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:: Buick Stories
1908 - Modified Suspension
Story by John Gerdtz

Over a cold one, the topic got round to the inevitable - cars - and my mate Daryl said, ?My Grandfather had a Buick. I?ve got a photo of it.?

Well, it seems Daryl was right. Grandfather Cropper did have a Buick and, as the photo shows, it was a 1908 Model 10.

Now in normal trim Flint made 4002 model 10?s in 1908 and these were fitted with a 4 cylinder engine, 3.75 ins. X 3.75 ins., equalling 165 cu. ins. developing 22.5 h.p., propelled through a 2 speed planetary transmission and stood on an 88? wheel base, wearing 30? X 3? tyres. All of this is impressive but Grandfather Cropper and his mate were into the inventing bit and believed they could do wonders for the ride, hence the modified suspension which was believed to have been patented by them.

Reports have it that it really worked well, but it is hard to describe their invention and a close look at the photo will illustrate this point.

Daryl put me in touch with Auntie Edna who confirmed all the above. She also told me that Grandfather Cropper and his mate developed many things together, including another ride improvement consisting of ?S? shaped spring steel spokes in the wheel.

Grandfather Cropper came to Australia in 1898 and made his mark as an engineer, specialising in leather tanning machinery.

Auntie Edna recalls that Grandfather Cropper also owned an early Darraq and a Moline car. Story has it that one day in George Street, Sydney, whilst driving the Darraq, a policeman ran up alongside Grandfather Cropper, pulled him over and booked him for speeding - yes, ran up and pulled him over!!! Story also says that after the policeman completed the formalities of the dangerous infringement, a well dressed gentleman stepped from the footpath and handed George Cropper his card, stating he would speak for George if he needed him to, the card nominating that the gentleman was an official of the Transport Department. Makes one wonder does the quota system go back that far.

The photo is believed to have been taken in 1911 outside the family house in Stanmore.
Pictured in the car is Grandfather Cropper, Daryl?s mother and his uncle.

Appreciation is expressed to Daryl Badman and Edna Cropper for providing the picture and allowing the story to be told.

Posted 05/2002
1924 - Robinson?s, NSW Mototists Road Guide and Buick
1924 - Robinson?s, NSW Mototists Road Guide and Buick

Article and images by Marc McInnes

In the vintage years Robinson?s map books were the benchmark for motorists travelling information and guide maps. Their second edition (1924) used a Buick, owned by the author Mr Pearson, in the cover photograph and Sydney Buick dealer, McIntosh & Sons Limited, 20-26 Elizabeth Street, Sydney (and at Lismore) advertised in the publication.

The images are;
1. The cover of Robinson?s, NSW Motorists Road Guide (second edition)
The caption under the photograph reads, ?Mr Pearson with his Buick car shod with Dunlop tyres?
Note the book sold for 10/-

2. The fly sheet showing H E C Robinson Limited were located at 221-3 George Street, Sydney.

3. McIntosh?s advertisement in the book
Posted 05/2001
1919 - 1500 Miles through Western Australia
Buick's Remarkable Performance - 1500 Miles Through Western Australia

Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? May 1921
Researched by Marc McInnes from original magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford

Motor cars are often put to severe tests in the country districts of Australia, but it would be hard to imagine a more severe task than that which was recently asked of a Buick. The car shown in the pictures, covered a journey of 1,500 miles from Roebourne, (W.A.), to Perth. The country traversed is for a great part rough, and in places, treacherous, but the Buick -a 1919 model - came Through with flying colors.

The illustration above gives some idea of the boggy nature of the soil. The car has sunk well down to the rear axle, and the mud on the front wheel is several inches thick, yet the owner, Mr. Keith Mackay, assures us that the car got out of this bog UNDER IT'S OWN POWER. The Buick treated the creek shown in the second illustration as something of a joke. She carried three passengers with their luggage, and on the whole trip not one mechanical trouble occurred. There were nine punctures, but as a. gentleman who knows the country remarked, "It is a wonder there were not 90 punctures and a few funerals." With the exception of one night when the car ran until 10 p.m. all the travelling was done in daylight, the journey occupying four and a half days. Roeburne is a township on the north-west coast. It would serve as a fine location for a moving picture, dealing with an incident in the back blocks.
Posted 01/2003
1919 - An Eight Year Old Driver of a Buick
An Eight Year Old Driver of a Buick

Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? April 1921
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford

Some time ago Mr. Harry Mullett, pastoralist (who owns Monduran Station, outside Bundaberg), purchased a Buick car from the Howard Motor Co., Brisbane. This car has already done 9000 miles and, as Mr. Mullet says, is going great guns, and he is so enthusiastic about it that had things gone decently in the stock line he intended placing an order for a 1921 model, as he concludes from our description that it must be a very fine car.

The subject of our photograph is Mr. Mullet's son, Irvine, who can handle the Buick Six with confidence. He learnt to drive at the age of seven, and is now a little over eight. He drives from Monduran Station to Bundaberg, a distance of over 40 miles, over some very difficult roads and hills, which include the Bullyard Range. He is quite an expert driver over country roads, and understands how to handle the car on any steep grade. This speaks volumes for the simplicity of the Buick and the easy gear changes, He recently drove to Gin Gin by himself, struck a big sand patch, put on the chain, and got through with flying colors. Although he is not very big, he. is quite strong for h:s age, and is an expert swimmer, a good gun and rifle shot, and a fine rider.

This goes to illustrate the great simplicity and ease with which the Buick can be handled, and this fact alone should appeal to the lady driver, and also inspire with confidence those who have daughters who are diffident about handling a car.
Posted 01/2003
1917 - Mr Denning's Buick in South Australian Sand Hills
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? June 1920
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford


Mr. Denning's Buick Amongst - the Sand Hills

(The Editor, "Buick Bulletin.")

Dear Sir,-

The 1917 Model 6 Buick 1 purchased from Messrs. Eyes & Crowle, Ltd., now over two years, after constant running, has indeed been a very satisfactory car. The West Coast of South Australia is by no means a motorist's paradise. The Good Roads Association have left this vast undeveloped portion of South Australia in its virgin state, which consists of principally mallee and saltbush, and lime stones and sand. The roads in many places are not fit to put a car on. What with mallee stumps, washout, sandhills, and cut up dusty roads, also bog holes when it rains, nothing but a sound car will last, and be frugal to the owner.

The easy running of the six cylinder Buick is due to its three power impulses per revolution of the crank shaft. This continuous flow of overlapping power pulsations results in a flexi- bility which practically does away with any changing of gears, quick "get-away," hills in top, from a creep to a racing speed without altering the gears, freedom from vibration, silence, economy in fuel, oil and tyres, which no four cylinder car can perform in the same easy manner. During my itinerary, I have not seen the car that I could write about as I can regarding the Buick. I have proved the Buick for reliability. Its working parts are almost impervious to wear.

It is a pleasure to ride and drive in a Buick. I have not had any engine or ignition trouble. The Buick is a well-designed motor car, and engine accessibility and any adjustments are easily and quickly made. I run my car all over Eyre's Peninsula, Port Lincoln, Fowler's Bay, Minippa Hill, Kimba, Port Augusta, and from Franklin Harbour to Adelaide. I am enclosing some photos taken of my car, one at Elliston (Peace Day), and two small snaps of the car going over some of our West Coast sand hills. I have had all sorts of trips over this part, and make my living with the Buick car.-

Yours truly,


Posted 01/2003
1920 - Where Humans Are There Are Buicks - Burra S.A.
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? June 1920
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford

Where Humans are There are Buicks

Buick Greets Visitors to Mudgee

The great popularity of the BUICK Car in the Burra District (South Australia) is evidence from this photograph. The South Australian Distributors for the BUICK (Eyes & Crowle, Ltd,) have a Branch Garage at the Burra, and the number of sales made in that district spell out the success of this Car for station and back country work.
Posted 01/2003
1920 - Gilbert's Garage, Maitland S.A.
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? June 1920
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford

Buicks and Golden Grain
Attached Photo Caption: Mr. L M Gilbert, Maitland SA, Buick Agent

Mr. L. M. Gilbert, of Maitland, Yorke's Peninsula, only pushes quality goods, and fixed on the Buick Agency last October, and, despite abnormal conditions of trade, twenty-four of these cars have been placed in commission in his territory, and are giving entire satisfaction.

Reports to hand so far indicate good results in petrol consumption, 24 miles and upwards being got in many cases, and bearing in mind the newness of all the cars placed in his district, the future for Buicks looks rosy. For speed, endurance and riding comfort the Buick holds first place in Mr. Gilbert's opinion, backed up by 15 years of practical engineering experience, and the absence of tail swinging in the Buick accounts for the economical running of the car.

On his numerous visits to Adelaide, the notorious Wakeficid swamps have to be crossed, and whether in fairweather or foul, no detour is ever made by the Buick, as the great power so evenly delivered by the valve-in-head motor, coupled with the even balance, and the absence of unsprung weight of the whole outfit, enables the Buick to travel this muddy stretch most times on high gear. On the return journey, the Hummocks have many times been climbed on high gear with six adult passengers, and anyone knowing the grade and class of road encountered on this hill will appreciate what a good performance this is.

Several long distance high speed drives have been undertaken by Mr. Gilbert, the best performance on the Buick chassis, in company with Mr. A. B. Moody, being Maitiand to Adelaide, 105 miles, in 2 hours 31 minutes, including crossing the Hummocks; and Adelaide to Aldgate via Mount Lofty, 12 and 1/2 miles, in 25 minutes. Mr. Gilbert believes in specialising in one car, and the Buick reputation will build him a permanent asset.

Attached Photo Caption: L. M. Gilbert's Garage at Maltland, S.A.

BUICK Agent for Yorkes Peninsula-one of the most, if not the most, prosperous wheat growing districts In S.A.

The Buick has a great hold on the Peninsula, and is immensely popular. 24 of the new "Sixes" have been placed just recently by this enthusiastic Buick Agent. 1

Here are some letters Mr. Gilbert has received from Buick owners in Yorke Peninsula.-

"The Buick purchased by me in 1917 from Eyes & Crowle, Ltd., is still running well, having completed 1500 miles without any mechanical attention. My total repairs bill is 9/- covering this period, and I have three of the original tyres still on the old bus. Petrol consumption shows 25 miles.per gallon, and for sweetness of running I think the Buick takes some beating. As an appreciation of Buick quality, my brother has just purchased a latest model, and I know he will have a good time with same.

Yours for continued success,

(Signed) E. W. DAVIES.

Urania, S.A., March 22, 1920.

I purchased my third Buick last November, having had two previous models, and think the latest production quite up to Buick standard. I have received every satisfaction from my cars, averaging quite 25 miles per gallon of fuel and about 1600 miles on oil. The mechanical attention is practically nil, and the tyre mileage very high, but the fact that impresses me most is the unusual secondhand value of Buick sixes.

Yours truly,

(Signed) E. CROSBY.

Arthurton. SA, March 20th, 1920.

I have only used the Buick to date as a chassis, awaiting , a single-seater body, but results so far indicate a high quality job.

I have owned and driven for some time various makes of cars, but Buick for mine. The 'Scooter,' as she is called, did ,a fast trip to Adelaide in 2 hours 31 minutes, with your local representative and myself on board, some weeks ago, and the time will take some beating. Petrol consumption, I can vouch, has reached as high as 28 miles per gallon, and oil consumption is extremely light, and I almost forget the water in the radiator.


Gortmore, SA

Posted 01/2003
1918 - Satisified Owner, Port Pirie S.A.
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? June 1920
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford

Nothing Whatever Wrong with the Whole Works

Attached Photo Caption: Mr. M. H. F. Noll, Port Pirie.

Mr. M. H. F. Noll of Port Pirie, S.A., recently wrote to Messrs. Eyes & Crowle:-

Dear Sir,-

Please find enclosed a. snap of our 'bus after a desperate race from Port Pirie to a fruit garden 10 miles out on the River Broughton. It's needless, to say which one won the race. Our 'bus" is still going strong, more so since I've had her down for a cleaning out of carbon. I was very much taken up to find out that there is not the slightest sign of wear on the crank, rods, pistons, or any other bearing; everything was well oiled, the piston rings were free, nothing whatever wrong with the whole works. The fine bearings take my eye. There is plenty of surface, hence the wear is cut down to a minimum.

I'm thoroughly satisfied, after four years of running, with practically no trouble, speaks well for a Buick. I like them, and they'll always do me.

You may use this as you think fit. Wishing you every success in the future.

Posted 01/2003
1916 - South Australian Govenor is a Buick Enthusiast
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? June 1920
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford

Leiut.-Colonel Sir Henry Galway the late govenor of South Australia, a motoring enthusiast, is pictured here with his 1916 Buick Six.
Posted 01/2003
1920 - Inspector Kemp owns the Best Car in the World (Mt Gambier)
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? June 1920
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford

The Man Who Claims to Own the Best Motor Car in the World

Attached Photo Caption: Inspector Kemp and his Buick Car.

Manager, Co-op. Garage.


Since my arrival in Mt. Gambier I have to thank you for the kindness and attention shown me and my car. Of course, me being a Buick owner, and you being a Buick agent, may account for the brotherly treatment. I may tell you that I own the best car in the world, and I feel sure you consider you are rightly representing the best car in the world. I travelled overland from Corryong, Victoria, doing a total of 543 miles. I had my oil registering full when I left home, and I never put any more in, and when I arrived in Mt. Gambier I still registered a quarter full. My petrol consumption tallied out at 22 miles to the gallon right through. I never once raised the bonnet, only to oil the parts, and only had one puncture on the trip. My car comes from mountainous country, and has done trips in places where no other cars ever go. In thanking you again, Mr. Marks, I wish you success with your Buick agency, but feel sure you have not much talking to do. "All Buicks talk for themselves."

Faithfully yours,


Posted 01/2003
1920 - Eyes and Crowle Ltd., Buick Distributors for South Australia
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? June 1920
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford

In 1920 Eyes and Crowle Ltd., were the state distributors for Buick in South Australia
Posted 01/2003
1920 - Mt Gambier Buick Agent
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? June 1920
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford

In 1920 the Co-operative Garage Society Limited, Watson Terrace, Mount Gambier S.A. were the Buick Service Station for the South-East of South Australia.

A strong link in the World's chain of Buick Service Stations
Posted 01/2003
1920 - Over Bells Line of Road in a Buick
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? January 1921
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford

''Over the Top" in a Buick

We are in receipt of three very interesting photographs from Mr. P. A. Mclntosh, which we think are worthy of mention, in as much as the Buick illustrated, driven by Mr. Mclntosh, undertook the journey under adverse conditions.

The trip was taken after one of our recent heavy rains, and, as can be imagined, the state of the roads was none too good. The journey was from Sydney to Mount Victoria, via Kurrajong and Bell, and, owing to the soakage, in several places trees had fallen across the path. In the first photograph, two trees have fallen across the road and completely blocked traffic.

The heighth of the obstruction can be estimated from the position of the car before crossing, and the passenger standing in front.

The next picture shows the Buick going "OVER THE TOP!"

