Detroit’s on the path to emerge from bankruptcy, so it’s expected there would be an auction to liquidate some assets to pay down debt. But this auction has such an epic list that it could be part of a reality show.

Top of the list that caught our attention was “79 Transit Buses and Historic Trolley Cars.” What? Coasting over to the Detroit Government Facebook page, there’s a picture of a couple trolleys. We put it above.

Now, these aren’t the ones Detroit shipped off to Mexico when they ripped up the streetcar lines. Members of our team rode these when they were kids and they ran from Washington Boulevard near Grand Circus Park, down past Cobo and then over toward the Renaissance Center on Jefferson. Still cool, though and could be used for a myriad of things.

When it comes to vehicles there is a lot to choose from. As well as the trolley cars and buses, a total of 123 garbage trucks, 130 public lighting service vehicles, 41 truck mounted snow plows, 33 pickup trucks, SUVs, and cars, 24 aerial bucket lift trucks, 17 grapple trucks, six interior construction utility trucks, five dump trucks, four backhoe loaders, and three truck trailers.

Old Detroit Garbage Trucks

“Many of these vehicles are in very good working order and have a lot of life left in them,” said Gary Brown, City of Detroit Chief Operating Officer.

There’s a bunch of machine shop stuff, too.

Here are the details to get your hands on this stuff if you’re interested.

The first auction will be a Webcast/onsite auction on Wednesday, November 5, at 10 a.m. at 2 Woodward Ave., 13th floor.  Preview dates are available on November 3 and 4 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST).  Auction round two will be an online-only auction on November 13; closing times are available at  Preview dates for the second auction are available by escort only on November 10 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Preview dates for the Webcast/onsite sale are Monday and Tuesday, November 3 and 4, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the day of sale.  The majority of the assets are located at Herman Kiefer Center, located at 1151 Taylor; buses and streetcars will be located at the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) yard.  For earlier inspection, call 251-404-2367.  The preview date for the online sale, by escort, is Monday, November 10, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 1300 E. Warren, Detroit. The secondary asset location is 2425 Fenkell, Detroit.

Registration for both auctions will be available onsite or online through or For an early inspection on either auction, please contact Ken Planet at 248-238-7988 or email

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