AUBURN HILLS, Mich.—Glenn J. Reid, longtime president and owner of Flexible Products Co. who spent more than 65 years in the automotive industry, died May 25 at age 81.
Reid bought the company, which was founded in 1946, in 1980. He had been picked by Michigan General Co. to operate three money-losing Detroit companies in 1976 and used an option to buy Flexible Products with a $35,000 down payment.
Flexible Products became a significant supplier of injection molded rubber auto parts used by the Detroit 3 auto companies. It originally made its mark with muffler hangers, bushing and spring insulators.
Reid graduated with an industrial engineering degree from Ohio State University. After military service in Germany during the Korean War, he joined the Temsted Division—where his father was chief engineer—of General Motors. He spent at decade at GM and two years with Chrysler.
Possessing an entrepreneurial spirit, Reid often had a side business going besides his full-time work. In a story in 1999, he talked about when he worked at GM, he and an OSU chemist found they could use a sealing material utilized by auto makers to create museum-quality replicas of artifacts, and sold them through the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Later he built a private museum next to his plant in Auburn Hills, where he sold sculptures and other art objects.
In 2001 he founded the Reid Family Foundation, which operates the free, interactive and educational Museum Bronze—a collection of more than 2,000 hand-made working models that demonstrate the precision building of machinery for mass production and historical impact of the Industrial Revolution.
Reid was born and raised in Detroit and spent most of his life in the area. His wife of 58 years, Lorene, died in 2011.
He is survived by his sons, James, David and Douglas Reid; and daughter Sheri Reid Grant; eight grandchildren and one great grandchildren.