It would be quite natural to ask: Why not make a detour? But, when one considers that Mr. Mclntosh had made about 60 miles along this road with no branch road leading from the main road, and that he was within about ten miles of his destination, it can readily be understood that every attempt should be made to get beyond the barrier.

Fortunately, Mr. Mclntosh was driving a Buick car, and, due to the wonderful pulling power of the Buick Valve-in-Head motor, and capacity to stand up, in this instance, the car did a little bit more than originally designed for.

We might add that the only damage done was a bent tie-rod which did not in any way hold up the car for the balance of the journey. The road covered is a very dangerous one, as there is a drop of several hundred feet on one side, and a slight skid or poor judgment-would mean serious damage to the car, and possibly death to the occupants.

The last picture shows the car just after having surmounted the obstacle, and ready for a continuation of the journey.

Posted 01/2003
1921 - Buick owners attend the opening of Reconstructed Parramatta Rd
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? May 1921
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford

Successful Function Marks Opening of Parramatta Road

Ministers Promise New Scheme

Parramatta Road witnessed a sight on April 16, which was unique in the history of the roadway. It was that of nearly 1,000 motor cars laden with passengers whose faces were wreathed with smiles of satisfaction. For was not the renovated road being officially opened. Those who had occasion to use the wretched apology for a modern road in recent years were astounded when gliding over the smoothly tarred surface of the re-modelled thoroughfare. The ruts and the puddles, the holes and the spring breaking. projections were gone. Instead there was a long ribbon of asphalted track, stretching for nine miles and ten chains free from bumps and wrinkles literally beseeching the motorist to "come along and try me." What was once the bug- bear of the tourist has been transformed into one of those glazed top stretches which make motoring, whether it be for pleasure or for commerce, a thing of joy.

The opening ceremony was performed in Parramatta Park, by the State Governor, Sir Walter Davidson. Around him were parked the 1,000 cars which after assembling in the Sydney Domain had traversed the fourteen miles to the historic town. The Governor's speech was one of those gems with which he frequently adorns official, and semi-official functions. Behind the barrage of humor which Sir Waiter dropped from his elevated stand, were some seriously worded injunctions on the subject of the need for good roads.

"That needless sinners should be damned unless they mend their ways." Said the Governor quoting from the immortal Scottish bard, Burns. Then he congratulated the district on "having mended its ways."

"This time I have come to Parramatta in comfort," began Sir Walter, amidst reminiscent laughter. ?There was no fear that whilst crossing the 'Dardanelles' water would come over the carburettor. And now I hope that being bogged is a thing of the past? The road has been admirably made and is a very fine specimen of Australian handiwork.

"With proper care this road should last a long time," he went on, "but of all the great cities in the world the roads in Sydney and around Sydney are the worst that I have ever known. And now the time has come when we can put the railways in their proper places, and realise that motor traffic on the, roads is the most important of all the traffic."

Whatever the Government did, it did well, but sometimes it look rather a long time about it. Hence he strongly commended the Parramatta Road Improvement League, and the societies which were agitating for good, trunk roads, and trying to induce the Government to push on with the improvement of the main roads.

"Of course," commented the Governor, "It is everybody's fault but the Government's. I agree with that. The first serious charge that could he made against the Government was in 1854, when there was a. very strong protest in Parliament about the shameful state of the Parramatta Road. But I have been reading over what has been happening in Parliament during the ten years they have taken over the Parramatta Road, (whilst we had to go round by Ryde), and I know the number of cooks who have been making a broth of the road. There are 15 municipalities along the route, and one never answers letters. (Not this).

"I would suggest," he said later, "that now a commencement has been made, and now that we have really got engineers and road-making plant, that we might set to work on some more of the hundred thousand miles of road in New South Wales. There are a hundred thousand miles altogether; 36,000 have never been made at all -people have trusted in nature- 30,000 have roots dug out; and another 16,000 are in the process of being made roads; so it comes down to only 18,000 miles of road in first- class condition, a very small proportion in an important State."

Sir Walter Davidson then officially opened the road, saying, "I declare the Parramatta Road open, and I declare it also the best road in New South Wales, and I hope it will not be solitary very long."

The Governor was welcomed by the Mayor of Parramatta (Alderman Simpson). Other speakers included Messrs. Morphett (president of the local Chamber of Commerce), Strudwick (vice- president of the, Parramatta Road Improvement League), D. M. Cooper (chairman of the Roads and Tourists Committee of Royal Automobile Club), F. Cridland (president of the Master Carriers' Union), and S. L. Tyler (president of the Motor-Traders' Union).

"I want to assure Messrs. Mutch and Lang," said Mr. Cooper, "on behalf of the Automobile Club, that we have no politics where roads are concerned. There should not be motor taxation, where motorist are taxed as a class. Not only motorists, but all users of the roads should he made to pay something for them. We want taxation which is equitable and fair. And, provided that it is just taxation, we will not complain."

The. speech of Mr. J. T. Lang, (State Treasurer), contained some news of interest to motorists. It was, in brief, a scheme to put in order the main roads of the County of Cumberland. This will he the beginning of a proposal to re-condition the whole of the roads of the State. In announcing the scheme the Treasurer said that the ?500,000 necessary to repair the main roads of the County of Cumberland would be raised by local loan. It would carry interest at the rate of five and a half per cent, free of State and Federal-income tax, and would have a currency of ten years. The extended scheme to cover the whole State would be embodied in legislation to, be submitted to Parliament early next session.

Reverting to the County of Cumberland proposition, the Treasurer said, that in conformity with the Government's decision to raise the half million of money it had been resolved to enlarge the scope of the Main Roads Bill introduced last session -extending the area it covered. In last session's bill the scheme stopped practically at Parramatta. It was now proposed, with the consent of the Minister for Local Government, to extend its scope right throughout the County of Cumberland. .

The proposal would embody the re-conditioning of the South Coast, the Great Southern, the Great Western , and the Great Northern roads. That would mean, that the roads from Sydney to Bulli, from Sydney to Campbelltown and Camden, the Parramatta-road from Parramatta along the Woodville road to the Great Southern road, and the one from Sydney to Wiseman's Ferry -the four main arteries leading from the city into the interior- would be put in the same excellent condition as the stretch of re-made thoroughfare from Sydney to Parramatta. The Government, he pointed out, had well carried out the re- construction of the Parramatta-road, and he could urge with confidence the people -the motor traders, the automobile people, the master carriers, everybody- to get behind the Ministry in this new proposal. That ?500,000 was essential. The local government authorities had worked out the plans and the method of construction, and he had arranged with the Minister for Public Works that the work should not be stuck up because of the lack of, blue metal, so that everything was ready waiting for the necessary money.

The arrangement with the Minister for Works was that the State quarry at Port Kembla should temporarily put more men on and set its crushing plant to full capacity, thus supplying 170,000 tons of blue metal a year. That would enable the work to be pushed ahead expeditiously, and at the same time would be the means of stopping the complaints of municipal councils about the lack of supplies of blue metal for all ordinary purposes.

"We say," declared Mr. Lang, "that we will put these main roads into exactly the same condition as the Parramatta-road is in to-day, and we will do it just as expeditiously as we have done Parramatta-road. Inside of two years the half million will be spent, and we will have good roads right throughout the County of Cumberland."

The expenditure for the first year, he explained, would total about ?180,000, but after that, as more extensive plant was secured, the rate of expenditure would be increased." It was explained by the Treasurer that the loan would really be part.of the recent ?3,000,000 flotation. This loan was not fully subscribed, and would now be re-opened, but the ?500,000 would be specially earmarked for the County of Cumberland roads.

The Minister for Local Government (Mr. T. D. Mutch) then vigorously replied to a suggestion by Mr. Cooper (of the Automobile Club) that the whole of the revenue gathered from the motor tax should be put in a main roads fund and spent on the upkeep of the State's thoroughfares.

"The motor people," declared Mr. Mutch, "will persist in misconstruing the situation.' As a matter of fact, we actually give the municipal councils of New South Wales much more for road re- pairing than we receive from the motor tax."

"Oh, no!" came a chorus.
"I tell you it is correct," said the Minister. "Last year the got about ?125,000 from the tax, and the grants to the municipal councils totalled ?160,000. If the tax money was specially earmarked, the councils would probably get less for their roads."

Mr. Mitch proceeded to surprise the crowd by the announcement that in re-conditioning the Parramatta-road the Government committed an illegal act.

"Yes, an illegal act," he declared.

The measure amending the Main Roads Bill passed last session so that it would cover the roads of the whole State, he added would be introduced into Parliament in a month or two--as soon as the House met. The only trouble was that some people were misrepresenting the position to the. councils. He asked them not to rush in urging opposition to a measure before they knew what was. in it. That was the sort of thing calculated to harass the Government.

Neither of the Ministers stated what amount of money would be necessary for the latter project or by what means it was to be raised.

Posted 01/2003
1925/7 - Stawell Vic, Buick Dealership

Article reprinted from "Motor Progress" July 1927, Volume 1, No 10

Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine

On the right is a picture of Edgerton's Garage and Service Station, Stawell. This well set-out service station is in the main street, at the main entrance to the town and presents a very pleasing appearance in such a commanding position.

(Ed's note: Although the magazine article is July 1927 the car pictured appears to be a Buick model 25-45)
Posted 02/2004
1920 - New Buick's to Naracoote S.A.
1920 Buick's Sold in Naracoote

Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? June 1920
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford

The photo was captioned:

"Away West-Buicks for Naracoote."

Sold by the Co-operative Garage Society of Mount Gambler, to Mr. A.C. McMahon and Mrs. J. G. Humphreys.

Posted 01/2003
1920 - Buick Dealer, Riverton South Australia
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? June 1920
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford

The photo is captioned:
H R. Laycock's garage at Riverton, S.A. Buick Agent for Riverton and District.

Another link in the chain of Buick Service Stations.

Posted 01/2003
1921 - Winter & Taylor, Buick Dealer, Geelong Victoria

Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? April 1921
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford

An Up-to-Date Buick Service Station

The Buick Service Station operated by Messrs. Winter, and Taylor, at Geelong, Victoria, is a credit to the Buick organization, and the large number, of Buick cars they are selling is evidence of the satisfactory service Buick owners are receiving.

Posted 01/2003
1930 - Marquette Conquers "Big Hill", Grafton-Glen Innes Road
Article reprinted from ?The General Motors Dealer" March 1930
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes

Another Marquette Victory

Buick's Companion Car gives Phenomenal TOP Gear Demonstration over the Big Hill, N.S.W.

The Buick built car, Marquette, which was only recently released to the Australian public, has lost no time in making its presence felt in the motoring world and substantiating the remarkable performance claims made by its builders for acceleration and general flexibility. The claims were so forceful that many experienced motorists were somewhat sceptical and their curiosity aroused. Consequently a search was immediately set for the unsurmountable difficulties of steep grades and hill climb tests.

Marquette negotiates "'Big Hill" in top

In New England, the Big Hill, on the Glen Innes-Grafton Road, which is well known to most motorists, was selected to either substantiate or disprove the remarkable flexibility of the Marquette.

Mr. Stewart Galletly, Managing Director of Glen Innes Motors Ltd.. accompanied by Guide Gordon of the N.R.M.A., and Mr. B. Condon, of the ,"Examiner" staff, tried a standard tourer out with windscreen and hood up. The gruelling tests of five steep winding miles was faced under the strict observance of the officials named. The first series of hills was negotiated with remarkable case, the bends and grades being taken at any pace the driver wished. Owing to the depth of water in Diehard Creek the car had to be brought to a very low speed, but despite this handicap the immediate grade was ascended and the machine freely paced the long succession of hills.

Two steep grades were encountered and the bends on top of each taken at 15 and 10 miles per hour. The car never faltered but climbed on. The hairpin bend was taken with ease and the negotiation of Macquarie Turn was faced. The car successfully mounted the grade and its running pace dropped to 10 miles an hour, and won through, this being the steepest and most difficult section of the climb.

Proceeding, the well was passed at 25 miles an hour and the speed in- creased to 35 miles an hour when Horse Shoe Bend was taken, which offered little resistance to the speed of the machine. Once over this the Hill was conquered and the Marquette gained a victory.

The Big Hill has been recognised throughout Australia as being an impossible climb for a standard model car in top gear. It is not only the grade which makes the hill climb difficult but also the many 'S' and hairpin bends which have to be negotiated and present themselves every few chains, while an error of judgment would precipitate the machine a few hundred feet over the side. As a rule the Hill is ascended in second and low gear, with heated engines, but the Marquette finished normally, no signs of boiling or over-heating. The same drivers ascended the Hill twice, just to prove that it was not a stunt and to substantiate the claims made by the makers for this unique car.

Pictured (above): Guide Gordon, of the N.R.M.A., Mr. Stewart Galletly, Managing Director of Glen Innes Motors Ltd , and Mr. B. Condon, of the "Examiner" newspaper were the occupants of the car which ascended the Hill twice to prove it was not a stunt and to substantiate the claims of Marquette.

Thumbnail (below): The Marquette negotiated the famous Horse Shoe Bend at thirty-five miles per hour.

Posted 02/2002
1927 - Buicks on Woodville Production Line
Production Line Methods have changed at Woodville!

Article reprinted from ?GMH employee magazine ?People? Sept 1953
Researched & contributed by Marc McInnes

STRIKING contrast in early methods of motor car body manufacture compared with the smooth production line technique of to-day is shown in the photographs, made available to People by Acting Chief Inspector at GMH Woodville, BILL AMES. They show three stages in the manufacture of Buick Sedan bodies at the old Holden's Motor Body Builders' works at Adelaide in 1927.Washing down & sanding processAssembling and
panelling line

Two other photographs of early GMH operations at Woodville show the rigid tests carried out on the first all-steel Chevrolet sedan built at Woodville in 1936. The photographs, loaned by W. J. HEWITT, of Woodville, show the great weight of hardwood timber balanced on the hood of the Chevrolet to test its structural strength. Finished bodies ready
for packing
Posted 02/2002
1920 - RACV Hill Climb, Mrs Rowlands in her Buick
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? June 1920
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford

RACV Hill Climb 1920

In the Victory Hill Climb, organized by the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria, Buicks again demonstrated their capabilities over hills. The accompanying photograph shows Mrs. D. E. Rowlands in the "Buick" she has driven for some considerable time. In the ladies' competition she put up an excellent performance, and in the owner drivers' event she was again a competitor, and proved that a "Buick," when driven by a woman, can hold its own against all other makes of cars driven by male drivers. In the chassis competition a "Buick" tied for fastest time, ascending the hill in 1.15, tying with a 30 h.p. car-proving that the "Buick" 25 has more ginger under the bonnet than the motorist is likely to require.

Posted 01/2003
1920/21 - The Buick Bulletin (History in Print)

Webmasters Note:

The Buick Bulletin in the early 1920?s was the?Press Organ of Buick Car Owners and Dealers? in Australia and New Zealand. The editor invited correspondence which was to be addressed to him at Room 7, 5th Floor, Ocean House, Moore Street, Sydney. There is no listing for Moore Street, Sydney in the current street directory.

A notice to Buick Owners states, ?The editor would be glad to receive photographs from Buick Owners illustrating tours, little-known beauty spots or other items of interest to other Buick Car Owners.? Many of the articles appearing in this section of the website are taken from these publications.

