Oresniks Chevy Truck Passes Million-mile Mark

by : Anthony Fontanelle

Frank Oresnik's dubbed 'old girl' recently passed the one million-mile mark thanks to an engine built in Flint.

"This engine is a real marvel," Oresnik said in a telephone interview with The Flint Journal. "It keeps this truck going and going. I'm a complete booster of the job your men and women did on my engine."

Officials at General Motors Corp. said the engine in Oresnik's Chevy Silverado was manufactured at the former Flint V-8 Engine Plant off Van Slyke Road, which ceased production in 1999 and was demolished a year thereafter.

The durability of the engine is not surprising to V-8 workers. Actually, some of them are still building said engines at Flint Engine South, a plant situated on the same General Motors property. "They were good engines," UAW Local 659 shop chairman Joe Ledford said of the V-8 that powered Oresnik's truck. "That's all we've ever done is build engines."

Oresnik has been in the news for quite a while now. He hit the one million-mile milestone in southeastern Wisconsin with a National Public Radio audience listening in and a camera crew filming. "I can't tell you how much fun it was," Oresnik noted. "It was really humbling, all this interest."

Oresnik passed the million-mile mark Feb. 8 in southeastern Wisconsin while on his way back home to Catawba, located in Price County, about an hour west of Rhinelander, reported MLive. "I won't say it was relief ... it was exhilarating," he said later during a stop in Gresham. "This truck has been so dependable over the years."

Oresnik said there has been some interested in General Motors or Shell Oil buying the truck. But he said he has interest in taking a roadtrip to Michigan and meeting workers who built the engine in Flint as well as those who assembled his truck in Pontiac.

John Crabtree, Flint Engine South's plant manager, said in an e-mail that Oresnik would not be disappointed if he visited some of the "greatest engine building talent in the world today."

"I was extremely proud to be the plant manager of the V-8 plant," Crabtree concluded. "Whether we're talking about the eight cylinders that we built then, the world-class six cylinders that the same workforce makes today, or any engine that GM needs for tomorrow. ...This is just another reminder that our Flint South team is always up to the challenge."