All Roads Lead to the Bricks!

Back to the Bricks attracts over 500,000 car enthusiasts annually to Genesee County to celebrate our love of motor vehicles, and the area’s historic role in the automotive industry. Tune-up Parties and Promo Tours generate enthusiasm in advance of the Main Event which provides a showcase for classic, custom, and collector vehicles of all kinds. During the week, Flint, birthplace of “America’s Sports Car”, proudly hosts a National Reunion for Corvette aficionados. Music, food vendors, and family-friendly activities add to the festive atmosphere.

Events

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MAIN EVENT WEEK

The five-day extravaganza begins with a family-oriented party at a nostalgic Drive-In theatre.  Excited crowds line the streets for the “Rolling Cruises.” On Friday, there is a car show, concert, and dance party with a Motown theme. Thousands stroll the brick streets on Saturday to admire vehicles of every age and description, take pictures, buy souvenirs, and enjoy the fun.

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TUNE UP WEEK

During the week prior to the main event, the excitement builds as Tune-up Parties rev up on successive days around the county.  Attractions and activities vary by location, but include parties with a 50’s, 60’s, or 70’s theme, concessions, vendors, live music, dancing in the streets, giveaways, and the opportunity to drive around the track at Auto City Speedway in Clio, Michigan.

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PROMO TOUR

Promo Tours each June are a time of adventure and camaraderie for hundreds of classic car owners. The tours are designed to generate enthusiasm for Back to the Bricks with mini car shows in each locale along the way and tours of automotive facilities and museums for the participants.  Routes have included parts of Ohio, Indiana, and a host of cities in Michigan with communities vying  to be included.

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CHROME AND ICE SHOW

For the first time, Back to the Bricks and Buick will sponsor an indoor winter car show, “Chrome and Ice.” The inaugural event, scheduled for February 12-13, 2016 at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center in Flint, Michigan, will feature a “summertime” theme, complete with sand and palm trees, and entertainment by a California-based “beach boy” band.

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History


In the fall of 2004, Al Hatch and other car enthusiasts began to discuss the possibility of a car show in downtown Flint that would complement and coincide with the ‘Woodward Dream Cruise’ in Detroit. Together, they began to take steps that would make Back to the Bricks a reality. When the committee approached Jerry Preston of the Flint Convention and Visitors Bureau about sponsoring the event, he arranged a meeting with the Small Business Owners of Downtown Flint to enlist their support for a bold new venture that promised to revitalize the city, and attract thousands to the area to celebrate the automotive industry and its role in the history of Flint.

With the backing of these two entities, the committee convinced city leaders to grant the necessary permits to close approximately three blocks of the historic “red bricks” under the arches of Saginaw Street for the first Back to the Bricks, scheduled for August 2005. Still, with no operating budget, and no major sponsors, the fledging organization faced a daunting task. Committee member, John Chapin, volunteered the artistic talents of his son Jason, to design the first giveaway, a t-shirt that would market the event to potential participants, and promotional flyers to advertise the “Bricks.” Doc Watson of the Hurst Shifter Corporation agreed to underwrite the cost of the t-shirts, and Jeff Giesert, owner of Economy Print in Downtown Flint, volunteered his services to produce the flyers. Stories in The Flint Journal and on ABC 12 News brought additional attention and generated enthusiasm for the project.

Few believed or could have envisioned the success of the new venture. Thanks to corporate sponsors like General Motors, Buick, ELGA Credit Union, and many others, Back to the Bricks has grown from a one-day event with only a few hundred cars and spectators to a multi-day extravaganza. The fun begins with Promo Tours each June to various locales around the Great Lakes. During the week prior to the Bricks, Tune-Up Parties across Genesee County set the stage for the Main Event. Combined, these festive celebrations today attract half a million car enthusiasts and spectators from around the nation and the world.

In 2012, Back to the Bricks unveiled the first of several commemorative statues of important automotive pioneers. Life-size bronze replicas of David Buick, William C. (Billy) Durant, Louis Chevrolet, and Albert Champion stand proudly in GM Automotive Pioneer Plaza in downtown Flint. Statues of Walter P. Chrysler and Charles W. Nash welcome visitors in the baggage claim area at Bishop Airport. A statue of Otto P. Graff stands at the corner of Court and Saginaw Street near the site of his early dealership. A bronze replica of  Charles Stewart Mott, local philanthropist, will soon grace the campus of the college that bears his name. The Statue Project plans to honor other historic figures from the automotive industry in the future. For the first time, Back to the Bricks and Buick will sponsor an indoor winter car show, “Chrome and Ice.” The inaugural event, scheduled for February 12-13, 2016  at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center in Flint, Michigan, will feature a “summertime” theme, complete with sand, palm trees, and entertainment by a California-based “beach boy” band.