Five of these rare magazines in very original condition were used by Marc McInnes to produce these stories. The magazines were graciously loaned for this purpose to Marc by Eddie Ford. BCCA-NSW is indebited to these two enthuasists for permitting this history to be shared by all Buick enthuasists.

The covers of these five magazines are reproduced. It is interesting to note the excellent use of colour in print so long ago.
Posted 01/2003
1929 - MOTOR PROGRESS (The General Motors Dealer)
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine

Motor Progress, was at the time the GMA (General Motors Australia) in house dealer magazine.

Vol 2, No 5, May 1929 featured a 29' Buick sedan on the cover and a Buick dealer advertisment on the back.

Posted 02/2004
1920 - Over the Dorrigo Mail Trail
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? June 1920
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford

Over the Dorrigo Mail Trail

The Buick, because of its Power, Economy, and Reliability is a Popular Car for Strenuous Mail Services

Two photographs of the Dorrigo Mail Service, North Coast, remarkable for bad roads, which are said to be the worst in New South Wales. Our readers will notice that all of the cars are Buicks, two 1918 and two 1919. The photographs show the usual run of things, and how they are usually loaded. The stop on the wayside is one of the mountain streams, from which water is taken to put in the radiator. The Dorrigo Motor Co. run a daily service between Macksviile, Dorrigo and Coff's harbour.
Posted 01/2003
1927 - Buick Round Australia Record Trip
Article reprinted from "Motor Progress" Nov 1927
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine


A tour of unusual interest which has just been completed was that recently undertaken by Messrs, Woodward and Mayor in a standard Buick car. These motorists, who set out with the intention of breaking the record for the run right round Australia, left Melbourne on August 18th, arriving back on October 3rd, six weeks later, only 19 days of which constituted actual driving time.

This trip has never before been completed in less than three months, so that the 19 days is regarded as a great achievement, particularly with respect to the conditions under which the trip was run. An unfortunate occurance near Cue, West Australia, where a ?spoon? drain was struck, when the car was travelling at high speed, resulted in the drivers having to spend ten days in hospital, their car having turned over.

From Cue to Melbourne, a distance of 2750 miles, Mr Mayor had to do the driving alone, as Mr Woodward?s dislocated shoulder, which he had sustained in the accident at Cue, would not permit of his taking the wheel. Driving for a speed record is a trying ordeal at any time, but where one man has to do all the driving for many hundreds of miles the nerve strain is very great.

Both Mr Woodward and Mr Mayor expressed themselves as keenly disappointed that, due to these circumstances, they were unable to break the record for Perth to Adelaide run, although they covered the distance in almost record time.

The whole trip was one of adventure. The route followed was via Sydney, Brisbane, Rockhampton, Katherine River, Darwin, back to Katherine river and thence to Derby, Broome, Port Headland, Marble Bar, Meekatharra, Cue, Perth and Adelaide. A large portion of this route was over unmade roads and the travelling was at times very rough. Between Katherine River and Darwin, a distance of 220 miles, there were 92 creeks to be crossed. In another stretch of 50 miles, there were 80 gates to be opened and shut again.

Dense prickly pear country, with no sign of a track through it, had to be traversed; long stretches of sand had to be crossed, where ordinary travellers use the camel. Here the motorists deflated their baloon tyres and so were able to negotiate the sand in top gear - in one place the sand stretched for sixteen miles without a break, but no difficulity was experienced

In another district there is a steady hill-climb of 36 miles, but even here the Buick engine lived up to its reputation. In only one place on the whole trip did the Buick have to get help-this was at the Fitzroy River, in West Australia-a crossing which no car has ever been known to negotiate unaided. a team of donkeys is usually employed to haul motorists across the river, the bed of which is a mass of quicksands. However when Messrs, Woodward and Mayor arrived the donkeys were not available, so the Buick was hauled across by aborigines-surely a unique spectacle.

Mr Woodward cannot give sufficient praise to the Buick. He has driven a Buick for many years and knows its merit; that is why he decided to do this trip with a Buick. But even with his knowledge of the car, he was amazed at the performance of the Buick on the trip. No engine trouble whatever was experienced, and not one item of the stock of spare parts which was carried was required. It was an outstanding tribute to a car that it could travel nearly 10,000 miles under the most indifferent road conditions, over sandy stretches and through innuberable creeks, the whole trip at a high rate of speed and required no attention whatever from its driver.

This Buick was a standard model taken from stock and carried a load equal in weight to a Buick sedan, so the achievement ranks as one of exceptional interest in the long list already to Buick?s credit.
Posted 01/2003
1921 - McIntosh & Sons present Buick at the Sydney Motor Show
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? Feb 1921
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford

The Buick exhibit of Messrs. Mclntosh and Sons Ltd. was probably one of the most tastefully arranged in the recent motor show, held in Sydney. And as for service, one had but to step in to the Buick exhibit to have a suave, courteous attendant explain the many good points of the remarkable Buick Valve-in- Head motor car. We understand that there were quite a number of orders booked at the show, and we cannot help but feel that the courteous reception of visitors, the desire to please and to impart information, had quite a bit to do with the booking of these orders.

NSW Buick Distributor - McIntosh and Sons Ltd.

Mr. Peter McIntosh, Governing Director of the firm of McIntosh and Sons Ltd., Sydney, is probably one of the most successful business men in Australia to-day. He is a man with over thirty years' standing in the business world, and has the happy faculty of making a success of every line of endeavour into which he has entered.

Commencing business in a small way, he soon sprang into prominence. He is the founder of the Hamilton Flour Mills, at Hamilton, Newcastle, and also of P. McIntosh and Co., Quirindi, Universal Providers, and founders of the Quirindi Flour Mills. He is one of the principal organisers of the firm of Gillespie and McIntosh, flour miners, Inverell. He is the director in a large number of city warehouses, which are all successful concerns to-day.

Mr. McIntosh's first entry into the motor business was 1909, when he started a small shop in Market Street, and, since that time, it has grown, until to-day, when the firm of McIntosh and Sons Ltd. is probably one of the largest motor businesses in Australia.

Of course, no small measure of Mr. McIntosh's success in the motor business is due to the wonderful Buick Valve-in-Head Motor Car, but this does not detract from the fact that he was far-sighted enough to see the remarkable possibilities of this car in Australia. He has made several visits to the Buick factory in America, and knows just what this reliable car is doing in other portions of the world. As a matter of fact, there is scarcely a season goes by but what Mr. McIntosh, or a representative of his organisation, visits America, so that, at all tirnes, the firm of Mclntosh and Sons Ltd. is thoroughly abreast of the times in the motor world.

Mr. S. L. Tyler, managing director of the firm of Mclntosh and Sons Ltd., was born in Adelaide some forty years ago. He became interested in motors, in about 1902, went abroad in 1903, and finally settled in Sydney in 1907 in the motor trade. He became identified with the General Motor Co, of Sydney. now defunct, then with Davies and Fehon, importers of Ford and European cars.

In 1913 Mr. Tyler took over the management of Mclntosh and Sons Ltd., later becoming a Director. He is ever active in the interests of his company, rarely missing a point to make of the firm of Mclntosh and Sons Ltd., one of the leaders in the automotive industry in Australia.

He is also an energetic member of the Motor Traders' Association - having, in 1914, become a member of the Committee. When, in 1915-16, embargoes were talked of by the Governmeit, Mr. Tyler took great activity in protesting. His work, in this respect, was greatly appreciated by the motor traders, and he became a delegate to the Federal Convention, and was elected Vice-President of the Motor Traders' Association. After two years, he became President of the Association, which position be now holds. Mr. Tyler was chairman of the recent motor show held in Sydney, and it speaks very well for his organising ability that the show was such a tremendous success.

We feel that Mclntosh and Sons Ltd. are to be congratulated upon having on their executive staff a man of such sterling worth as Mr. S. L. Tyler has proven himself to be.

Posted 01/2003
1918 - Selwyn to Baulia Road, Queensland
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? January 1921
Researched by Marc McInnes from the origional magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford

Selwyn to Baulia Road - Queensland

Selwyn to Baulia, 1918 -Model Buick, Nine passenger, two baskets of travellers' samples, and all the passenger luggage. You can only see seven passengers in the picture, there is one in the car and one with the camera.

We are indebted to Mr. H. Lonergan, of Messrs. Stretton and Lonergan, Selwyn, North Queensland, for the "above illustration of a "1918 Model Buick." In writing, Mr. Lonergan says:

"When this photograph was taken there were nine passengers comprising the load. Only seven, however, can be seen in the picture'one is operating the camera, and one in the car not visible. You will note the baskets of travellers' samples besides all the other passengers' luggage. This Buick has been an the road for two and a half years working continually, and has done considerably over 100,000 miles. The gear-box has never been off, nor has the clutch been inspected so far. This will furnish some idea how the Buick will stand up to rough work." As Mr. James Howard, of Howard Motor Company, says: "Perhaps, in this instance, the Reverend Gentleman may have had something to do with the safe passage of so many passengers over and above the recognised load."

Posted 05/2002
1919 - Longreach to Winton, Queensland
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? February 1921
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford

Another Reason for the Development of Good Roads

This Buick car is constantly in use, carrying passengers and mail between Longreach and Winton, Queensland, a distance of 126 miles.

In spite of the dreadful state of the roads, the Buick got through safely without any mechanical trouble On this trip, it carried seven passengers and luggage besides the mail.

Posted 01/2003
1921 - Victorian Alpine Reliability Test
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? December 1921
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes

Buick wins Victoria's Alpine Reliability Test

Important Achievement in 1,000 Miles Run

Once again Buicks have proved their worth. In the recently concluded Alpine Contest in Victoria a Buick received first place for reliability in the Owners' Event, Class C., and a Buick was also on top for reliability in the Open Event, Class C.

In the latter event only three Buick Cars were entered, and they finished in the Petrol Contest first, second and fourth, the mileage per gallon respectively being 24.24, 21.47, and 20.57.

In the Private Owners' Event, Class C., only one Buick Car was entered in the Petrol Contest, and this car finished first, petrol consumption being 20.40 miles per gallon.

Though the shouting and the tumult has died away, the results of the great Victorian 1,000 miles reliability contest, and their influence on the motor trade generally, are being calmly weighed by experts. No matter from what standpoint the test is viewed, the opinion is unanimous that it was the most successful of its kind ever held in Australia-. Some people who have knowledge of trials conducted in other parts of the world, unhesitatingly declared the Alpine run lost nothing when compared with the big events of the older countries. Certain it is that the Victorian test, if conducted annually, will rank as one of the most important events in the world. Praise is being showered on the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria for the excellent manner in which it conducted the contest. The Club's efforts were keenly appreciated by the contestants, the motor trade, and the country shires along the route. The last-named were fully seized of the fine advertisement their districts gained as touring resorts.


For 31 cars to start off on a 1000 miles run, under the strictest of conditions, over a route that called for expert driving, high efficiency, and dependability in cars and tyres, and for 29 to finish, tells a story of all-round excellence in driving and wonderful reliability of the modern car. Any previous reliability competitions held in Australia were child's play as compared to the test just concluded. Not only have the contestants given a wonderful display of driving, but in many instances they have shown stamina and ingenuity out of the ordinary; in fact, some of the repairs executed by contestants who struck trouble were carried out in amazingly quick time. All told, the run was brimful of incidents from start to finish, and will furnish motorists with something to talk of for months to come. Two cars were overturned -one in the Mount St. Bernard hill climb -but without serious results; in fact both cars were in the running right to the finish. The route selected is an ideal one, calling for first-class driving; very mountainous in places, climbs and descents along narrow mountain cuttings sometimes extending 13 miles in length. Hair pin turns could he counted in thousands, whilst countless "V's" awaited the careless driver, and brought about broken spring leaves and bent axles to the unwary. It was just the course to find out weakness in the car and carelessness in the driver; but, despite this, the results were surprisingly good.

The test was practically divided into three sections: -Reliability, 800 points; fuel consumption, 100; and two hill climbs 50 points each the total attainable being 1000. In the reliability section points were deducted even for lifting the bonnet during running time, an observer being aboard each car to see that all conditions were faithfully carried out. Points were deducted for arriving at control too early or too late, and in many instances the former carried more loss of points than the too late penalty. The petrol consumption test, held the first day over a 200 miles course, was conducted on lines that called for genuine touring speed, thereby eliminating freak performances, that are no good to anyone, and are certainly mis-leading to potential motorists. In this test some very fine results were attained, particularly when one realises that the time schedules called for an average.speed of 19 m.p h. for the small-powered cars, 221/2 m.p.h. for the medium-powered, and 25 1-5 m.p.h. for the big-powered cars; furthermore, the later section of the run was negotiated in a heavy downpour and over muddy roads.

From a reliability point of view the conditions of the contest were particularly strict, but 29 cars finished the course.


An Interstate contestant was enthusiastic in his remarks concerning the trial. In expressing his views be said: "This Alpine reliability contest was the finest and best organised trial ever held in the Commonwealth. The route is through some of the finest country one could wish to travel.Although very mountainous in places, the roads over the whole route are excellent and well graded. Any average motorist could do this Alpine tour without fear in the dry season. It was carried out in a very thorough manner. The supervision was strict, and everybody on the run had a great time, especially on the two sight-seeing days, when the cars had a rest, at Lakes Entrance and Mt. Buffalo. Breaks like this in a contest are certainly a great help to the owner-driver, and relieves one of strain, on such a long drive.

"The officials had a strenuous time. They worked practically night and day, and too much cannot be given to them, Harry James and Mr Grice in particular. It was a treat to see how well the whole organization 'worked.

"I was pleased to see that the term 'reliability' did not enter into this contest in the proper sense of the word. It certainly was a reliability trial. I doubt if any cars will succeed in obtaining full reliability points, owing to the strenuous yet fair, conditions, together width the thorough final examination of each car by three independent experts.

"It is intended to make the trial the premier motoring event of the Commonwealth and it will be run annually. It will be more popular than ever in future years, while Harry James and the present officials have the organising of it in their hands. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, and was treated in a most sportsman and hospitable table way."

Photo (above)
Caption "Mr. Lane's Buick which won the Petrol Contest (open Event, Class C) in the Victorian Alpine Reliability Contest. This car's figures worked out at 24.24 miles to the gallon."

Photo 1 (below) Caption "A successful Buick In the Private Owners' Class"

Photo 2 (below) Caption " During a break in the Reliability run motorists were enthusiastic over a donkey race at Mt. Buffalo. This photograph ,shows two of the thoroughbreds. The jockey on the right is Mr. Lane, the well known Buick owner of Melbourne."

Posted 05/2002
1938 - Buick launch in Melbourne
Article reprinted from ?Pointers? GMH?s house magazine of the day
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes.

1938 Buick launch in Melbourne

The Buick Announcement Display in the Melbourne Town Hall by Preston Motors Pty. Ltd. An added attraction was a Link Training Machine loaned for the occasion by Australian National airways. The latest in road and aerial transport engineering were on view to the public

Posted 05/2002
1938 - New Buicks off the Assembly Line, Brisbane
Article reprinted from ?Pointers? GMH?s house magazine of the day
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes.

