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May 19, 1903 – Buick is Founded

On this day in 1903 the Buick Motor Company was founded by David Buick as a subdivision of Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company, which started business in 1899 as a manufacturer of internal combustion engines. The Model B became the first Buick to go on sale to the public when it launched in 1904, reaching total annual production of 37 units. There are no known survivors of the 1904 vehicles, but two replicas do have original 1904 engines. 

Above: 1950s Buick convertible
Top: 1904 Buick Model B. Originally priced at $850

In that same year, William C. Durant became General Manager of Buick as a controlling investor. He moved Buick headquarters to Flint, Michigan. From there he used his promotional skills to make it the best selling automobile in America in its early years. Durant used the profits from the company to found General Motors in 1908, which then acquired Buick.

1967 Buick
1967 Buick Riviera

 In 1911 Buick introduced their first closed body car, four years ahead of Ford. Other early achievements for Buick included winning the first automobile race held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (1911), being the first brand to introduce standard turn signals (1939) and the introduction of the Buick V8 to coincide with their 50th anniversary in 1953. Buick has remained an upper class car, competing with brands below Cadillac but above entry level cars such as Chevrolet. Considering David Buick founded the company as part of Buick-Vim, it is now the oldest functioning personal automobile manufacturer in the United States.

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