I Remember Buick


Buick was an important part of Flint’s history – from 1904 until the closure of Buick City’s last operating assembly plant in June of 1999. Many My City readers have fond memories of working for Buick, and some of those readers come from generations of Buick workers. Here are some of their thoughts about it …



“I went to work at Buick in June 1973 and was laid off in December 1973 – a week before Christmas. My next GM job was at Chevrolet in the Hole and l was so glad when Buick called me back to work in October 1975. I retired from GM Orion plant after working 36 years, 24 of which were at Buick. My grandfather, mother, uncle, brother and sister also worked at Buick.”

– David Slattery

“Great place to work, and I’m thankful for our UAW. If not for the Union, I wouldn’t be enjoying my retirement.”
– Connie Congdon
“My dad was a general foreman and worked in Plant 4 Final Assembly for 38 years. I worked there in 1968 for 35 days.”
– Dan Skinner
“I have some old site maps of the plant areas from property survey maps and related work that I and others did – back to the early plant layouts. Very interesting to view. We had to complete our work inside and outside with the plants running full active, no shutdown, and work around running equipment, trains and trucks.” – Victor Lukasavitz

“My first job was painting on the line with my stepdad, Tony Umber.”

– Darrold Raymond

“I was honored to be a part of Buick City. I worked in Paint Department 86 back in 1998. They hired temps to help the workers get their permanent jobs before the plant closed. I sealed the cars for water leaks. My father was an employee at Buick. When I was little, I always told him that I wanted to work with him. He would ride his bike on his break to come and see me. Everyone there was very nice. For my birthday, my coworker made me a cake and it was in one of those beautiful glass cake holders. I’ll never forget that day. I enjoyed volunteering as much as I could to work overtime. I remember me and my team sanded down a car for overtime. Good memories!”

– Geri Kirchner Trickey

“I remember building Rivieras back in ‘68. My dad worked at Buick for 30 years. I came from a Buick family, drove a Buick and still drive a Buick. It’s the best car.”
– Leonardo and Cyndi Trevino
“Great Grandpa Crowder, Grandpa D. Wright, Bert Baldwin (dad), David Wright (uncle) all worked at Buick. We lived on the other side of the river from the factory on East Hamilton Street and Dad walked to work every day. Grandpa D. and Uncle David were instrumental in starting The Buick Credit Union. Yep, Buick still runs in the blood.”

– Mark Baldwin

“I worked in Plant 4 – hired in 1972, got laid off in 1973 for eight months and the same every year until 1976. I think I knew every job in that plant.”

– Melba Binkley-Wilson

“I worked there for 43.9 years! I had the pleasure of working in, on, and under every building, tunnel, and roof and street from ‘Cookie’s Barn’ to Pierson Road. I worked alongside some of the finest minds and hands – ever. So many memories, I should have written a book: My Life as a GM Dinosaur.”

– Wayne Unwin

“My first job after high school in 1968 was at Factory 36. When you hired in, they gave you a choice of half a dozen different factories in the complex. I went in knowing the number for the foundry (so as not to pick) and went to the engine plant, because I liked engines.”

– Jerry Brock

“Bill Lamb’s Factory Whistle Show! My mom worked in the main office second shift and my dad worked first in final assembly. On WKMF 1470, there was a radio program that Bill Lamb hosted, and they called it ‘The Factory Whistle Show.’ It came on from 3-4pm. It was always on when I came home from school in the early 60s. They played good music and we could hear the Buick Factory Whistle at our house. Sort of a timer, I guess, on when Dad would get home and Mom would leave.”

– Diana Bryan Thompson

“Third-generation employee. Started on April 1, 1980. Apprentice electrician in Factory 05.”

– Jeffrey Thompson

 “I worked in Divisional in the Mail Department.”
– Todd Stadler

“I hired in as an apprentice in 1970. My first night on the job, I had to go out and work on a parts elevator that kept hanging up. Thirty seconds into the job, I drew blood. Took the hide right off my knuckle. My journeyman took me to first aid, and while I was washing the cut, he worked it out with the nurse to not just put a Band-aid on the cut. I came out of there with my whole hand wrapped up, as well as my arm in a sling. My dad, who worked in another plant, came over to see how I was doing. Needless to say, they all had a big laugh on my first day.”

– Gary Weston

“My husband, Richard Bardoni, worked there for 21 years at Buick before he passed away in 2001.”
– Beatrice Laporte Bardoni
 “My dad worked at Buick engineering. Lyman Harris Buick was a great place – it reminds me of great people and growing up in better times. Buick is still the best car.”
– Ann May
 “I graduated from high school in 1968. My first summer job was on the chassis line. I could make enough money to pay for about 80 percent of my college expenses. Those were the days.” – Keith Norman
“I remember the best work force that I had the pleasure to work with. There was so much pride and so much caring about each other. We were Number 1 in the world.”
– Grover Douglas
“I remember watching it get torn down (along with all the other plants over the years). On the fence around the site of the former main plant was a sign that read ‘Demolition Means Progress.’ There was no progress – only a toxic waste site left behind. Wish I could find the picture I had of the sign. My grandfather was trained at Buick to repair the aircraft engines used in World War II.”
– Allan Wachendorfer

 “I remember when I attended Stevenson Elementary School, back in the 60s.
My class went on a tour of Buick Assembly.”

– Larry Gutierrez

“Worked at the old Buick factory and retired from there.”

– Gaetan Manningham

 “My family had several people who worked at GM, mostly Buick. My dad, both grandparents, husband, uncles, brothers-in-law, cousins all worked there. My husband, Billy Brown, or BQ as he was known, was on Dave Barber’s radio program, and he worked in the metallurgy department. He worked with the furnaces all over Buick. He used to ride a bike throughout the shop to do his job. GM has provided me with good financial help now that he passed away last September 9. I’m thankful he was a good provider for our family and now, for me, his wife.”
– Shirley Brown
“My great grandpa was one of the 100 Charles Mott brought from New York to make flywheels. Mott’s company was bought by GM and my great grandpa, Coleman Ross, was plant manager. My grandfather owned the Buick Dealership in Owosso.”

– Chris Ross Michels

“I delivered eggs to the cafeteria.”

– Jeff Easton















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