Sunday, June 21, 2009

Life Before Buick City

This was our in house paper prior to the creation of Buick City. This issue is dated November 13,1978. Life was much simpler then.

You can super enlarge just about any photo on this blog for viewing small details. The way this is done is a little different depending on which browser is used.

The last page tells about my mother in law hitting it big with the state lottery.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Charles W. Nash

This is an article from December 25, 1912 telling about the Loving cup presented to Charles Nash shown below.

The story of Nash 1902 to 1946.

This loving cup was presented to Charles Nash at a dinner put on in his honor by the Flint Civic organization, for his achievement of becoming the President of G.M.

Unknown date but the iron fence has not been installed.

Before the current pink color.

Nash home in winter.

Nash home now.

Nash home 1918.

Charles Nash was born January 28, 1864 in DeKalb county, Illinois. His parents divorced when he was only six years old. Neither parent wanting him, he became a laborer for a farmer near Flint Michigan, whose name was Robert Lapworth. The original Guardianship was a contract to work (room & board) until age 21. At which time he would receive a new suit and $100.00 in cash. By age 12 he tired of this arrangement and left for work on another farm for regular wages. He eventually met and married Jessie Halleck who shortly after fell ill. In order to seek medical assistance for his wife, he moved to Flint. His first job in Flint was at the W.C. Pierce hardware store. This may have been the turn of fate that brought him to the attention of William Durant, the creator of General Motors. Another source states Durant discovered him while he was mowing his (Durant's) mothers lawn, and yet another that Dort discovered him picking cherries. Either way Durant, or Dort hired him for the Flint Road Cart Company at $1.00 a day. His first job (depending on the source) was either trimmer, seat stuffer or blacksmith. He always was a hard worker, so he rose through the ranks quickly. Within one years time he became the Superintendent then General Superintendent, finally becoming Vice-President and General Manager. The Flint Road Cart Company would eventually become the Durant-Dort Carriage Company, where General Motors got it's start. Nash was personally recommended by Billy Durant for the position of President at Buick, beginning September 9,1910. This was after Billy lost control of General Motors for the first time. Prior to this position Nash was the General Manager at Buick. Their is much history written on Nash who eventually started his own auto company in Wisconsin called Nash Motors. He passed away June 6,1948 in Beverly Hills, California at age 84. His wife proceeded him in death in 1947. His resting place is Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. Nash 1948 memorial.

Walter Chrysler, Walter Marr and Charles Nash in front of the Buick plant on Hamilton Avenue in Flint.

Nash on the right being visited by old friends from Flint. On the left is Alfred Sloan and in the middle is Charles Mott. This was at Nash's new auto plant in Wisconsin after leaving General Motors.

September 1916. click for original.

Gordon Young of the Flint Expatriates blog who was staying in this historic piece of Flint history.

North side of house showing the side entrance.

Front living, or (great) room.

Entry from front porch.

Original tin ceiling in the kitchen.

Cupboard in the rear pantry.

This looks to be the exit for the original stove that heated this house. This is in the dinning room.

Original chandelier.

Another chandelier.

Original floor now painted, which was common.

One of the many original gas valves on the converted light fixtures.

The original lamp shown in detail below.

A gas valve on one of the original light fixtures.

Detail of one of the original gas lamps that were converted for electric light.

Door hinge detail seen throughout the house.

This looks to be an original latch on the cupboard separating the kitchen from the dinning room.

One of the floor registers for heat.

Stairwell leading to second floor.

This would have been Nash's bedroom in the front of the house on the second floor.

This is the second floor room that has the modern window shown in the next photo.

Rear porch detail. A previous owner has put a modern window in the second floor room. This looks to be an original wood slat roof on the porch. Two decorative pieces that attach to the house are stored in the basement.

Porch detail.

Porch detail showing the Durant Dort parking lot in the distance.

Front porch detail.

This is one of the most prominent features of the Nash home.

This is the diamond shaped window viewed from inside the front foyer. Nash later moved to 802 Garland.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ray Donley and his 1931 Buick Roadster.

Original first year straight eight. You could eat off of this engine.

Step plate on the "Mud guard/ Running board.

Well detailed dash.

It took quite a while for the early car builders to abandon the "Horse & Buggy" way's of building motorized vehicles. The use of wooden wheels at Buick ended with the finish of the 1932 model year.

You have to love the "Mother In-law" seat.

The paint was beautiful on this 1931 Buick.

The lock mechanism on this storage compartment (called Golf Bag doors) was from a "Snap On" tool box. The key hole cover is original.

These wind screen parts were all cut from solid brass by Ray.

This photo dose not do justice to the intricate work that Ray can do. This engine control was formed from a block of Brass.

Ray hand bent 16 gauge steel to form this bumper part. He explained it in loving detail.

Ray graciously let me sit in his Buick. This is the second oldest Buick that I have sat in.

"Ray and his Buick". I have shown just a few of the hand tooled parts Ray personally created for this spectacular 31 Roadster.

Ray Donley a very talented Machinist getting his award at the 2009 Coleman car show. I believe if the awards were actually given for true merit,he would have taken "Best In Show". I entered my 66 Chevy, but did not win any prize. click here for more.