Back to the Bricks®

February 2023 Newsletter

Is it Spring YET????

February 17th, 2023

Latest from the Chairman of the Board

Hello Back to the Bricks® Friends,

Wow, what an amazing “Chrome & Ice™” weekend, I hope you were all able to attend. Let me first say, “Thank You” to our amazing committee and volunteers that made this event a complete success. You are truly the grease that keeps this machine moving and firing on all cylinders. The weather was another blessing that contributed to the record number of spectators. Secondly, what's a car show without the cars and fantastic car owners that make it all possible! And this year you all showed us, that we can continue to improve our events and make them bigger and better than ever.

I am so thankful for the generosity of our presenting sponsor, General Motors. Their commitment paves the way for other great partners like Dort Financial Credit Union, who was the presenting sponsor for the 8th Annual Chrome & Ice™ Winter Indoor Car Show. We are honored and grateful for their continued support they offer the Back to the Bricks® organization. This event sets the stage for what’s to come this year, the 19th Year celebration of Back to the Bricks®, we hope you are READY!

If you haven’t already registered for this year’s Founders Promo Tour, you need to do that as soon, as it’s filling up fast. This years’ route is one of the best the committee has developed, and with the possible stops into some incredible museums, you won’t want to miss it.

We have been getting a ton of messages and questions, and the excitement is truly building for what’s next! Officially registration for our 3rd Annual Dust em’ Off Car Show will open on March 1st. This event will be held outside at the Dort Financial Center, presented by General Motors and sponsored by our amazing partners, Dort Financial Credit Union. We once again, will be taking over all the parking lots. For sure this event will officially get all the cruisers out of storage and on the road again.

Spring is just around the corner, just a little over 4 weeks, and I saw a bunch of robins the other day, so we know it’s close. Start your list of what needs to get done to that relic out of the garage and on the road. I need tires on one car, shocks and a new starter on another so you can see my list is started and I’m getting excited to going for a nice ride in my cruiser!

We look forward to seeing you all very soon!

Thank you, 

Al Jones

Chairman of the Board

Back to the Bricks®


Chrome & IceRecap from Ralph Messer

Well, our 8th Annual Chrome & Ice™ Winter Indoor Car Show is in the books and what a show it was! We had great weather, record numbers of cars, vendors, and spectators.


This show had something for everyone from the special display featuring the 70th Anniversary of the Corvette, to the Vendors who worked hard on great displays, to the Rat Rods in our Rockabilly Tunnel. We had a Saturday concert and a Rockabilly Pageant with 20 Ladies, and even a few Littles with one lucky lady being crowned Ms. Chrome & Ice™. We had Exotic Cars in the lobby ranging from a 1926 Duesenberg to an all-new 2022 Hummer EV Launch Edition and everything in between. Watching the area fill up on Thursday was a site to see, especially the Hummer trying to fit through the walk areas, wowza was that a tight fit. But everyone did a great job and the set up was fantastic.


Our VIP Experience Friday night was spectacular. We had a Casino where you presented your fake $500 Suski Chevrolet cash and exchanged it for chips and in the end, you could have won some great prizes. Our VIP concert featured local rockers, Square Lucy, and they did not disappoint. Everyone loved the Elvis music for sure. During intermission, Jeff Threet with Insta-Lube presented a fundraising check to the Back to the Bricks® scholarship fund for over $4,000! The food was over the top thanks to Creative Catering of Flint, and this year we opened the entire facility for ticket holders to go wherever they pleased. Special touches all around the lobby and walkway of Vegas Themed décor added to the event. Thank you to our Chairman and Co-Chairman of the VIP Experience, Amber Taylor, and Dawn Copper for organizing such an amazing fundraising event. We can’t wait to announce the final numbers on our fundraising efforts.


New this year, we featured official judges to award some spectacular trophies designed and created by Michael Lysher of Flint. One trophy, the Best in Show was over 6ft tall. We also had some unique trophies for three different categories in our Rockabilly Tunnel custom made by Stacy Rhines of Davison.


Our Drivers (car show participants) were treated to a catered lunch on Saturday that did not disappoint, they were welcomed to the show with a complimentary Chrome & Ice™ Official Event T-Shirt, a collectors license Plate created by Janet Allen of JNet Services in Flint, and the opportunity to mix and mingle each morning with each other and the vendors enjoying complimentary Coffee from Coffee Beanery, and yummy treats from Big Apple Bagels of Davison. A great Car Show starts with the participants, so we do our best to treat them well.


