1954 Buick Special Sedan

Buick Motor Cars Through the Years

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A Pictorial Glimpse of Buick Motor Cars

Established in 1902, and among the most seasoned vehicle brands on the planet. It began as the Buick Motor Company, an independent auto maker, and was incorporated by Scottish David Dunbar Buick in Detroit, Michigan on May 19, 1903. The first two Buick autos were manufactured in 1899 and 1900 by Walter Marr, chief-engineer however David Buick was hesitant to start making cars, being happy with stationary and production of marine engines, so Marr left Buick in 1901 to establish his own car organization under his own name. Eugene Richard, was his replacement who in 1902 applied for a patent for Marr's valve-in-head motor, which patent, number 771,095, was granted to Richard fin 1904 in the name of Buick This was first overhead valve internal combustion motor in the world, despite the fact that it was called "valve-in-head" in light of the fact that the cylinders were level so the valves were not really "overhead." In 1903, the third Buick car was made, this time by Richard, yet Buick moved to Flint, Michigan in 1904, and Richard remained behind. Marr was rehired as the chief engineer at Flint, to begin producing cars. That year, 37 Buick vehicles were manufactured and in 1905,production increased to 750, in 1906, 1,400,in 1906, 4,641 and 8,800 in 1908, grabbing the number one spot from close contenders Oldsmobile, Ford, and Maxwell.

David Dunbar Buick incorporated his organization on May 19, 1903 as the Buick Motor Company , in Detroit, Michigan. In March, 1904, the organization was acquired by Benjamin Briscoe, who turned around and sold it to James H. Whiting proprietor of Flint Wagon Works, in Flint, Michigan. That mid year, Whiting moved Buick to Flint to an area across the road from his manufacturing plant, with an idea to add Buick's motors to his wagons. David Buick remained as manager, and re-employed Walter Marr as chief engineer. The motor Buick and Marr produced for this car was a 2-cyinder valve-in-head motor of 159 cubic inches, with every cylinder horizontal and opposed one another by 180 degrees. Whiting constructed just a couple cars in 1904, by bringing Buick motors back across the road where his employees shoehorned them into his wagons, before coming up short on money, making him seek William C. Durant in 1904 as controlling investor. Durant was also co-owner, of the Durant-Dort Carriage Company, which was the biggest carriage-producing organization in the country. Durant put in the following 4 years transforming Buick into the greatest selling car brand in the United States. David Buick sold his stock upon in 1906 upon leaving, and passed away in unassuming conditions half a century later. In 1907, Durant consented to supply engines to R. S. McLaughlin in Canada, a car manufacturer, and in 1908 he established General Motors.

Buick Videos

See David Buick's Marvelous Motor Car: The men and the automobile that launched General Motors

Bugatti Type 49 (1930-1934)

Historical Buicks

Buick Model B (1904)

1904 Buick Model B
1904 Buick Model B
The Buick Model B was Buick's first model. It was built in Jackson, Michigan and was introduced in 1905 at the New York Auto Show. William C. Durant introduced the car himself at the exhibit, and took new car orders at the car show. It had a 2-cylinder, horizontally opposed engine – the world's first production OHV (overhead valve) engine – installed lengthwise within the frame, had a planetary transmission, with a cone clutch and two forward speeds and one reverse gear. The engine was rated at 21 bhp. In later years, it was renamed as improvements were made.

Buick Model C (1905)

1904 Buick Model C
1904 Buick Model C
On its famous test run, July 9, 1904, Walter Marr and Thomas Buick (son of the company's founder, David Dunbar Buick) left Flint for Detroit to test their new automobile. In Detroit, they purchased a license for the car and returned to Flint three days later. On the return trip, they managed to average 30 miles per hour over the muddy roads.

Buick Model F (1906-1910)

1906 Buick Model F Touring
1906 Buick Model F Touring
1907 Buick Model F Touring
1907 Buick Model F Touring
1909 Buick Model G Roadster
1908 Buick Model F Roadster
1909 Buick Model F Touring
1909 Buick Model F Touring
1910 Buick Model F Touring
1910 Buick Model F Touring
The 1909 Buick Model F was a Touring car that had seating for five and retailed for $1250. In total, there were 3,856 units produced in 1909. The Model F was powered by a two-cylinder engine that displaced 159 cubic-inches and produced 22 horsepower. It had wooden spoke wheels, a two-speed Planetary transmission, and a cone clutch. Braking was by mechanical brakes on two wheels. Little had changed for the Model F from the 1908 model. It kept the same color schemes with red wooden wheels and running gear. It was a strong seller that helped keep Buick in second place in the automotive industry.

