Henry Leland Chapter


Henry Leland Chapter

The Leland Chapter has over 40 active members.  The Chapter members are an eclectic group preserving automotive history through research and projects undertaken by automotive authors, historians, designers, enthusiasts, artists and media.

Henry Leland Chapter Contacts

Brian Baker, President    brianbaker.design@yahoo.com

Mary Elton, Secretary/Treasurer    eltonmary@provide.net



June 8, 2018 Women in Design Panel Discussion

The EyesOn Design Lecture Series of the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology, and the Henry Leland Chapter of the Society of Automotive Historians, co-hosted a panel discussion featuring legendary designer MaryEllen Green and author Constance Smith on Friday, June 8 in the Peacock Room of the Fisher Building in downtown Detroit.

Hosted by Leland Chapter President Brian Baker, and moderated by Elizabeth Wetzel of GM, the forty attendees were treated to an exceptional ninety minute panel discussion and question & answer session.

MaryEllen was a member of Harley Earl’s GM Styling group in the early 1950’s.  Constance Smith is the author of the recently released book, Damsels in Design, which features MaryEllen among many other women designers of the era.

We are proud that the Leland Chapter partnered with EyesOn Design to support this event.  

To learn more about EyesOn Design, visit www.eyesondesign.org



June 17, 2017 Meeting and Durant-Dort Factory One Tour

The  Leland Chapter held a very successful gathering, building tour and business meeting at the Durant-Dort Factory One building in Flint, Michigan on Saturday, June 17, 2017.  Hosted by Factory One Operations Manager Kevin Kirbitz and his staff, over thirty Leland Chapter members and their guests were in attendance.   Kevin gave the group a tour of the renovated and re-purposed Durant-Dort Factory One building and the renovated Durant-Dort Offices building across the street, which houses extensive displays of artifacts and photos.  Greg Miller, Director of University Archives at Kettering University, gave a tour of the University archives now housed in the second story of the Factory One building.  These two buildings were the original facilities of what was later to become General Motors.  

Following lunch, organized by Leland Secretary/Treasurer Victoria Mobley, Kevin Kirbitz gave a presentation on the history of the immediate area and the Durant, Dort and GM presence in Flint.  A chapter business meeting followed, with the momentous occasion of long-serving Leland Chapter President John “Top Hat” Jendza III handing over the reins (or, tiller/steering wheel) to his successor Brian Baker.  Following the business meeting, ex-GM Designer Bill Porter entertained attendees with his reminisces of his career at GM. 

A special thanks to Victoria Mobley, Top Hat, Brian Baker, Kevin Kirbitz and Greg Miller for making this event a success.



Historical Society of Michigan


The Henry Leland Chapter is a member of the Historical Society of Michigan (HSM). Many of our local members have been key note speakers at many events for the HSM. We are listed in their on-line directory with a link to www.autohistory.org.


Jack C. Miller recipient of the 2015 SAH Friends of Automotive History