Buicks on the Bricks

BUICKS ON THE BRICKS

Saturday AUGUST 17th, 2024

Factory One
303 W Water St, Flint MI
 

The Buicktown Chapter of the Buick Club of America will once again host Buicks on the Bricks, where “lots of Buicks” come together during Back to the Bricks®. The show site is on the bricks of Water Street, outside Factory One and the Durant Dort Carriage Factory Buildings, a GM Heritage Site. Back to the Bricks® main show featuring all car models is just across the wooden bridge on Saginaw Street. 

Your Show Experience

More than 150 Buicks gather at Buicks on the Bricks every year with show car parking on Water Street and in the adjacent lot specially designed to accommodate show cars.  Featured cars are exhibited in the plaza next to Factory One and in the show parking lot.  

2024 will feature Brass and Nickel Era Cars.  Brian Heil, Chair of the PreWar Division of the BCA, is curating an exhibit of Buicks from the early 1900s which will include the 1915 Marr Buick Twin Six and a 1903 Marr Runabout designed by Buick’s first chief engineer, Walter L. Marr.  Other Buicks from 1910- 29 from the region have already committed their award-winning cars to the show.  You won’t want to miss the opportunity to see so many fine examples of early Buicks in one place!  In addition to the 1908 Buick on display inside Factory One, two cars from the collection at Sloan Museum, including the 1910 Buick Bug, will also be on site. 

At Noon inside Factory One, Kevin Kirbitz, GM Director of Heritage Operations, will present “The Life and Times of David Buick.” And at 2:00 pm, Bill McLaughlin, founder of the 1929 Silver Anniversary Buick Club will present “Billy’s Excellent Adventures – Sex, Cars, and Canada.”  You will see his 1929 McLaughlin Buick, which Bill has driven across Canada and the U.S.

Have fun, and take a selfie with statues of Billy Durant and J. Dallas Dort.

This statue, created by Derek Werner of Metamora, MI, is of the two men that started the Flint Road Cart Company in 1885 with a loan from Citizen’s Bank and were millionaires within 10 years. Billy used his knowledge of the carriage industry to form the General Motors Corporation in 1908. Dallas maintained the operation of the Carriage Company until its demise in 1917, when he began to manufacture the Dort Automobile in the Carriage Company plants.

 

Food and Drinks! 

The Arrowhead Vets Club is open to the public for Buicks on the Bricks, and sells a hot breakfast, donuts, coffee and juice starting at 8 am. They switch over to a lunchtime cookout with grilled hotdogs, hamburgers and brats, water and soft drinks, for sale. And if you like an alcoholic drink, the bar will be open all day. Nobody under 21 will be permitted in the bar.

What is a car show without ice cream? Cops and Robbers Ice Cream will be onsite in their vintage Barth motor home to sell hand-scooped ice cream, homemade ice cream sandwiches, and root beer and orange soda floats.   

Factory One

Factory One will be open so that guests may see the beautiful restoration of the first carriage factory in Flint and the Scharchburg Archives from Kettering University.  

People also like the nice restrooms. Restrooms are also available at Arrowhead Vets Club and a Porta John is also onsite.

How to get to the show

Ignore Google!  It will try to take you through the Back to the Bricks show. 

Gates open at 6:00 am for show cars. With few exceptions, parking on Water Street is first-come, first-served.  There is no admission fee, no pre-registration required, and no judging.  Bring your own chairs for lounging.

From I-75 in Flint, go east on I69 to Exit 136.  At the top of the exit ramp, turn left (North) on Grand Traverse Street (very first traffic light). Go .9 mile (cross the Flint River) and Water Street will be 2nd Street on your right (east). 

If you are westbound on I-69, take Exit 136.  Follow the access road across Saginaw Street to Grand Traverse Street (3 traffic lights).  Turn right (north) and go .9 mile to Water Street.

If you are trailering your car, registration and car parkers will direct you to nearby parking.

Historic Sites

You will also see the Durant Dort Office Building, which is the site of the Durant-Dort headquarters, now a National Landmark. Billy Durant and his partner, J. Dallas Dort began manufacturing the carriages that made Flint “The Vehicle City,” and center of the automotive industry.  As the market for carriages declined, Factory One was converted to manufacture automobiles.

In 1904, Manager David Buick brought Billy Durant on board, and the first 37 production Buicks were built in Flint. It was Durant’s involvement with the fledgling Buick Motor Company that made it one of the most successful in the country, and Buick’s success became the launching pad for the creation of General Motors in 1908. In the more than 100 years since Durant and Dort set up shop at Factory One, the building has housed countless other businesses, and eventually fell into disrepair.

GM re-purchased Factory One in 2013 and renovated it with the goal of preserving and showcasing the original architecture. Today Factory One houses the archives related to the founding of General Motors, and the building now serves as a conference center. Visitors who make the short walk to the “other bricks” on Water Street from Back to the Bricks on Saginaw Street, can see for themselves the virtual birthplace of General Motors, listen to the stories of GM’s founding fathers, and be amazed by the cars that made Flint famous – Buicks.

Links

“What is the Brass Era?” by Jenna Beaulieu

Article shared with permission from Seal Cove Auto Museum, with credit to the Richard C. Paine, Jr. Automobile Charitable Trust. https://www.sealcoveautomuseum.org/what-is-the-brass-era/

Jay Leno’s Garage – YouTube – 1910 Buick Bug 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2Pa6wQ18Sc

SloanLongway – 1910 Buick Bug 

https://sloanlongway.org/1910-buick-bug/

Marr – 1903 Runabout

https://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z12782/marr-runabout.aspx

Marr – 1914 Buick Cycle Car

https://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z14548/buick-cycle-car.aspx

Marr – 1915 Buick Twin Six Prototype

https://www.macsmotorcitygarage.com/one-of-a-kind-the-1915-buick-twin-six-prototype/

2023 Buicks on the Bricks – Reatta Feature Stories

https://www.hemmings.com/stories/back-to-the-bricks-2023/

https://www.mlive.com/news/flint/2023/08/inside-the-cult-fascination-of-the-lansing-built-buick-reatta.html

More Information

Contact David Pettengill, 810-280-9504 (text or phone) or Becky Pettengill rpetteng@umich.edu.

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