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)

1953 Buick Roadmaster Skylark Convertible

 

1953 Buick Roadmaster Skylark Convertible

1953 Buick Roadmaster Skylark Convertible

The 1953 Buick Skylarks were a limited production car built by General Motors. All of the Skylarks during the 1953 model year were built as convertibles. The 1953 Buick Skylark convertible is considered to be a specialty car and helped to mark the 50th anniversary of General Motors. The automobile was one of three specialty cars built by GM during 1953 with the others being Oldsmobiles and Cadillacs. The best selling of the three was the Buick model. The fact that the 1953 Buick Skylark convertible was a limited run edition makes it a very popular collector’s car. The Buick Skylark went into production in January of 1953 and was in the showrooms by spring.

The 1953 Buick Skylark Design

The overall design of the 1953 Buick Skylark was essentially taken from the Roadmaster model. The Skylark had the same dimensions as the Roadmaster with the exception that the car’s height. The Skylark was based on the big 1953 Buick Roadmaster convertible, which because of it’s bulk and size couldn’t really be considered a sports car. Regardless of it’s large size, Buick did refer to the auto as a sports car. Cited were it’s low lines and wire wheels. The front seat was lowered to the point where the seatback sat level with the tops of the doors. What the Buick Skylark didn’t have were the front fender “portholes” to keep its styling clean. The car did have special body side emblems ahead of the rear wheels.

1953 Buick Skylark Convertible interior

1953 Buick Skylark Convertible interior

1953 Buick Skylark buyers were able to enjoy just about any luxury available on a car that year. These included soft-tanned two-tone cowhide seats and the buyer could have his or her name engraved on a gold-colored emblem plate on the steering wheel hub. All of these accessories came as standard equipment which even included tinted glass, whitewall tires, power seats, power windows, power steering and power brakes.

Of special note is that the Buick Roadmaster Skylark sported genuine Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels. The Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels made to Buick specifications and sported red, white and blue “50th anniversary” emblems in their hubs. Another standard feature mentioned above were a leather interior and reshaped wheel openings.

1953 Skylark front end with a 4 inch lower windshield

1953 Skylark front end with a 4 inch lower windshield

As if this wasn’t enough, Buick put in their “Selectronic” signal-seeking radio with a power antenna and a floor-button control that changed stations. This truly was an auto accessory ahead of it’s time. The radio had a  “more/less” knob that when adjusted would stop the radio at more or fewer stations.

Buick’s Skylark was sold for two years with sales for 1953 being 1,690 units. The car sold new in 1953 for about $5,000. Interestingly enough, and because of it’s relatively steep price, only a little over 800 cars sold in 1954 and at a reduced price of around $4,500. To give you an idea of the high price of the Skylark convertible, a 1953 Cadillac convertible cost even less than the Buick Skylark convertible.  In a way, this limited production over two years made the Buick Roadmaster Skylarks even more of a popular rare collector automobile.

Whitewalls with Kelsey-Hayes wure wheels

Whitewalls with Kelsey-Hayes wure wheels

Total Buick Skylark sales in 1953 represented a small portion compared to other 1953 Buicks however this special edition auto created a publicity bonanza for Buick. The car in essence was an auto show concept car in every regard that was available to the average buyer who could afford the price.

Links to two additional AutoMuseumOnlne photo articles you’ll enjoy are the 1953 Pontiac Chieftain and the 1953 Chrysler Windsor.

1953 Buick Roadmaster Skylark Convertible Specs

The engine was a four-barrel-fed 322-cid V-8 that produced 188 horsepower. This was considered a fairly powerful engine in 1953. The engine was called the “Fireball V-8“. The new engine replaced the inline eight cylinder engine that had all cylinders set in a row. Official top speed for the vehicle was 105 MPH. The automobile’s official weight came in at 4,315 lbs.

1953 Buick Skylark Convertible. Notice emblem in front of rear wheel well

1953 Buick Skylark Convertible. Notice emblem in front of rear wheel well

The car’s wheelbase was 121.5 inches, the total length of 201 5/8 inches, a width of 79 7/8 inches and a height of 63 inches. Front suspension were independent coil springs and a rear suspension of coil springs. The transmission was a “Dynaflow” automatic and the 1953 Skylark could seat six people.

Collectors Car Information

Auto auctions show that the 1953 Buick Roadmaster Skylark Convertible sold for prices of $100,000 and up even to near $200,000. The condition and restoration performed dictated the selling prices.

(Photos from author’s private collection)