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1910 Buick Model 10

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Manufacturer

Buick Motor Car Company, founded in 1904

The Man

David Dunbar Buick
  b. Sept. 17, 1854, Arbroath, Scot.
  d. March 6, 1929, Detroit, Mich., U.S.

 

David Dunbar Buick, a Scottish Immigrant, began as a successful plumbing inventor. He invented such items as the lawn sprinkler and the process of applying porcelain to metal bath fixtures, tubs, sinks, etc. When other people such as Ransom Olds and Henry Ford began to experiment with gasoline engines in the 1890's, David Buick became infatuated with the idea that he could replace a team of horses with one engine. In 1899 Buick sold his successful plumbing fixture company for $100,000 and began the first version of Buick Motor Company, called Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company. The company targeted farm and marine markets, and Buick concentrated on building stationary engines, not autos. 

 

In 1902, he formed the Buick Manufacturing Company with the aim of producing engines for automobiles. He built his first automobile in early 1903. Buick was a capable inventor. He originated the valve-in-head engine and the windshield. His company soon ran into debt, however, and in late 1903 the two  Detroit manufacturers who had financed it merged Buick's company with the Flint Wagon Works to form Buick Motor Car Company.

 

Under the management of James Whiting and with the talents of William C. Durant, who joined the firm in 1904, the reorganized Buick company quickly expanded its production, making more than 8,000 cars in 1908. Durant took over the company in November 1904. Utilizing his natural instinctive business sense, Durant built up Buick until it was the largest auto maker in the U.S. Using the capitol gained by the success of the Buick cars, Durant established General Motors in December 1908. Within an 18 month burst of aggressive wheeling and dealing, he purchased, acquired or incurred a substantial interest in almost 30 auto makers and related suppliers, the names of Cadillac, Olds, Oakland  (Pontiac), now became synonymous with General Motors. Buick, meanwhile, left the company in 1906 and engaged in further, unsuccessful business ventures that were unconnected with automotive manufacturing.


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