January 22, 2017

BUICK

Buick Manufacturing Co. (1902-1903)

Detroit, Michigan

Buick Motor Co. (1903-present)

Flint, Michigan


This is a Buick radiator emblem (1913-1928)    mjs
Size: Three sizes (see further details below)     

David Dunbar Buick started to produce gasoline engines in 1899 and in 1902 he reorganised his business as the Buick Manufacturing Company. Together with his engineer, Walter Marr, and Eugene Richard he produced the famous Buick valve-in-head engine and built the first Buick car. Benjamin Briscoe had put up the finance for the Buick venture and reorganised the company as the Buick Motor Company in 1903. Briscoe was impatient with David Buick and gave the Buick business to James Whiting of Flint Wagon Works when he decided to support Jonathan Maxwell instead.

Production of the first two-cylinder Buicks began in Flint, Michigan in the summer of 1904 but James Whiting was also frustrated by the slow pace of development by David Buick and passed the business to William Crapo Durant, co-owner of the Durant-Dort Carriage Company. Under the leadership of Billy Durant the Buick business began to grow with 750 cars produced in 1905, 1,400 in 1906 and 4,641 in 1907. A four-cylinder Buick joined the line for the 1907 model year. David Buick was moved out of the company in 1908 and production doubled to 8,820 units, making Buick the largest American car producer.

Billy Durant saw racing as a means to advertise and sell the Buick. Bob Burman and Louis Chevrolet were the star drivers of the Buick racing team and had won over 500 race trophies by 1910, including many speed records that would last for years to come. Charles Nash took over the Buick business from 1910 until 1912, when Walter Chrysler became president of Buick. The first six-cylinder Buick was introduced in 1914 and production grew steadily to over 124,000 cars by 1916 and over 200,000 cars a year throughout the 1920's.

Buick had a long standing relationship with McLaughlin in Canada and Buick cars were assembled by McLaughlin. All McLaughlin built cars were renamed as McLaughlin-Buick from 1923 until production ceased due to the Second World War in 1942, after when they were Buick only.  

Buick also built commercial vehicles from 1910 initially powered by two-cylinder engines. The most popular vehicles were a delivery van and an open stake truck but a hotel bus was also offered. In 1912 the two-cylinder range of commercial vehicles was replaced by conventional four-cylinder trucks with load capacities of 1/2-ton to 3/4-ton. Truck production ceased in 1918 apart from a few trucks built in 1922 and 1923. Thereafter, Buick concentrated on passenger cars, although some other manufacturers used Buick chassis for funeral cars and ambulances.

Buick introduced a lower-priced companion car called Marquette in 1930 but this was not successful and lasted only one year (see Marquette). Straight eight-cylinder engines were introduced to all Buicks in 1931 and in 1936 a series of more modern Buicks were introduced, including the Special, Century, Roadmaster and Limited Series with updated styling and improved technical performance. Sales grew and put Buick into the number four spot in the industry.

During the Second World War, Buick production turned to the war effort. The period after the war was a good time for Buick in terms of styling, engineering and sales, which rose rapidly to 550,000 units in 1950 and 745,000 units by 1955. However, Buick suffered problems in the late 1950's and sales fell sharply. But the introduction of a new range of models, including LeSabre, Invicta and Electra, saw Buick gain popularity again and sales rose to a record 821,165 units in 1973 and more than one million worldwide by 1984. Buick remains today (2016) an important part of General Motors and one of America's leading and oldest automobile brands.

Emblems

Early Buick vehicles displayed the name "BUICK" on the hub caps but, otherwise, did not carry any clearly visible nameplates or emblems, except possibly for vehicles in races for publicity purposes, see original photo below of a Buick race car at Newark races in 1904 showing a large "Buick" script mounted on the radiator:

Buick race car with radiator script (1904)     dpl

From 1906, the Buick signature logo began to appear in various styles on some Buick models either impressed in the brass radiator tank top or in the form of a large brass radiator script, or both together. See examples shown below: 


This Buick name is impressed in the radiator tank top  (c1906-1911)    ms 

This is one of several sizes of Buick radiator script (c1906-1911)   mjs

A brass Buick emblem has been seen on some models from about 1910, see example below. This Buick emblem is very rare.

