Under The Hood

Live from Saginaw Street at Back to the Bricks

After 50 years, “Doc” Watson celebrated 50 years of “shifting gears” with Hurst, and had the perfect venue to do it: Back to the Bricks in Flint, Mich.

Watson had an open house along Back to the Bricks’ main artery, Saginaw Street, and greeted all comers to a building filled with artifacts from the past, and a few from the future, including a gleaming new, silver supercharged Hurst Challenger. There’s rumor that Doc might have something up his sleeve later during the event, so we’ll keep you posted.

Visitors also caught a glimpse of the iconic Linda Vaughn, who was fluttering around the open house, greeting her fans and talking cars and Hurst, as she’s always good for. Some of the cars Vaughn helped make famous were also on hand, including the Hurst/Olds convertible she stood on, hanging on to a giant shift handle mounted to the trunk, as well as Doc’s personal Pontiac SSJ that was used for all the publicity shots of the model, which included Vaughn.

Several car owners brought their cars to the open house, including several Hurst owners. Perhaps the rarest car in the lot wasn’t a 1969 H/O or 1988 H/O, but the white-and-gold 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass sedan used as an Indianapolis 500 official’s car for the 1974 race.

Back on the rolling cruise that makes up Back to the Bricks, the machines were rolling in. Given the fact that Flint was once home to more than 100,000 General Motors’ employees, it’s not surprising that most of the metal rolling through Flint wore the blue label. Although it’s early during the event, muscle has been heavy, and there are plenty of prewar surprises.

I’m heading back to the bricks, so check back for more updates after the show.

Long remembered will be the giant shift handle Hurst model Linda Vaughn, “Miss Hurst Golden Shifter”, used in famous poses for the company.

Here’s another view of the Hurst/Olds with the giant shift handle (on the left) along with the Pontiac SSJ used for publicity shots with Vaughn.

A new silver supercharged Hurst Challenger is on view in a special inside exhibit.

The most rare of the Oldsmobiles in the Hurst display is this 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass sedan used as an Indy 500 official’s car at the 1974 race.

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