Thursday, December 1, 2011

William Durant Speaks!

This recording-on a five inch aluminum disc from the "U&I" broadcasting system, in which Durant was an investor, was recorded as a new years eve greeting on January 1, 1932. It was sent to his wife Catherine's great-aunt Ella Day. It was made public in 1996 by William Durant Radebaugh. This recording is supposedly 3 minutes long, but this is all I have.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Happy 100th Birthday Chevrolet.

This is me and my 1966 Caprice (built in Flint) in 2010. I need to take it for a ride soon before the snow flies  I have completely restored this car from top to bottom. "It is a matching numbers car". Since it had low miles, I only freshened the 396 cu. in. engine with new rings and bearings, plus stainless valves and hardened valve seats. It has an all original black interior with bucket seats plus the gauge package. Those are the original 14 inch wheels. I did go with stainless steel fuel and brake lines. I also added a rear stabilizer. It now has a Poly-graphite front suspension, which maybe I wish I had not done (stiffer ride). I also put higher rate coil springs in the rear and new original spec. coils up front. I have the complete restoration photos on myspace at: photos Cars I have owned: 1961 Chevrolet 4 door Biscayne, 1961 Chevrolet 2 door Impala, 1962 Chevrolet 2 door Impala, 1963 Chevrolet Nova, 1963 Chevrolet Impala convertible, 1966 Ford Galaxy convertible, 1968 Chevrolet Caprice, 1972 Buick LeSabre, 1972 Chevrolet Suburban, 1974 Chevrolet Caprice, 1975 Buick regal, 1976 Buick Regal, 1978 Buick LeSabre T-type, 1981 Chevrolet Chevette, 1982 Chevrolet Cavalier wagon, 1982 Pontiac Phoenix, 1987 Cavalier 2 door, 1987 Buick LeSabre, 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix, 1995 Chevy ext. cab Silverado truck (still have), 1966 Chevrolet Caprice (still have), 2001 Buick Park Avenue (still have). This is not the exact order but pretty close. I may have forgotten one or two but this is about it.
My sister bought one of these new Camaro's a few months back. Her car is solid red with a smaller V8.
A 1955 at the Buick Gallery in Flint, Michigan. My father had a 4 door in this two tone only the bottom color was turquoise and his only had the old "stove-bolt" six.
A 1947 convertible at the Buick Gallery in Flint, Michigan.
This is the car shown below. It is a General Motors milestone car.
A 67 Caprice at the Buick Gallery in Flint, Michigan.                                                          


A 1962 4 door Impala at the Buick Gallery in Flint, Michigan. I had one of these (my favorite car) only mine was a two door with a 283 cu. in. and cast iron Powerglide and was red with a white top and red interior. "It met an awful end".
The 265 cu. in. V8 at the Buick Gallery in Flint, Michigan. "I sure worked on a lot of these back in the day".
A 1931 at the Buick Research Gallery in Flint, Michigan.
The 1920 490 at the Buick Research Gallery in Flint, Michigan.  Link here: new 1920 Buick.
The Classic six at the Buick Research Gallery in Flint, Michigan. This is the only survivor in the U.S. The other is in Canada. "This is the car that Louis Chevrolet himself designed". Durant's plans to fill the void left from Buick discontinuing the model 10 and also to compete with Ford's model T did not include a car of this size, or price.  A 1962 advertisement with a 1911 Chevrolet.

Louis Chevrolet.
Louis Chevrolet.
Louis Chevrolet.
Louis Chevrolet.
War work at Chevrolet.
War work at Chevrolet.
War work at Chevrolet.
Engine work at Chevrolet in 1918
This photo, that is often identified as showing Buick body's being built, is in actuality Fisher body plant 2-a. Notice the natural light entering the building along the whole length of the roof. The body plant  had the same skylight as the assembly plant 2 only it was located in an opening in the second floor.
This is the same view as shown below, only farther up the bluff, and earlier in time.
This photo from the Sloan Museum in Flint, Michigan is looking north up Wilcox st which would later be re-named Chevrolet Avenue.

