Back in the ol’ hometown, ctd

Today, the last Impala rolls off the line at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant.

Production of the Chevrolet Impala will cease Thursday after six decades, making the Impala yet another Detroit sedan to be laid to rest as buyers switch to crossovers, SUVs and pickups.

Introduced in 1958 and produced continuously except for gaps in the 1980s and 1990s, the final Impala will roll down the line at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly. Seen by many as emblematic of the all-American car, more than 16.8 million have been sold globally (not including the 1994-96 Impala SS, which was counted as a Chevy Caprice).

Tastes change, I guess. Even as a kid, in the years when it was stylish, I didn’t much care for those huge wings in back; to each his own.

Is this the end of the Hamtramck assembly plant? The Hamtramck assembly plant is in an area formerly known as Poletown, an area then occupied chiefly by people of Polish ethnicity. About 1973, the entire area was condemned so that the land could be turned-over to General Motors for construction of the assembly plant.

Think about that: Eminent Domain was exercised not for construction of needful public infrastructure, but in order to create room for a factory that would boost employment. It was litigated for years; eventually, the residents lost and the plant was built.

Eminent Domain is a necessary evil; sometimes, there is no escaping that towns must be submerged for a reservoir, a neighborhood must be uprooted for a highway, shoreline ambience must be sacrificed for a bridge. But public-sector condemnation and seizure of private property to facilitate corporate ownership should never happen.

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