The New Sloan Museum of Discovery Flint Michigan – The Auto Channel

August 18, 2022 by No Comments

The Sloan Museum of Discovery
A Buick “Hellcat” gets its own room at the newly renovated museum

Maureen McDonald, Senior Editor

Steve Purdy, Senior Editor

Michigan Bureau

The Auto Channel

Flint MI August 16, 2022; “Hellcat” is a name most often associated with 6.2-liter V8–powered Dodge muscle cars. with over 700 horsepower. They are among the most powerful cars available to the common gearhead today, and they are veritable cop magnets because of how hard it is to keep your foot out of it.

The new Sloan museum in Flint has another monster Hellcat to pique your interest; but this one is more about shooting straight than raw power. It looks like a tank, though a bit smaller, way lighter, faster and more agile. It was part of GM’s contribution to the legendary “arsenal of democracy” that saved the world.

The mighty “M-18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer,” made by Buick in Flint for deployment late in World War II, had a top speed of 55 mph (twice that of a tank) with a 350-horsepower, 16-liter, supercharged, 9-cylinder radial engine powering a vehicle with a mass of 37,557 pounds and a price tag of $55,230 in World War II dollars. The M-18 Hellcat occupies its own room in the museum with two photographic murals and a knowledgeable young docent to tell us how the long gun, moderate weight and maneuverability helped the allied troops win the Western Front. The M-18’s job, unlike the tank it resembles, is just meant to kill enemy tanks with precision, not to blow up stuff and people without much finesse, as the conventional tank was designed to do.

The Alfred P. Sloan Museum used to be essentially a car museum annotated with lots of local history. But the new museum, the “Sloan Museum of Discovery,” doubled its size and transformed into a modern, innovative, child-centric attraction with just a fraction of its space dedicated to the automobile and its place in history.

The Durant Gallery, named for the founder of General Motors, William Crapo “Billy” Durant, is where the automobile stories are told. There you’ll find a couple dozen cars (two of which are concept cars from the Motorama era) on display. The dioramas telling the cars stories are still under construction, along with annotations and some interactive elements. Viewers can see motorized buggies like the Road Carts of 1905, cars of the Art Deco era like the beautifully restored 1939 Chevy Master Deluxe, fabulously finned cars of the 1950s, and even an autonomous vehicle pointing to the future.

The completely rethought and redesigned museum cost around $30 million and was broadly funded by foundation grants, government subsidies and private donors. …….



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