We are less than three weeks away from one of the most exciting weeks of Corvette fun in the country and if you haven’t made plans yet to be in Michigan the week of August 10th through the 16th then you may not be aware of all the Corvette activities that go on there in conjunction with the world famous Woodward Dream Cruise and the outstanding Back to the Bricks® car show.
What happens in Michigan the second and third weeks of August is virtually a fantasy of automotive nirvana. Though any car enthusiast worth their engine oil has heard about Detroit’s Woodward Dream Cruise and Flint’s Back to the Bricks show, surprisingly some Corvette enthusiasts do not realize the acclaimed Corvette specific events that are a part of both of these outstanding activities.
Each year the Corvette Reunion, held in conjunction with the Back to the Bricks car show in downtown Flint, Michigan, continues to attract more and more Corvettes from all across the country and this year plans have been made to accommodate 800 Corvettes, up about 150 over last year’s numbers.
In 2013 Corvettes showed up from as far away as Hawaii and included every generation plus hundreds of restomods and custom Corvettes. Officially this is the fifth anniversary of the event and will take place on Friday night, August 15th and Saturday, August 16th.
While the largest one day automotive event in the country was taking place on Woodward Avenue in the suburbs of Detroit, an equally impressive event was taking place sixty miles to the north in Flint, Michigan, a city rich in automotive history.
The spectacular Back to the Bricks car show and the Corvette Reunion welcomed a huge throng of automobile enthusiasts, including Mark Reuss, President of General Motors of North America. Reuss was one of the featured speakers at the unveiling of a bronze statue honoring William “Billy” Durant, founder of General Motors. Durant’s statue will join David Buick and Louis Chevrolet on the brick plaza of downtown Flint. Most of downtown Flint was closed to accommodate the thousands of cars and crowd of spectators, estimated at over a half million, along the streets of the historic city.
Events include Back to the Bricks / Corvette Reunion / Woodward Dream Cruise & Corvettes on Woodward
In just a few days, four of the most exciting automotive events will take place in Michigan and if you are a real automobile enthusiast, particularly a Corvette enthusiast, you need to be a part of it.
Matt Rodriguez made it back more than 40 years ago from Vietnam, where he worked as a crew chief on a chopper.
After he returned to the States in 1970, he began a 30-year career with General Motors in the tool and dye department. That’s when he also started his long love affair with Corvettes, picking up a used 1968 model that he later sold to buy a new 1980.
“When you are young, everyone wants a Corvette, and I had an opportunity,” Rodriguez said.
Flint, Michigan’s Back to the Bricks festival started as a one-day throwback to the cruises of the 1950s and a smaller alternative to the congestion of the Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit.
Now the Flint event has grown so much that it drew more than 400,000 to last year’s festival.
Flint has special meaning for Corvette enthusiasts since the city is the birthplace of America’s sports car, with the first 300 1953 models being built at a factory off Van Slyke Avenue there. In fact, the first one rolled off the assembly line on June 19, 1953.
On June 1st and 2nd the Michigan Chapter of the NCRS hosted its annual chapter judging meet. I and about 15 other Corvette owners subjected our cars to the rigorous inspection of the NCRS judges. Over the course of judging day 5 teams of 2 judges each descended upon our Corvettes measuring their accuracy compared to their as-new condition.