Thursday, August 20, 2009

Carriage Town Michigan

I ran across an interesting article in the New York Times this morning. Kind of an American tale of a community reinventing itself. Like so many communities going through that process so is Carriage Town Michigan. This community is a neighborhood in Flint Michigan built by the pioneers of the then thriving carriage industry. Once home to the Durant-Dort Carriage Company, Flint Michigan was a leader in the carriage trade. Durant Dort ultimately morphed into General Motors through its creation of Buick. Credit Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times for the photo below.

There is something about this type of community that I find very appealing. The tremendous beauty of these neighborhoods just left to ruin. Now the underdog is fighting back to life. People are drawn back to the beauty and creating a new community. But was Carriage Town a victim of it’s own success? What caused the failure of such an incredible historic neighborhood? For better or worse it was probably modern transportation. Better known as the automobile. The creation of the modern automobile ultimately lead to the development of the suburbs and the fall of the city. After all who wants to drive their fancy new car two blocks back and forth to work. I find it so interesting how the product that created the beautiful core of Flint Michigan probably lead to its demise. I'm looking forward to jumping in my car and visiting Carriage Town sometime soon.

We are just a booking along on the Whiskey Gig. The body is in first coat primer and being block sanded as we speak. It is turning out nicely and I expect to see it in second coat primer later on today.

Here are the remains of the chassis parts. We were not wild about the wheels that were on the vehicle so we are changing them out. I was looking for a more refined traditional hub on this one and now we have it. So all the chassis parts are waiting to be reinstalled on a new axle. We should have that wrapped up today.

The shaft frame was sanded and put in second coat primer on Tuesday. It is now ready for final sanding and then on to paint. Maybe we’ll see some paint on those tomorrow.

Here are the new wheels. They turned out great. We copied the hub from the Studebaker Sailor Wagon which I will be blogging tomorrow. The hub is about 4.5” in diameter and a really pretty design. We went with twelve spokes on a one inch axle. These are wood hub wheels with a modern roller bearing boxing. They should look fantastic on this vehicle.

BTW I guess I need to have more bloggless days if I actually want people to comment on my work…

Have a great Thursday.



Peter said...

I really like the wooden hub wheels. It does give a wonderful look. Is this something you did in house?

Toddersville said...

Hi Peter

Good to hear from you. Yes, I agree. They have an air of quality about them that was traditional to the higher end carriages of the day. Did not do this set. Too much backlog in the shop so it's a little easier right now to sub them out.


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