Here is some very intertesting news on Billy's Durant Motor's Flint car factory.
FLINT (WJRT) -- (12/09/09) -- When the Great Lakes Tech Center goes up for auction next week, a historic Flint landmark will be sold at the same time.
ABC12's Randy Conat takes a look at one portion of the complex that played a role in the city's automotive development.
It is known today as the Great Lakes Tech Center, and some folks still remember it as the old Fisher Body plant. But it was originally built by Durant Motors to manufacture the Flint automobile.
"There was a lot of excitement about Durant Motors. A lot of people thought it would be a competitor of GM or might even take over GM," auto historian Larry Gustin pointed out.
Billy Durant, the creator of General Motors, was at the groundbreaking in 1921. "There was a huge crowd here watching. And everyone was excited about the new plant," said Gustin.
Billy Durant built this after he left General Motors the second time. Walking down these hallways is like walking back in time 85 years. This is the original walnut finish. Durant's office is still intact.
"This plant here, where he worked from this office when he was in town was the last big industrial complex he made," Gustin said.
While the Durant Motors plant was huge, Gustin says sales figures for the Flint automobile didn't match it. "Pretty soon Durant Motors began to fail, and he had to sell this plant in 1926 to GM."
It became a Fisher Body plant, and ten years later it was one of the sites of the Sitdown Strike. A plaque on Saginaw Street commemorates that moment in labor history. In the late '80s, GM renovated the complex and it became the Great Lakes Tech Center. Gustin hopes the new owners respect the history here. "It's a nice building and has a nice look to it. I think, absolutely, you want to preserve this office."
Potential bidders can inspect the buildings December 11 from 10 a.m. -- 4 p.m.
The auction takes place at the site December 15 at 11 a.m.
Lance Haynes San Diego