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Flag pole dedicated to Back to the Bricks founder Al Hatch

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 11:11 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - The man responsible for bringing one of the premiere classic car events in the world to Flint received a big honor Thursday in downtown Flint.

Al Hatch’s name is now etched into a golden plaque and permanently affixed on a flag pole hoisting the American flag.

Back to the Bricks Board Chairman Steve Hobson said the flag pole dedication was a couple of months in the making and intended to be a surprise.

“I was shocked. I didn’t expect it,” Hatch said. “It should’ve said to the community, spectators, car owners, committee, board of directors, and all our sponsors. I’m just a very small part of it.”

The Back to the Bricks founder and automobile enthusiast’s name is now among other automotive pioneers whose legacies are celebrated in the Vehicle City.

“He’ll be down here with all these great gentlemen forever,” Hobson said.

Hatch was in the driver’s seat for 15 years, propelling Back to the Bricks to become an international summer staple and premier classic car event. He took his foot off the gas last year. His efforts were celebrated by family and friends with this flag pole dedication.

“Over the years he had to be sturdy, but flexible, like that pole. He along with his board and committee…they held up an event that gave our community dignity,” said Cheryl Sclater.

Sclater is a friend of Hatch’s but also represents ELGA Credit Union. ELGA has been a sponsor for the event all but one year.

“20 years from now I’m going to go back here, and I’m going to see it. And I’m going to remember this day, and I’m very, very proud of him,” said Hatch’s granddaughter Elena Miller.

Back to the Bricks is scaled back quite a bit this year because of COVID-19, but Hatch’s love for the automobile is as strong as ever. He’s planning to drive in some of this year’s events.

Tune-Up Week kicks off Monday, August 3.

”I’ve got too many cars. I’ve been trying to talk some of the ABC staff into buying some from me (laughter), but I haven’t had any success yet, but I’ll be out driving,” Hatch said.

Five high school students were also each honored with $2,000 scholarships at the ceremony.

ABC12 is a proud sponsor of Back to the Bricks. To learn more, visit this website.

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