Monday, February 4, 2013

Chevrolet 50 Years In Flint

I have included the photos that were placed sideways plus others in this commemorative booklet in a more easier to study format.

I worked here for 9 months between 1973-74.  Following the second world war and the  fear of atomic attack on our cities future factory construction moved to the outskirts of our city. It was figured that with all the manufacturing centered within the city limits that there would be survivability of at least some of our manufacturing capability in the advent of an atomic attack. 

This is where my 1966 Chevrolet that I still own was built. These combined assembly and body building factories built in 1947 were the 1st and 2nd built here.  The first Corvettes were built in plant #35 shown at the upper right.

My father bought a new 1962 Impala wagon which was his last car purchased before he died in 1966. His was colored Fawn gold which actually looked silver. This one has the six cylinder just like my father always got. His 1955 Chevrolet even had a six.

Mine had the same engine as this one, a 283 ci. small block. My engine and cast iron powerglide went first into my 1963 Impala convertible and then into my best friends 1967 Nova Super Sport. All I had to do for placement into my 63 Chevy was weld on a frame bracket for the powerglide linkage and replace the generator with an alternator. The 62 model Chevy was the last year they used a generator.

I had one of these in red with a white top. It got it's white top painted at the Close Chevrolet dealership in Linden, Michigan. The last I knew it was still buried in a pit next to the Flint river. Many of it's parts lived on in other vehicles.

This is the factory where I took a night school course working in the dynomometer room in 1970 while I was still in high school. This factory was built at the same time as the Ternstedt plant located on Coldwater Road on the north-end of Flint in 1953. This being the 3rd factory erected at this manufacturing site it was originally intended for building J-65 jet engine components,  the same as Ternstedt and Buick's factory #5 building #43. A cease fire has been in place since that time in Korea and the urgency of jet engine building was replaced by civilian production of automobiles. This would become known as the Chevy V8 plant on Van Slyke.

This factory that is still working on truck components is the backdrop for Ben Hamper's book "Rivethead" tales from the assembly line. This factory followed just behind the engine plant in it's construction. It was used for stamping and frame construction. This was number 4 built at this location.

This is the Otterburn  facility on west Miller Road near Swartz Creek. This facility took most of the parts and service work away from the Chevy in the hole site's building #3 in 1957.

Factory #2 on Chevrolet Avenue.

This is where the first Flint built Buick was assembled on west Kearsley Street.  That was followed by the Whiting and then the Little finally building the Chevrolet's.


Roadtrip62 - Don Milne said...

Nice find, Gerry. I especially liked seeing those 1962 Chevrolets being built.

REL said...

I think this might explain why there are other blogs saying that first Corvettes were produced in Bldg 35 on Chevrolet Avenue (now part of Kettering U buildings). Bldg 35 on Van Slyke is a different complex. Are there other references for identifying this Bldg 35 on Van Slyke?