Vol. 4, Issue #7
The month of August is fast approaching and the beginning of two solid weeks of Back to the Bricks® car related activities will be starting. Looking back, not many people gave the Back to the Bricks® organization much of a chance of surviving much more than a couple of years. The driving force behind starting Back to the Bricks®, was the decision to create a new car show and ‘why not hold it on the same day as the ‘Woodward Dream Cruise’? When the idea was presented to several local entities, including the City of Flint, Flint Convention and Visitors Bureau, numerous car clubs and collector car owners, we were met with a variety of negative responses. They include “You must be out of your minds”, “That’s the dumbest idea I’ve heard”, and “Are you all crazy?”
Myself and the few people that joined forces with me, answered to the negativity by deciding to move forward with our plans. At the time downtown Flint was often referred to as ‘Plywood City’ because most of the store fronts were boarded up and there was not much to downtown Flint. Convincing the media to help support the idea gained momentum, which helped tremendously and to this day plays a significant role to the continued success of the ‘BttB’. The planning for the first year’s events began in 2004 with monthly meetings taking place for the first Back to the Bricks® car show to happen in 2005. Needing an umbrella entity to operate under we approached the ‘Flint Convention and Visitors Bureau’ with a request for their support. Fortunately, the President of the FCVB, Jerry Preston, garnered us with their support. This turned out to be a major support for the ‘BttB’. Next up was getting financial support from the local business community, which was admittedly slow at first and which was understandable. Luck was on our side. One of the founding committee members, John Chapin (now deceased), asked me if I knew Doc Watson? I said ‘no’! Who is he? It turns out Doc Watson was one of the founders of the ‘Hurst’ shifter company. Even better Doc lived in the area and John and his son, Jason, thought we could convince Doc to donate five-hundred tee-shirts to give away free at the 1st Back to the Bricks® car show. At the time the cost of the t-shirts were approximately $2,500 and we did not have a dime in the bank! But thanks to Doc Watson, it all came together. We gave away the 500 (now collectors) t-shirts which confirmed that at the minimum we attracted 500 collector car owners to bring their cars to downtown Flint. And as they say, ‘the rest is history’.
Fast forward to 2023. Today the Back to the Bricks® Classic Car Events is rated in the ‘Top Five’ national car events. This was made possible by the efforts of the BttB committee, the BttB Board of Directors, our sponsors, hundreds of volunteers, the City of Flint and surrounding communities and our valued media partners. And what about the collector car owners and the spectators? Obviously without their support there would be no Back to the Bricks®, and our gratitude for their support goes beyond words.
In closing, the foregoing just scratches the surface of the history of the Back to the Bricks® as there is much, much more to the story. Enjoy the 19th Annual Back to the Bricks® and to all the naysayers, we forgive you and with a grin from ear-to-ear, enjoy the show! Have a great time, party hard and most of all, drive safely.
Keep on Rollin'
Founder of the Back to the Bricks®