Main entrance of the restored Durant-Dort Factory One, it includes more than 17,000 color-matched replacement bricks | Photo by Jason Robinson
General Motors has opened the restored Durant-Dort Factory One as an event space and a place to view archives and learn about the innovators and risk takers who reinvented personal transportation.
The facility was once home to the Flint Road Cart Co., started in 1886 by William Crapo “Billy” Durant and his business partner, Josiah Dallas Dort. Durant later founded General Motors. He acquired the Buick Motor Company in 1908, added Oldsmobile, Cadillac and Oakland, what would become the GMC truck division and in 1911 launched Chevrolet.
Factory One is open to the public by appointment and can accommodate up to 300 people for corporate, community, educational events, and others.
General Motors founder and partner started the Flint Road Cart Company in 1886.
The archive research library includes around 100,000 documents, photographs and other artifacts concerning carriage-building and the early era of automobile manufacturing. Many of the documents formerly were housed at Kettering University, the University of Michigan-Flint and the Sloan Museum.
Among the documents is a letter suggesting Durant name his new company General Motors.
General Motors also will showcase some of its historical vehicles at the facility.
New exhibits –
Starting Saturday, the LeMay – Americas Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, showcases “Exotics@ACM – Seductive Supercars,” an exhibit that will attempt to settle the long-standing dispute by defining six common attributes among exotic vehicles.The museum defines the six core commonalities among all exotics as: prestigious brand roots; limited production; great design proportions and stance; technically advanced and sophisticated powertrains; and stunning performance (acceleration, top speed, braking and lateral acceleration).
The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia hosts “Mopar or No Car,” an exhibit that runs from June 17-July 9 dedicated to the highest-performance race cars from Dodge, Chrysler, Plymouth and SRT.
Through May 29, the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento has a special exhibit showcasing firetrucks.
May 19, the British Motor Museum shows “British Motoring Treasures: the British Motor Car in Fifty Objects.” The exhibition, which will run until March 2018, will showcase the depth and variety of the nationally designated collections held at the museum while telling the story of Britain’s motor industry using fifty key objects.
Car shows –
The Blackhawk Museum in the San Francisco Bay area hosts the Carroll Shelby Memorial Classic Car Show in partnership with the Team Shelby – Pacific Coast Region on May 13. The fourth annual charity event honors the legacy of Carroll Shelby. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature Shelby, Ford GT, Cobra, Tiger and Boss vehicles.
On May 14, the British Motor Museum holds its Gaydon Spring Classic, open to cars 20 years and older, followed by a show for historic emergency vehicles, The 999 Show, on May 29.
The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum’s next Cars and Coffee gathering on the Plaza is set for May 20, with similar events scheduled June 17, July 15, August 19 and September 16 in Auburn, Indiana. Each event is free, takes place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and is open to all vehicles: classic, exotic, muscle and favorite cars.
The Toyota Automobile Museum in Japan will hold its 28th Classic Car Festival on May 28 at the Aichi Expo Memorial Park in Nagakute City, Aichi Prefecture. The festival includes a parade of privately owned Japanese, U.S., and European classic cars –- 1987 or earlier –- held on public roads in the area.
The California Automobile Museum in Sacramento holds its 8th annual Vets and Vettes American Muscle car show May 29 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Corvette Homecoming and Chevy International car show hosted by the National Corvette Museum is scheduled for June 1-3 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Ken Lingenfelter will be grand marshal. Anniversaries will be celebrated for cars produced in 1957, 1967, 1977, 1987 and 1997.
June 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada, holds the Women with Wheels car show. This event is exclusively for women entrants.
It’s not just cars –
Approximately 100,000 documents and artifacts are housed in the factory
The ACD museum stages Trivia Night on May 5 at 7 p.m., offering a $200 prize to the winning team of eight or fewer members. Participation is $15 and attendees are encouraged to arrive early to see the museum’s galleries and exhibits.
The Petersen Automobile Museum in Los Angeles stages the McLaren Beverly Hills 720S launch event May 6 at 7 p.m., followed by its first “after-hours” vault tour May 12 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Also May 6, the Blackhawk Museum hosts the Cub Scouts’ Mt. Diablo Silverado Council Pinewood Derby championship. The Blackhawk 500 event will include a racing division for Cub Scouts and an open class for everyone else. Cub Scouts are eligible for a design competition –- competing for the Blackhawk Cup and the Spirit of Scouting Award.
America on Wheels in Allentown, Pennsylvania, holds its 3rd annual Heavy Equipment Petting Zoo on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with children free to touch and experience all sorts of large construction-style vehicles
On May 14, Mother’s Day, the AACA museum in Pennsylvania offers free admission along with a complimentary rose for the first 100 moms to visit.
The Simeone Foundation Museum in Philadelphia has postponed the fundraiser gala event and auction slated for May 20 until further notice.
America’s Automotive Trust, dedicated to securing the future of the collector car hobby, holds “Fast & Furious, the 2017 Wheels & Heels Annual Gala” on June 3 followed by “Cars & Cigars” on July 28, and the “Summer Ender Fender Bender” on Sept. 9, all at LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington.
The 28th annual National Sprint Car Hall of Fame induction festivities will be held June 2-3. Drivers to be honored are Dave Darland, Tony Elliott and Terry McCarl. Also being featured are owners, mechanics, builders, manufacturers, and sponsors Guy Forbrook and John Singer; promoters, officials media and event sponsors Doug Auld and Pat Sullivan, and, from the Pre1945 era, Earl Cooper.
At the Michelin NCM Bash at the National Corvette Museum, GM Corvette plant manager Kai Spande made the official announcement that public tours of the plant would not be available for approximately 18 months. The last day for public tours is June 16, 2017.
Educational Opportunities –
GM transformed part of the facility into a conference and event space that can accommodate groups of up to 300
The next installment of the ACD museum’s series, If These Cars Could Talk, is scheduled May 6 at 2 p.m. The car featured is a 1937 Cord 812 Supercharged Phaeton. Shortly after the Museum offers its fifth segment in its Curatorial Spotlight series with “Brothers and Bicycles.” The presentation will be delivered in recognition of National Bicycle Month and will take place on May 16 at 6 p.m.
Travel opportunities –
The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum in Knoxville, Iowa, is raffling an “Australian Sprint Car Vacation.” The winner receives two roundtrip airfares from the United States to Australia, seven nights in a hotel, and two tickets to all three nights of the Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic at Warrnambool. The winner will be selected on August 12 and need not be present to win.
The AACA Museum offers travel opportunities to Cuba from June 2-10; to England, September 1-10; and to Italy, November 3-12.
Cars in motion –
The Lane Motor Museum in Nashville holds a driving experience that allows guests to get behind the wheel of one of the museum’s cars. The experience is available on June 23 and July 7, with each day having two groups of 10 people. Each driver will receive a lesson in how to operate their chosen vehicle and then will approximately 25 miles round trip to Percy Priest Lake and back.
The Simeone Museum holds a Demo Day on May 13 with the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 MM Spider, Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza, and Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B MM Spider.
The Kansas City Automotive Museum holds its 2nd annual Scavenger Cruise on May 13.