This is a Buick with a brass radiator emblem )1910)     hccg

Brass radiator scripts continued to be used by Buick for several years from about 1906 up to 1911, as can be seen in the original 1910 photo shown below: 

Buick Model 10 (1910)  wiki

The Buick script shown below was displayed on the gasoline tank mounted behind the driver's seat on roadster models from 1911 to 1915. This distinctive Buick script is scarce.

This is a Buick fuel tank script (1911-1915)   mjs
Size: 123mm wide 88m high
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The first enameled Buick radiator emblem appeared in late 1911, see example shown below. This Buick emblem is rare, as it was only in use for a short time. The emblem is unusual in that the emblem maker's mark, Ford Metal Spec. Co. Chicago, is placed along the bottom edge of the emblem rather than on the reverse side of the emblem. The same emblem has also been found without a maker's mark, possibly by a different maker used to fill a shortfall in emblems in the later stages of production.

This is the first enameled Buick radiator emblem (1911-1913)   mjs
Size: 46mm diameter 54mm wide overall     MM: Ford Metal 

Close-up showing the Ford Metal Spec. Co. maker's mark on the edge of the emblem    ms

However, emblem collectors should beware, as there are reproductions of this Buick emblem. The reproduction Buick emblems made by Pulfer have no maker's mark but Buick reproduction emblems made by Williams included the maker's mark on the edge.

In late 1913, the design of the Buick radiator emblem changed to the much more familiar blue and white square shaped emblem shown at the top of this post. This emblem design remained in use for fifteen years. There were three sizes of this emblem as shown below:

Here are the three sizes of this Buick radiator emblem (1913-1928) ( specific dates shown below)   mjs
Dates: Large (1913-1922)  Medium (1923-1925; 1928)  Small (1926-1927)
Sizes: Large: 70mm wide 54mm high  Medium: 60mm wide 48mm high  Small: 47mm wide 36mm high

MM: Large: None  Medium: D L Auld  Small: Unknown          

The large size Buick emblem was used as a radiator emblem from 1913 to 1922, and remained unchanged except for the detailed mounting arrangements.

The medium size Buick emblem was used as a radiator emblem from 1923 to 1925, and then again in 1928. the same emblem was used on the tail-light backing plate on six-cylinder models from 1923 to 1927.

The small size Buick emblem was used as a radiator emblem in 1926 and 1927. A very similar emblem was mounted on the right hand tail-light bracket in 1932.

The following small sized emblem was used as a radiator emblem on a Buick car assembled in Canada, possibly for export to the UK. This Canadian Buick radiator emblem is rare.

This is a Canadian Buick (c1926-1927)     mjs
Size: 47mm wide 36mm high   MM: Unknown


For the next five years Buick used painted or chrome metal radiator emblems, see examples below.

The following Buick emblem was mounted on the radiator core for some but not all Buick models in 1929 and may have been an optional emblem, as there was no other emblem in 1929:

This is a Buick radiator emblem (1929)    ms
Size: 280mm wide  MM: None

There was a chrome Buick emblem as the centerpiece of the headlight bar for 1930-1932, see example shown below. The headlight bar was straight for 1930-1931 and curved in 1932.

This is a Buick radiator emblem (1932)   ms
Size: Unknown

For the 1933 model year only, Buick used the blue and white enamel radiator grille emblem shown below. This Buick emblem was mounted as the centerpiece of a winged pressed metal, chrome trim piece. The same emblem was also used at the top of the luggage rack on the trunk set within a similar winged pressed metal,chrome trim piece. This emblem was produced in relatively large numbers but is scarce, nevertheless.

This is an enameled Buick radiator emblem (1933)   mjs
Size: 48mm diameter MM: D L Auld

The following photo shows the winged pressed metal, chrome trim piece surrounding the emblem shown above:

Buick radiator grille emblem and trim (1933)   jill reger

For the following two years Buick used painted emblems, see examples shown below:

Buick Series 90 showing radiator emblem (1934)  classiccars

This is the blue and white painted Buick radiator emblem:

This is a Buick radiator emblem (1934-1935)     mjs
Size:200mm wide  MM: None

The following Buick emblem was mounted at the top center of the luggage rack for the same period:


