Berry Craig and his trusty Buick (photo by Melinda Craig)

Our UAW-made Buick just took us, trouble free, the equivalent of three round trips by air from New York to London, with nearly 1,200 miles to spare

Berry Craig
Berry Craig

Need more proof – as it were needed – that UAW members make rugged, dependable, smooth-riding vehicles?

My wife, Melinda, and I just got home from a five-week, 11,567-mile road trip in our 2019 Buick Enclave from our old Western Kentucky home in Arlington to Alaska’s Denali National Park and Preserve. We returned via the historic 1,300-mile, World War II-vintage Alcan Highway after adding an eastern swing to Baltimore, Colonial Williamsburg, Va., and North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

We started down the Alcan at Delta Junction, Alaska, its northern terminus. (My spouse took a photo of me mugging with our begrimed Buick after we arrived in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, where the highway starts north.)

Originally gravel, the Alcan is still tough-going. It was paved some time ago, but fierce winters buck, dip, crumble and pothole the asphalt. Too, the highway has several stretches of loose, dusty gravel where crews are almost constantly having to repair the roadway.

All the way, our Enclave kept purring like our kitten Jill, named for the First Lady.

The only maintenance our crossover SUV required was a routine oil change which we attended to at Whitehorse, capital of the Yukon Territory.

Since we got married in 1978, we’ve owned nine cars, all of them UAW made: Three Chevys, two Buicks, two Fords, a Mercury, and a Cadillac. Some were new, others used, including the Enclave. Every one of these vehicles gave us many years and many thousands of miles of great service.

A little sticker on the inside of the driver’s door on the Enclave says our Buick was “Built with pride!” by UAW men and women at a GM plant in Lansing, Delta Township, Mich. The sticker also says, “Building on our heritage, we commit ourselves to building the world’s finest vehicles.”

We couldn’t ask for finer vehicles than the ones we’ve owned.

So next time you hear somebody badmouth American union-made vehicles, tell the naysayer about our three-year-old Buick which carried us, trouble-free, the equivalent of three round-trips by air from New York to London with 1,184 miles to spare.

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Berry Craig

Berry Craig is a professor emeritus of history at West KY Community College, and an author of seven books and co-author of two more. (Read the rest on the Contributors page.)


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