Back to the Bricks®

September 2023 Newsletter

September 15th, 2023

Latest from the Chairman of the Board

What a glorious time of year, the air is a little cooler, the trees are starting to turn into a beautiful range of colors, and football season! Whether it’s middle school, high school, college or pro it’s fun to watch and cheer on your favorite team. Speaking of football, how about the Lions, undefeated and super bowl bound! We got to keep believing and supporting them.

One of the things my wife Debbie and I like to do is take one of our Buicks out for a color tour and a bite to eat. There are so many nice little towns to drive to and through in our area so don’t put those cars away just yet. Consider the Automotive Hall of Fame color tour, more info is below.

I hope all of you have signed up for our last Road Rally, this Saturday, September 16. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and the weather forecast is great, a high of 73. What a nice day for a ride. Even if you are not signed up for it, come anyway. Line up starts at 8am at Shea Automotive. It’s our last official outing for this year, but I know there are still some nice car shows to take in before the end of October.

Finally, let me close by saying THANK YOU to our volunteers who helped this year. It doesn’t matter if you helped a little or a lot, it all is very much appreciated. If you are not a volunteer currently and would like to consider being a part of our team, sign up. Our Volunteers get to pick and choose the events they want to volunteer at. SIGN UP HERE

I hope to see you soon! 

Thank you, 

Al Jones

Chairman of the Board

Back to the Bricks®


Last Road Rally of the YEAR!!!!

Saturday September 16th

We told you we weren't done yet!!! Thanks to our partners, Shea Chevrolet, and Halo Burger we have 1 final rally of the year. Kicking off at Shea Chevrolet at 8am on Saturday morning, this Road Rally brings back the visual Scavenger Hunt, less than 80 miles of travel, with a few picturesque stops, and prizes to be won at the end. So, grab your favorite passenger, and register today!

Bring a new TOY to donate to Toys for Tots!

Our friends are hosting a car show in Clio, and we will be donating all the toys to them to contribute to the cause.

This Road Rally is TOTALLY FREE!

Come out, have fun, and let’s hit the road! 


We will have NEW Merch and Root Beer for Sale!

The Automotive Hall of Fame - Fall Color Tour

Get ready for an unforgettable ride! 

Rev up your engines for the most thrilling Fall Color Tour yet!  Join this tour at the Automotive Hall of Fame as car enthusiasts gather for an adrenaline-packed day.

Fuel up with a light breakfast and buckle up before they kick off this fall adventure at 10 a.m. The Route is an exhilarating journey to The Lingenfelter Collection in Brighton, MI.

Get up close and personal with an incredible lineup of vehicles that'll make any car enthusiast's heart race.

Enjoy lunch and an exclusive keynote presentation by none other than General Motors President Mark Reuss. Get ready for insights, stories and automotive wisdom straight from the top! Don't miss out on this ride of a lifetime!

This is NOT a Back to the Bricks event. The event benefits the Automotive Hall of Fame, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and our educational programs for the next generation of innovators.


#AHFColorTour #roadrally #motorcity #detroit #automotiveindustry

MORE local events to know about

Bring a TOY to donate!

To register CLICK HERE

JOIN our Classic Car Sales FB Page

Back to the Bricks launched an OFFICIAL Classic Car Sales Group. This is a group to showcase your Classic Cars for Sale, or Trade. This is for private sales ONLY. Totally FREE.


A NEW Statue is being formed of ABC Hardy


November 19, 1869 – November 22, 1946

Alexander Brownell Cullen Hardy, better known as A.B.C. Hardy, was an important Flint automobile pioneer and close associate of Flint's major carriage and auto leader, William C. Durant, for a half century. When Durant, co-founder of Flint’s Durant-Dort Carriage Company, started a new low-price firm, Diamond Buggy, in the 1890s, he hired Hardy to run it. Hardy, born in Ypsilanti, had been head of the Wolverine Carriage Company in Davison, Michigan. Later in the decade, when Durant's business partner, Dallas Dort, stepped aside to care for his ailing wife from 1898 until her death in 1900, Durant named Hardy interim president of the Durant-Dort company.

While at Durant-Dort, Hardy learned of trusts trying to take over carriage suppliers. Rather than accept the resulting higher prices, Hardy negotiated with some suppliers while also implementing a practice whereby Durant-Dort would manufacturer their own wheels, forgings, paint and varnish. Durant recognized that Hardy needed a vacation, so sent him on a trip to Europe. While there, he was astonished by the advanced automobiles seen on European roads. When he returned to Flint, he advised Durant to “get out of the carriage business before the automobile ruins you.” Durant was not ready, and Hardy made a second trip to Europe to study the automobile more closely. Hardy then became Flint's first auto manufacturer, building 52 cars in 1902-03 (priced from $750 to $850). At the time, holders of the Selden Patent, essentially a blanket patent on the automobile, attempted to control all U.S. automobile production. Although the patent would be overturned in 1911, it was too much of an uphill fight for Hardy, and his company was forced out of production. Durant finally got into autos in late 1904, taking over the fledgling Buick Motor Company in Flint, growing it to be the top selling automobile in the country, and then creating General Motors, also in Flint, in 1908. Hardy was managing a carriage firm in Iowa when Durant called him back to Flint in 1909.

