HellCat Tank Training & Engineering 1943.

Here you can see the major rebuilding of factory #08 in 1920. That is Hamilton Avenue running east and west between factory #08 and the main office which was building #07.

The engineering and training for the Hell-Cat tank was done here during World War II. This south-east view shows factory #08 during it’s 1920 remodel. This shows the third floor addition being built. This photo is labeled wrong, as is the one shown below. This one is identified as the main office. The main office was actually directly north across Hamilton Avenue . I think maybe some interns did the cataloging of these archive prints and they really did not know much about the Buick buildings. 

This is a south facing view in 1920 of the remodeling of factory #08. This and the photo above are from the Buick Research Gallery in Flint, Michigan. This one is also wrongly identified as another building. So if you do any research there beware of the information attached to these archive prints. This shows the bridge area that will connect with factory #4 body shop. The third floor is being added at this time. That is the W.F. Stewart factory #3 in the left background.

Guarding factory #08 during World War II. I remember these Buick guards well. They commanded much more respect than the Pinkerton guards that replaced them when Buick City was created. These guards were great to work with. They did not wear a side-arm in my time. The Pinkerton guards were always “JERKS”. I dealt with security on a daily basis while shipping and receiving parts. The Pinkerton guards always looked and acted like mall security.

The original T-70 wooden mock-up. Some working models were built and rejected by the military. This is factory #08.

Radial engine installed in this powertrain cutaway. This is factory #08.

Training on the turret of the M-18 in factory #08.

Powertrain section cutaway.  Hellcat name was going to be used for the 1947 DYNAFLOW transmission. Link here for news. 

Training in factory #08.

Training in factory #08.

Training in factory #08.

Training in factory #08.

Inserting the torsion bar suspension which is still used in our modern tanks today. This is factory #08. You can tell this is facing north towards Hamilton avenue because of the trees outside the windows.

Powertrain section training cutaway.

Ready for the “quick change” engine. The engine was on rollers and was slid in place from the rear. This is factory #08.

Transmission training in factory #08.

Engine in factory #08.

Power section in factory #08.

Drive section in factory #08.

Suspension and drive wheel training in factory #08. This would also be the north wall because of the tree branches visible outside the window.

This location is shown two photos below. That is the Oak Park fire station on Industrial Avenue in the background. Since we can see Oak Park #4 fire station in the background (in this 1943 photo) we know that factory #4 body shop has been removed. It was in fact demolished in 1936. M4A2E8 – Upgraded with wide-track Horizontal Volute Spring Suspension (HVSS), fitted with the 76mm M1 gun is shown on the left.

The location of this photo is shown at the bottom, with the south wall of factory #08 in the background. M4A2E8 – Upgraded with wide-track Horizontal Volute Spring Suspension (HVSS), fitted with the 76mm M1 gun shown in profile.

This 1930 aerial photo of the area south of Hamilton Avenue shows the location and direction of the posed M-18 Hell-Cat tanks. The building (#08) is located south of Hamilton and is where the M-18 training school was located during World War II. This building had many functions over it’s life span, including: Early Buick Factory Showroom – New model build (pilot cars) – Book publishing (Buick Bulletin) – Training School (WWII) – Day Care Center (during G.M.’s 50th celebration) – Engineering (#78) – Body building (wooden bodies) – Tank Transmission Assembly & Shipping and was always used as the garage for management and their families vehicles. It had it’s first major remodeling in 1920 and it’s second between 1927-1930. The second addition is the area designated as #08 in the photo. My mother parked here (south of #08) sometimes when we picked my father up after work. Factory #08 was demolished during 1963 when so many other old Buick buildings were removed. As I reported for work (on my first day) at the Hamilton Avenue entrance to Division Street in 1972, I was a bit confused? Because I remembered how it looked when the old main office and Buick garage were still standing when I was a kid.

In this photo you can see the location of the M-18 Hell-Cat tanks posed in the picture. The area circled is the background in the 1943 (inset) photo. The engineering group at Buick was designated as #78 and was functioning in this building and building #84 starting in 1927  Link for news announcement. Building #84 was built on the footprint of the old Imperial Wheel plant on the north-side of Hamilton Avenue.

Links:

National Defense Day At Buick.

W.F. Stewart Factory 4 & Buick Garage #08.

Factory #08

Ruth Nash

Factory #08 1923

Buick 1920 Aerial View

Overview Buick 1938

Buick 1930

Buick Through The Years.

Buick Aerial View 1930

Aerial Buick.

Buick Aerial View 1936

Factory #62 Getting Ready For War

Buick Test Track During World War II.

The T-70 Tank Prototype

Genesee County Tanks

Factory #62 WWII

Factory #06 Assembly

Industrial & Hamilton Avenue 1913

My Family at General Motors

Building #84 Engineering

Engineering & Experimental 1923

Buick Engineering 1972

 

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