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Billy, Alfred, and General Motors by William Pelfrey

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CHAPTER SIX

The Dropout’s Next Big Thing

Would Billy Durant have remained in New York, alone, if the Whiting interests had not sought him out to help save Buick Motor?

Once again, there are no clear answers. And, as with his first ride across Flint, Michigan, in Johnny Alger’s new horse cart in 1886, the details of Billy’s return to Flint vary from one source to another.

One thing that all agree on is that the final catalyst for getting Billy to return to Flint was a visit from Fred Aldrich, who was still secretary of the Durant-Dort Carriage Company and had been in touch with James Whiting of the Flint Wagon Works. Whiting had just bought Buick and moved engine production to Flint. Whiting told Aldrich about Buick’s financial problems and the ...

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