Preserve the automobiles manufactured by the Durant Motor Company, provide enjoyment for each member with meets, tours & technical assistance.
This forum is provided by the Durant Motors Automobile Club located at durantmotors.org
Here's a question for all you club members. What member or organization has the most extensive records on W.C. Durant and Durant Motors? When the company closed it's doors, did any of the records survive from any of it's plants? How about W.C. photographs, factory car photographs or plant photographs, and other photographs of various departments, motors, design drawing etc.
Dick Scharchsburg was with General Motors Institute and was the keeper of most of the records and personal material from W.C. Durant. He was writing a book on Durant and asked if I would be willing to do Durants life from 1940 until his death in 1947. Dick passed away during the early days of the DMAC. Never had the privilege to meet with him personally to discuss the book. Another who had quite a bit of Durants personal stuff was his Secretary, Aristo Scrobogna. He was his secretary until his death and was working with Durant when his mansion and contents in Deal, NJ were sold. I talked with
Aristos' daughter in South Carolina on several occasions. We lost two people that could have definitly shed a lot of light on the life of Billy Durant. Unfortunately I did not move fast enough on both occasions.
I think General Motors Institute is now Kettering Institute and feel certain they have the material on our man Billy.
Hi Mike. I notice you ask also about Durant Motors and a couple super old time Durant club members Dave Schulte and Bob Smith both have a lot of literature on Durant Motors and on Durant himself. Dave has almost all the dealer brochures and instruction manuals that the old company put out and Bob Smith is our official club historian since day one and is very active in buying up all kinds of Durant items on E-bay and has a pretty extensive collection now of a lot of very interesting historical things. Jeff Gillis (now deceased) that started the Durant Family Registry Durant Club and owned it outright left a lot of information and was almost ready to go to press with a very extensive new book on Durant and I understand his wife Eileen gave it all to General motors. So maybe we could make some effort to get that stuff back especially considering that lots and lots of us past members of Jeff’s gave him a lot of ads and info for that book that we all was really looking forward to buying. I know I even offered to pay for a bunch of his books up front to help but he said hold off. GM will never do anything with it anyway. I also have been buying up a fair amount of items and will share it with any of our club members or the world as far as that goes. My dear Mother always said, “If you don’t ask you will never get anything”. So we all should be working to get as much as possible of the whole story of our man Mr. William C. Durant and his Durant Motors. Later Lance
Does anyone know if anyone is currently working on a new book about Durant and his cars?
Hello Mike Linthicum, it is a very interesting question you ask. I too wonder what happened to the material from the car factories of W.C.Durant, such as Rubgy, Star, Devaux, Durant, Flint, Frontenac, Mason, Locomobile, etc. There must be a Photo arkive from the factory production? Or have all the historic material disappeared? Perhaps all the records are on private hands? All these car makes vere sold in Norway. I have tried to find literature about it, but it's not easy to find.
I have been in contact with 10-15 different museums in U.S.A. asking for pictures of Flint cars and history, and I've got some pictures and some manuals. The Benson Ford arkive is the best I have found. I use only internet in my researching.
I have to mention two persons who has been most generous and helpful; Frank E. Sims, DMAC's technical advisor on Flint has been the best helper according to Flint cars and Flint motor history.
Historian/Librarian Bob Smith in the Club must be one of them ho knows most about all of the Durant history.
I'm hoping for a book with a great picture gallery.
Happy new year, Terje.