Make sure to mark your calendar for this great winter event next year, Feb 9th-11th 2024. It just keeps getting better and better. I just want to say that a show like this isn't possible without our great team, sponsors, and wonderful volunteers.

Thank you to everyone for this year’s record-breaking turnout. 

See the Winners below.

Ralph Messer

Chairman of Chrome & Ice™

Vice Chairman of the Board

Back to the Bricks®

Chrome & Ice Judged Awards

Best In Show

Eric Payne

1957 Chevy 210

Best Interior

Art Noey

1946 Chevy Pickup

Best Exterior

Dave Hartline

1967 Ford Mustang Fastback

Best Engine

Evert & Roxanne Mero

1971 Ford F100 Custom

Judges Choice

"One Fine Ride"

Frank Nacarato

1970 Plymouth Cutta

Rockabilly Row Judged Awards

Best Patina

Sheryl Specht

1962 Ford Uni-Body Pickup

Most Creative

Troy Craven

1954 International Truck/Wrecker

Best in Show

Mike Kimber

1949 GMC 3100

70th Anniversary Tribute Corvette Award

Steve Scheibe

1968 Corvette Coupe

From Nashville Tennessee

Best Vendor Display Award

Shiny Rust Promotions

Randy Wolfman Adam

Chrome & Ice Top 10 Spectator Awards

Congratulations to them ALL!!!!

See a TON of photos from the show HERE

Special Thank You to our Volunteer Photographer, Mike Smith.

Black History Month

"Tribute to a man who made a HUGE impact here in Flint"

By: Gary Fisher

President - Genesee County Historical Society


When General Motors began to grow exponentially, workers from every background and ethnicity were attracted to twin epicenters of the American auto industry, both in Michigan, Flint, and Detroit. Among those workers were people of African American ancestry. These black workers were typically denied opportunities in the southern Jim Crow dominated region, they came from and were looking for a square deal in the north. While offered jobs, they usually entailed the toughest, hottest, most dangerous assignments, often starting in the foundry or as sanitation workers. While hardly luxury assignments, they were at least being paid to do work that simply didn't exist for better or worse in the south. Attracted to the same opportunities were white workers often described as "Hillbillies'. In fact, so many white and black southern workers were transplanting to Flint, the running joke was that no one was left in Tennessee. 

But that mass exodus wasn't limited to the Volunteer state. As many or poorer white and black workers poured into the Vehicle City form places like Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Missouri, that a southern neighborhood just south of the city line came to be known as "Little Missouri." For black workers, that meant living in either the Floral Park neighborhood to the south, or the multi-ethnic enclave of St. Johns to the north. This mingling of backgrounds served as a sort of unintentional social experiment. This ultimately created a far-reaching mingling of blacks and whites in both the factories, and on the athletic fields of both Flint high schools far ahead of the vast majority of the country. 

However, when it came to one of the seminal moments of the 20th century, the Flint Sit Down Strike, blacks in Flint were still a significant minority and not a major component of the participants. Of the 12,000 workers employed by Chevrolet only 400 were black. The strike involved workers at Fisher Body #1, Fisher Body # 2, and Chevrolet. While few workers were black, one of the few black strikers would soon become an iconic symbol of the event. His name was Roscoe Van Zandt. At first the white workers weren't sure what to make of Van Zandt, he had gotten caught up in the events and simply chose to stay on in solidarity with the others. Eventually, the icy wall of segregation began to fall as the workers started to chat with each other, something that simply didn't happen at the time for the most part.

The respect the men gained for Van Zandt, grew as the strike dragged on. His resilience and commitment impressed them immensely. When it came time to select someone to lead them out of the plant after the strike ended in a victory for the workers, they voted unanimously Roscoe Van Zandt. He led them out of the plant and carry the American flag. It is an iconic image that would inform a new generation of workers in terms of what genuine and real solidarity meant, unity beyond the workplace but genuine societal unity and equality.

While that aspirational summit had a very long way to go in 1937, it was a watershed moment in both American cultural evolution, business, and the labor movement to name a few of the touchstones. Like so many of the benchmark events and people of the American journey it involved a unique man in a crucial moment that shook the world, and it happened right here in Flint. 

