Buick from 1908 to 1949

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The Buick 1908 to 1949



 
 
 
 
 


 
 
A Brief History of the Buick
Buick Motor Division, came into being in 1903.
The division's founder, David Dunbar Buick was building gasoline engines by 1899, and his engineer, Walter L. Marr, built the first automobile to be called a Buick between 1899 and 1900 however Buick traditionally dates its beginnings to 1903. That was the year the company was incorporated and moved from Detroit to Flint.
The division's history has been exciting from the beginning. Buick recovered from near-bankruptcy in 1904 to become the No. 1 producer of automobiles in 1908 --surpassing the combined production of Ford and Cadillac.
Buick was the financial pillar on which General Motors was created.
Buick was where a number of major contributors to U.S. auto history first headed an auto-building company -- such as Billy Durant, GM's founder; Charles W. Nash, a founder of what later became American Motors; Walter P. Chrysler, founder of Chrysler Corp. and Harlow H. Curtice, a GM president and chief executive in the postwar era. Louis Chevrolet, co-founder with Durant of the Chevrolet automobile, had earlier achieved fame as a Buick race team driver.
And Buick has been a product innovator from Day 1 -- starting with its creation of the overhead valve engine 
In 1940, Chris Sinsabaugh, who as a newspaperman had covered the automobile industry from its inception, reflected that "Buick was the first real success of the automobile industry and did more to promote the industry's well-being in terms of public education, engineering advancement, and manufacturing progress than perhaps any other company"
Yet in 1903 things were quite different. Its founder had produced only two cars in three years of trying. David Buick though an inventor of merit, generally was considered a dreamer. The company was in debt, its engineer had just left, and the firm's financial backer wanted to bail out.
David Buick, born in Scotland Sept. 17, 1854, and brought to the United States at age 2, had been a successful plumbing inventor and manufacturer in Detroit when he turned his attention to gasoline engines in the late 1890s. He started a succession of companies: Buick-Auto-Vim and Power Co. (1899), Buick Manufacturing Co. (1902) and Buick Motor Co. (Incorporated May 19, 1903), all in Detroit.
These companies produced engines for power boats and stationary applications. And by 1901 a horseless carriage, referred to in letters as "The Buick Automobile," was in existence.  Buick and his engineers argued often. Marr later said he worked for David Buick three times, and each time the company had a different name. But between Buick, Marr and another engineer, Eugene Richard, the sensational valve-in-head engine was developed. It was powerful, reliable, and developed more horsepower with its displacement than other engines of like size then on the market. Eventually the entire industry would make use of the principle. But in 1903, David Buick had neither the manpower nor money to fully develop it.
That year, Buick's financial backer, Benjamin Briscoe, Jr., sold his interest in Buick to a group of wagon makers in Flint, Mich., 60 miles north of Detroit. Eighteen years later, Briscoe observed that Buick's success story was "so fraught with romance that it made the Arabian Nights tales look commonplace."
On September 11, 1903, James H. Whiting, manager of the Flint Wagon Works, announced that wagon works directors had brought the Buick company and planned to move it -- bag, baggage and David Buick -- from Detroit to Flint. A one-story brick factory on W. Kearsley Street in Flint was in operation, building engines, by December. On January 22, 1904, Buick Motor Co. Of Detroit was dissolved and on January 30, 1904, Buick Motor Co. Of Flint was incorporated.
Flint, an old lumbering center, was already known as "The Vehicle City" -- but not for automobiles. It had become a center of horse-drawn carriage production for several decades.
In the summer of 1904, the company built the first Flint Buick. Walter Marr, back again as chief engineer, and Thomas Buick, David Buick's son, took it on a test run to Detroit and back July 9-12. The test was so successful that Whiting's group ordered production to start. Buick began production with the Model B that summer and built 37 cars by the end of 1904. When the company ran into financial problems that fall, Whiting turned to one of Flint's other carriage builders for help.
The man was William C. "Billy" Durant, Flint's carriage "king." Grandson of a Michigan governor, Durant had gotten into the vehicle business almost on whim. One evening in 1886, he saw an attractive horse-drawn road cart on the streets of Flint. The next night, he took the train to Coldwater, Mich., where the cart was manufactured, and bought the rights to build it. That year he started the Flint Road Cart Co. By 1900, the firm, renamed the Durant-Dort Carriage Co., was the largest producer of horse-drawn vehicles in the country.
Durant didn't particularly like automobiles -- he was no different from most carriage men in that opinion. But he was a strong supporter of Flint, and he knew a "self-seller" when he saw one. The Buick, he observed, drew plenty of attention because it could climb hills and run through mud like no other car he had ever seen. If automobiles could be this good, he thought, then maybe it was time to switch from the horse-and-buggy business to automobiles.
Once Durant made the decision, Buick's success was assured. No one could raise money, sell products and plan big organizations like Billy Durant. He went to the 1905 New York Auto Show and took orders for 1,000 Buicks before the company had built 40.
He moved Buick assembly briefly from Flint to Jackson, Mich., in 1905 (building more than 700 Model Cs there that year) while he gathered money from Flint banks and businessmen to build the largest assembly facility in the country on Flint's north side. He persuaded Charles Stewart Mott (later a GM director for 60 years) to move his axle business from Utica, N.Y., to Flint to build axles for Buick. He promoted Buicks across the country, using Durant-Dort carriage outlets and salespeople as the nucleus of a giant distribution system.
