1906 Buick Model G

 

This 1906 Buick, an automobile brand known everywhere for quality, is one beautiful early automobile.

Buick was founded by a Scottish bathtub manufacturer by the name of David Buick. Joining Buick in 1899 in his enterprise were a Michigan bicycle merchant named Walter Lorenzo Marr and a French machinist named Eugene Richard. These three men were noted for devising an engine with valves in the cylinder head. The valves were opposite the cylinder head rather than the then common placement beside them.

1906 Buick Model G

1906 Buick Model G

The first Buick automobile sold reportedly was the 1904 Model B although a few prototype autos were built prior to that. The car shown in this article, the 1906 Buick Model G. During 1906 Buick also built a Model F which was a five-seater. These were the two Buick models available in 1906.

William Durant and Buick

It didn't take long at all for William Durant, a very successful and wealthy carriage maker to see the innovation with Buick's engineering. Buick, Durant believed, was the perfect starting point. Durant had wanted to enter the auto building business and decided to begin investing in Buick, a small start up company in 1903. By 1904 Durant took control of Buick. Durant wanted a car company and Buick was cash strapped at the time. This signaled the beginning of what would eventually become General Motors.

1906 Buick Two-Seater

1906 Buick Two-Seater

Durant hired a sales force to sell Buicks all over the U.S. As far as promoting his vehicles, Billy Durant was not fond of spending money on conventional advertising. Instead he often chose to parade his vehicles around town trying to attract attention. Buick also was doing well in the racing category claiming three performance records in 1905.This included the world's record in a five mile race.

This in itself to Durant was the best advertising. During this very early automobile era quite a few people paid attention to auto race results. This stirred the buzz and this is what helped sell cars.

He furthermore had very good success attracting investment money from Wall Street, Flint Michigan banks and from carriage makers who wanted to take part in what they saw could be the replacement of the horse carriage.

1906 Buick Roadster

1906 Buick Roadster

Durant, the natural salesman, took Buick cars to the New York Auto Show and came back with over one-thousand orders. These were orders for a car company which had built a bit over thirty vehicles to date.

An excellent book about William Durant and the making of General Motors is The Deal Maker: How William C. Durant Made General Motors by author Axel Madsen.

Links to more AutoMuseumOnline articles you'll find interesting include:

1903 Ford Model A

1913 Ford Model T Touring Car

 

1906 Buick Model G Specifications

The 1906 Buick Model G had a two cylinder engine with a total of four valves, two per cylinder. The engine could deliver 22 horsepower at 1,200 RPM. Displacement was 159 cubic inches. The engine placement was in the middle of the vehicle.

1906 Buick Model G rear view

1906 Buick Model G rear view

The car's transmission was a manual two speed with rear wheel drive.

The 1906 Buick Model G had a wheelbase of 87.0 inches and was a two-seater. The fuel tank held 16 gallons. Vehicle weight was 1,850 lbs.

The 1906 Buick's could be bought in colors of either ivory or purple lake blue. A variety of colors could be chosen for the leather seats.

A total of 193 of these roadsters were built. The 1906 Buick Model G sold new for around $1,100.

(Photos from author's collection)

1903 Ford Model A

 

The 1903 Ford Model A is quite historic in the fact that this model was the first Henry Ford produced. The 1903 Ford Model A aside from being the first Ford car produced was also profitable for the company. It was available as either a two or four seater and was produced in only the color red. Ford Motor Company of course reintroduced the Model A in 1928 as a replacement for the highly successful Model T.

1903 Ford Model A

1903 Ford Model A

As you can imagine, the Ford Model A of 1903 had some problems. Engineering problems were fairly commonplace with any automobile built in this very early era. The most common problems were either engine overheating and/or transmission slippage.

The Importance of the 1903 Ford Model A

Making of success of the 1903 Ford Model A was critical to the aspirations of Henry Ford. These were the first automobiles he built for sale. Ford had tried his hand with cars prior to 1903 but met with average success. Not enough success to go into full production.

Ford Model A

Ford Model A

By the time the Model was unveiled Henry Ford's cash was dwindling fast. On July 15 of 1903 as luck would have it Henry Ford received cash for the full price of one vehicle and down payments for two others. That in itself was enough to keep the Ford Motor Company in business. Therefore, when you look at the 1903 Model A it's significance cannot overstated. According to Ford Motor,  a red 1903 Model A Rear Entry Tonneau is believed to be car number 3, chassis number. 30, and the lone survivor of the group of Model A cars sold that particular July day in 1903. That particular historic car was purchased by Ford Chairman Bill Ford.

In a way you could say that the 1903 Ford Model A helped launch the company. It's often been said that Henry Ford and James Couzens had bet the entire company on having product ready and fortunately customers signed up at exactly the moment the cash ran out.

1903 Ford Model A front suspension

1903 Ford Model A front suspension

Between the years 1903 and 1905 the Ford Motor Company built about 1,750 Model A's in a converted carriage factory in Detroit Michigan and was on firm footing for continued success. The Model A as popular as it was lasted only two years when Henry Ford replaced it with the Model C.

Ford Model A Specs

Although the Model A had somewhat of a horse buggy look to it, these horseless carriages could reach a speed of 30 MPH. Many early automakers came from the carriage building business thus the similarity.

The 1903 Model A had a two cylinder engine which displaced 100 cubic inches. The engine delivered eight horsepower. The car weighed in the area of 1,250 lbs and had a wheelbase of 72 inches. The car's light weight helped the two cylinder engine deliver ample power.

Links to additional AutoMuseumOnline photo articles you'll enjoy include:

1927 Ford Model T Coupe

Ford Model TT Truck

Ford Model A 1903

Ford Model A 1903

Something very typical of very these early automobiles is that the driver and passenger sit very high because the engine is mounted under the seat. The drive to the rear wheels is with a chain. A distinctive item which Ford used with his first cars was an actual steering wheel. Other cars at the same time used a tiller like you would with a boat.

From 1903 on, automobile technology was changing fast and by 1905 and 1906 the first Ford Model A's were mechanically out of date.

The two seat 1903 Ford Model A cost $750 with the four seater selling for $850. The four seat model could also be purchased with an optional roof.

The 1903 Ford Model A Collectors Car

A 1903 Model A received  an excellent bid in auction. The car's historical significance as detailed above has a lot to do with it's value for a collector. It represents the first product of the Ford Motor Company. As of this writing a restored 1903 Ford Model A went for around $265,000.

(Photos from author's collection)