This month, Black History Month which is an important time to remember and pay tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American we honor Roscoe Van Zandt

The Great Sit-Down Strike at GM's Fisher One Plant

Front Left

Roscoe Van Zandt

Roscoe Van Zandt carrying the flag when the workers walked out of Plant 4

To learn more about the Genesee County Historical Society Click HERE

Al's Garage

Al’s Garage

Vol. 4, Issue #2

"Coming Attractions"

Not wanting to sound overly excited about springs early arrival but with temperatures hovering in the mid-50s during the past couple of weeks, it is hard not to turn your thoughts to springs arrival and getting the collectable cars ready for the upcoming driving season.

There are a lot of plans in the works for collector car owners to do this spring with the arrival of the 3rd Annual ‘Dust em’ Off’ car show, which is held in May at the Dort Financial Credit Union Event Center in Flint, Michigan. Last year’s event attracted over 1,000 collector cars and a growing number of parts vendors, swap meet and other partners and sponsors. I have suspicions ringing in my ears, that this year’s 3rd Annual Dust em’ Off event, set for May 21st, will set another attendance record. One of the great features of this event is that there is no charge to enter your car, no criteria for your vehicle but that you come, have fun and enjoy being outside with your car friends.

The Dust em’ Off Car Show is followed by the spring Promo Tour titled the ‘Founders Tour’. The dates for the Tour are June 9th – 14th, 2023. This year’s tour begins in Flint on Friday morning, June 9th. The first overnight stop is in Adrian, Michigan. The second stop on the tour is in Auburn, Indiana for a two-night stay. You might ask yourself ‘why two-nights’? There are a number of auto museums, antique shops, great eateries and more in Auburn and is a ‘must stop’ if you are an auto enthusiast. Monday the tour is in South Bend, Indiana. A city that has a strong auto history (home of Studebaker), Norte Dame University, several farm implements companies that were founded in South Bend, beautiful old homes and the Studebaker Auto Museum. You will find it hard to take in all the sites. Tuesday the tour will travel to Battle Creek, Michigan for the last overnight stop. The drive from South Bend to Battle Creek is on great back roads with a lot of scenery and numerous roadside attractions. The official end of the tour ends in Battle Creek with a downtown evening cruise in. Wednesday morning concludes the tour with a return to our homes. My wife and I have been on each tour and all of them have given us great memories, and better yet, has introduced us to great new friends that we enjoy until this day. Registration is open and there is still plenty of time to register. You can find all the registration information on-line by visiting the Back to the Bricks® website, and click on the events tab and then on the ‘Promo Tour’ tab. Or just click here. My wife and I are looking forward to seeing all of you on the tour.

Another area coming attraction this spring is the opening of the racing season at the ‘Birch Run Speedway’ in Birch Run, Michigan. Just this week the Birch Run Speedway was certified as an official endorsed NASCAR track. ‘BRS’ is the third and latest track in Michigan to be certified by NASCAR. The other two are the ‘Michigan International Speedway’ in Brooklyn, Michigan and the ‘Berlin Speedway’ near Grand Rapids, Michigan. If you have not been to ‘BRS’ you need to put this on your bucket list as the track sports an entire host of upgrades to include an air-conditioned VIP booth, clubhouse seating for up to 150 people, the longest bar in Michigan at 137’ in length with 99 TV’s, paved pit areas, repaved 1/8 mile and figure eight tracks, new seating in turns 1 and 2. To top off the racing season there is an assortment of special events being held at the track to include not one but two special ‘Back to the Bricks’ events that the track is hosting. The ‘Birch Run Speedway’ is becoming a great attraction for the Saginaw Valley area. If you are an auto enthusiast make sure you make a couple of visit to the track. No dust to put up with but you might want to bring some ear plugs along!

This is a short list of the ‘Coming Attractions’ for the Flint area and I have only scratched the surface. I promise there is more coming.

Keep on Rollin'

Al Hatch

Founder of the Back to the Bricks® 

Chairman Emeritus

Back to the Bricks® Scholarship Program

Back to the Bricks® awards a total of $10,000 in post-secondary scholarships each year. The Scholarship Program provides assistance to high school seniors in Flint and Genesee County who are pursuing post-secondary study/training at a college or technical school in auto-body repair/painting, automotive design, auto mechanics, electrical/manufacturing/mechanical engineering, robotics, sales and marketing, software development for automotive applications, welding, or a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) related program.

Application deadline is Friday, May 5th 2023

See our WEBSITE for full details

Back to the Bricks® Merchandise

Get your Back to the Bricks Official Merchandise!!!

If you missed our NEW Trailer at Chrome & Ice, don't worry. You can get what you want before the next event. See our Merchandise Store online, order and have shipped to you or pickup at Kidd Company in Clio.


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