BUICKS ON THE BRICKS
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 100 Buicks gather at Buicks on the Bricks every year with show car parking on Water Street, in the adjacent paved parking lot, and with featured cars in the plaza next to Factory One. Buick Reattas will be the featured cars for 2023 and you will want to see the special models coming! You also won’t want to miss the special presentations inside Factory One: At Noon – Styling and Design, and Development of the Buick Reatta by renowned GM stylist David McIntosh; and at 2 pm – The Building of, and Vehicle Evaluations of an Experimental Reatta with a Turbo V6 by Michael Thodoroff.
Gates open at 6:00 am to show cars. With a 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.
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 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
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.
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.