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
It's been almost 4 years since the DMAC held it's meet in the Oakland factory. So on this Memorial Day weekend I drove out and paid a visit with camera in hand. Those pictures can be seen by going to the Special Interest section and clicking on Oakland Plant Photos, then click on Durant Square 2006 or by clicking the little mailbox icon to your left.
Where Are You From? clubs.hemmings.com/clubsites/durant/Additions/Oakland%20Ready/Oakland-Plant.html
Hi Rick. Thanks a ton for the updated pictures. I still remember very clearly the day in June 2001 Beth and I slipped away from Bert’s hot dog roast (wine country tour) in his back yard and went out looking for that old Oakland Durant factory you told us about in our pickup truck with nothing but a Oakland city map and found it cause of the Durant street that runs along side it. And then getting a personal tour of the whole place once we got there. Beth sat in the truck because they were working on the buildings. They were tearing down the Star factory in the back and stated it was a terribly tough job as it was built so strong and full of lots or rebar. I especially remember how strong it was built with the large round cement columns flared out at the top all through it holding up the 2nd level cement floor. It was a Kahn designed building. The owners of the property was very respectful of the Durant factory even to the point of tearing out the General Motors construction that had tied the administration building in the front to the main factory to get it back to the original design. They also reconditioned all the steel framed center pivot windows and told me that the face brick was still in perfect shape and only needing steam cleaning. I notice they framed and are displaying that 1916 Oakland Durant Chevy full page newspaper ad I gave the factory owners the night of our great DMAC meeting in that factory. That was a very special and driving my Oakland built 1929 Durant back on that Durant factory property just gave me chills. They spent over $75 million on restoring that factory into a useful shopping center. Yes go Durant go. Later Lance
Yep, Great pics Rick...Brings back good memories of a great event...We brought our Oakland built 1923 Durant touring down from Washington State, I remember we had the outside of the car completly restored at that time but didn't have the upholstry or the top done yet, we had foam cusions with a blanket tucked over to set on....I remember that I was as proud as a Peacock at mating season when I backed the Durant front and center under that main entrance sign when we did that photo opp...Yes, that was something bringing our car back to where it had ran down the assembly line some 80 years before...Bill
Those are super pictures. I remember eating our meal on the second floor of that historic building. Catered by George Trollman and his wife. That weekend was a great thrill for me. Even got to drive Bill Hoaglan's 23 Durant. (Still haven't got to hear our 1922 make a sound yet.) Progress is slow but sure. It will be a great car when completed.
These pictures sure brought back some great memories of Oakland, Vallejo, and San Francisco.
I like the way they have incorporated all the automotive names in the street signs. It will enable those names never to be forgotten.
I remember that long drive to Livermore and once the old Durant dealership came into view, we started honking our horns and ringing our bells. Members of the Livermore Historical Guild stood outside and waved us into the rear of the building, where, after driving for three hours on a hot summer day, we were greeted by a large group of friendly people waving, cheering and clamping. It felt like a heroes welcome!
BTW, I've added the story of our trip to the old Durant/Star dealership to the Special Interest section.