1938 Buicks off the assembly line - Brisbane

The first of the 1938 Buicks coming off the Assembly Line at the Brisbane Plant.

D?Arcy Amos, Sales Manager for Eager?s, second from right, is telling Vic Page, Production Manager at the Brisbane Plant, how pleased he is with the new job. Art Carrol, second from left in the same group, and Mr Withy, of Eager?s Retail Pty Ltd seem to be in accord with D?Arcy.

Posted 05/2002
1936 - Buick 8/40, Perth & Rowston's Garage, Cowra, NSW
Article reprinted from ?Pointers? GMH?s house magazine of the day
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes.

1936 Buick 8/40 - Perth & Rowston?s Garage, Cowra

Top: Mr D T Bantock of Subiaco, Perth, with his 1936 Buick 8/40 sedan, the most recent of a long line of Buicks owned by Mr Bantock for the last 20 years.

Bottom: The attractive set-up of Rowston?s garage, at Cowra, NSW. The clock display is a splendid piece of publicity, and there is no doubt about the franchise being handled by this firm.

Posted 05/2002
1939 - New Buick 8/40 in Bunbury, WA
Article reprinted from ?Pointers? GMH?s house magazine of the day
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes.

1939 - New Buick 8/40 in Bunbury, WA

The Bunbury (WA) owner of the new 1939 Buick shown above was so attached to his ancient vintage Buick that after he traded it in on the new job, he purchased it back again. This picture was sent by Sydney Atkinson Motors Ltd, Perth Distributors for Buick and Chevrolet.

Posted 05/2002
1937 - Buick at the Melbourne Motor Show
Article reprinted from ?Pointers? GMH?s house magazine of the day
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes.

1937 Buick at the Melbourne Motor Show

The splendid display of Preston Motors, Melbourne Distributors for Chevrolet and Buick, at the recent International motor Show, attracted considerable attention. Note the display?s modernist touch for the 1937 Buicks.

Posted 05/2002
1937 - Buick, special bodied ute to Government order
Article reprinted from ?Pointers? GMH?s house magazine of the day
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes.

1937 Buick, special bodied ute to Government order

This Buick buck-board was recently delivered by Messrs. City Motors Pty Ltd, to the Department of the Interior, for use in Centralia

Posted 12/2002
1936 - Government Order to Boyded Ltd.for Buick 8/90's
Article reprinted from ?Pointers? GMH?s house magazine of the day
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes.

1936 Buick 8/90?s sold to the NSW Government by Boyded Ltd.

Four 8/90 Buicks sold to the NSW Government Tourist Bureau by Messers. Boyded Ltd., Sydney Distributors. These cars will attractively cater for the overseas tourist traffic.

Posted 05/2002
1935 - Buick 8/90 Ambulance for the Illawarra
Article reprinted from ?Pointers? GMH?s house magazine of the day
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes.

1935 Buick 8/90 Ambulance for the Illawarra.

A Buick 90, with special ambulance body, operated by the Illawarra District, south of Sydney, over a 100 mile coastal stretch

Posted 05/2002
1927 - Buick Taxi does stirling service in Perth
Article reprinted from ?Motor Progress? May 1927 Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

Buick Taxi does sterling service in Perth.

An old Chev and an old Buick car on the taxi rank, Cottesloe Beach, nearest railway station to General Motors Plant. Both these vehicles have long mileages to their credit and neither of their owners would dream of buying any other product but one of the two. Both machines? speedometers are broken and the mileage in both cases are well in excess of 50,000.

Posted 01/2003
1930 - Death of Buick Distributor, Boyd Edkins
Article reprinted from ?The GM Dealer? V3-No3 March 1930
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine

Prominent Distributor?s Death
Mr Boyd Edkins, Holder of Many Motoring Records

By the death of Mr. Boyd Edkins, General Motors (Aust.) Proprietary Limited loses one of its most prominent distibutors. Mr. Edkins was one of the best known motorists in Australia. He died at a private hospital in Darlinghurst after five weeks? illness at the age of 46.
Mr. Edkins took an interest in the merchandising of Motor Cars about 22 years ago. He established the Motor House in Milford Street and later the firm of Body Edkins Limited was formed.
At a later date the company controlled the distribution of Oldsmobile cars for New South Wales, until the advent of General Motors (Australia) Pty. Ltd. in 1926. The company then absorbed the firm of McIntosh & Sons Ltd., agents for Buick, and the offices and operations were then transferred to the present site, Phillip House, Phillip Street. The company acted as distributor until October last for Oldsmobile and Vauxhall cars, which were replaced by Buick and later the Marquette franchise was added.

Notable among Mr. Edkins motoring achievements was the breaking of the Melbourne to Sydney record on two occasions in 1914. On his 40th birthday, in 1923, Mr. Boyd Edkins arrived in Sydney having established a new motoring record from Brisbane. He was the winner of numerous competitions promoted by the Royal Automobile Club of Australia, and held records for a number of hill-climbing tests, including Kurrajong, Artillery Hill (National Park), Toll Bar and One Tree Hill, Brisbane.
General Motors (Australia) Pty. Ltd. expresses its deepest sympathy to Mrs. Edkins and her two daughters.

Posted 01/2003
1929 - Musical Star, Gladys Moncrief with Buick at Broken Hill
Article reprinted from ?The GM Dealer? V3-No3 March 1930
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine

Musical Star, Gladys Moncrief with Buick at Broken Hill

Miss Gladys Moncrief and ?Rio Rita? Company recently visited Broken Hill and are seen here outside the premises of Silver City motors, General Motors Dealers at Broken Hill in a 1929 Buick

Posted 01/2003
1928 - Buick in Race Winning Form in WA
Article reprinted from ?Motor Progress? May 1927 Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

1928 Buick in race winning form

Throughout Australia General Motors cars have given some remarkable demonstrations in various motor racing events. The stamina which is built into all General Motors cars equips them to withstand all tests to which they may be subjected. On the Proving Ground, in the Research Laboratories, tests are conducted which ensure that the best of material and the best of workmanship is built into each General Motors car. All over the world there are scores of instances of exceptional and arduous tests to which General Motors cars have been subjected, and from which they have invariably emerged with credit to themselves and their drivers.

Many of our dealers in Australia have driven General Motors cars to victory in tests and races in their own districts. At the annual sports meeting of automobile clubs there is usually a race or some test in which cars compete, and General Motors dealers like to take part, for, in addition to proving the worth of the car they handle, the contest gains for them a good measure of publicity in their territory.

One race which has figured recently among the motoring annals of Western Australia was that at the annual sports meeting of the Eastern Goldfields? branch of the Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia. This was held on Lake Perkolilli, about 25 miles from Kalgoorlie, at the beginning of September. Lake Perkolilli is the finest natural racing track in the world. It is the dry bed of an old salt lake. Its area is large; it is as flat as a billiard table, and devoid of plant life of any sort. On this old salt lake a two miles circuit has been mapped out, on which some remarkable speeds are developed. At this particular sports meeting some of the cars lapped the course at about 96 miles per hour.

Mr. E.T. Armstrong, of the Armstrong Cycle and Motor Agency, General Motors dealers at Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, was the winner of two events. One of these was the open handicap of eight miles; the other the members? handicap of six miles. Mr. Armstrong had a further achievement in coming third in the State championship event of 20 miles. For each of these races Mr. Armstrong used a standard Buick, the other cars being in nearly every case special racing models.

In the State championship the first and second cars were special racing jobs, whereas Mr. Armstrongs? Buick was standard in all respects, except that is was stripped for racing. Mrs. Armstrong says that the Buick was absolutely faultless from start to finish.

The following are details of Mrs. Armstrongs? performances:-

1st - Open handicap, 8 miles. Time, 6.21-75 m.p.h. standing start.
1st - Members? handicap, 6 miles-73 m.p.h. standing start.
3rd - State championship, 20 miles-78 m.p.h. standing start.

These records constitute a very excellent performance on the part of Buick in the able hands of Mr. Armstrong.

Posted 01/2003
1927 - Train Load of Vehicles to Broken Hill
Article reprinted from ?Motor Progress? May 1927 Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

Train Load of Vehicles to Broken Hill

(Webmasters Note: see the Buicks at the front of the load)

The shipping of cars to dealers frequently attracts a good deal of attention. Some dealers are near enough to the General Motors Plant to collect their cars and drive them out, but there are many dealers who are far away and cannot leave their businesses for long. To these dealers the cars must be sent by train or by boat, and their arrival, several at a time, can be utilised by the dealer to gain some publicity, both for himself and his organisation.

Messrs. Beck Bros., General Motors dealers for Streaky Bay, South Australia, are among those who are able to make a good display of cars which are shipped to them. Their premises form the nucleus for all transportation business on the West Coast of South Australia, where distances are vast. Streaky Bay is 186 miles west of Port Lincoln, and shipping facilities are not very convenient. Beck Bros., therefore, provide for the convenience of their clients by carrying a complete stock of cars and trucks, shipments by the factory frequently averaging between 10 and 14 vehicles. When a new shipment arrrives they line them up, together with their demonstrators and stock cars, and the whole display creates considerable interest in the district.

A firm which has had a big consignment of cars recently is that of Messrs. Cohen & Dittmar, of Broken Hill. The picture shows that nearly a whole train was required to take a recent consignment of cars to this firm. When these arrived, and during the unloading, a big crowd congregated, the news having spread through the town that the consignment was on its way.

Posted 01/2003
1928 - GMA Assembly Plant, Sydney
GMA Marrickville Assembly Plant - Circa 1928

The origional NSW Assembly Plant was located in Carrington Road, Marrickville. Some of the buildings still exist

Posted 05/2002
1929 - Renowned Photographer 'Cazneaux' loved his Buick
The Buick Car Club is indebted to Mrs Joan Smith who provided the material for this article via
country member Bill Denney and then compiled by John Gerdtz.


Editorial note: Cazneaux was not the only member of this family to become a well recognised
Australian icon. Joan Smith's son (Cazneaux's grandson) is also well recognised for his adventurous
feats and other achievments both in Australia and throughout the World. He is Dick Smith.


Although Cazneaux had already owned two Buick
cars previous to the "Silver Anniversary" model,
it was this third one that appeared to be the symbol
of his achievments. It stood for the culmination of
all his hard work and earlier struggles in recovering
from a severe breakdown from overwork,
establishing his own photographic business and
supporting a large family.

As a freelance photographer, many of his appoint-
ments were at clients' homes, offices, factories etc.
To carry out this work, with all the heavy
equipment needed in those early days of photography (glass negatives, large cameras and the like) a
car was necessary. All this had been possible with the two previous, smaller Buicks but, with the
purchase of the "Silver Anniversary", with its greater size and power, he was able to confidently fulfil commissions and assignments much further afield. These included BHP at Newcastle, Frensham
School at Mittagong, country properties such as the Dangars' at "Gostwyck", Uralla, and the Whites'
at "Belltrees", Scone, as well as southern New South Wales and Victoria. Mrs Cazneaux mostly
accompanied him on these trips.

In addition, with a family of wife, six children and their friends, many appointments at Camden,
Bowral, Avoca, the Blue Mountains and so on, became family outings. The Buick sometimes carried
up to ten, and on one occasion twelve! Of course some of these were small children.

This beautiful tourer, with its rich dark blue enamel and salt and pepper-coloured hood, attracted
admirers wherever Cazneaux went.

The most outstanding performances of this wonderful car would have been when he drove to South
Australia. The first trip was to Iron Knob at Whyalla for BHP in 1935. It was on this journey that Cazneaux saw on the skyline the distant outline of the Flinders Range which so called to him that he
made up his mind at that moment to return and photograph those rugged peaks. He did return later
that year but, owing to dangerous weather conditions, was not able to get more than halfway into the
great ranges. However, two years later he was successful, this time accompanied not only by Mrs Cazneaux but also his only son, Harold, who was now 17 (and probably assisted with the driving).

His memories were later recalled in a letter written to Jack Cato saying,

"They sent me, in my Buick car, up to Iron Knob near Port Agusta, S.A. There I saw and felt the
impulse of the great inland Central Australia. The mysterious Flinders Range dominating the skyline.
This strange attraction 'once seen - never forgotten', brought me on several other overland motor
trips up through these ranges in the following years before the second world war. Our last trip
included myself, Mrs Caz and our boy Harold then about 17. One of my greatest memories was the
way this lad became fascinated by these wonderful arid Flinders - I can see him now sitting on a log outside our camp tent in the peculiar purplish glow of nightfall - with his portable wireless set,
which he built himself, (he was trained as a mechanic). 'Gee dad isn't it wonderful - its great'.

In four years this lad, at 21, was laid to rest in Tobruk Military Cemetery - and so he died on the
threshold of what may have been a brilliant life. He was gifted in many ways, and I know deep
down there was the traits of the artist in his make-up.

My Buick tourer, a big powerful 31 HP car, had 4 overland trips to S.A. up to 1938. This splendid
car, now over 20 years old, is still waiting for the other Flinders Range trips - but somehow we have never made them. Perhaps the memory of that clever lad driving my Buick through some of the
narrow passes in those arid hills has been too vivid. In any case the war prevented us from going."

In 1930's Australia, many of the country roads over which they travelled were hardly more than tracks.
Indeed in some areas of the Flinders Range and elsewhere even tracks were virtually non-existent.
However, in all the years that Cazneaux owned the Buick, it proved totally reliable, never breaking
down on any trip or boiling, as so many vehicles did in those days, on steep hills such as Victoria Pass.
Cazneaux always carried out any general maintenance the Buick needed - he was quite mechanically minded.

Possibly the happiest times in the Buick were the family outings. It was a very close knit family and, in
turn, the children were usually allowed to bring a friend.

When World War II began, life quietened down in the photographic business. No more long trips were taken and by 1942 Australia was on petrol rationing. The Buick's meagre allowance was used mainly
to take those daughters (whose husbands were away at the war) and their children on short trips to the beach or bushland. After the war ended and slowly things recovered, the car continued to be used for appointments and family outings. The grandchildren have fond memories of their happy outings in
the Buick. Cazneaux's beloved Buick was one of the most important things in his life after family and his artistic talent - the Buick served both.

Posted 05/2002
1915 - Adelaide to the Darling Country
Article reprinted from ?The Motor World? August 25 - 1915.
Researched and contributed by BCCA Historian, Eric North

From Adelaide to the Darling Country

2000 Miles on 1915 Buick

On Saturday 10th July Mr W.E.Hartley traveller for Eyres & Crowle Ltd. left Adelaide for a trip covering both sides of the Darling River country, and he got back on Wednesday 11th August. It was the latest 1915 Buick model he and a friend travelled in, with plenty of dunnage.

Two thousand miles were covered between home and home. Mr Hartley went up the Broken Hill side of the Darling and came down the east side, in the latter course taking a wide sweep so as to cover as much ground as possible. "What was the country like?" he was asked.

"The recovery must be seen to be believed" said Mr. Hartley. "Six months ago I travelled over it, and it was as bare as - as bare as - well, the bonnet of my car. To day the change is absolutely wonderful. There is feed and water everywhere. I said to one pastoralist. "You are in for a good time" He replied. "We are not in for it, we have got it.?. On my trip I saw plenty of kangaroos, ducks and emus, but very few rabbits. In fact during the whole journey we only saw half a dozen rabbits. I put it down to the credit of the drought that it killed them off." "Why didn't it kill the kangaroos and emus?" "They are Australian" replied Mr Hartley laughingly.

