GM founder Durant statue heads to foundry for bronzing

GM founder Durant statue heads to foundry for bronzing
Flint — General Motors founder William “Billy” Durant will soon be immortalized in bronze.

The finished statue will then be placed in the downtown Flint statue plaza that already features automotive giants Louis Chevrolet and David Buick, according to The Flint Journal.

“Having him in the center of these two automotive names, he’s the guy who brought them to Flint, and at least got them started,” said Al Hatch, founder of Back to the Bricks, which started efforts in 2012 to put statues of automotive figures throughout the city. “Of course, they both split off and went their own ways, but he’s the guy that got them here. He was the idea guy, I guess, the motivator.”

The clay sculpture was done by local artist Joe Rundell. It will be set in bronze at a Clarkston foundry and is expected to be unveiled Aug. 17 during the Back to the Bricks car show.

The statues cost about $40,000 each to sculpt, bronze and place in a granite platform. The Durant sculpture was funded by Dale and Mary McClelland.

Dale McClelland told the newspaper that he was excited to be a part of the project. He said he wishes more people recognized Flint’s role in automotive history.

“People forget,” he said. “Whatever has evolved had to start someplace.”

The former owner of Financial Tax and Planning in Flint Township also wants people to know about who Durant was — a businessman with integrity.

“He bought and sold businesses on a handshake,” Dale McClellan said. “You don’t see that anymore.”

Hatch is also excited to see the new addition’s arrival.

“This really sums up the plaza,” Hatch said. “It puts the final touches on it.”

Well, almost final.

As soon as funds are available, Rundell will sculpt Buick co-founder Charles Nash.

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