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The old Packard Plant in Detroit is one of the city's icons. All at once, it represents the vibrant history of the Motor City, its rocky past decades and the chance for something new to spring up. Despite the Packard buildings sitting empty for years, there's still life there. Among other things, it's a common spot for artists to practice their work, including Banksy several years ago. However, recent demolitions might bring a final end to the famous spot as we know it and threatens to make the

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A Look Back At The Reactor-Fueled Optimism Of The '50s and '60s

In the 1950s and early 60s, the dawn of nuclear power was supposed to lead to a limitless consumer culture, a world of flying cars and autonomous kitchens all powered by clean energy. In Europe, it offered the then-limping continent a cheap, inexhaustible supply of power after years of rationing and infrastructure damage brought on by two World Wars.

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Packard gave up on its automotive plant in Detroit in 1956, but the 3,500,000-square-foot complex of reinforced concrete remains - if only as remains. It is perhaps just as famous for being ruins as it was when it built cars, still attracting plenty of attention from entrepreneurs, paintballers, vandals and urban spelunkers.

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The last time a car was made at Detroit's infamously derelict Packard plant was in 1958. Though it's been used for a variety of purposes since, these days it stands empty, an icon of urban decay. But that doesn't mean nobody's trying to do anything about it. The county recently put it up for auction, the winning bid placed by a doctor from Texas who quickly emerged as a quack. Talks with the second highest bidder have apparently fallen through as well, so now officials are moving on to the third

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We took one through twisty Pacific Northwest back roads, heading for Pebble Beach

One by one, the engines of 22 classic cars come alive. Some cough with a ragged wheeze, some need coaxing and some hum with European precision. Whatever their personality, they all start. This is the first miracle of the road trip.

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Hard decisions have been made, score sheets have been tallied and a new car now reigns over the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The 2013 Best In Show winner here at Pebble is the 1934 Packard 1108 Twelve Dietrich Convertible Victoria owned by Joseph and Margie Cassini of West Orange, NJ. We'll give you a second to memorize that name.

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Crain's Detroit Business reports Detroit's abandoned Packard plant is set to come up for auction this September. Wayne County officially foreclosed on the property this year due to tax delinquency. The owner owed around $975,000 on the 43 parcels that make up the old manufacturing site, and bidding is expected to start at that figure. All of the parcels will be sold together as a bundled property, but if the plant fails to sell, Wayne County will put it up for auction again in October at a bundl

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Even if you don't know Detroit, odds are you know the city's derelict Packard plant. A go-to source of urban decay porn, the plant has become a haven for graffiti artists of every caliber, arsonists, the homeless and scrappers looking to gut the structure of its steel for cash. Detroit's firefighters won't even enter the structure to put out blazes for fear of injury. The Detroit Free Press took it upon itself to investigate why the structure continues to be an issue for the city. As it turns ou

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She's held her driver's license for 90 years

Most classic car owners are accustomed to the unusual looks other motorists cast toward their relics on the road. But when Margaret Dunning is behind the wheel of her 1930 Packard 740 Roadster, she draws more attention than her vehicle.

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Despite its various and sundry dangers, urban spelunking has become something of a rite of passage for adventuresome types living in and around Detroit. And while Corktown's legendary Michigan Central Station is probably illicit explorers' favorite quarry, the derelict 3.5-million square foot Packard Plant is likely a close second.

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Banksy's graffiti before it was removed from the Packard plant – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Detroit may be one step closer to wiping the old Packard automobile plant off the face of the map for good. For years, the structure has stood derelict as a symbol of the city's decay as lawmakers fought to figure out who exactly owns the property. Supposedly, the plant is currently owned by a company under the name of Biosource, Inc, and the only person on that company's books is Dominic Cristini. Cristini is currently serving a prison term in California on drug charges, leaving the local gover

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This dump truck is going to take a dive - Click above to watch the video

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Pre-WWII luxury at Meadow Brook Concours 2009 - click above for high-res image gallery

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Gooding & Company star cars for Pebble Beach 2009 -- Click above for high-res image gallery

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1999 Packard Twelve concept - Click above for an image gallery

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Click above for a gallery of the 1941 Packard "Los Alamos Limo"

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Click above for more pics of the Packard prototype

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Click above image for huge high-res gallery of our visit to the Lyon collection.

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When Otis Chandler passed away back in February, he left a lot more than a legacy of publishing prowess. Sure, during the 1960s he had transformed his family's newspaper into the world-renowned Los Angeles Times that we know today. But when he wasn't in his office, Otis liked to drive. And hunt. But more about the hunting later. It was his love of cars that brought him into our field of vision. Chandler was passionate about cars in the way one might say Jay Leno is. He had a whole warehouse of c

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