headquarters. Originally, its roof was covered with gilt tiles prompting WJR-AM to constantly remind its listeners that it broadcast from the “golden tower of The Fisher Building”. The original old school movie palace was gutted and remodeled in the early ’60s but the fantastic lobby, with a soaring vaulted ceiling, hand painted frescoes and ornate mosaic art remains just as breathtaking as it was in 1928.

    • In a similar vein, it is also interesting how car makers had their own particular styling twists, making their products fairly unique and easy to distinguish. That can hardly be said today with most cars and SUV’s trending to an almost generic look.

      • You are so right. I just returned from Back to the 50s, a show in MN with an estimated 12,000 cars. Over half are customized cars or hot rods. Eligible cars must be built before 1963 . We go in my friend’s classic red and white ’59 Corvette and it is so easy to tell each make, each year. We always comment on the variety of colors during the 1950s era, the chrome, the evolution of design, space age dashboards and so on. No, nothing even comes close in today’s offerings compared to the unique styling and colors of the 50s.

  4. That is indeed the Fisher Building.

    One thing I noticed in the photo was the Merrick Avenue pedestrian overpass. This was just before there was a need to prevent pedestrians from purposely causing injury and death by throwing things off the overpasses at passing cars.

    The pedestrian overpass is still there today, complete with the needed fencing. Mile 3.0 Northbound M10 on the internet streetview.

  5. No trucks or one foreign car or even orphan makes, for that matter. Pretty much Big 3. Wasn’t John Lodge one of the Moody Blues?

  6. Notice the introduction of duel / quad headlamps on a few of the 1958 cars. Mercury, Ford and Chrysler shown.

    • The Mercury is a ’57, with 4 headlamps in a horizontal layout. The ’57 Lincoln had 4 in a vertical layout. ’58 was the first year for Ford (first car in the second picture).
      The Chrysler is a ’57. Chrysler Corp introduced the 4 headlamps as part of its Forward Look design. The ’57 Dodge three rows back has 4.

      • 1957 Dodge cars were not offered with four headlamps. The lamp inboard of the single 7″ sealed beam is the turn signal. Four headlamps were standard on Dodge in 1958. Four headlamps were optional on Chrysler and Imperial. They were also not offered on Plymouth in 1957.

  7. I could be wrong, but that looks like the back end of a Mack bus. If so, kind of odd to see it in Detroit given GM’s dominance of the motor coach business at the time.

  8. Yes, the two visible buses are Mack. From PA. And they are transit type, so probably belong to a transit agency rather than private company. Was GMC not paying off the politicians in Detroit as much as the Mack Company?

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