This is a Buick luggage rack emblem (1934-1935)   dnc
Size: 193mm wide 45mm high    MM: None

The following smaller blue and white painted emblem is believed to have been used on the center of the rear mounted spare wheel cover when there was no luggage rack:

This is a Buick trunk emblem (1934-1935)   ebay
Size: 167mm wide 63mm high   MM: None

For 1936, Buick returned to enamel emblems, see examples shown below:

Buick 8 Roadmaster showing radiator grille emblem (1936) bonhams

This is the two-piece red enamel Buick radiator grille emblem:

This is a Buick 8 radiator grille emblem (1936)   mjs
Size: 69mm diameter   MM: Fox

The following shows the red enamel Buick 8 trunk emblem for 1936:

This is a Buick 8 trunk emblem (1936)   jill reger
Size: 305mm wide 87mm high   

The red enamel center piece of this Buick trunk emblem has a smaller diameter compared with the radiator grille emblem shown earlier, see example shown below:

This smaller Buick emblem was displayed on the trunk lid (1936)   mjs
Size: 60mm diameter  MM: Fox

Then there was a complete change in the design of the Buick radiator emblem based loosely on the Buick family coat of arms, which continued thereafter for many years.

 For 1937, the Buick carried a red, blue and gold enamel emblem on the center column of the radiator and a red enamel Buick 8 emblem on the radiator grille, see examples below: 

Buick radiator showing center & grille emblems (1937)  jill reger

This is the Buick radiator center emblem (1937)  mjs
Size: 85mm high   MM: AEC

This is the Buick radiator grille emblem (1937)   mjs
Size: 85mm wide 65mm high   MM: Fox

There was no Buick trunk emblem for 1937 but the "Buick" name was displayed on the rear licence plate light, see below:

Buick rear licence plate light (1937)    mecum

The following shows a 1938 Buick radiator grille emblem restored by painting:

This Buick emblem was attached to the center column of the radiator (1938)  mjs
Size: 134mm high  MM: None

However, the original 1938 Buick emblem was not colored but was finished in black paint, see example shown below:

Buick radiator showing grille emblem (1938)  worldwideauctioneers

The 1938 Buick also carried a black painted chrome front bumper emblem, see example shown below

Buick Special sedan front bumper emblem (1938)   volocars

The following shows the 1938 Buick trunk emblem, which is believed to have been originally painted black but is often finished in red paint on restored models:

This is a Buick trunk emblem (1938)   volocars
Size: 250mm wide 75mm high    MM: None

The 1938 Buick Y-job, designed by Harley J. Earl, is referred to as the US auto industry's first concept car. The Buick Y-job was based on a 1937 chassis but carried a special hood emblem, see example shown below. If it could be found, the Buick Y-job hood emblem would be ultra rare.

This is the Buick Y-job concept car showing the hood emblem (1938)     rawcar

The following shows the red, blue and gold enamel Buick emblem mounted at the top center of the radiator grille for 1939:

This is a Buick radiator emblem (1939)  ms
Size: 112mm high 42mm wide   MM: Unknown (some D L Auld)

The Buick trunk emblem for 1939-1941 was mounted on the direction indicator, see examples shown below:

Buick Eight trunk emblem & indicator (1939-1941) frank j benz

This is a Buick trunk emblem (1939-1941)   mjs
Size: 90mm high 36mm wide  MM: Fox

The Buick Eight for 1940 had an elongated red, blue and gold enamel radiator grille emblem mounted at the top of the grille center column and displayed the "Buick Eight" name in chrome letters on the bottom edge of the hood, see below:

This shows the Buick radiator grille emblem (1940)  dreamstime


This is a Buick radiator grille emblem (1940)   mjs
Size: 118mm high  MM: None

There was an elongated spear shaped red, blue and gold enamel emblem at the top of the radiator grille for 1941, see example shown below:

Buick Special radiator grille showing emblem (1941)  simoncars

Buick Special radiator grille emblem (1941) jill reger

This is a Buick radiator grille emblem (1941)  mjs
Size: 207mm high    MM: None

The following shows the 1941 Buick Limited interior rear door trim, which includes a red, blue and gold enamel trim emblem. The same trim and emblem was also used in 1942.