Durant lost control of GM in 1910 and, with Hardy’s help, created the Chevrolet Motor Car Company. After Durant regained control of GM in 1916, Hardy continued to assist him in ventures such as the creation of the Frigidaire Company. Durant was forced to resign as GM president in 1920. Hardy was made general manager of Oldsmobile in 1921 and was added as a GM director in 1922. He retired from Oldsmobile and GM for health reasons in 1925. In later years he was involved in many Flint community events. 

Help us complete our mission to bring A.B.C Hardy to life.

Click the form below and print off the PDF. All donations will receive a Tax Donation Letter. If you have any questions please contact Amber Taylor at or 810-877-8383

Table Talk

By: Gary Fisher

President - Genesee County Historical Society

One of the most unique and long since forgotten spots in American automobile history was the Brooks and Penfield apartments located at the Northeast corner of Kearsley and Stevens. They were converted to offices when purchased by the University of Michigan in 1974.

But in their golden era they were the scene of some of the most consequential conversations in world manufacturing history. When Charles Stewart Mott was recruited to Flint by Billy Durant, he brought his entire company and entourage with him. One of those men was Sanford Rasbach. Tasked with moving the Weston Mott company to Flint, he became the impresario hosting dinners with his gourmet cook wife Cora in their Brooks and Penfield apartment.

An antique collector he hosted dinner parties there with a table once owned by Lafayette, and offered the finest European wines, and cheeses along with the best booze you could find in Flint. Living with he and his wife was Mott’s business partner, William Dolittle, and Mott was in a house just next down the block at Kearsley and Liberty.

Regular guests included “Big” Bill Little, close Durant associated, and namesake of the Little Motor Car Company, the forerunner to Chevrolet. Also there regularly was Assistant Factory Manager (and future Buick President) Harry Bassett, Durant Dort Manager Charles Nash, Clarence Williams (Mott’s personal secretary),Herbert K. Dalton, Factory Manager, and Harvey Mallery, Weston- Mott’s Treasurer. Mott of course attended regularly.

It was around that table that big decisions about the fate of the burgeoning auto industry took place. When one of them went hunting and bagged a deer or a duck, it was feasting time at the Brooks-Penfield. One memorable occasion Mott arrived the night before with a suitcase filled with $60,000 in cash (the equivalent of 2 million in 2023 dollars), and casually dropped it off in one of the apartments overnight.   

Soon another visitor started showing up at the apartments. Alfred Sloan, leader of the Hyatt Roller Bearing company was a close associate with Mott. Mott made axles and axles and bearings went hand in hand. So, Sloan knew he needed to keep tabs on what Mott was up to, especially with the move to Flint. Soon Sloan would join the conversation around the Lafayette table in the Rasbach home.

Like so much of Flint’s glorious automotive history the apartments are long gone, ultimately demolished to dust for a parking lot. But the reality of what transpired there, like many of the other hallowed historic venues in Flint remain as markers of a time when Flint was the innovation and entrepreneurial capital of America, and big ideas bandied around a big table morphed into reality on a daily basis. 

From left to right:

Sloan, Mott, Nash, Bassett

Al's Garage

Al’s Garage

Vol. 4, Issue #9

"It’s Hershey time"

For me, late summer car activities are a special time of the year. Beginning in the second week of August, Back to the Bricks® begins with Tune-Up Week, which is followed by the Main Event Week, that concludes with the Main Event car show in downtown Flint. From all indications, the 19th Annual Back to the Bricks® was the largest show to date. The expanded show area on South Saginaw Street was maxed out with show cars and, most likely, will be utilized for the foreseeable future. And ‘Yes’, planning is already underway for the 20th annual Back to the Bricks® with the BttB committee saying the 20th annual show will be one that will go into the records books as the best! Two weeks later my family and I made our annual trip to Auburn Indiana for the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club reunion.

This was our 44th annual trip to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club reunion and festival. The entire town (much like Flint and Genesee County) is taken over by the collector car community. A collector car auction, swap meet, the ACD Club reunion, Parade of Classics, entertainment, large car show in the center of town on Friday night, yard sales all over town and much, much more highlight the week.  By the time Sunday rolls around my family and I are worn out! One would think that by now going to another car event might be the last thing on our minds. But that is not the case. My thoughts turn to the annual trek to Hershey, Pennsylvania. You got it, it’s ‘Hershey Time’ for the collector car community.

This will be the 46th year that I will attend the annual Antique Automobile Club of America fall swap meet. Is it worth attending? You bet it is! Even if you only go once, I can promise you it will be an experience you will never forget. There are approximately 12, 500 vendors set-up, and if you walk both sides of the rows of vendors, it is about 35 miles of vendors (give or take a couple of miles). It is often said, “If you can find it at Hershey it does not exist!” That might be a slight exaggeration, but it is not too far off. As it stands right now, I am not really looking for any particular parts for any of my cars, and with that said, I will not be walking both sides of the rows and rows of vendors. This shortens my walking distance by half or about six miles a day. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and make friends with a fairly large number of people over the years, and it is enjoyable to meet up with old friends once again. As time has passed, many old friends have passed, and they now occupy a space in my memory. It is great to see the number of vendors who attend ‘Hershey’ and find that rare part they might have been looking; for but uniting up with old friends is priceless.

If you have never been to ‘Hershey’, I strongly recommend you put it on your ‘bucket list’. I promise it will be an experience you will carry with you for the rest of your life. See you in Hershey. One more thing; the dates for this year’s Hershey meet are October 3rd-6th, 2023.

Keep on rollin'

Al Hatch

Chairman Emeritus & Founder

Back to the Bricks® 

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