He created a racing team -- with stars such as Louis Chevrolet and Wild Bob Burmann -- that won 500 trophies from 1908 to 1910.
The success of Buick engines was evident on the race tracks (including 1909 successes at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in its inaugural year -- two years before the Indy 500 started), and in endurance tests across the country and around the world. Buick was the only car to complete a 1,000-mile Chicago to new York relay race in 1906; a Buick was the first car to travel across South America, driven from Buenos Aires, Argentina, over the Andes to Santiago, Chili, in 1914. Buicks won hill-climbs across the country -- including one in 1904 with one of the first 40 Buicks ever built.
In 1908, with production totaling a little more than 8000, Buick led the country in production. Durant had made the transition from the biggest seller of buggies to biggest seller of automobiles. And, on Buick's success, Durant created a holding company that year. He called it General Motors.
Durant first engaged in merger talks with other producers in the low-price field, including Henry Ford and Ransom Olds, who then headed REO.
Then, when those talks failed, Durant created GM as a holding company Sept. 16, 1908, and quickly pulled first Buick, then Oldsmobile, into the organization. Then he added Cadillac and Oakland (forerunner of Pontiac) and dozens of parts supplier businesses -- including AC Spark Plug, which he helped create with Albert Champion (whose initials formed the division's name).
Durant became financially overextended as he pulled more than 30 companies under the GM umbrella in 1908-10. He lost control of GM to a financial group in 1910. He and Louis Chevrolet developed the Chevrolet company the following year, and Durant used Chevrolet to regain control of GM in 1915-16. Ironically he succeeded, as GM president, Charles W. Nash -- whom Durant had hired into his carriage business and later helped make president of Buick.
Nash had brought Walter Chrysler to Buick as works manager. Durant retained Chrysler and made him Buick president, though Chrysler later resigned in a dispute with Durant. In 1920, Durant resigned as GM president in a short depression during which he was again overextended in the stock market. According to Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., who in 1923 became GM president, Buick's strong reputation and financial position was a major factor in pulling the corporation through the period.
Buick's star climbed steadily during the roaring twenties, with production reaching more than 260,000 units in 1926. The car's reliability was world famous. In 1923, the famous writer-traveler Lowell Thomas used a Buick in the first automotive expedition into Afghanistan. Two years later, Buicks won trophies in a series of Leningrad-to-Moscow endurance and reliability runs -- beating more than 40 cars from throughout the world.
Also in 1925, a Buick was taken around the world without a driver -- to show the reliability of Buick's and GM Export's service operations worldwide. The car, driven by dealer representatives in various countries, went to England, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Egypt, by trans-desert convoy to Damascus, Baghdad and Basra, through India and Ceylon, across Australia, and then from San Francisco to New York.
A Buick magazine of the '20s routinely reported such events as a hill-climb victory in Africa, winning a tug-of-war with an elephant, a trek through New Zealand, and the Sultan of Johore with his Buick in the Far East. In addition to U.S. production, Buicks were built in Canada (a result of an early agreement with the McLaughlin Carriage Co. Family). And, in those decades before World War II, Buick components were shipped to such countries as Spain, Belgium, England, Australia -- even Java -- where assembly was completed. In 1929, Buick opened a sales office in Shanghai, China.
Being a maker of premium automobiles, Buick was harder hit by the great depression than most of its competitors. In 1933, production plummeted to a little more than 40,000 units. By late that year, Harlow H. Curtice, the 39-year-old president of AC Spark Plug, was tapped by GM to bring Buick back to its former greatness.
A super salesman in the Durant mold, Curtice brought power and speed back to Buick. In 1934, the small Series 40 was launched. It gave exceptional performance for its price of $865. Production that year topped 78,000.
Next he issued a simple challenge to Harley Earl, GM's design chief, who always drove Cadillacs. Curtice's challenge: "Design me a Buick you would like to own." The result was the 1936 line which added Roadmaster and other successful names to the Buick stable: Special, Super, Century, Limited. That year production was close to 200,000. Buick, said a GM executive, was "off relief."
Buick continued to break ground in styling and engineering until it turned to World War II military production Feb. 2, 1942. During World War I, Buick had built Liberty aircraft engines and Red Cross ambulances (the division today displays a letter of thanks from Great Britain's then minister of munitions, Winston Churchill, to Durant for war production). In World War II Buick helped make Flint an "arsenal of Democracy" by building aircraft engines, Hellcat tank destroyers and other military hardware. Buick was awarded more than 30 separate military contracts and Buick-built material could be found at virtually every fighting front.
After the war, Buick expanded its facilities under Curtice, who in late 1948 became a GM executive vice-president, a job that led to the GM presidency a few years later. But despite the fact his responsibilities now included all the car and truck divisions, he never really left Buick or Flint. He maintained his home in that city and never owned any other make of car but a Buick.
For a more detailed history please go to the following page:

