Automotive Research

Archival research, the Flint Journal Archive, and VIN documentation services will be temporarily unavailable beginning January 4, 2021, as the archives move to their new home inside Sloan Museum of Discovery. Please pardon the interruption until we return in Summer 2021!

The Sloan Museum Archives hold information on a large variety of vehicles produced in and around the Flint, Michigan area. We offer a variety of services for researchers.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Sloan Museum Archives are closed to all in-person historical research. Therefore, we will be reviewing inquiries and conducting research on behalf of researchers. Additionally, we are unable to quickly process VIN requests. Please allow at least two to four weeks to process VIN reports.

Thank you for your patience as we navigate this difficult time.

Archival Holdings

Buick Motor Division
When Buick Motor Division relocated from Flint in 1999, Sloan Museum received a tremendous donation of materials. Sales literature, promotional photographs, production information, wholesale order forms, service and product description manuals, and early company history records were included. Employee information was not maintained.

Chevrolet Motor Division
The Chevrolet Collection primarily consists of sales literature and service manuals.

Durant Motors
Sloan Museum is proud to be home of Jeff Gillis' extensive Durant Motors Collection. As President and Founder of the Durant Family Registry, Mr. Gillis' passion for the company line led him to preserve photographs, parts lists, sales literature, articles, and even fabric samples for the Flint, Star, Mason, and Durant lines. Frontenac and DeVaux vehicles are also represented in the collection.

General Motors
While many makes now fall into the GM category, the General Motors portion of the Automotive Archive includes GMC literature and manuals, as well as literature which covers all of GM's vehicles for a particular model year.

For other companies or makes, please contact Collections staff for availability. Email Collections@SloanLongway.org.

Research Services

Archival research services will be temporarily unavailable beginning January 4, 2021, as the archives move to their new home inside Sloan Museum of Discovery.

Wholesale Car Order Form Reproductions - We have Wholesale Car Order Forms for Buick models spanning from 1932 to 1986. Although these are not specific to an individual vehicle, these forms identify options and colors available for a model year. Please call to confirm that we have your Buick’s form available.

Photographs - Sloan Museum's collection of Buick Motor Division photographs spans nearly a century of the automaker's history. These images are primarily promotional photos of different models, but we also have interior and exterior factory shots. Please contact Collections staff to see what is available.

Sales Literature - We have a variety of sales literature for most Buick production years available for photocopying. For Chevrolet and Durant Motors materials, please contact Collections staff to see what is available.

Service Manuals - The automotive collection includes a variety of service manuals. Specific sections can be photocopied.

Buick VIN Documentation

1970, 1972-1976

VIN documentation services will be temporarily unavailable beginning January 4, 2021, as the archives move to their new home inside Sloan Museum of Discovery.

$75 Regular processing (completed within 2-4 weeks)
$90 Express processing (completed within 5 business days)

For information about a specific vehicle, we maintain Buick factory production records for 1970 and 1972 through 1976. This information comes from microfilm records donated by Buick Motor Division. For a complete list of VINs available, click hereVIN Documentation does not include owner history or window sticker reproductions.

VIN reports feature the same information as found on Buick Motor Division's invoice forms. All reports list options, invoice amount, invoice date, color, trim, key codes, order number, and dealer number. A copy of the wholesale car order form is also included. Using the wholesale car order form, you are able to “decode” the options and accessories which came original to the vehicle as it was produced by the factory.

VIN Documentation Request Form

Sample VIN documentation

Make A Research Request

CONTACT
For research inquiries, please contact the Archivist at Collections@SloanLongway.org or (810) 237-3421. Emails are encouraged.

Archival research, the Flint Journal Archive, and VIN documentation services will be temporarily unavailable beginning January 4, 2021, as the archives move to their new home inside Sloan Museum of Discovery. Please pardon the interruption until we return in Summer 2021!

Research Fees

For on-site research

Photographs Scans (600 dpi): $10 per image
Our automotive photographic collection varies greatly in scope. Most images are promotional photographs in black and white, but contact Collections staff to find out if we may have what you need. Images are scanned at 600dpi and put onto a CD at $10 per image. Images are for personal use only and may not be published in print or online. 

Photocopies:
Up to 50 copies: $0.20 per page
50+ copies: $10 for first 50, and $15 per half hour for staff assistance.
Researchers may make photocopies of materials. Due to copyright permissions, we are unable to photocopy complete manuals or booklets.

Staff Research: $15 per half hour
Please contact Collections staff for more information.

Other Resources

Buick Heritage Alliance: Review digitized documents or purchase copies of Buick manuals, booklets, and more.

GM Heritage Center Archive: As the official repository for General Motors Corporation, the GM Heritage Center collection covers nearly every niche of the company's history. For GM history that isn't Flint-specific, please contact the Heritage Center at GMHC@gm.com

GM Heritage Center Vehicle Collection: According to the company, the GM North American Heritage Collection is made up of approximately 600 vehicles, including prototype and concept cars.

The Henry Ford Collection Database: An online database of the Collection and Archive of The Henry Ford Museum.

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Thank you for your interest in donating historical objects to Sloan Museum. The information on this form will be used to determine if your proposed donation will fit with the rest of the museum’s artifacts. Please do not send any objects to the museum without prior approval of the Curator of Collections. Please keep in mind that items received without prior approval will be returned to the sender.


 

Please fill out the appropriate information below. Include condition and historical significance to help the Museum evaluate your submission. Feel free to attach additional pages if needed. Photographs are greatly appreciated.

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