GM’s hometown car show spreads across Michigan

GM’s hometown car show spreads across Michigan

Though not as well known nationally as the Woodward Dream Cruise, Back to the Bricks has become a five-day automotive celebration and cruise-in staged on the brick-lined downtown streets of Flint.

One-owner '79 MG Midget, Flint-built '62 Buick Special convertible and '95 Camaro convertible in downtown Clare, Michigan | Larry Edsall photos

One-owner ’79 MG Midget, Flint-built ’62 Buick Special convertible and ’95 Camaro convertible in downtown Clare, Michigan | Larry Edsall photos

Though not as well known nationally as the Woodward Dream Cruise, in a dozen years, Back to the Bricks has become a five-day automotive celebration and cruise-in staged on the brick-lined downtown streets of Flint, the city north of Detroit where Billy Durant started General Motors and the city where the original batch of America’s sports car, the Chevrolet Corvettes, were assembled.

For the eighth year, Back to the Bricks has become more than just a Flint event. This month, more than 200 cars have cruised into seven Michigan cities on the Brick’s Heritage Promo Tour.

The first such tour included only 25 cars and traveled from Michigan into Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.

1965 Ford Mustang in downtown Clare, Michigan

1965 Ford Mustang in downtown Clare, Michigan

However, said event co-chair Pete Cimbala, organizers realized that it was Michigan, the Motor State, that was the Bricks’ primary market, so the tour route was changed — and shortened. But it also greatly expanded in car count; this year 206 cars traveled to Adrian, Coldwater, Fenton, Clare, Big Rapids, and Muskegon — with a stop at Mid-Michigan Dragway in Stanton so those who wanted could exercise their cars without posted speed limits.

Participants also had the option of spending the weekend in Cadillac, Michigan, for a two-day Back to the Bricks, Northern Michigan edition.

The first Bricks’ tour traveled 1,000 miles over the course of seven days. This year, the route is less than 700 miles and consumes five days, in part so everyone can be home for the Father’s Day weekend.

We took in the tour’s visit on a Friday evening at Clare, a fitting place because it’s smack dab in the middle of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, equidistant from the Straits of Mackinac and the Indiana border and midway between Lake Michigan and the main body of Lake Huron.

The official Back to the Bricks event in Flint runs August 15-19. See the Bricks website for details.

Photos by Larry Edsall

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