FLINT, MI — Thousands of car enthusiasts roamed Flint’s Saginaw Street on Saturday, Aug. 21, to see classic cars, capping two weeks of automotive celebration during the 17th annual Back to the Bricks.
The MLive/Flint Journal photo staff selected favorite images captured amid all the automotive action. Take a look through the gallery above to relive the best moments from the events.
But there’s more.
We wanted to make sure you had the chance to read all of the interesting stories we found through our coverage as well.
The first week was filled with tune-up parties, where we connected with Clio 72-year-old Dutch Vanderkarr and Montose 74-year-old Jerry Rowell.
The pair didn’t know each other in high school, both graduating from Ainsworth High School in 1967, but decades later they became friends over their shared love of classic cars and meet up and drive to tune-up parties and Back to the Bricks events.
We continued to cover more tune-up parties throughout the week, including an interview with Durand resident Joe Hopper, who brought his customized 1977 Ford F250 to the car show in Swartz Creek.
“I was not expecting this many cars to show up this year. With the whole COVID-19 situation, I thought people might have some cabin fever,” Hopper said. “I think it lit a fire under everyone — me included — whose cars have been sitting in their garages.”
There was no shortage of interesting or unique vehicles parked at each event.
On Tuesday, Aug. 17, Brick Flicks was in full effect at the US-23 Drive-In along Fenton Road in Mundy Township. And so was Brian Converso’s Mountain Dew camper.
The boxy truck is covered in Mountain Dew signage from the 1960s with the former slogan: “It’ll tickle your innards.”
Converso, 61, of Burton, said he decided to renovate the truck to reflect his love for the beverage because he wanted to do something different.
“I don’t like to be the guy at the car show to show with something you’re going to see more of,” he said.
The Rolling Cruise nights kicked off on Wednesday, Aug. 18 with Grand Marshall Bobby Mukkamala, Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley and other officials cutting the ribbon outside of Factory One in Flint.
“How wonderful and how blessed we are as a community,” Neeley said. “We have to thank God for this amazing day and this amazing city. Back to the Bricks is a part of the DNA of this community. This is what defines us in how we rise as a community.”
The Rolling Cruise continued into Thursday, Aug, 19, and with another sunny night, hundreds of cars drove from the historic bricks of downtown Flint to Grand Blanc along Saginaw Street.
Families lined up along the street to catch a glimpse of their favorite vintage vehicles, featuring so many from decades past and present.
Mid-week, we connected with Jeff Penrod of Swartz Creek, who was reunited with his 1968 burgundy Ford Mustang. His parents promised him the car when he was 14 years old. Their one condition: he had to get all A’s in school.
At some point his grades slipped, and they sold it because of that.
His wife Brianna found the car — the exact car — and bought it back for him. He became very emotional when he first saw it after all that time, Jeff Penrod said.
“In hindsight, it being gone for 20-plus years was probably better for the car,” Penrod said, adding there’s no way to tell what condition the car could have been in.
NASCAR driver Erik Jones of Byron established a charitable foundation to benefit three things that are close to his heart, making the announcement live on Friday at Back to the Bricks.
The three-time NASCAR Cup Series winner is starting the Erik Jones Foundation, aiming “to ignite children’s passion for reading, encourage early cancer detection and care, and promote animal welfare.”
“The experiences I’ve had growing up shaped what my Foundation is about,” Jones said in a statement. “I really enjoy reading, but with all the technology kids have available to them today, the joy of just sitting down with a good book is getting lost. I want to change that.
“Obviously, losing my dad to cancer was hard – and it still is – but it’s made me so mindful of how important early detection is, because the sooner you diagnose it, the more options you have for treatment.
“And I do love animals, and all the pets I’ve had meant a lot to me. I want to do what I can to ensure they’re enjoying healthy and happy lives, too.”
On Friday night, Aug. 20, Doo-wop groups The Reflections and Motown All-Stars each performed on stage on the bricks of Saginaw Street in downtown Flint for the Back to the Bricks Cruise ‘N’ Concert.
Not long after the last of the lawn chairs and spectators left the concert, cruisers rolled into downtown early Saturday morning, Aug. 21. Thousands of car enthusiasts roamed the streets to take in cars, music, food and more throughout downtown.
The opening ceremony honored veterans and active duty personnel, including flyovers from military aircraft and a rendition of the National Anthem.
Take a look through the links below for full stories from the digest above and more.
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