A 1968 Flint-built Buick LeSabre, a gift of Carol and Jim Lenas, is now on display at Sloan Museum.
The car was purchased at a Detroit dealership for about $8,000 when Carol Lenas’ father was stationed at the Detroit Arsenal Army Base in Warren. The Buick moved the family from Michigan to Virginia to Alabama and pulled their family pop-up camper to all 48 contiguous continental states. Plus, Carol Lenas and all her sisters learned how to drive in the Buick and each took it away to college with them too.
“It’s very unique in our collection in that it has a very personal story and one that I think many people can relate to,” said Geoff Woodcox, Sloan Museum’s curator of collections. “The LeSabre captures something that’s a part of many people’s lives — the kids learning to drive, family vacations, etc. It’s got dings, scratches, and rust, but that’s part of the story, too. It isn’t a showpiece: It’s a working family car and is one-of-a-kind in our collection.”
Each of the 100 vehicles in Sloan Museum’s automotive collection has a special connection to Flint and Genesee County, each helping to tell stories about family life, travel, migration, automotive culture, consumer culture, and more. Sloan Museum has 30 vehicles on display at its Courtland Center Mall location and 11 more at its original location in the Flint Cultural Center.
Sloan Museum is located at 1221 E. Kearsley St. in Flint. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free through Dec. 9 through support from the University of Michigan-Flint, the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, and the Ruth Mott Foundation. Admission is $3 to the Courtland Center Mall location.
For more information, visit SloanMuseum.org