Prototype Tours

The Prototype Tour Committee is hard at work and has additional tours in the works. The tours shown below are finalized, more to come.

Detroit News Tour:

This facility in suburban Sterling Heights prints all the local and statewide editions of Detroit’s two major newspapers, the News and Free Press. Conrail Shared Assets delivers boxcars of huge rolls of newsprint to the modern, color printing presses. Extensive additions to the buildings in 2004-5 make it one of the nation’s largest newspaper production plants.

Ford Motor Company Piquette Avenue Model T Plant

This New England-style mill building was the first building constructed for the Ford Motor Company. Henry Ford assembled his Model C, B, K, and N vehicles here beginning in 1904. In 1908, Ford introduced the famous Model T, which would revolutionize the industry and put the world on wheels. Over 12,000 Model T's were produced at Piquette Avenue, before production moved a few miles north to the more modern Highland Park factory, which was to be equipped with the moving assembly line. Today, Piquette Avenue Assembly preserves this history and displays many examples of the automobiles produced here. For more information see

Packard Motor Car Company Tour:

The Packard Motor Car company began construction on a 300-acre Proving Grounds complex in Shelby Township, Michigan, in 1926. Today, 14 acres have been preserved, including the architecturally important Albert Kahn designed Lodge buildings and Garages; the Timing stand and a portion of the test track; the Lindbergh hangar; an elevated water storage tank; and the Grand Entrance gates. See examples of Packard engine technology, historic cars, and military applications during this guided tour. For more information see

Michigan Transit Museum

Open Saturdays & Sundays, 1pm to 4pm. Now restored to it's appearance in 1900, the former Mt Clemens depot of the Chicago, Detroit & Canada Grand Trunk Junction Railway serves as the home of the Michigan Transit Museum. In 1862 at this depot, young Thomas Edison saved the station agent's small child from certain death. In appreciation, the station agent taught Tom telegraphy, and so began Edison's short career in railroading. Inside are exhibits surrounding railroading of the early 1900's. The museum also operates a short Trolley-Train excursion, which departs from a park across town. For more information see

Prototype Tours Schedule:

Detroit Newspaper Printing PlantFreeFriday9:009:3011:00
Piquette Ave Model T Assembly Plant$8Friday10:3011:0012:30
Packard Proving Grounds$5Friday12:301:002:30
Packard Proving Grounds$5Saturday9:3010:0011:30
Piquette Ave Model T Assembly Plant$8Saturday10:3011:0012:30
Detroit Newspaper Printing PlantFreeSaturday12:301:002:30

Dean Pyers and Charlie Woodbury
Prototype Tour Coordinators