Buick Limited rear interior door trim (1941)   

This is a Buick interior door trim emblem (1941-1942)   mjs
Size: 64mm wide 34mm high   MM: Fox

There was a new Buick hood emblem design from 1942 with "Buick Eight" inscribed in the top of the radiator grille, see example shown below. This design continued in use when car production resumed after the Second World War in 1946.

Buick hood & radiator grille top showing emblems (1942-1946) mecum

This is a Buick hood emblem (1942-1946)    mjs
Size: 113mm high 112mm wide     MM: None

The Buick trunk emblem mounted in the center of the direction indicator was also changed in 1942 and this continued in use until 1948, see examples shown below:

Buick Eight Buick trunk emblem & indicator (1942-1948) jill reger

This is a Buick trunk emblem (1942-1948)    mjs
Size: 59mm high 50mm wide     MM: None

From 1946, Buick put the model name on red painted chrome front and rear bumper emblems, see examples shown below:

Buick Super Eight front bumper emblem (1946) connorsmotorcar



Buick Super Eight rear bumper emblem (1948)   ms

Buick Roadmaster bumper emblem (1949)  simoncars

There was a further change in Buick radiator grille design for 1947 and 1948 with a new colored plastic Buick emblem set within in a large chrome piece mounted at the bottom edge of the hood immediately above the radiator grille, which displayed the "Buick Eight" name in black, see examples shown below:

Buick Roadmaster showing radiator grille, hood emblem & bumper emblem (1948)   classiccars

This is a Buick hood emblem (1947-1948)   ms
Size: Unknown   MM:Unknown

There was another change in the Buick emblem design for 1949 with a separate metal and plastic red, blue and silver hood emblem above the grille, see examples shown below:

Buick Roadmaster showing radiator grille, hood emblem & bumper emblem (1949)  daniel schmitt

This is a Buick hood emblem (1949)     mjs
Size: 150mm wide  95mm high   MM: Gerity

The following shows the 1950 Buick trunk emblem, which displays the dyna flow transmission name:

This is a Buick Dyna Flow trunk emblem (1949)    wiki

For 1950, there was a change in grille design and a different metal and plastic hood emblem, see examples shown below:

Buick Roadmaster grille & hood emblem (1950)   hyman

This is a Buick hood emblem (1950)   buickclub
Size: 140mm wide 117mm high     MM: Unknown

The following shows the 1950 Buick trunk emblem:

This is a Buick trunk emblem (1950)   classiccars

Buick Eight had a new radiator grille and metal and plastic hood emblem for 1951 and 1952, see examples shown below:

Buick Roadmaster showing grille & hood emblem (1951)  ok-classics

This is a Buick hood emblem (1951-1952)   ok-classics
Size: Unknown    MM: Unknown

The following shows the Buick trunk emblem for 1951 and 1952:

This is a Buick trunk emblem (1951-1952)   pinterest

There was yet another Buick grille design and metal and plastic hood emblem for 1953, see examples shown below:

Buick Roadmaster showing grille & hood emblem (1953)  jill reger

This is a Buick hood emblem (1953)   mjs
                        Size: 310mm wide  90mm high  MM: Gerity                        

The following shows the 1953 Buick Roadmaster trunk emblem, which is also inscribed with the model name:

This is a Buick Roadmaster trunk emblem (1953)  aaca forum

The following are some early mystery Buick emblems. If you have better details of any of these Buick emblems, please let me know, in order to update this post.

The Buick "Valve In Head Motor Cars" emblem shown below appears to be a reproduction emblem. Whether an emblem like this was used on a Buick vehicle is not known but it was used in Buick advertisements for several years from 1929.

This appears to be a reproduction Buick emblem (dates unknown)    mjs
Size: 40mm wide 32mm high   MM: None

This appears to be an enameled Buick radiator emblem (dates unknown)    sam
Size: 60mm wide 48mm high   MM: Unknown

This is an unknown enameled Buick emblem (dates unknown)     sam
Size: 70mm wide 27mm high   MM: Unknown

This Buick emblem has the colors reversed (dates unknown)    ms
Size: Unknown   MM: Unknown

The Buick emblem shown above with colors reversed may be a reproduction emblem but I am not certain. It is interesting to note that the Buick Motor Company applied to the US Patent Office to register a reversed color trademark in 1915.








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