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The Buick Automobile 1904-1909 & The Buick Motor Car Co.

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Buick 1904-1909
The Buick Motor Car Co.
Flint, Michigan &
Jackson, Michigan

In 1903 David D. Buick was forced to turn over his Buick Motor Car Co. to creditors Benjamin and Frank Briscoe. James M. Whiting, a Flint, MI carriage and wagon manufacturer then acquired the company. Whiting moved the Buick plant to Flint, MI but was unable to get the floundering Company off the ground and by 1904 only a very few Buicks were sold.

Pressured by Flint, Michigan Bankers and creditors, James Whiting hired William C. Durant, founder of General Motors, to manage the Buick Motor Car Company. Durant demanded absolute control and assumed his duties on November 1, 1904. Once in control at Buick, Durant moved with boldness and speed into the volume production of a reliable car in the intermediate price range.

David Buick watched from the sidelines as the American Automobile that bore his name became the industry sales leader under Billy Durant and he died in poverty and obscurity.

1905 Buick Touring Car - Model B
1905 Buick Touring Car - Model B

Fewer than 40 Buick automobiles had actually been built up to 1904. To attract new investors Durant exhibited the above Buick model B at the 1905 New York Automobile Show. Durant even manned the exhibit himself. After the show Durant returned to Flint with new Buick order.

In 1905 Buick engines were built at the Whiting plant in Flint, Michigan and 350 Buick automobiles were built in Jackson, Michigan. Below is an early advertisement for Buick's built in Jackson.

1905 Buick Touring Car - Model C
1905 Buick Touring Car Jackson, MI - Model C

In 1906, Buick introduced two new models. The model F was a larger and more expensive automobile than the preceding model C. The model G was a runabout in the same price range of the earlier model C. Over 1,400 Buick automobiles were made in the 1906 production year. In 1907, Buick marketed a new four cylinder engine and four new models, the model D and model H at the high end of the market and the model K and model S at the low end. Production really stepped up in 1907 with 4,100 cars and the next year it doubled to 8,750. The Buick model F and G were selling well and retained for three more years. No other brand was offering its customers so much choice, nor was any brand selling as fast as the Buick. By 1908, less than four years after Durant took over, The Buick Motor Car Co. had overtaken both Oldsmobile and Cadillac in sales.

1908 Buick Model 10 Touring Runabout
1908 Buick Model 10 Touring Runabout

In 1909 Buick production was shifted to the new Flint complex. It was the largest American Automobile factory in the world and it was just as Billy Durant had envisioned. It employed a workforce of over 2,000 people, ran 24 hours a day with three shifts. For 1909, 18,000 Buick automobiles were built, more automobiles in just one day than Buick had produced in the entire year of 1904. 1909 was the first year for the Buick model 10.

For additional information on the Buick Automobile!
1899-1903 Buick   1910-1919 Buick   1920-1929 Buick   1930-1939 Buick

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