The car he used was fitted with overhead valves, such as the racing cars have. There cannot be any doubt as to the value of the overhead valve. With the whole momentum of the explosion acts on the piston head, and so it can readily be conceived where the efficiency comes in. The 1915 Buick is fitted with the Delco self starter and lighter, as an integral part, and during Mr Hartley's long trip, never once did the apparatus refuse to work. The 35 h.p. engine pulled with remarkable power over the roads so slippery with semi-soluble clay caused by incessant rains that in places chains had to be entwined around the wheels to give them grip.

Attached photo Mr. F Bracey of Dalgety & Co demonstartes the new 1915 Buick

Posted 06/2002
1938 - Buick Stock car racing at Windsor Speedway
Story and picture by Graham Lockie

In response to your request for information on Buicks racing at the Windsor Speedway. I have enclosed a photo of Stan Brazier driving his straight 8 Buick at Windsor . I think this would have been around 1958 as I attended the speedway a lot when I was a teenager. I can remember getting the train from Westmead to Windsor and return.
The car was reputed to weigh around 2-3 tons and he was an expert at spinning other cars in the corners. Other competitors would gang up on him and try to get him to spin but the car weighed that much that it was difficult.
I thought that I had other pictures but a search hasn?t revealed them. I think these where the good old days of clean competition.

Posted 08/2002
1925 - Buick servicing The Royal Flying Doctor
Article and picture by curtesy of The Royal Flying Doctor Service with special thanks to Katherine Ayres

1925 Buick servicing the RFDS DeHavilland Fox Moth

This Buick is helping prepare a Flying Doctor's aircraft for one of its early missions. The aircraft, made of wood and cloth is a de Havilland Fox Moth. Its top speed was around 100 km/hour. Today's Flying Doctor King Air aircraft are very different to the old Fox Moths. The interior of a modern Flying Doctor aircraft is like a flying intensive care unit. With 45 aircraft on 24 hour stand-by at 23 Flying Doctors Bases across Australia, medical help for people who live, work or travel in the Outback is only 90 minutes away. To make a donation to the Service, freecall 1800 444 788.

Webmasters note: The date and place of the picture is unkown but possibly Broken Hill. The Fox Moths were in RFDS service in the 1930,s and the Buick is old enough to have been converted into a service truck.
Posted 08/2002
1925 - Buick ?Around the World? part 1 - The Trip

1925 - Buick ?Round The World? Car Visits Down Under

Compiled and contributed by John Gerdtz with thanks to BCCA Historian, Eric North for ?The South Australian Motor? material. Also a very special thank you to Geoff Heaps from South Island, New Zealand for the time and trouble taken in researching and contributing the many 1925 New Zealand press reports and other N.Z. material about this event.

The Grand Promotion

Our pioneering motor companies were marvels at promoting their products via action stunts, mountain climbs, speed and endurance runs and pitching their products against the odds. Buick Motor Corporation used this type of promotion extensively from the very early days, but their 1925, ?Buick Round the World? promotion must hail as the grandest and most sucessful of them all.

The Buick marque was noted for its 4 cylinder economy models and large 6 cylinder upmarket cars. For the 1925 model year Buick took the bold step of dropping its very sucessful 4 cylinder economy line and replacing it with a slightly larger, light six car together with a fair price increase. This model ultimately became the stepping point for Buick?s volume selling range over the next decade.

General Motors Export Company handled all Buick export sales so, together with Buick Motor Corporation, they devised a promotion whereby they would send one of the new light six Buicks, unaccompanied around the world via their world wide dealer network. The objectives would be to demonstrate the stamina and reliability of this new model and to illustrate to the international car buying market the extent, depth and efficiency of the world wide Buick dealer network.

In order to make the feat more unusual, no driver or factory representative would travel with the vehicle. It would be simply handed on from dealer to dealer around the world with each dealer meeting the car on his territory boundry, driving it through his territory and handing it on to the next dealer at the other end of his territory.

To add credence the car would carry a log book to be writted up by the many participating drivers and passengers and endorsed at each stop with a witnessing signature by a local dignatory such as the mayor.

The promotion took many months to arrange with the journey mapped out and planned ahead to a detailed schedule, times of arrival and departure in different towns and countries being set down in advance to coincide with required shipping schedules. To the planners credit the car was reported to run to timetable with all shipping arangements met.

The vehicle chosen was a 1925 Buick model 25-25X. This was the standard export model four door, light six, touring car with right hand drive. It was reported to be ex-factory standard production but was equipped with 4 spare wheels plus running board tool boxes to carry extra equipment such as shovels, chains, wire ropes and the like to assist in traversing some of the hostile terrain it would encounter.

The Trip

As it was the practice to launch the forth coming years models around August/September of the preceeding year, it is no surprise to learn that this 1925 Buick promotion started in New York on December 20th, 1924 and after 16,499 miles finished in New York on June 23rd, 1925.

Shipped on board the SS Aurania to Liverpool, England the Buick was met by the British agents and driven via Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham and Swindon to London. On January 6th, 1925 it left London by ship enroute to Amsterdam, Holland, with the Netherland Buick agents accepting delivery from the docks on January 8th. The Dutch then drove the car to Belgium via The Hague and Rotterdam to Brussels arriving on January 11th.

The Belgium agents saw the car safely to Paris where the French agents took charge for the trip via Avignon to the Mediterranean port city of Marseilles. On board again the Buick left Europe on January 20th bound for Cairo, Egypt.

Leaving Cairo the Buick travelled north to the coastal city of Port Said then on up the coast via Gaza to Jerusalem in Palestine. Continuing up the Mediterranean coast it arrived on February 5th at Beirut in Lebanon. Eastward from Beirut to Damascus, travelling through what was then known as Mesopatmia on to Bagdad, driver reports suggest the trip from Gaza to Bagdad over the Syrian desert as the roughest terrain encountered with the run over the Lebanon mountains recorded as extremely difficult. From Bagdad onward across Persia to Basrah on the west bank of the Euphrates. From this Persian Gulf port, the Buick was again on board, bound for India via the persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and across the Arabian Sea to Bombay.

From Bombay the trans-India trip took the Buick north via Agra to Delhi arriving on March 1st, then southeast to the Bay of Bengal coast and Calcutta where on March 15th it was shipped to Colombo, Ceylon (today known as Sri Lanka). After being driven around the island, the Buick was again shipped, this time across the Indian Ocean to Western Australia.

Arriving through the port of Fremantle, Dalgety & Company, the Western Australian Buick distributors took control of the car, displaying it in Perth on April 1st before embarking on the 1,800 plus mile trip across the Nullabor Plain to South Australia. The trip to Adelaide was rough, taking seven days through mud so deep the Buick bogged to the axles (see picture). Mr E.G. Langdon was the driver who later declared he was thankful it was a Buick he was driving.

From Adelaide it took another four days to reach the Victorian capital Melbourne on April 15th, where the Victorian distributors, Lanes Motors Pty Ltd displayed the car, and then Mr R.T.Lane drove the Buick to Albury on the NSW border arriving on April 20th.

At Albury Mr P.A. McIntosh accompanied by Mr Jack McManus from the New South Wales distributors McIntosh & Sons Ltd., took over the car for the trip to Sydney. ?It was a fast drive and the car behaved excellently? said Mr McIntosh. ?We had to stop in practically every town along the road from Albury to permit our agents and the public to inspect the car and that meant even harder driving than we cared for over very bad roads. Nevertheless, the car ran faultlessly and, in fact, it has only had one puncture since arriving in Australia. Four spare wheels are carried and as a precaution the tyres were changed in Adelaide.? On the trip from Albury to Sydney Mr McIntosh reported the Buick averaged 23 miles to the imperial gallon.

After displaying the Buick in Sydney, it was shipped on April 24th across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand, arriving in Auckland on April 29th. From Auckland it travelled the east coast to Wellington via Gisborne, Napier and Woodville. From Wellington on board the steamer to the South Island, it disembarked at Lyttelton near Christchurch. The South Island dealers then embarking on a multi-stage trip down the east coast called on the way at Ashburton, Timaru, and Dunedin where a representative of Cooke Howlison & Co took charge. Driving on via Milton and Gore before reaching its southern most location in travelling around the world on May 4th, the Buick was in the hands of a representative of A.Russell & Co?s Garage, Invercargill.

The following day, after parading through Invercargill and meeting with local dignitaries, the Buick set off to return to Wellington on the North Island via the same route, stopping on the way at Edendale for a photo with local Buick enthuiasts (see main photo). From Wellington via Wanganui and New Plymouth the Buick returned to Auckland completing its tour of New Zealand.

On board again the Buick crossed the Pacific Ocean, briefly stopping at Honalulu, Hawaii to tour the island before eventually disembarking at San Francisco. From here many members of the American dealer network drove the car right across the United States calling in, on June 19th, at the Buick plant in Flint, Michigan where the car was made. From Flint to Detroit, the car crossed into Canada crossing back to the United States at Niagara Falls and then South to the finish, on time, at New York on June 25th, 1925.

During this epic tour the nomadic Buick traversed 14 countries and travelled 16,499 miles and was driven by 90 representatives from the more than 600 strong, dealer network. Having read about this massive feat, take a minute to think about it in today?s terms. Like me, I am sure you will question if it would be possible to re-enact today. I think it would be unlikely.

Technical details

1925 Buick Standard Six Touring
Model: 25-25X (Export model, right hand drive)
Series: Standard - 114 & 3/8" wheelbase.
Body: Tourer style, seats 5.
Equipment Side mounted spare, rug rail, key lock gearbox, step kick plates
Wheels 12 spoke artilery with demountable split rim, tyre size - 500 x 22".
Chassis Serial # 1300781 (World Trip car) single drop type steel channel frame
Engine 6 cylinder inline over head valve,
Bore & stroke 3" x 4 & 1/2" Displacement - 191 cu in. (3 litre)
Rated horsepower 21.6, actual @ 2800 rpm 50bhp
Clutch Multi disc (10 plate dry).
Gearbox Center floor shift - 3 speed, selective sliding gear type with reversed SAE shift pattern. Ratios, high-direct, intermediate-1.824 to 1, low-3.039 to 1,
reverse-3.647 to 1
Rear axle 3/4 floating type with torque tube drive - ratio 4.9 to 1- track 56 & 3/8".
Front axle Reverse Elliott type I-beam - track 56 & 3/8"
Steering 17 & 1/2" ? wheel, worm and split nut semi irreversible type.
Suspension Front - semi-elliptic, Rear - full floating cantilever.
Brakes Service - 4 wheel, mechanical external contracting, 12 & 3/8" ? drum.
Hand - 2 wheel rear mechanical internal expanding, 12" ? drum.
Electrical 6 volt, Delco-Remy - motor generator 3 brush type.
Fuel Tank 12 gal US, Stewart vacuum tank, Marvel updraft carburettor.


In England the old car movement has a saying, ?IUTHOOT ? (I used to have one of those). Well it?s true, I had a 1925 Buick model 25-25X. In fact I was the second owner having purchased the car from the estate of the origional owner in 1968 and enjoying it for 26 years before selling it to another club member in 1992. (see pictures below)

By vintage standards it was a lovely car to drive and very reliable. Comparatively light on the steering, lively and responsive, she went almost anywhere in top gear. The seats were very comfortably but, despite the fuel consumption reported in the story above, the best I could squeeze from ?Esmerelda? as we called her, was 16 miles per imperial gallon. The external contracting band brakes performed reasonably, that is provided you really didn?t want to stop quickly, except in wet weather when it was a question of no brakes whatsoever.

The headlights were single filament (only one beam) and on a dark night the light beam could actually reach the road, but when you exceeded 35mph the car had a tendency to pass the headlamp illumination.

?Essie? would cruise comfortably all day at 40 to 45mph (65 to 75kph) with four people on board, plus luggage. At 50mph you were thinking the engine was trying to climb out of the chassis and over 50mph you were sure it would. To get anywhere near the reported top speed of 65mph you needed to fold the top down and align the car with a very stiff tail wind.

With a 4.9:1 diff. ratio the car was under geared, but this probably didn?t matter on the roads of 1925. On modern roads however, cruise performance and fuel consumption would benefit by a reduction in ratio of 2 or 3 points.

One can?t help but have very fond memories of such a fine car which upheld and demonstrated the company saying,?When better cars are built Buick will build them?.

Other reports of the event

?70 Years of Buick by George H Dammann? (Crestline Publishing) records two photos
(Page 96):
1. In Pittsburgh, PA nearing the completion of the trip
2. Mired in the middle of an Australian highway, (bogged near to the axles in mud).

?The Buick - A Complete History? by Terry B Dunham and Lawrence R Gustin (Automobile Quarterly Library Series - Princeton Publishing) also records two photos
(pages 123, 390 & 393):
1. By the Sphinx in Egypt
2. Outside Buckingham Palace in London, England.

Posted 08/2002
1925 - Buick ?Around the World? part 2 - Press Reports


New Zealand material researched and contributed by Geoff Heaps

Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday, April 23, 1925



A motor car which is being driven around the world arrived in Sydney at about 10 o?clock yesterday morning and left for New Zealand in the evening.

The car is a standard six-cylinder touring model Buick, which left New York about three months ago, and has since traversed parts of Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. After passing through New zealand it will be shipped to San Francisco and complete its journey by crossing the United States of america to New York again. The object of the journey is not to establish a speed record, but to demonstrate the strength of the Buick service throughout the world. The reliability of the car is emphasised by the fact that it is never for very long in the hands of the same driver, but has been passed on from city to city and country to country by a relay.

The car carries an elabourate parchment ?log? on which is recorded the names of the different towns and cities it has visited, the driver and, in many cases the signature of the American consul. From New York it was shipped to Liverpool, England and driven from there, via Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Swindon and London, whence it was shipped to Amsterdam, Holland and driven by a Dutch driver to Brussels, Belgium. The Belgium driver who took it over in Brussels drove it to Paris, France and a frenchman then took charge as far as Marseilles, where it was shipped to Cairo. Egypt then provided drivers who took it to Port Said and through Palistine to Jerusalem.

The drivers from Jerusalem were at the wheel while the car passed through Beirut and Damascus to Baghdad, traversing Mesopatmia and Iraq, apparently including an Arab, judging by the name signed on the log, and from Baghdad, Persia, whence the route lay through Persia to Basreh. At Basreh the car was shipped again to Bombay, India and driven via Agra to Calcutta: shipped again to Colombo and driven all around the island of Ceylon, and shipped once more to Fremantle, Western Australia. At Fremantle, Mr E.G.Langdon took the wheel and drove the Buick to Adelaide, where Mr H.L.Searcy took over and drove to Melbourne. From Melbourne Mr. R.T.Lane drove to Albury, where Mr P.A.McIntosh, who was accompanied by Mr Jack McManus was waiting. Mr McIntosh took over the car on Sunday evening, and on Monday morning set out on the drive to Sydney.