Buick Club of America
I would like to invite any one that has a favorite picture or a Web Page 
that they would like added to this page to E mail me a copy.

johnmacdoanld@summerville-novascotia.com
 
 

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The Buick from 1908 to 1949

This page was last updated on Jan 4, 2017

Other years of Buicks in this series

Click here to view the Buicks form 1950 to 1960
Click here to view the Buicks form 1960 to 1970
1950 to 1959
1960 to 1970

 
Before you view the pictures of the early Buicks I wanted to show you one 
Canadian's tribute to our War Veterans. I'll let Bob explain it in his own words
In the early 30's it was hard to get Hearses in Canada so 10 4dr's were brought to Canada from Detroit where they were stretched, a rear door put in and sent around Canada.  The one I have was used in Eston SK until the mid 60's when Bill Brigs the funeral director in Eston passed away.  After that it was bought, sold, traded around Central Sask until I saw it and it ask me to take it home.  It's taken me 4 years, working full time to modify and rebuild it.  I put modern undercarriage and power train in it as I couldn't locate original parts for it.  I decided on the airbrushing as it went along, the rear door is a tribute to our veterans as many of my family served.  The grim reaper is on the headlights, a cross on the rad louvers, a RCMP memorial on the left rear.  I needed something on the sides so decided on angels who are my Grandaughters-with their approval of course--.  I decided on gray as it wouldn't show the dust or dirt like black does.  I finished on the 26 of April 2007, this summer I've attended 14 car shows and parades.  As you could expect it drew a lot of attention, I've driven it to AB and BC for show's, received awards at all the shows.  It has been an interesting summer and an awarding one.
  If you would like more info or pics please let me know, thanks for your site.  I like it when people keep our history going.  Have a Nice Day ---BoB---I am 67 yr's
BoB Kurp
Box 83
Riverhurst, SK

 
 
 
 
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1931 Buick Hearse
1931 Buick Hearse
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1931 Buick Hearse
1931 Buick Hearse
These pictures were submitted by Terry Monk from Saskatchewan Canada  
Bob has finished the hearse and now has it for sale. If anyone is interested you can contact him at his web site http://kurpskars.sasktelwebsite.net  
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1931 Buick Hearse
1931 Buick Hearse
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1931 Buick Hearse
1931 Buick Hearse
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1931 Buick Hearse

