Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Buick for 1955

Buick originated as an independent motor car manufacturer, the Buick Motor Company, incorporated on May 19, 1903, by David Dunbar Buick in Detroit, Michigan. Later that year, the struggling company was taken over by James H. Whiting who moved it to his hometown of Flint, Michigan, and brought in William C. Durant in 1904 to manage his new acquisition.

The model name Century came about when Buick was designing its first production automobile capable of reaching a speed of 100mph. The division needed to come up with a name. One of the Buick executives had returned from a recent trip to the British isles and told the other executives that the British referred to going 100mph as "doing the century". The executives liked the Century name and it stuck.

The ideal Buick customer is comfortably well off, possibly not quite rich enough to afford a Cadillac, nor desiring the ostentation of one, but definitely in the market for a car above the norm. Over time Buick has become a traditional luxury brand in the GM group whereas Cadillac has focused more on cutting edge products.

A traditional Buick styling cue dating to 1949 is a series of three or four portholes or vents on the front fender behind the front wheels. The source of this design feature was a custom car of Buick stylist Ned Nickles, which in addition had a flashing light (not used by Buick) within each hole each synchronized with a specific spark plug simulating the flames from the exhaust stack of a fighter airplane.


Major Pepperidge said...

Beautiful cars, and beautiful illustrations!

Anonymous said...

Those are great - I would love to frame them and put them on my wall. You have some of the best vintage advertising.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

I've done a 100 in a '55 Century (I was 20 & stupid) the steering gets interesting at around 85... "Wouldn't you really rather have a Buick?" My '56 Buick has this etched in script on the sun visor vanity mirror:

"Buick is a Beauty Too..."

I don't have the car anymore, but I do still have the mirror! Awesome post, thanks!

Raggmunk said...

great post, beautiful cars.