May 19, 1903 – Buick is Founded

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

Above: 1972 Buick Skylark
Top: 1904 Buick Model B. Originally priced at $850

In that same year William C. Durant was made General Manager of Buick as a controlling investor. As a natural promoter, he moved Buick headquarters to Flint, Michigan and ended up making it the best selling automobile in America in its early years. Durant used the profits from the company to found General Motors in 1908, of which he acquired Buick to be one of the original divisions.

2016 Buick Cascada, by ilikewaffles11 – Buick Cascada, CC BY 2.0,

 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. Today, Buick is the oldest functioning personal automobile manufacturer in the United States, when considering its origins with Buick-Vim.

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