 
1908 Buick Model 10
1908 Buick Model 10
   
 1909 Buick Model 10
1909 Buick Model 10 
 
 
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 1909 Buick
 1909 Buick
 
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 1909 Buick
 1909 Buick
1909 Buick Model F Touring Car
1910 Buick Model 16 Tonneau
   

1910 Buick Toy Tonneau 
This car is owned by Wendy Meagher of Melissa Texas
 1913 Buick Model 40
This car is owned by Bob Scott
 This car was in the movie "SEABISCUIT" as well as one of the first Buick ads for the NFL's debut. 
The specifications for the car are below.
 
1910 Buick Toy Tonneau Specifications
Wheel Base 92 Inches 
Seats Four Persons 
Tread 56 Inches 
Tires 30 x 3 ½ inches 
Brakes Internal expanding hub and external contracting on transmission shaft 
Springs Full elliptic rear, semi-elliptic front 
Frame Pressed steel 
Steering Gear Irreversible type 
Horse Power Eighteen 
Cylinders Four, cast in pairs.  Bore 3 ¾ inches, stroke 3 ¾ inches.  Valve in the head construction. 
Motor Suspensions Sub-frame 
Cooling Water, circulated by pump 
Ignition Jump spark 
Current Supply The current is supplied by a Remy magneto and a reserve set of dry cells is used for starting. 
Carburetor Schebler 
Lubrication Self-contained system, oil circulated by pump. 
Motor Control Spark and throttle lever on top of steering wheel. 
Clutch Cone 
Transmission Planetary.  Tow speeds forward, one reverse. 
Control Foot pedals for transmission brake, slow speed ahead and reverse; side levers for engagement of clutch and emergency brake. 
Drive Shaft 

$1,150.00, f.o.b. factory.  This price includes oil lamps, tail lamp, generator, gas headlights, horn and repair outfit. 

1921 Buick Model 45 Touring Car
1921 Buick Model 45 Touring
 
 1929 Buick Model 47 Sedan
 
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1931 Buick Glaser from Denmark
1931 Buick 4 Door Sedan
Glaser was a German company that made top of the line
custom bodies. The car is owned by Michael and has been for 
around 30 years and hopes to restore it this year.
 This picture was submitted by Rick Johnson.
He found it while sorting through some old family pictures.
1931 Buick 56S Coupe
This car is owned by Cathy and Charlie Boland 
They had the following to say about the car. 
"We've owned her for about 2 years now and before that she lived in the basement of a home in Virginia for 17 years, kept off the ground with small wooden beams under her frame,  and was started and run through her gears on a weekly basis by her elderly owner. 
1931 Buick 56S Coupe
 We had her looked at by our local club mechanic and with the exception of the gas tank and tires, everything major was in perfect condition. He had a tank built and we added the white walls. We love touring around in her."
   
 1933 Buick 4 Door Sedan
 1933 Buick Model 57 4 Door Sedan
 
 
 1933 Buick 4 Door Sedan  Series 57 
 1933 Buick Mode l88c 4 Door Convertible
 This car is owned and driven by Peggy MacFarland,
Seminole, Florida
 
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 1933 Buick 4 Door Sedan  Series 57 
 
 This picture was submitted by Paul Black, Tampa, Florida
1934 Buick Roadster
1934 Buick Series 50 Convertible
   
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1935 Buick 66-C Convertible
 1935 Buick Series 40 Sedan
This car is owned by Bill Siebel, Jacksonville Bch, FL. 
These  pictures were taken at the Ormand Beach show that is every Sat. after Thanksgiving. This year was the 53rd. year. There were 111 of these cars made, and this one is #80. 
There are only 5 remaining that have not been hotroded.
This car is owned by Paul Dobbin
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 1935 Buick 66-C Convertible
1935 Buick 66-C Convertible
 
1936 Buick Century OHV 8 320 cid 120 bhp
1936 Buick Ad
 
1936 Buick Ad
1936 Buick Ad
 1936 Buick Century Convertible
 1936 Buick Century Convertible
   
 1936 Buick 46c Convertible
 1936 Buick 46c Convertible
 This car is owned by Marilyn & John Rushworth, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, England.
The car was imported into England in 1988 and was reputedly sold at auction in New York in that year although there is no documented proof
 