?It was a fast drive, and the car behaved excellently? said Mr McIntosh. ?We had to stop in practically every town along the road from Albury to permit our agents and the public to inspect the car and that meant even harder driving than we cared for over very bad roads. Nevertheless, the car ran faultlessly, and , in fact, it has only had one puncture since arriving in Australia. Four spare wheels are carried, and as a precaution the tyres were changed in Adelaide.?

?Altogether the car, whose chassis number is 1300781 has covered 9476 miles under its own power since leaving New York. During the journey from Albury it averaged 23 miles to the gallon of petrol.

The Press, Christchurch, 7 May 1925


Christchurch motorists will be interested to know that to-day the Buick round-the-world car will pass through the city. The N.Z. Automobiles, Ltd., Buick distributors in this city, are driving the car on the present lap of its long journey around the globe.

When the Buick Motor Company and the General Motors Export Company, working in collaboration on this plan, decided to send a Buick Standard Six touring car around the world, it was with two definite objects in view. The first was to demonstrate the stamina and reliability of the Buick Standard six model-the newest and most popular of 20 years production of Buicks. The second object was to show to the public how extensive is the Buick service organisation.

This is being accomplished by a novel method of handling the car itself. No single driver or
mechanic goes with the car; instead, it is driven everywhere by Buick distributors and dealers, who in a chain unbroken, except by necessary water hauls, are taking the car from New York eastward around the globe back to its starting point. Every mile of land that this car is travelling on its round-the-world trip is covered by Buick owner-service. The route includes England, Holland, Belgium, France, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, India,Ceylon, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

The new Standard Six model, with a wheelbase of 114 3-8 inches (2.9 metres)and engine bore and stroke of 3 inches (76 mm.) and 4.5 inches (114.), is a slightly smaller edition of the well known large Buick Six that Buick has been building for many years past, It is a four-wheel brake car, equipped with low pressure tyres, and engineered throughout to meet requirements of the owner who wants a sturdy, reliable, yet comparatively low-priced car with 6 cylinder smoothness and rapid acceleration.

The present Buick trip around the world is simply a rather spectacular demonstration of what has been in effect for some time past-namely, the locating and equipping of Buick service stations at strategic points that will ensure Buick owners throughout the world having convenient access to Buick replacement parts and skilled mechanical assistance. To this policy, the Buick Motor Company largely attributes the unusual popularity of its product in all countries.

During the time the round-the-world tour has already been on the road, no mechanical or other trouble has developed, and runs have been made exactly on schedule.

Ashburton Guardian 7 May 1925

The round-the-world Buick car passed through Ashburton late yesterday afternoon, and was driven through the town by the local agent, Mr W. Page.

So far the car has travelled 21,000 miles through America, England, Germany, France, Poland, Palestine, Australia, and New Zealand, and has only 5000 miles to go to complete its long tour, on which it has been taken by the agents in the various. districts through which it has passed. Despite rough usage in heat and cold, the engine ran beautifully in a 45-mile-an-hour clip out of Asburton.

The Timaru Herald - Friday, May 8, 1925

Around the World - A Much Travelled Car

To all intents and purposes the luxuriously equipped touring model conveyed no other impression than that it had recently been unpacked from its case and had spent a few light months on South Canterbury roads. In the few short months of its life, however, the stock model light six cylinder Buick car which arrived at the Borough Council Chambers shortly before two o'clock on Wednesday afternoon in order to obtain an official memento of its visit to Timaru in the shape of the Town Clerk's signature in its log book, had travelled far and poked its brightly polished nose into many strange and decidedly interesting corners of the world.

Early in December of last year the car was unpacked from an export case in New York and shipped to England, from where, after touring through the leafy by-ways of the mother country, another voyage was taken, this time to Holland. Through the well roaded canal country a rapid journey was made across Belgium and the poplar bordered roads of France to the Mediterranean Sea, over which, access was gained to Asia Minor. Disembarking at Beyruit, in Syria, a run of 70 miles inland took the Buick to Damascus, the capital of Syria and the meeting place between the East and West, where enormous caravans of camels daily pass to and fro, exchanging the dates and tobacco and spices and carpets of the East for the produce of the looms and workshops of Europe. Penetrating still inland into Asiatic Turkey, the gleam of the domes and minarets of Baghdad were eventually sighted through the groves of the date trees
encircling the town, Basra, on the West bank of the Euphrates, provided an outlet via the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea to India, where after touching at Colombo to tour Ceylon the car was shipped a distance of 3120 miles to Perth.

The Australian portion of the tour was commenced with a drive via Adelaide, a distance of 1400 miles from where it was shipped by the Auckland route to Napier, and driven to Wellington and shipped again to Lyttelton. Three minutes after being landed on the Lyttelton wharf last Sunday the car was in going order for its trip over the Port Hills to Christchurch, where the log, which was written up and officially signed at every point, was again registered. Leaving Christchurch at 10.15 a.m., Dunedin was reached after a wet drive over the latter portion of the journey at 7.30 p.m. A start for Invercargill was made at 1.30 p.m. the next day, Mr Clarke ( representing Cooke Howlison and Coy. of Dunedin) driving. Arriving that night, the next morning was spent in the town, the return trip being made in the afternoon to Dunedin. The return portion of the journey from Dunedin was undertaken by MR S. Cooke jnr, of Messrs Cooke Howlison and Coy., Ltd., who, leaving the southern city at 8.a.m., arrives at Timaru at 1.45 p.m., actual running time after allowing for one hour at Oamaru,an hour at Waimate, and 23 minutes spent in photographing the car at Mt Cargill, being 4 hours 5 minutes, which in Mr Cooke's own words was "travelling comfortably."

From Lyttelton the car will cross to Wellington and travel by road to Auckland, and from that point the route will lead to San Francisco via Honolulu. Arriving at the former port, the car will complete the journey across America to the starting point, New York, when it will then have
done over 14,000 miles, up to the present 11,000 having been registered. Throughout the journey the car has been handled exclusively by Buick dealers in the various territories through which it has passed, no drivers or mechanics travelling with it on tour other than those responsible for taking it through their individual territories, and with the exception of tyres being changed no mechanical repair work has been effected.

The car on arrival at the local Buick agency, Bockaert's garage was running exceptionally well, and showed little trace of the severe test to which it had been subjected. The services of the local dealers, Messrs Culling and Meredith, were placed at the disposal of the driver, who left shortly before three o'clock to take the car across to the North Island agents who will be responsible for its further transit through New Zealand on its round the world trip, a trip which is not
only providing a severe mechanical test for the car itself, but also demonstrating beyond doubt the wonderful efficiency of the Buick organisation....

Otago Daily Times, 4 May 1925


Local motorists will be interested to know that today the Buick round-the-world-car will journey through Dunedin. Messrs Cooke, Howlison and Co. (Ltd.), Buick distributors, who are driving the car on the present lap of its long journey around the globe, have supplied us with information about this unique trip.

When the Buick Motor Company and the General Motors Export Company, working in collaboration on this plan, decided to send a Buick Standard Six touring car around the world, it was with two definite objects in view. The first was to demonstrate the stamina and reliability of the Buick Standard Six model. The second object was to show to the public how extensive is the Buick organisation. This is being accomplished by a novel method of handling the car itself. No single driver or mechanic goes with the car. Instead, it is driven everywhere by Buick distributors and dealers, who in a chain unbroken except by necessary water hauls are taking the car from New York eastward around the globe back to its starting point.

Every mile of land that this car is travelling on its round-the-world trip is covered by Buick owner-service, The route includes England, Holland, Belgium, France, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, India, Ceylon, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States The four longest
laps of the journey unbroken by water haul are the following :-
(1) The 1400 mile stretch 'between Port Said, Egypt, through Jerusalem, Haifa, Beirut, and Baghdad, down to Basra on the Persian Gulf.
(2) The trans-India trip from Bombay to Calcutta.
(3) The stretch of over 2000 miles across Australia from Perth to Sydney.
(4) The 3000 mile stretch from San Francisco back to New York, the full width of the United States.

The present Buick trip around the world is simply a rather spectacular demonstration of what has been in effect for some time part-namely, the locating and equipping of Buick service stations at strategic points that will ensure Buick owners throughout the world having convenient access to Buick replacements, parts and skilled mechanical assistance.

Messrs Cooke, Howlison and Company's representative, who is driving the car from Dunedin to Invercargill, is scheduled to leave Dunedin at 1.30 p.m. to-day, arriving at Invercargill early this evening, when the car will be handed over to the Invercargill Buick distributors, and the
necessary documents duly signed and witnessed. To-morrow evening the car returns to Dunedin driven by the Invercargill Buick distributors representative, and early on Wednesday morning the Dunedin representative starts the the car on its return trip to Lyttelton and the North Island. As no doubt a number of motorists will wish to inspect this car, Messrs Cooke, Howlison and Company (Ltd.), have arranged for it to be on view at Hanover Street Garage, between the hours of 11 and 12 today.

Otago Witness, 5 May 1925


Early this year mention was made of a novel means of demonstrating the durability of the 1925 Buick car, which took the form of a world tour, the car being driven over the various stages of the route by a chain of service station drivers.

The tour started from London at the beginning of the year, and after sucessfully travelling through England, Holland, Belguim, France, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, India, and Ceylon the car was shipped to Freemantle.

The trans. route from Western Australia to Adelaide and Melbourne was then negotiated. The Buick next journeyed to Sydney, and then followed a tour through New Zealand.

Today the car will arrive in Dunedin from Christchurch. It will then be taken over by a driver from the local Buick people, and driven to Invercargill. It will then be driven back by an Invercargill agent, and a Dunedin man will take it on to Christchurch.

The car will then be shipped to San Francisco, and be driven across to New York, thus completeing a world's tour under unique driving conditions, as no single driver accompanied the car, Buick service stations along the route supplying a driver to take the car over each sucessive stage.

Otago Witness - May 12 1925

Southland Topics - Invercargill, May 8.

Considerable interest has been manifested amongst motorists of the district by the appearance in Invercargill of a Buick Standard Six motor car which arrived in Invercargill recently. The car left New York, and was shipped to Liverpool on December 20, 1924. It has since travelled through England, Holland, France, Port Said to Gaza, Jerusalem, Syria, Mesopotamia, India and Ceylon and Australia.

It has now encircled half the world, and on arrival in Invercargill the Mayor's seal was made on the log-book, after which it was sent on to Dunedin.

The trip from Gaza to Baghdad, over the Syrian desert has been, so far, the roughest part of the trip, and the run over the Lebanon mountains was extremely difficult. Through all its trials, however, the Buick car has stood up well. The car, when it reached Invercargill, was actually one day ahead of the scheduled time arranged for it months ago.

Southland Daily News, 5 May 1925, page 10


Arrival in Invercargill

A most unusual event in connection with the history of the motor vehicle trade in Southland occurred on Monday. A standard model Buick motor car which left New York on the 20th December last on a round the world tour arrived in Invercargill, the most southerly point in its
unique journey after travelling more than half the distance.

To realise the full significance of this feat it must be understood that the tour was planned many months ago in the Buick company's headquarters in New York. The journey was all mapped out and planned ahead to a detailed schedule, times of arrival and departure in the different towns
and countries being set down in advance and it is pleased to note that the car is a day ahead of the scheduled time in reaching Invercargill.

In order to make the feat a more unusual one, no driver was sent with the vehicle. It is simply handed on from agent to agent right throughout the world. This idea was conceived so as to show the world-wide territory in which Buick agents can be found and the wonderful organisation Buick possesses. Each district agent meets the car on his boundary, drives it through his territory, then hands it on to the next agnet and so on.

The car is an ordinary standard Buick light six model selected at random out of many hundreds at the Buick factory. It is equiped with four spare wheels and tyres and eight spare tubes, wire rope, spade, chains and numerous other spares to ensure its completing the long journey without
mishap. The bonnet is locked as well as various small compartments containing the "spares" and the keys are handed on from dealer to dealer with the car. Probably the most interesting part of the car is the "log." This is a formidable looking documnet containing practically a resume of the car's travels. In the log the various drivers of the car state the distance travelled and certify having driven the car from one point to another point. Their signature is witnessed by the Mayor or some other responsible person in the towns visited.

At every 500 or multiple of 500 miles all of the oil and petrol is drained off and fresh supplies are issued. The bearings are also greased and general minor adjustments are made. These of course are usually made in the ordinary course of events with any car and it cannot be said that
the car is specially "tuned up" by each agent who recieves it.

Up to the present time the car has travelled through England, then shipped to Holland and delivered to Amsterdam Buick representatives on January 8th. Amsterdam to Brussels, to Paris, to Marseilles. Shipped from Marseilles January 20th, landed Port Said to Gaza, to Jerusalem, then to Syria, Mesopotamia, India, Ceylon. From Ceylon to Perth, then run to Adelaide, to Melbourne, to Sydney, arriving at the latter place on 22nd April. Shipped from Sydney April 24th. Scheduled to arrive at Auckland on April 29th, then Wellington to Christchurch, to Dunedin, to Invercargill. It has now to return again to Auckland then touch Honolulu and back across the States to New York.

On Monday morning, Mr A. Russell the Southland Buick representative, accompanied by Mr A.J. Campbell, photographer, journeyed to Clinton, the boundary of Mr Russell's territory, to take delivery of the car from the Otago representatives Messrs Cook and Howlison. At Gore, Mr J. S. A. Aitken ( Gore agent), J. Green, junr. ( Riversdale agent), and E.Lister ( Wyndham agent), joined the party and went to Clinton to await the arrival of the car from Dunedin. Promptly to time, at about 4.30 the Buick arrived at Clinton and Mr Howlison officially handed over the keys and the car to Mr Russell. Mr green then drove the car to Pukerau and Mr
Aitken piloted the car for the rest of the journey to Gore. Mr Russell took the wheel from Gore to Invercargill arriving at about 8 o'clock.
The Garrison Band marched in front of the car along Dee and Tay streets to Messrs Russell and Co.'s garage where a large crowd assembled to see this unusual motor car. Mr Russell in a short speech traced the movements of the car since it left New York and remarked on the
wonderful performance that the Buick had accomplished.

To-day the car was displayed in the firm's garage and at eleven o'clock the Mayor, Mr A. Bain, signed the necessary affidavit of its having reached Invercargill. Wyndham and Gore were then visited and the car returned north to Dunedin later in the afternoon.

Southland Daily News, 6 May 1925, page 6

Gore Topics
( From our Lady Correspondent)

The advent of what is termed an "all round the world" car visited Gore yesterday and created a very considerable amount of attention from a large number of not only towns-people but the farming community also. The car appeared to be a standard Buick, and it shows the reliability
and good quality generally of this particular make of car when we consider the many thousands of miles it has travelled and to all appearances with little or no damage. Our worthy Major and a large number of ladies and gentlemen who assembled were photographed. The arrival of the much-talked-of Buick was termed by all as not only interesting but instructive also.

Southland Times, 4 May 1925, Page 5


At 8 o'clock this evening there will arrive in Invercargill a motor-car which has seen much more of the world than the great majority of those who will no doubt gather in large numbers to view it. This car is one which the Buick Company sent on a world tour from New York on December
20 last year.

