Statue of automotive pioneer Louis Chevrolet to be bronzed - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Statue of automotive pioneer Louis Chevrolet to be bronzed

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(02/07/12) - For the past few months, a Mid-Michigan man has been busy in his workshop, creating a statue of automotive pioneer Louis Chevrolet. He took on the project even though he had never made a full-size sculpture before.

"I've got some places on the face I'd like to smooth out a little,  but for all intents and purposes, he's ready to go," said sculptor Joe Rundell.

Rundell is a member of Flint's Back the Bricks committee and was asked to consider making a statue of Chevrolet. He had some experience in creating busts, but never such a big sculpture.

"I would guess he's 180 pounds," Rundell said.

Since August he's been shaping the clay sculpture of the man who raced Buicks in the early years of the auto industry. Chevrolet is dressed like he just stepped away from the race track, including a long duster.

"That was the hardest part for me to do," Rundell said.

Rundell first work with Louis Chevrolet was a bronzed bust. He finished it last July. When he was done, he saw some improvements he wanted to make and made those changes on the statue.

It's 6 foot, 2 inches tall and stands in jackboots which resemble a pair Joe owns. In the next few days, the statue will be carefully moved by truck to a foundry in Clarkston where it will be bronzed. Is Rundell worried? "Yes, I am," he said.

Rundell is a world class gun engraver. His work has been shown around the globe. When it comes to sculpting, he's self-taught.

"I ended up using four different clays in this guy. Had I had some instruction I wouldn't have had to beat my head against the wall quite so much," Rundell said.

The 71-year-old GM retiree plans to do seven more sculptures of automotive pioneers.

"Certainly David Buick, which I've already started. C.S. Mott is one of the top candidates," he said.

Rundell's statue is expected to be unveiled in downtown Flint in August during Back to the Bricks Week.

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