1936 Buick 46c Convertible
1936 Buick 46c Convertible
 1937 Buick Century 4 Door Sedan
1937 Buick Century 4 Door Sedan 
 
 
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1937 Buick Special Custom Woody Station Wagon Prototype
1937 Buick Opera Coupe
   This picture was submitted by George Demas,Lamar,Co.
The car was owned by a friend ofhis who is shown in the picture. he was the person that had the car reworked and ready for the road.  He has since left Lamar, Colorado for health reasons and sold the car on Ebay prior to leaving here
 
 1938 Buick
 
   
 1938 Buick 46R Convertible
 1938 Buick 60 Sport Sedan Engine
   
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 1938 Buick Century 4 Door Sedan
 1938 Buick Century 4 Door Sedan
 This car is owned by Dawayne  Niemela   This car is owned by Dawayne  Niemela 
 1938 Buick Opera Coupe
 1938 Buick Sedan
 
 
 1938 Buick Slant Sedan
1938 Buick Slant Sedan 
 
 
 1938 Buick Special 4 Door Sedan
1938 Buick Special 4 Door Sedan 
 
 
 1938 Buick Special 4 Door Sedan
 1938 Buick Special 4 Door Sedan
 
 
 1938 Buick Special Coupe
 1938 Buick Special 4 Door Sedan
 
 
 1938 Buick Special 4 Door Sedan
 1938 Buick Century Convertible
 
 
 1938 Buick Century Series 60
 1938 Buick Special 4 Door Sedan
 
 
1938 Buick Y Job Concept Car 
1938 Buick Y Job Concept Car 
 1938 Buick Y Job Concept Car Pictured with Harley Earl
1938 Buick Special 4 Door Sedan
   
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 1939 Buick Roadster (New Zealand Model)
 1939 Buick Roadster  (New Zealand Model)
This car is owned by  Tom Brough of New Zealand and it
was the only one ever brought into New Zealand 1938 and 
sold as a 1939 Model
 
1938 Buick Mode l60 Century Custom Topper Roadster
with Bohman Schwartz
1939 Buick 4 Door Convertible
This picture was submitted by Eric Gordon of New London County CT. The car was owned by a a furniture manufacturer" from The Kingdom of Denmark. 
 The car still has the original Kingdom of Denmark plates.

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1939 Buick Special
 1939 Buick Mode 90 Limited Touring Sedan
 This car is owned by Gene Casey, Pace, FL
He did a complete frame off and did all the work himself.
The car has won the AACA "Senior" award.
 

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 1939 Buick Special
 1939 Buick Special
This car is owned by Gene Casey, Pace, FL  This car is owned by Gene Casey, Pace, FL
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1939 Buick Limted 4 Door Convertible
 1939 Buick Limted 4 Door Convertible
It is believed that this car is a Glaser. Glaser was a German company that made top of the line  custom bodies. The car is owned by Michael from Denmark  
   
   
 1940 Buick Special 4 Door Convertible
 1940 Buick Special 4 Door Convertible
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 1940 Buick Special 4 Door Convertible
 1940 Buick Special 4 Door Convertible
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1940 Buick Special 4 Door Convertible
 
This car was seen in Mount Uniacke, NS, Canada on June 3, 2014
1940 Buick Eight Convertible
1941 Buick Series 40b Special Se 4 Door Sedan
   
 1941 Buick Eight Convertible
 1941 Buick Eight Convertible
 This picture was submitted by Eric Gordon, Daytona Beach, FL.
It was taken at the Daytona Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL.
Nov. 27, 2008
 
 1941 Buick 51 Sedan
 1941 Buick 41 Phaeton
 
 
1941 Buick 41 Phaeton
1941 Buick Century Torpedo Back Coupe
 1941 Buick Special Sports Coupe
 1942 Buick Roadmaster Convertible
   
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 1946 Buick Special
 1946 Buick Special
 This car is owned by Graeme Kempton from New Zealand  
 