It was shipped to England, and driven through the country, subsequently visiting the Continent of Europe, the East, and Australia. From the Commonwealth, its course lay to Auckland, and now, having been taken through both Islands it is in the South.

The car is running to schedule time, the method being that at each town visited the Buick agent takes it on to the next stop, where he relinquishes control to the next man, and so on, so that by now, the car must have passed through the hands of very many drivers indeed.

Mr A. Russell, the Invercargill agent, will take over the car at Clinton today, and is due here at 8 p.m. To-morrow morning, the Mayor, Mr A. Bain, will be asked to enter his name in the log-book that accompanies the Buick, much the same procedure as that followed by a world-walker
who recently presented his diary to a local Magistrate, and then will return to Auckland, en route to San Francisco, where the final stage of the journey back to New York City will begin.

Considerable interest is being displayed locally in the visit of the car, especially as it is no special model, but simply a car from stock.

Southland Times, 5 May 1925, Page 5


Many and varied are the assignments undertaken by a newspaper man, but a most novel experience was that which fell to the lot of a representative of the Southland Times yesterday to "interview" the Buick Standard Six Touring Car, which is at present engaged in a round-the-world tour, the chief objects of which are to afford evidence of the efficiency of the Buick Corporation's product in the motor world and of the world-wide nature of the Buick service. Though the car was not able to talk in the ordinary sense like a human being, it was nevertheless able to give ample proof of the pleasure it is deriving from its visits in many lands and the efficiency of the engine as the car sped over the main road from Dunedin to Invercargill was a revelation, especially when it is considered that a major portion of the 10,718 miles indicated on the speedometer when last night's journey to Invercargill was completed, has been through tropical countries. It is interesting to mention that no single driver or mechanic of the Company is in charge of the car during its long journey round the world, which will embrace England, Holland, France, Belgium, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, India, Ceylon, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. The tour was commenced on December 20 last when the principals placed the car on a vessel in New York for transport across the Atlantic to Manchester where the car started on its long road journey. Up to the present three of the four longest land journeys which the car is to complete in the course of its travels have been satisfactorily carried
out. The first was the 1400-mile stretch from Port Said through Jerusalem, Beirut and Baghdad down to Basra in the Persian Gulf. The journey from Bombay through India to Calcutta was another long stretch, after which followed the 2500-mile journey from Perth to Sydney. The car
was then shipped across from Sydney to Auckland, and it has now traversed the whole of both Islands of the Dominion by way of Gisborne, Napier, and Woodville to Wellington. After being sent across the Strait by steamer to Lyttelton it has, since 10 a.m. on Sunday morning, when it
was taken charge of by Mr G. W. Fairweather on account of the Canterbury agents, been brought through the South Island. Mr Fairweather had a somewhat rough trip through from Christchurch to Dunedin on Sunday, reaching the latter place late in the evening. Yesterday morning a representative of Messrs Cooke Howlison and Co., of Dunedin, assumed charge of the car, and carried on the trip south until they handed over their responsibility last night to Messrs A. Russell and Co., who are the Southland agents for the Buick car. Leaving Dunedin at 1.15 p.m. yesterday, Mr G. Clarke, who was in charge, drove to Milton, where a short stop was made. Milton was left at 3 p.m., and the weather conditions became brighter, the rain on the Taieri Plains having given place to a fine day with an overcast sky. Clinton was reached at 4.23 p.m., where Mr A. Russell and a number of other gentlemen interested met the travellers, and after a brief stop for a cup of tea the journey to Gore was undertaken, the latter town
being reached at 5.50. Then at 6.5 the last stage of the journey to Invercargill commenced and travelling slowly in order to reach town at 8 o'clock the arrangement worked perfectly. At Conon street a large number of people had gathered to welcome the car, while the Battalion Band was also on the scene to play the "visitor" through the city. This was carried out with great gusto, and and allalong Tay and Dee streets large numbers thronged the thoroughfares anxious to catch a glimpse of this much-travelled Buick, which is similar to any other Buick car in design except that it carries a set of four spare wheels and extra parts as well as a spade, hatchet, etc.,
for use in the more remote regions should the emergency arise. This morning the car will be driven around the city and a call will be made on the Mayor (Mr Andrew Bain) at 11 o'clock for the purpose of getting his signature affixed to the elaborate log, which is a most important document, as it shows conclusively that the car is carrying out the full programme mapped out for it by the manufacturers.

The return journey to the north will be commenced at about 11.30 to-day, when Mr Russell will take it through Wyndham and Gore back to Dunedin, where it will remain overnight. The following morning Messrs Cooke Howlison and Co. will again assume control and will conduct the journey to Oamaru, where the Christchurch agents will take the car over and drive it on to Lyttelton. On arrival in Wellington the journey northward o Auckland will be again undertaken by way of Wanganui and New Plymouth. Then the car will be placed on board a boat for Honolulu and after traversing the Hawaiian island it will go on to San Francisco
where the long trek across the United States to New York will commence and so complete the encircling of the Globe.

Wyndham Farmer - Tuesday, May 5, 1925

At 1 o'clock today, there will arrive in Wyndham a motor-car which has seen far more of this mundane sphere than the great majority of those in our town who will, no doubt, assemble in large numbers to view it.

This car is one that Buick Co. sent on a world tour from New York on December 20, 1924. It was shipped to England, and driven through the United Kingdom, subsequently visiting the Continent of Europe, the Far East, and Australia. Thence its course lay to Auckland; and now, having been through both Islands of N.Z., it is in Southland.

The car is running to schedule time, the custom being that each town visited the local agent takes it on to next stop, where he relinquishes control to resident rep., and so on; so that, by now, this
much-travelled automobile has passed through many chauffeurs indeed. Naturally, much interest is being evinced locally in the visit of this nomadic Buick, regarding which our Chief Citizen will sign a statutory affidavit.

Posted 08/2002
1925 - Buick ?Around the World? part 3 - A Contemporary Report, 1926


Researched and contributed by Eric North.
This article is reproduced from ?The South Australian Motor? August 25, 1926

The Story of an Epoch-Making Trip by a Motor Car - Driven Around the Globe in Relay by Buick Dealers - With Every Foot of Land en Route Covered by Buick World-Wide Service.

Transportation has played a most vital part in the history of man, and every phase of its development is of tremendous interest and importance. Of all the forms of present-day transportation, the motor car is the most personal. By its means one can go anywhere, at any time, without restriction of a time-table. Proper service facilities have made the automobile as reliable as the railway train, while having far more flexability of schedule and riding comfort.

Demonstrating that the time has arrived when the motor car owner can confidently travel anywhere, even around the world, a Buick touring car has recently completely encircled the globe, unaccompanied by either a fixed driver or mechanic, the car being driven the entire distance by Buick distributors and dealers in relay.

It is on December 20, 1924, that the trip officially starts. On that date, the ?Around-the-World? Buick, in its export box is swung aboard the s.s. Aurania in New York, bound for Liverpool. From that point on, the future of the intrepid car depends solely upon its sturdy mechanism and the Buick sales and service organisation.

Landing at the port of Liverpool, the world traveller becomes temporarily the charge of the local Buick dealer, and under his guidance sets out immediately for London.

Between tidy English fields and hedges it speeds, through Litchfield - hesitating a moment at Stratford-on-Avon to pay its respects to William Shakespeare-through Warwick, Swindon, Nottingham, and into the fog and grime of London. A quick panorama of historic England, and then the boat for Amsterdam.

Over rough brick highways, across the flat lowlands of Holland to Haarlem, The Hague, and Rotterdam flies the Buick. Along the road, in the cities, people are enthusiastic. Crowds collect-questions are asked.

?What do you say?? asks a curious one. ?A car without a driver? How is it possible? Does it have a special mechanism?? ?Why no,? a guard informed him. ?Why no. In every country there is a different driver.?

And the boys: ?Around the world, sir? Why, I would like to come along. Can I? If you say yes, I will step right in, dressed as I am now. May I??

?Hurrah, around the world!? shouts another urchin, who has climbed up on the spare tyres on the rear and who, with his profane hob-nailed shoes, gives the car the first souvenir of its long trip around the world.

Southward, toward the Belgian border, and the car crosses small rivers and canals, their banks lined with willows drooping in the chill winter air. Into Belgium, and through busy industrial towns.

The schedule is not elastic, and the Belgian Buick distributor wastes no time in touring. Straight to Paris he drives, where the adventurous car again changes hands. Through the crowded streets of Paris, then south again, past Fontainebleau and castled towns reminiscent of the days of monarchical and imperial France. Toward Lyons, where the ubiquitous vineyards give way to mulberry trees, a heavy fog impedes progress not at all. Through Avignon on roads over which Napoleon thundered in his swaying coach, and the Buick reaches Marseilles, 875 kilometres from Paris, in 15 hours. Almost a record!

Boarding ship at Marseilles, the car has a few days of salt air on the Mediterranean before taking to the road again. Then the busy clangor or Port Said, the gateway of the East, where the bustle and rush of commerce never cease.

From Port Said, under the guidance of the Egyptian Buick distributor, toward Cairo, over miles of dreary, dusty roads. Suddenly the desert gives way to fertility and the car is passing through the ancient ?Land of Goshen.?

Then Cairo, the indescribable. Here East and West meet as nowhere else on earth. Reeking bazaars within a stone?s throw of magnificent buildings and broad streets. An ever-flowing tide of changing, restless people - a strange mingling of the Orient with Western civilisation.

Crossing the Nile, the Buick, like any world tourist, visits the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid at Gaza. Then back, eastward again, across the Isthmus of Suez and into Palestine.

At Gaza, on February 4, 1925, the distributer for Syria takes charge of the Buick, and the most colorful part of the trip commences.

From Gaza the way leads to Jerusalem, the Holy City, with its teeming, odorous streets. Ancient brick-walled houses that witnessed the birth of Christianity stare uncomprehendingly at the irreverent piece of steel and human ingenuity that dares to stir up the dust about them.

Undaunted, the car continues, coming before long to Nazareth - a mere village in the time of Christ, now covering the bowl-shaped valley in which it is built to the tops of the surrounding hills.

From Nazareth across the bleak hills to Haifa - a white city perched on the nose of recumbent Mount Carmel. Then Beirut.

Beirut welcomes the Buick as an old friend. The desert route from Beirut to Bagdad was opened for the first time, a few years ago, by a Buick, and Buick cars are running regularly as part of the passenger and mail service operated by the Nairn Transport Company over the 600 miles of the Syrian Desert.

For political and geographical reasons, the desert crossing is not safe for a single car, and the ?Around-the-World? Buick joins one of the Nairn convoys for the trans-desert trip.

East from Beirut, for miles, the road ascends sharply over the Lebanon Mountains, elbowing its way through narrow gorges. Few corners of the globe offer more utter solitude than Syria and Palestine. Soon in the distance Damascus ?Pearl of the Desert,? gleams in the sun on its green oasis.

Straight east the car flies, maintaining a speed of 65 miles an hour over that flat floor of the desert, across the Tigris and Euphrates by primitive bridges of boats, and into the labyrinthan bazaars of the ?City of Caliphs,? Bagdad.

The road now leads to Basra, on the Persian Gulf. All goes well until just after leaving Kut, the town where Townshend?s army was penned in by the Turks early in the Great War. Here the Buick breaks through an ancient culvert, and the pulling cable and bridging boards are brought into action. There is some delay but no damage, and soon the car is on its way again. But before long, new difficulties present themselves.

For the next 70 miles the road is intersected by irrigation ditches at frequent intervals - ditches six feet deep and from fifteen to twenty feet broad, the majority of them unbridged.

It now becomes a matter of crawling down and crawling out again, and making the best of it. Four-wheel brakes prove, as usual, a blessing, and largely as a result of accelerating and decelerating efficienty, the Buick arrives in Basra a little in advance of schedule time.

Then by steamer down the shallow Persian Gulf to Bombay, lying in the curve of the shore and backed by its straight hills. All roads in India lead to Bombay, and in its busy streets can be seen all types and nationalities.

The Bombay distributor encounters little of incident on the road from Bombay to Agra, aside from one mishap, when the Buick has to be pulled out of the ever-present Indian mud by bullocks, in trying to board a native ferry boat. The speedometer now reads 3,828 miles.

Agra, and the Taj Mahal, set among palms and spacious lawns, and mirrored in its often-pictured waterway. Dazzling whiteness of masonry against the rich, radiantly tropical sky. Here the Calcutta distributor takes the driver?s seat.

Then the open road again to Delhi - the inscrutable heart of India - and the Buick enters the great ?city within a city? through the magnificent Lahore Gate, towering high above the entrance to the fort.

The car?s splendid appearance excites comment everywhere, as the damp climate of India works particular havoc with the average automobile paint work.

?When was it last painted?? inquire casual bystanders, marvelling at the lustre of the Duco finish.

From Dehli through Cawnpore - city of sad memories - and the stately grandeur of Lucknow the car speeds. On to Calcutta, by the Ganges delta, where the symbols of Western civilisation stand side by side with the throughly Oriental. From Calcutta to Colombo, Ceylon, by steamer, and another distributor takes the wheel of the indefatigable Buick.

Seven thousand feet through the verdant tropical vegetation of Ceylon the car climbs, past tea estates and cinnamon fields and occasionally a rambling village of bamboo houses. The weather changes suddently, and the return journey is made through pouring rains and over flooded roads. Then Colombo again - highways flanked by thick forests of towering palm trees. Before leaving by steamer for Fremantle, the landing port of Perth, Australia, the Buick?s average petrol consumption in Ceylon is worked out at 25.2 miles to the gallon.

From Perth to Adelaide, across the trackless transcontinental wastes of Australia, is an arduous journey at best. It represents, in this case, the supreme test, and means the success or failure of the whole trip.

Leaving Perth, the car folllows the dreary reaches of the Goldfields as far as Coolgardie - the centre of the gold rush in ?92 - then branches off for the mining town of Norseman, 480 miles from Fremantle and the coast. As settlements and roads are left behind, troubles commence.

For the first 30 miles the track is exceedingly rough and stoney, after which, without warning, comes a mile of heavy sand, followed by a stretch of boggy ground in the zone of a recent thunderstorm.

In a little while down goes the Buick to the running boards. Out comes spades, and the car is laboriously dug loose. Then, with infinite patience, a corduroy road is built of small trees and brances. For 160 miles these intolerable conditions persist, the car sinking in 15 or more times.

But the worst of the ordeal is over. The character of the country changes as the South Australia border is passed, and for 135 miles the car travels the Nullabor Plains, where the saltbush and bluebush are the only forms of vegetation, and where the going is at least level

The beautiful city of Adelaide at last, after eight days on constant strain, during which the car has travelled 1,826 miles. It is weather-stained and muddy, but still running as smoothly as ever.

Leaving Adelaide on Easter Sunday, April 13, the Buick speeds to Melbourne, and thence to Sydney, in New South Wales, over the southern road which, almost impassable in places, is famous for its stretches of sand, mud and loose stones.

From Sydney to Auckland by boat, and the Buick faces the mountains and gorgeous scenery of New Zealand. From Auckland, spread out over its seven hills, the car tours through Rotorua, which besides being the centre of the thermal spring region is the heart of the Maori territory, through Gisborne and Napier to Wellington, seat of the New Zealand Government, whence it is shipped to Christchurch, in the South Island.

Christchurch is the centre of Canterbury Plain, a great sheep-raising territory, stretching 150 miles from north to south. Here the car skirts the coast, passing through the prosperous seaside towns of Ashburton, Timaru, and Oamaru, arriving in due course at Dunedin, the centre of trade and port of the district of Otago. This was originally a Scotch settlement, and Dunedin City is planned, and the streets named, after Edinburgh..

Then to Invercargill, the southernmost town in New Zealand, and incidentally the point farthest south reached by the Buick on its world tour.

The return journey, from Invercargill to Dunedin, is perhaps the most delightful part of the whole trip. The Buick performs to perfection, even taking the fearsome Kilmog Hill without difficulty. Up one, two, three miles, with never a falter. There was no need to change gears; silkily and without effort the car reaches the top, then coasts down to Waitati. Mount Cargill is the next climb, reached toward nightfall. The Buick slips easily over the top and Port Chalmers glitters below, while far away, at the end of the bay, the myriad lights of Dunedin twinkle a welcome.

From Dunedin the itinerary leads back to Auckland, and the car is shipped to Honolulu, Hawaii, after covering a total of 2,281 miles in New Zealand.

Tropical Hawaii accords the world traveller an enthusiastic reception. Then the boat for San Francisco, and the Buick, relayed from dealer to dealer, starts from the Pacific coast across the United States.

At Flint, Michigan, its birthplace, the Buick receives a royal welcome from the 16,000 members of the Buick family at the factory. Speeding on to Detroit, the car crosses over into Canada, coming back into the United States at Niagara Falls.

The last lap of the ?Around-the-World? Buick tour is completed in New York on June 23, when the car is driven through the streets to City Hall, where the Mayor of New York adds the final signature to the ??log,? which has been signed by various officials and drivers throughout the entire trip. When the car reaches New York, it has been handles by 94 different drivers. The speedometer reads 16,499 miles.

From New York to New York, completely around the world, and the Buick has accomplished its aim. Another milestone has been reached in the records of pioneer automotive achievement.

Before the trip started, the whole itinerary was timed. Steamers were booked far in advance to transport the car between countries separated by water. Distributors were informed as to just when they should receive the car, and to whom and when they would deliver it.

The successful completion of the trip attests both to the faultless performance of the car itself, and to the efficient manner in which it was handled in the many differenct countries.

The ?Around-the-World? Buick tour is a true demonstration of the extent to which the Buick car, and the Buick organisation, can be relied upon by Buick owners, wherever they may be or go. It is a great satisfaction for each of the 900,000 Buick owners to know that ?the sun never sets on Buick Service.?

Posted 08/2002
1940-45 - Buick the War Years
BUICK The WAR Years 1940-45
Article and pictures researched and contributed by David Wolfe
(* AWM - Australian War Memorial)

Pictured right, Prime Minister Curtin [1939 series 90] meets General Macarthur [1942 series 90] at Mascot Airport, Sydney 1943.

After War was declared in September 1939, changes were slow to occur, the Government did not mobilise industry until half-way through 1940 so production of passenger cars went ahead as in peacetime and sales to the general public were normal, numbers delivered from Woodville for 1940 sedans were 8/40 475 & 8/60 68.

The Army had apparently made a decision to use Buicks as General Officers Staff Cars and these can be seen appearing [1940 AWM* negative No.051472 ]

When 1941 came around the war effort in Australia was in full swing and virtually all automobile production was for defence purposes.

A GM-Holden?s paper dated 14th May 1944 and titled ?Summary of bodies delivered from Woodville? indicates that 176 Buick 8/40 sedans were delivered, these were what we know as model 41 [4 door fastback]. From AWM photos most appear to be LHD, which was in keeping with Government policy to leave Defence force vehicles in the drive orientation they arrived [eg Jeeps, GMC 6x6 and Dodge 4x4]

GM-H had made a decision, that after 1940 Buick would no longer use the Holden body previously shared with Chevrolet, Pontiac and Oldsmobile, so the delivering of these model 41 sedans was, we assume part of the plan to import, fully or CKD model 41?s, which continued after the War [ckd]. Some confusion was caused as GM-H placed the Lion emblem on the LH front door and welded up the holes on the RH scuttle intended for the brass rivets for the Buick Motor Division information plate this is quite obvious upon examination.

These 1941 sedans were not the ?Refugee? bodies which appear on the GM-H Summary for 1942 and are listed as, Buick 24, Oldsmobile 12, Pontiac 12, Chevrolet 42 [including 18 convertibles] .

?Refugee? bodies were vehicles destined for another location but diverted to Australia due to hostilities.

The Policy to use Buicks as General Officer?s Staff cars continued and Field Marshall Blamey?s 1941 sedan can be seen in the extensive Army Transport Museum at Bandiana, Victoria. The Museum believes that Blamey had 6 Buicks at his disposal, apparently one in each State, this could have been policy for all Generals.

Large numbers of 1941 model 41 sedans can be found in Australian Military service [Neg Nos. 020413, 122240, 130021, 065749,125772,053294, 051524] here as well as Cairo, the Pacific Islands and Timor, go to AWM webpage then type Neg. No. [www.awm.gov.au/database/photo.asp].

You will note that all these Staff cars appear to be in non-military colours General Berryman?s in two-tone.
Another recipient of one of these model 41?s was the Governor-General in Qld, Feb 1945 [Neg. No.086684] although from the rear it could be 1941 or 42.

Prime Minister, Chifley appears to have a 1942 model 41 at Fisherman?s Bend on the debut of the 1948 Holden.

Only one 1942 remains a model 90L which anecdotally is credited with being used by General MacArthur, [photo dated 7June 1943 at Mascot, neg. no. 052515], this was disposed of by the Army in 1947.

The Army laid down orders regarding marking of vehicles, but as can be seen from the A.W.M. photos the Buicks allotted to Generals, only carried a number on a civilian type number plate, not painted on the bonnet and rear, as other vehicles, the Buick in Qld in 1943 [ Neg. No. 053294] also carries No.107 signifying an Aust. HQ unit vehicle.

For this information, I am indebted to Stephen Taubert and his book ?Formation Signs & Vehicle Marking in the Australian Army?, now available only on CD.

Wartime conditions and abuse took a heavy toll on passenger vehicles, which is why these and all 1941 ex-Army cars are extremely rare to-day.

Pictured below: General Blamey's 41 Buick, Bandiana Museum

Also ten pictures by courtesy of The Australian War Memorial.
Copies of these images are available from the AWM website "awm.gov.au/database/photo.asp"

Posted 03/2004
1926 - "Her Right of Way" - Miss Heather Field
Researched and contributed by Eric North from ?Motor Life? magazine, special feature ?Her Right of Way? 21st September, 1929.

Miss Heather Field the charming daughter of Mr. T.A.Field of "Glen Mervyn" Belmore Road Coogee is a skillful driver of her Buick

Webmaster?s Note:
Looks like a Buick, model 26-55X, 5 passenger Master Six Sports Touring

Posted 11/2002
1925 - ?Her Right of Way? - Miss Dorothy Harris
Researched and contributed by Eric North from ?Motor Life? magazine, special feature ?Her Right of Way? 7th September, 1929.

At the wheel of her Buick, Miss Dorothy Harris, daughter of Mrs. P.W.Harris of "Chelverton", Glebe Point, a motorist of skill and experience

Webmaster?s Note:
Looks like a Buick, model 25-25X, 5 passenger Standard Six Touring

Posted 11/2002
1929 - ?Her Right of Way? - Mrs George Lawrence
Researched and contributed by Eric North from ?Motor Life? magazine, special feature ?Her Right of Way? 4th May, 1929.

Mrs George Lawrence of "Los Angeles" Day Ave Kensington, is the wife of the well known Boyd Edkins representative, an expert driver and proud of the number on her new Buick

Webmaster?s Note:
Looks like a Buick, model 29-57X, 5 passenger Master Six Sedan , with optional 6 wire wheel equipment

Posted 11/2002
1928 - ?Her Right of Way? - Mrs Stuart Doyle
Researched and contributed by Eric North from ?Motor Life? magazine, special feature ?Her Right of Way? 30th June, 1928.

Standing beside this Buick is Mrs. Stuart Doyle, wife of the commodore of the Royal Motor Yacht Club. Mrs.Stuart Doyle is an experience motorist on land and sea as she is familiar with every phase of yachting on the waters of Sydney Harbour and the ocean coastline

Webmaster?s Note:
Looks like a Buick, model 28-27X, 5 passenger Standard Six Sedan , with optional wire wheel equipment

Posted 11/2002
1923 - ?Her Right of Way? - Mrs W Norton Jowitt
Researched and contributed by Eric North from ?Motor Life? magazine, special feature ?Her Right of Way? 18th May, 1929.

A first-class driver and a keen charity worker, Mrs W Norton Jowitt, of Woollahra, is seen standing by her car, which is of inestimable value to her when engaged on the organization of charitable functions.

Webmaster?s Note:
Looks like a Buick, model 23-45X, 5 passenger Touring , six cylinder and with optional wire wheel equipment

Posted 11/2002
1926- ?Her Right of Way? - Miss Netta Mullarkey
Researched and contributed by Eric North from ?Motor Life? magazine, special feature ?Her Right of Way? 16th October, 1929.

Miss Netta Mullarkey, of Kogarah, is here depicted alongside her Buick.

Webmaster?s Note:
Looks like a Buick, model 26-55X, 5 passenger, Master Six Sports Touring , with optional wire wheel equipment

Posted 11/2002
1917 - Breaking the Sales Record
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? March 1917
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

Messrs. Boustead Bros. of Gloucester, N.S.W., recently took up the Buick agency and in the course of a few weeks they are now able to line up 6 " Six " cylinder Buicks. This is a wonderful start for a young firm, but Buick had to do it. Owing to the increasing name of Buick, it is a comparatively easy matter for a reliable firm to do well out of Buick

Posted 01/2003
1917 - Buicks outside the Ocean View Hotel (Lismore area)
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? March 1917
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

Not far from Lismore, N.S.W., is a fine beach in the Northern part of the Northern Rivers where motorists often assemble on Sundays or holidays. Going there himself the other day the Buick Northern Rivers' Agent, Mr. W. A. Corbett, discovered that every car outside the Ocean View Hotel was a Buick. He probably then had them lined up and photographed for the unique occasion.

Posted 01/2003
1917 - Washing Cars on Northern Rivers
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? March 1917
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

N.S.W. The accompanying photograph was sent to us showing how cars are washed on the Northern rivers. We were most surprised when we heard that the cars were immersed in the river for washing purposes and that they still stand up to their work and are giving the same satisfaction as cars used in the city that are washed in proper garages.

The photograph was taken by Mr. A. J. Clayton, travelling representative for Messrs. Mclntosh & Sons, Ltd., Sydney, N.S.W. Mr. Clayton hails from Great Britain and was so awfully surprised at the way they washed the cars on the Northern rivers that he sent in a photograph.

Posted 01/2003
1914 - Climbing Escreets Hill, Strathbogie Ranges near Benalla.
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? March 1917
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

Mr. Tucker of Messrs. Dalgety & Co., of Melbourne, gives the following.-- A trip was made by our agent Mr. Bennett with a party who took the opportunity of having some shooting and Escreets Hill was chosen due to the fact that no other car had ever previously mounted same. The car went splendidly but to give an idea of the grade of the hill mentioned- it was necessary for our good agent mentioned to fit a contrivance to ensure the benzine flowing freely to the carburettor, the hill being so steep at certain points as to make this absolutely necessary. Furthermore the track was almost entirety un- formed except for a few cuttings, and to further call to mind the district shown in the various prints, we might add that same is part of the Strathbogie Range so famous on account of the Kelly Bush Ranging Gang having used same for many months to elude capture. These ranges rise abruptly from the flats in Warrambayne about 14 miles from Benalla in a southerly direction.

Posted 01/2003
1938 - Buick 8/90, Martin & King body for Victorian Government

Australian De Luxe Body

Article Reproduced from The Australian Motorist, September 1, 1938
Researched and contributed by Eric North

Built to the special requirements and specifications of the Victorian Government for use of the Premier and official occasions, this very hansom 1938 8/90 ?Buick? Sedan is the largest model in the ?Buick? series, and the only one of its design in Australia.

The chassis, which was imported by Preston Motors Pty. Ltd., from General Motors? Canadian ?BUICK? Factory, is a replica of that recently purchased by the Duke of Kent.

The body was designed and fabricated by Martin & King Pty. Ltd., of Malvern. Its construction includes extremely comfortable seating for eight passengers, built up of springs, sponge rubber and down, covered in soft crushed hand-buffed chrome leather. The front seat is easily adjustable, and extra space has been provided between the rear and front seats to give ample leg room to passengers using the occasional seats which are recessed in the back of the front seat. Ample provision has been made for ceremonial occasions when top hats are the vogue. The all-steel Australian body has been well insulated against noise, and the doors are extra large to give easy access to the car.

Provision has been made to use the car as a mobile office, with reading lamps arranged to permit working at night without glare. Clocks are fitted in front and rear compartments, and a radio is fitted into the dash.

Safety and convenience for long distance travel, and a very capacious luggage compartment are provided. The body exterior is finished in metropolitan blue, with fawn interior trimmings, offset by walnut polished cappings.

Posted 01/2003
1916 - Bowlers in Buicks at Mudgee.
1916 - Bowlers in Buicks at Mudgee.

Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? June 1916
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

A team of Manly Bowlers went on a western tour in New South Wales, and they have shifted from one town to another by means of motor-cars. The fleet consisted of six cars, all of which were Buicks. The picture was taken in the streets of Mudgee, main western railway line, New South Wales.

Posted 01/2003
1916 - Les Darcy is a Buick Enthusiast
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? June 1916
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

Mr Les Darcy, well known in sporting circles, prouding sitting in his Buick 6 cylinder car supplied to him by Messrs, McIntosh & Sons, Limited. Sydney.

Posted 01/2003
1916 - WW1 Buick Ambulances ready for Duty
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? June 1916
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

Reprinted from "The Autocar," London, March 25th, 1916.
A striking view of a fleet of fifty Buick Ambulances purchased from the funds of the British Red Cross Society. The photograph was taken just before the cars were despatched abroad for active service.

Posted 01/2003
1916 - New Buicks destined for Bendigo

Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? June 1916
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

The accompanying photographs represent a number of cars leaving Messrs. Dalgety & Company's premises, all destined for one town, viz: Bendigo, Victoria. Altogether twelve cars left Messrs. Daigety & Co., Melbourne, in one day.

They were ordered by Messrs. Rickard Bros., who are agents for Buick cars in the town of Bendigo; and the buyers happened to be in Melbourne, all waiting delivery of their machines, and drove away together.

Photos from the Publishers of the "Australian Motorist" and "Motor World"

Posted 01/2003
1916 - Armidale is a Haven for New Buicks
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? June 1916
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

What He Thinks of the Buick

Mr. Le Petit, of Armidale, New South Wales, is probably one of the livilest Buick agents in the country districts of Australia. He was approached a little over a year ago by Messrs. