Thursday, February 28, 2013

Factory View From Leonard Thygesen.

An M-18 HellCat tank destroyer is heading south on the assembly line in factory #62 at Buick. This one has just had it's tracks installed. Demolished in 1963 this factory saw the last car through the old assembly plant #06 then onto #62 on August 2, 1963.  Go here for more.  These photos are all from Leonard Thygesen's personal collection.

Inspectors for the 75mm shells at Buick. in factory #12. Demolished in 2002.  Go here for more.

Pratt and Whitney engine training at Buick. Demolished in 2002.  Go here for more.

M-4 tank component construction in factory #2  at Buick. You are looking south. Demolition in 2002.  Go here for more. 

M-4 tank assembly. This is the revised version being assembled. The original drive unit made by Buick in flint was a three piece design. Nearby Fisher Body factory #1 also did tank assembly during World War II. This could possibly be at the Grand Blanc factory just south of Flint. The Grand Blanc facility has just been slated for demolition in the near future. Always known locally as "The Grand Blanc Tank Plant" even though no tanks have been produced their since 1955 when it reverted to civilian automobile component production. My uncle Lawrence Royer worked his entire life there. Go here for more.

Looking north in Buick's factory #02 during conversion to military  production in World War II.  Demolition in 2002This was one of the last places I ever worked at Buick. Go here for more.

I think were looking at factory #66 the crankshaft factory.  This factory was demolished in 2011. Go here for more.

People who worked in this area have pointed out that this is in factory #70 foundry.  Demolished in 2012. Go here for more.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Leonard Thygesen Demolition Videos and Buick Prints.



To super enlarge the following three prints with Google Chrome just left click, then right click and choose open image in new tab and then left click on the new tab and then left click the photo once more. It is well worth the effort!
Leonard has just created this print February 2013.
Leonard just saved this Chevrolet print from oblivion. The original photo is from David Badour. 
This is Leonard's print of Buick before the demolition which I've had framed on my wall for years. I think I've seen all the well known aerial prints of Buick and this has to be the all time best... It's perfect!




Leonard being interviewed at Oak Park.


Precarious perch.


Leonard at work on this documentary while being interviewed.


This new edit includes the Delphi east demolition, or as most people knew it simply as AC. on Dort Hywy.  These factories built on the site of the old Dort automobile facilities were erected in 1940 as set-forth in the 1920 Flint city planning commissions report that dictated new factories be built beyond the city limits (at that time) because land was becoming scarce within the city limits.


I love the soundtrack he has done with this documentary, of a time that has now Slipped Into History Forever.


Some of the news reporting on Leonard's quest.


I've watched these movies now 11 times. I find them fascinating, as you can probably tell from my history blog of Buick. I'm sure you can still get these original VHS sets as well as the new (edited) DVD. He probably still sells shirts too, and I know he sells the aerial views of Buick also.


Leonard selling his demolition movies (which are great) down at the Buick site, many years back. Links:


Leonard Thygesen

Demolition View 2012

Powerhouse #07

Factory #28 Before & During Demolition

Factory #12 2002 -2008

Buick Demolition

Factory #04 Collage

Buick City Demolition

Before And After Buick City

Truck #2489

Factory #28 Demolition

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.