Name: 1904 Buick Model B
Year(s) Produced: 1904
Number Built: 37 only
Body Type: 2-door tourer
Engine: 2.6L, I2 2606cc
Power: 21bhp @ 1230 RPM
Top Speed: (?)
Transmission: 2-speed manual
Wheelbase: 86 in.
Base Price: US$950 (1904)
Current Value: US$37,700 (Bonhams)
Automakers take pride in their anniversaries, especially nowadays. Like in any other business, a company’s longevity spells out the difference between survival or eventual failure. Plus, they’re always an inspiration for the company to reaffirm their relevance in the industry.
Buick without a doubt is no different. Coinciding with its 110th anniversary last 2013, it released a list of 11 cars, one for each decade, which they consider significant or have set a milestone. This can be easily dismissed as a PR stunt, but needless to say it’s interesting to look at which vehicles a brand still struggling to find its place in the 21st century considers relevant.
Some of the entries are practically giveaways. So it doesn’t come as a surprise if the 1904 Model B, the first Buick ever sold, is the one seated on top of the car manufacturer’s list. After experimenting with automobiles built at his home, Mr. Buick incorporated the Buick Motor Company on May 19, 1903. That fall, he sold the firm to Flint Wagon Works in Flint, Michigan where the very first retail Buicks were built in 1904. The first production Buick, the Model B, was offered to retail customers in 1905. The first one was sold to a certain doctor Herbert H. Hills of Flint, Mich., decades before the brand developed its reputation as a “doctor’s car.” A total of 37 Model B left the production line that year. Unfortunately, none of these vehicles in its original condition exists today – most are replicas only.
Here’s the list of the other cars Buick considers to be an ‘important part of their history’.
- 1913-1922 – Buick D-45 Touring 1916
- 1923-1932 – 1931 Buick Series 50
- 1933-1942 – 1936 Buick Century
- 1943-1952 – 1949 Buick Roadmaster
- 1953-1962 – 1953 Buick Skylark
- 1963-1972 – 1963 Buick Riviera
- 1973-1982 – 1975 Buick Regal
- 1983-1992 – 1987 Buick GNX
- 1993-2002 – 1999 Buick Century
- 2003-2012 – 2008 Buick Enclave
What do you think? Will you agree with Buick on this?