The Early Buicks
John Lloyd, Flickr Creative Commons

Buick started building cars at the turn of the last century. The whole world was changing back then. For the first time in mankind’s history, speed over the ground was increasing Since the dawn of time man could only move over the Earth as fast as hist feet, or the feet of animals could carry him, but at the end of the 1800’s steam engines had overtaken wind or animal power, and the trains where the speed demons of the era. However, as the 1800’s came to a close and the 20th century was born, speed was the word of the day. Distance over time.

The mad dash to go hither and thither in less and less time drove manufacturers to invest the money into developing lighter and more efficient ways of powering vehicles, and in May 1903 a man from Angus, Scotland named David Buick opened his doors in Detroit in 1899 and founded what is currently North America’s oldest automobile manufacturer, and by 1905 Buick was offering quality cars priced for the average middle class American.

The Model B was Buick’s first widely available model and period advertising states that is “The Car Of Quality” which features a two cylinder opposed engine of 21hp, as well as a two speed transmission featuring both forward AND reverse gears! Furthermore this automobile is listed as operating comfortably from 4 to 25 mph with the high-speed clutch in, and was advertised as being “simple in control”.

Prior to the introduction of the Model B in 1905, only 40 Buicks in total had ever been built, but 1906 saw a production of 1600 cars, and over 4500 built in 1907, proving that Buick was supplying a quality and in-demand product that was attainable by a wide array of customers despite changing owners and moving the entire factory from Detroit to Flint, MI. A remarkable feat even by today’s standards.