The photo (above this diagram), which I have not posted before, was taken from in front of factory 6 (facing west across the Flint river) and is showing factory 2 assembly. That is the powerhouse 11 at the left. My Grandfather and I both worked at this location. I was there in 1973-1974 and he was there during the sit down strike in 1937. I never worked in factory 2 but did work in 4, 5, 6 and 9. Believe me when I say: This was, "Chevy In The Hole" in more ways than one, "emphasis on the hole". It was called the hole because of the valley it was in, but those that worked there had a little bit different meaning for "the hole". I much preferred working at Buick.
The yellow arrow shows the location and direction of the photograph shown above.
Factory designations of Chevy in the hole. Links:

Chevrolet Memorabilia.

Sit-Down Strike marker defaced

Flint Photos Supplied From The Weaver Family

My Cars

Original Buick Factory In Flint Michigan

My Family at General Motors

1920 Chevy in the hole


Chevrolet Memorabilia.

Sit-Down Strike marker defaced

Flint Photos Supplied From The Weaver Family

My Cars

Original Buick Factory In Flint Michigan

My Family at General Motors

1920 Chevy in the hole

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

David Buick's Marvelous Motor Car

This expanded second edition is the "REAL DEAL" for anyone interested in the early life of David Buick. The first edition was "MARVELOUS" and this new edition is even better. A must have for any Buick historian. The research done by both of these well known Buick historians is absolutely top shelf. It is well written, with many great photographs that will take you back to a time when the automobile was just in it's infancy. "Great job gentlemen"!
 Link for purchase:

David Dunbar Buick 1891 -1921

David Buick and his longtime partner in the plumbing trade. This story is from 1891.                              

Author & historian: Kevin Kirbitz just sent along this 1894 photo of David Buick when he was President and General Manager of the Buick & Sherwood manufacturing company in Detroit. Located at the corner of Champlain and Meldrum in Detroit, Michigan in 1899.

Here is better copy of the photo below, that I just received from author: Kevin Kirbitz. This photo is found in their new book.

I had found this photo a while back for sale on E-bay, but was reluctant to post it because of the strange context in which he appears. Well I just purchased the new (second edition) book "David Buick's Marvelous Motor Car" by Lawrence Gustin and Kevin Kirbitz and seen they had used it. So that is enough confirmation for me. This is from the Chicago Tribune archives and was dated July 11, 1921.  Oil story by David Buick.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Factory #06 Assembly

This north-west view from Division Street is showing axles being unloaded at the south dock of factory #06. The bridge (at the left) is going to factory #01. The date is September 24, 1921.

Showing engine installation in factory #06 either during 1917 or 1918.

This west facing view across the Pere Marquette rail line shows the location of factory #06 October 15, 1920.

This view taken from the Varnish factory across Hamilton Avenue shows factory #06 trailing off at the far right.

The same scene as shown below only in 1947. This is where I first worked at Buick and also the last. This is also where my video of Buick was made in 1995.

This north facing view shows the demolition of the original factory #06 in 1946.
This is where I entered on my first day of work Oct. 09, 1972. (The small side door). This is the, new, #40.

This is the northern section of the building above. The bridge at right across Division St. is #43 .

Here is the , new, sheet metal plant #04. That is the Oak Park entrance at left.

That is the #04 south shipping and receiving dock, at right,  where I was the day shift clerk from 1981 to 1982.
This is around 1938. Link: Complete 1946 Buick Magazine.

Location of factory #06. This would be the future site of building #16 or new factory #40, where I first entered a Buick factory, and always considered home.

The receiving area for the radial engine of the M-18 Hellcat tank in factory #06.

Assembling the bogey wheels on an M-18 Hellcat tank in 1943 in factory #06.

Court Yard Between Factory #06 and #07.

Division Street

Getting The Picture

Largest Plant In The World 1911

Buick 1908 & 1909

Walter Chrysler Photo 5,000 Buick Employees

Assembly factory #06

Factory #06 Assembly

Buick factory #1 & #6

Buick Track Postcard

Buick Factories 1908