In The Spotlight

  • Statues

      In 2012, Back to the Bricks unveiled the first of several commemorative statues of important automotive pioneers. Life-size bronze replicas of David Buick, William C. (Billy) Durant, Louis Chevrolet, and Albert Champion stand proudly in GM Automotive Pioneer Plaza in downtown Flint. Statues of Walter P. Chrysler and Charles W. Nash welcome visitors in the...

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  • Artomotive

    Designed to acknowledge the creativity and art of the automotive body shop and other painters and designers of automotive art, contestants use a vehicle hood as a canvas for their expression. Because the canvas is metal, it can not only be painted, but it can be cut, bent and otherwise formed at the artists desire....

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  • Artifacts

    Back to the Brick’s Auto Heritage Committee not only oversees the creation and display of bronze statues honoring Flint’s Automobile Pioneers, it also owns, maintains, restores and loans for display unusual and rare automobile memorabilia and artifacts including all or parts of special vehicles. This is just a part of its work in fulfilling Back...

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Newsletter

Monthly Newsletter will be placed here

It may be the middle of winter, but there’s still time to enjoy ‘BttB’s first ever indoor car show ‘CHROME AND ICE’ at the Dort-Federal Event Center in Flint, Michigan, Friday, February 12th and Saturday, February 13th, 2016. The cars are as unique as the setting. The ‘BttB’s team has created a beach party scene with real sand, palm trees, and sun glasses for the first 1,000 visitors. Entertainment will be provided by “Surf’s Up,” a Beach Boys tribute band from California.

Why not take a break from the bitter cold, see the vehicles on display, and experience the sights and sounds of summer at the inaugural ‘BttB’ CHROME AND ICE indoor car show? Bring your camera or use your cellphone to take advantage of the photo opps. If you are feeling really adventurous, wear your Bermuda shorts or swim suit, flip flops or sandals, and we will provide the sun glasses. Now that’s a deal!

Kudos to our TV media sponsor ABC12 which will be conducting live news broadcast from the Dort Federal Event Center on Friday, and will also be taping a thirty minute show to run later in the weekend. If you are miles from Flint, out of state, perhaps in sunny Florida, we invite you to see the show via the ABC12-Flint Website. Click on the ‘live’ tab, and you will be able to stream their broadcast to anywhere in the world.

We are also proud to announce that the Davison Community High School audio and TV class will do a ‘live’ program from 1:30PM until 3:30PM on Friday. If you missed it, you can replay their broadcast on your computer by going to dtvnews.org. It’s great to see the younger generation get excited about classic cars and ‘BttB’ events.

Don’t let the mid-winter blues or cabin fever get you down. Join us at the Dort-Federal Event Center, see the fantastic cars, view the displays, enjoy the beach and the band, meet your friends or make new ones, and check out the vendors. You just might appear on ABC12 News in your Hawaiian shirt and shorts, walking barefoot in the grass sporting your “CHROME and ICE” sunglasses.

CORDially,

Al Hatch,

Board Chair and Founder

P.S. A few days ago, while discussing the “CHROME AND ICE” show over coffee, the conversation turned to ‘our first car.’ Car enthusiast or not, everyone remembers their first car. One guy, (name withheld to protect the innocent) shared memories of his first car, a ’46 Ford Coupe, and its “not so hi-tech” piece of bailing wire attached to the clutch pedal. His girlfriend’s job was to pull the clutch pedal back up after he shifted gears. The car also had a bad battery, and as a teen, there was never enough money to buy a new one. As a result, the ideal parking place was on an incline with the front bumper pointing downhill. Oh, I forgot to mention, fortunately, his girlfriend lived on a street with an incline, and is now his wife. Brings back fond memories.

Sponsors

Back to the Bricks is proud to be a non-profit annual event. Sponsorship from the community is what really makes this happen.  We have been blessed to have substantial growth every year in our short history.  Please contact Back to the Bricks for information about becoming a sponsor.

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