 
 1947 Buick
 1947 Buick Convertible
 
 
 1948 Buick Roadmaster Convertible
1948 Buick Roadmaster Convertible 
 
 
 1948 Buick Roadmaster Convertible
1948 Buick Roadmaster Convertible 
 
 
 1948 Buick Roadmaster Convertible
 1948 Buick OHV 8 248 cid 115 bhp
 
 
 1948 Buick Super Estate Wagon
1948 Buick Super Estate Wagon 
 
 
 1948 Buick Roadmaster Convertible
 1948 Buick Roadmaster Convertible
 This picture was submitted by Eric Gordon, Daytona Beach, FL.
It was taken at the Daytona Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL.
Nov. 27, 2008
 
 
 1948 Buick Roadmaster Convertible
 
   
 1948 Buick Super Estate Wagon
1948 Buick Super Estate Wagon 
 
 
 1949 Buick Riviera Hardtop
 1949 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon
 
 
 
1949 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon
 1949 Buick Roadmaster Riviera
1949 Buick Roadmaster Sedanet
 
 
 1949 Buick Roadmaster Sedanet
 1949 Buick Roadmaster Sedanet
 
 
 1949 Buick Roadmaster Sedanet
 1949 Buick Super Estate Wagon
   
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1949 Buick Estate Wagon
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1949 Buick Estate Wagon
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1949 Buick Estate Wagon
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1949 Buick Estate Wagon
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1949 Buick Roadmaster Sedanet 
(2-dr Fastback) with 63,000 original miles 
This car is owned by Harold Youmans of Mission Viejo, CA
1949 Buick Super Sedanette
This car is owned by
Bill Scott, of Grand Haven, MI
 
1949 Buick Super Sedanette
This car is owned by Bernd Scheffer from Germany
1949 Buick Super Sedanette
This car is owned by Bernd Scheffer from Germany
   
 
1949 Buick Super Sedanette
This car is owned by Bernd Scheffer from Germany
 

 
 
To Continue to the next page please use the links below
Click here to view the Buicks form 1950 to 1960
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1950 to 1959
1960 to 1970

 
 
 
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Privacy Policy for oldcarandtruckpictures.com 

If you require any more information or have any questions about our privacy policy, please feel free to contact us by email at john@summervillens.ca 

At oldcarandtruckpictures.com, the privacy of our visitors is of extreme importance to us. This privacy policy document outlines the types of personal information is received and collected by oldcarandtruckpictures.com and how it is used. 

Log Files
Like many other Web sites, oldcarandtruckpictures.com makes use of log files. The information inside the log files includes internet protocol ( IP ) addresses, type of browser, Internet Service Provider ( ISP ), date/time stamp, referring/exit pages, and number of clicks to analyze trends, administer the site, track user's movement around the site, and gather demographic information. IP addresses, and other such information are not linked to any information that is personally identifiable. 

Cookies and Web Beacons 
oldcarandtruckpictures.com does use cookies to store information about visitors preferences, record user-specific information on which pages the user access or visit, customize Web page content based on visitors browser type or other information that the visitor sends via their browser. 

DoubleClick DART Cookie 
.:: Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on oldcarandtruckpictures.com.
.:: Google's use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to users based on their visit to oldcarandtruckpictures.com and other sites on the Internet. 
.:: Users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy at the following URL - http://www.google.com/privacy_ads.html 

Some of our advertising partners may use cookies and web beacons on our site. Our advertising partners include ....
Google Adsense

These third-party ad servers or ad networks use technology to the advertisements and links that appear on oldcarandtruckpictures.com send directly to your browsers. They automatically receive your IP address when this occurs. Other technologies ( such as cookies, JavaScript, or Web Beacons ) may also be used by the third-party ad networks to measure the effectiveness of their advertisements and / or to personalize the advertising content that you see. 

oldcarandtruckpictures.com has no access to or control over these cookies that are used by third-party advertisers. 

You should consult the respective privacy policies of these third-party ad servers for more detailed information on their practices as well as for instructions about how to opt-out of certain practices. oldcarandtruckpictures.com's privacy policy does not apply to, and we cannot control the activities of, such other advertisers or web sites. 

If you wish to disable cookies, you may do so through your individual browser options. More detailed information about cookie management with specific web browsers can be found at the browsers' respective websites.