Buick Model G, H, K, S (1906-1909)

1906 Buick Model G Roadster
1906 Buick Model G Roadster
1907 Buick Model G Runabout
1907 Buick Model G Runabout
1907 Buick Model H Touring
1907 Buick Model H Touring
1907 Buick Model K Touring
1907 Buick Model K Touring
1908 Buick Model S Tourabout
1908 Buick Model S Tourabout
1909 Buick Model G Roadster
1909 Buick Model G Roadster
A revised Model F Tourer and its companion, a Model G Roadster, were introduced in 1906. That year, the Chicago American and Examiner staged a 1,000-mile relay run from Chicago to New York. A Buick Model F was the only competitor to complete the event. A contemporary account notes that “stretches of bad road were rendered well nigh impassable by rainstorms…through all this struggle of a thousand miles, the Buick never failed to move forward.”

Buick Model 10 (1908-1910)

1907 Buick Model 10 Runabout
1907 Buick Model 10 Runabout
1908 Buick Model 10 Runabout
1908 Buick Model 10 Runabout
1910 Buick Model 10 Tourabout
1910 Buick Model 10 Tourabout
Two and four cylinder engines were used on the Buick model 10. Specifications of the Buick model 10 equipped with two cylinder water cooled engines included double opposed cylinders rated at 22 horsepower. Final drive was by chain and planetary transmission with two forward speeds and reverse. The four cylinder Buick water cooled engines were available with 18, 24 and 30 horsepower. Three speed selective transmissions were used with these four cylinder engines.

Buick Model 25, 26, 29 (1911-1913)

1911 Buick Model 26 Roadster Runabout Convertible
1911 Buick Model 26 Roadster Runabout Convertible
1912 Buick Model 29 Touring
1912 Buick Model 29 Touring
1913 Buick Model 25 Touring
1913 Buick Model 25 Touring

Buick Series B (1914)

1914 Buick B-25 5-passenger touring
1914 Buick B-25 5-passenger touring
Buick’s offerings for 1914 consisted of just a single series, the Series B, though somewhat confusingly, the Series B was made up of a variety of sub models, configurations and engine offerings. At the entry level of the catalog, the B-24 and B-25 shared a 105 inch wheelbase and a 165 cubic inch four-cylinder engine. Next in line came the B-35, B-37 and the fully enclosed B-38 coupe featured a 112-inch wheelbase with motivation coming from a slightly larger 221 cubic inch four cylinder. The flagship model was the B-55 which featured the marque’s first six cylinder engine, displacing 331 cubic inches and rated at 48 horsepower. The common thread for all Series B Buicks was the valve-in-head engine with its distinctive exposed valvetrain, and all models (with the exception of the B-38) were available as either a roadster or a handsome touring car

Buick Series C, D (1915-1916)

1915 Buick Model C-36 Roadster
1915 Buick Model C-36 Roadster
1916 Buick
1916 Buick
1916 Buick
1916 Buick
Starting in 1916, when this generation was introduced, different models were known by a designation that changed yearly. It began as the Series D in 1916, followed by E in 1918, H in 1919, and K in 1920. Beginning with 1921 until 1924, it changed to Series 21, denoting the year, to Series 24 (for 1924). Beginning with the letter designations, the Series D had additional numeric designations for the body style, 44, 45, 46, and 47, designating touring car, roadster, sedan, and coupe

Buick Master Six (1916-1929) B-Platform

1917 Buick Model D-45 Touring
1917 Buick Model D-45 Touring
1918 Buick E-45 Touring
1918 Buick E-45 Touring
1919 Buick McLaughlin Roadster
1919 Buick McLaughlin Roadster
1920 Buick K645 Touring Car Convertible 4.0L Six
1920 Buick K645 Touring Car Convertible 4.0L Six
1921 Buick W248 Touring
1921 Buick W248 Touring
1922 Buick Model 22-45 Five-Passenger Touring
1922 Buick Model 22-45 Five-Passenger Touring
1923 Buick Model 23 Roadster
1923 Buick Model 23 Roadster
1924 Buick Model 68 Roadster
1924 Buick Model 68 Roadster
1925 Buick Model 47 Master Six Enclosed Touring
1925 Buick Model 47 Master Six Enclosed Touring
1926 Buick Standard Six Tourer
1926 Buick Standard Six Tourer
1927 Buick Model 20 Standard Six Five-Passenger Sedan
1927 Buick Model 20 Standard Six Five-Passenger Sedan
1928 Buick Master Six 4 Door Sedan
1928 Buick Master Six 4 Door Sedan
1929 Buick 5 passenger Dr's Coupe
1929 Buick 5 passenger Dr's Coupe
The Buick Master Six was built from 1916 to 1929. Before then, Buick was using the six-cylinder 242 engine in their high-end cars and a four-cylinder engine in their smaller, less-expensive cars, but for 1925, they dropped the four-cylinder engine and designed a small six, which they called the Standard 6, to replace that end of the market. They coined the name "Master Six" for the high-end cars, now powered by the 255 engine released the year before.

Buick Series 40 Special (1930-1935)

1930 Buick Series 40 Coupe
1930 Buick Series 40 Coupe
1934 Buick Series 40 Sedan
1934 Buick Series 40 Sedan
1935 Buick Series 40 Sedan
1935 Buick Series 40 Sedan
When the Series 40 was introduced, it had a 257.5 cu in six cylinder engine that produced 80.5 bhp of power at 2,800 rpm, and 74,257 examples were made, being the highest number of Buicks for 1930. For the year 1934, the Series 40 was temporarily discontinued, with the Series 50 being the entry level product. The 1935 version was introduced with a 233.0 cu in straight-eight engine and 93 bhp. In 1936 the name changed to "Special".

Buick Series 50 Super (1930-1935)

1931 Buick Model 8-57 Sedan
1931 Buick Model 8-57 Sedan
1932 Buick Series 50 Sedan
1932 Buick Series 50 Sedan
1933 Buick Series 57 Sedan
1933 Buick Series 57 Sedan
1934 Buick Series 57 Sedan
1934 Buick Series 57 Sedan
1935 Buick Series 57 Sedan
1935 Buick Series 57 Sedan
Originally the Series 50 had a 331.4 cu in six cylinder engine developing 99 bhp of power at 2,800 rpm, and Buick manufactured 28,204 cars. In 1931 the model remained almost unchanged, aside from minor appearance changes. Optionally, the model was equipped with a new 220.7 cu in straight eight-cylinder and 77 hp. With the temporary disappearance of the Series 40, Series 50 became the entry level model for Buick.

Buick Series 60 Century (1930-1935)

1933 Buick Series 60 Sport Coupe
1930 Buick Series 60 Sport Coupe
1931 Buick
1931 Buick
1931 Buick
1931 Buick
1932 Buick Series 60-67 Sedan
1932 Buick Series 60-67 Sedan
1933 Buick Series 60 Sport Coupe
1933 Buick Series 60 Sport Coupe
1935 Buick Series 60 Sport Coupe
1935 Buick Series 60 Sport Coupe
The Series 60 cars were powered by a 331 cubic-inch six-cylinder engine that produced 80 horsepower. The cars were given many amenities such as fully carpeted interiors, Fisher Vision & Ventilating windshields, internal-expanding four-wheel mechanical brakes, and Lovejoy two-way shock absorbers. The standard paint color for the Buick Series 60 cars was Premier Green. Renamed the Buick Century in 1936

Buick Series 80 Roadmaster (1931-1933)

1931 Buick Series 80 Sedan
1931 Buick Series 80 Sedan
1932 Buick Series 80 Victoria Coupe
1932 Buick Series 80 Victoria Coupe
1933 Buick Series 80 Sedan
1933 Buick Series 80 Sedan
The Series 80, which belonged to an upper category trim package, had a 344.8 cu in straight eight engine developing 104 hp at 2,800 rpm. The next year a new high performance engine was introduced developing 113 hp. In 1933, the model was completely revised. At the end of 1933 the 80 series was discontinued after 24,117 units produced. In 1936 the model was re-introduced and changed its name to "Series 80 Roadmaster".

Buick Series 90 Limited (1931-1935)

1931 Buick Series 90 Roadster
1931 Buick Series 90 Roadster
1932 Buick Series 90 Roadster
1932 Buick Series 90 Roadster
1933 Buick Series 90 Sedan
1933 Buick Series 90 Sedan
1934 Buick Series 90 Roadster
1934 Buick Series 90 Roadster
1935 Buick Sedan
1935 Buick Sedan
The predecessor to the Buick Limited was the Series 90. It had an 344.8 cu in in-line eight-cylinder engine, developing 104 bhp of power at 2,800 rpm. Due to its size, it was the top model of the Buick range, using the GM "C-body" platform shared with Cadillac. The next year the size grew and a new high performance engine was introduced developing 113 hp. In 1933 the model was completely revised. In 1934, however, the running board was shortened and the engine output increased again, reaching 116 hp. In 1935 the appearance was updated, while the mechanics remained unchanged, and Buick manufactured 43,321. In 1936 the model changed its name to "90 Limited".

Buick renamed its entire model lineup for the 1936 model year to celebrate the engineering improvements and design advancements over their 1935 models, introducing a "streamlined" appearance. Buick's Series 40 model range became the Special, the Series 80 became the Roadmaster, and the Series 90, Buick's largest and most luxurious vehicles, became the Limited. The Century took the place of the Series 60.

Large Buicks

Buick 40 Special (1936–1958)

1935 Buick Series 50
1935 Buick Series 50
1936 Buick Special 40
1936 Buick Special 40
1937 Buick Special 40
1937 Buick Special 40
1938 Buick Special Sedan
1938 Buick Special Sedan
1939 Buick Special
1939 Buick Special
1940 Buick Special Phaeton
1940 Buick Special Phaeton
1941 Buick Special Sedanette
1941 Buick Special Sedanette
1942 Buick Special Sedanette
1942 Buick Special Sedanette
1946 Buick Special Sedan
1946 Buick Special Sedan
1947 Buick Special Sedanette
1947 Buick Special Sedanette
1948 Buick Special Fastback Sedan
1948 Buick Special Fastback Sedan
1949 Buick Special Sedan
1949 Buick Special Sedan
1950 Buick Special Sedanette
1950 Buick Special Sedanette
1951 Buick Special Deluxe
1951 Buick Special Deluxe
1952 Buick Special Deluxe
1952 Buick Special Deluxe
1953 Buick Special Riviera Hardtop
1953 Buick Special Riviera Hardtop
1954 Buick Special Sedan
1954 Buick Special Sedan
1955 Buick Special Riviera Hardtop
1955 Buick Special Riviera Hardtop
1956 Buick Special Riviera Hardtop
1956 Buick Special Riviera Hardtop
1957 Buick Special Convertible
1957 Buick Special Convertible
1958 Buick Special
1958 Buick Special
The Buick Special was  was usually Buick's lowest-priced model, starting out as a full-size car in 1936 and returning in 1938 (after a two-year hiatus) as a mid-size. The entry level Buick can trace its heritage to the Buick Model 10, a companion to Buick's first car, the Buick Model B. The Model 10 started out as one of the independent brands merged into Buick, called the Janney.

Buick 40 Special (1961–1969)

1961 Buick Special Coupe
1961 Buick Special Coupe
1962 Buick Special Deluxe Sedan
1962 Buick Special Deluxe Sedan
1963 Buick Special
1963 Buick Special
1964 Buick Special Coupe
1964 Buick Special Coupe
1965 Buick Special Sedan
1965 Buick Special Sedan
1966 Buick Special Deluxe Coupe
1966 Buick Special Deluxe Coupe
1967 Buick Special 2 Door Hardtop Coupe
1967 Buick Special 2 Door Hardtop Coupe
1968 Buick Special Deluxe Sedan
1968 Buick Special Deluxe Sedan
1969 Buick Special Coupe
1969 Buick Special Coupe
In 1961, the car returned after a short absence of two years, but this time it was on the brand new unibody compact GM Y platform. The Special was powered by a 155 hp innovatiock 215 in³ V8, and had Dualpath transmission and power steering. In mid-year a Skylark option was released with special trim, optional bucket seats and a four-barrel version of the 215 that made 185 hp. By 1970, Special was no longer offered as a standalone model but the name would later be used for the entry trim on 1975 to 1979 and 1991 to 1996 Century models.

Buick 80 Roadmaster (1936–1958)

1936 Buick Roadmaster Convertible Phaeton
1936 Buick Roadmaster Convertible Phaeton
1937 Buick Roadmaster Convertible Phaeton
1937 Buick Roadmaster Convertible Phaeton
1938 Buick Roadmaster Phaeton
1938 Buick Roadmaster Phaeton
1939 Buick Roadmaster Sedan
1939 Buick Roadmaster Sedan
1940 Buick Roadmasrer Pickup
1940 Buick Roadmasrer Pickup
1941 Buick Roadmasrer
1941 Buick Roadmasrer
1942 Buick Roadmaster Convertible
1942 Buick Roadmaster Convertible
1946 Buick Roadmaster Sedanette
1946 Buick Roadmaster Sedanette
1947 Buick Roadmaster Convertible
1947 Buick Roadmaster Convertible
1948 Buick Roadmaster 2 door sedan
1948 Buick Roadmaster 2 door sedan
1949 Buick Roadmaster Riviera Coupe
1949 Buick Roadmaster Riviera Coupe
1950 Buick Roadmaster Sedanette
1950 Buick Roadmaster Sedanette
1951 Buick Roadmaster Convertible
1951 Buick Roadmaster Convertible
1952 Buick Roadmaster Sedan
1952 Buick Roadmaster Sedan
1953 Buick Roadmaster Sedan
1953 Buick Roadmaster Sedan
1954 Buick Roadmaster Riviera Coupe
1954 Buick Roadmaster Riviera Coupe
1955 Buick Roadmaster Sedan
1955 Buick Roadmaster Sedan
1956 Buick Roadmaster Riviera Coupe
1956 Buick Roadmaster Riviera Coupe
1957 Buick Roadmaster
1957 Buick Roadmaster
1958 Buick Roadmaster 4 Door Hardtop
1958 Buick Roadmaster 4 Door Hardtop
The Roadmaster was built by Buick from 1936 to 1958, and again from 1991 to 1996. Roadmasters produced between 1936 and 1958 were built on Buick's longest non-limousine wheelbase and shared their basic structure with entry-level Cadillac and, after 1940, senior Oldsmobiles. Between 1946 and 1957 the Roadmaster served as Buick's flagship.

Buick 80 Roadmaster (1991-1996)

1991 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon
1991 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon
1992 Buick Roadmaster
1992 Buick Roadmaster
1993 Buick Roadmaster
1993 Buick Roadmaster
1995 Buick Roadmaster
1995 Buick Roadmaster
1996 Buick Roadmaster
1996 Buick Roadmaster
The Roadmaster name returned to the Buick line for the 1991 model year after a 33-year absence, with the third generation Buick Estate wagon becoming the Roadmaster Estate. A four-door sedan was added to the Roadmaster line for the 1992 model year, the first rear-wheel drive Buick sedan since 1985. Combined sales showed an over tenfold increase over '91 thanks in part to an extended production run which had 1992 models going on sale in March 1991

A factor behind the discontinuation of the GM B-body line was the growth of the full-size SUV segment, which impacted both sedan and wagon sales. Additionally, a strong upswing in the longstanding body-on-frame Chevrolet/GMC Suburban offered truck-based durability, four-wheel drive, and much higher profit margins. In 1996, the Arlington Assembly facility in Texas was converted to assemble SUVs and pickup trucks, leaving the B-platform without an assembly line. It would be an entire decade before GMC capitalized on the full-sized crossover evolution with the introduction of the GMC Acadia and its derivatives sold by Buick, Chevrolet, and Saturn.

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1970 Buick Skylark Model Shown
1970 Buick Skylark Model Shown
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    Buick Motor Cars Through the Years Reviewed by Gene Wright on . Rating: 5