The Buick Motor Company was incorporated in Detroit on May 19, 1903, by David Dunbar Buick – a transplanted Scot.
As such, it predated the establishment of the Ford Motor Company by almost a month, making Buick the oldest active North American automobile nameplate still on the market.
As part of the celebration of Buick's 110th anniversary, the company has chosen one model from each of the brand's 11 decades of existence as the most significant Buick of that period.
Here is a list of those selections, along with our comments. Let the debate begin.
A justifiable choice, for sure, but here in Canada the honour should surely go to the 1908 McLaughlin-Buick Model F – the first car built by the company that evolved into General Motors of Canada, one of which has been exquisitely restored by the company.
No argument with that choice, a version of which was built in Canada as a Mclaughlin. Two years later, in 1918, GM bought out the McLaughlin Motor Car Co. and it became General Motors of Canada.
A worthy choice based on the introduction of the straight-eight engine, which remained a buick hallmark for more than two decades. But in Canada, a case could also be made for a special 1928 McLaughlin-Buick model built exclusively for a Canadian Royal Tour.
On this side of the border, a pair of special Mclaughlin-Buick sedans were stretched 457 mm, reinforced, and made into convertibles for a Royal Visit by King George VI and his Queen. Although it wasn't a production model, it is also worth mentioning the Buick Y-Job, also built during this period, which was arguably the industry's first "concept car," serving notice as to the brands styling direction in the post-war period.
There can be no argument with this choice, which vies with the 1963 Riviera as the most iconic Buick ever. Following WWII, the Mclaughlin name was dropped from Buicks built in Canada and they have been just Buicks ever since.
Another valid choice but the end of an era as Buick seemed to lose its way in terms of styling for the next decade
No argument at all as the first-generation Riviera may be the most significant Buick ever. It was almost inarguably th most beautiful.
The best choice of a bad lot, perhaps, in a decade that was something of a black hole for the North American auto industry in terms of product.
Another almost lost decade in the brand's history, in which this factory hot-rod may be the prime example of how far Buick had strayed from its core values and market. Another such example from the same period would be the two-seat Reatta pseudo sports car, notable primarily for its market failure and introduction of touch-screen technology to vehicles – far ahead of its readiness for prime time.
Back in North America, the brand continued to wander, with its identity all but lost and badge-engineered minivans and awkwardly styled utility vehicles further distressing its once-proud reputation. The Chinese success is widely believed to be the only thing that saved the brand from an ignominious death, like that of its sister Oldsmobile brand.
A sound choice as, surprisingly perhaps, it was this big utility vehicle that set the stage for Buick's renaissance, modest as it may be. Subsequent models have followed the same attractive styling theme and, combined with a huge boost in quality, paved the way for future success.
Is there another 110 years in Buick's future? Let us know what you think by commenting below.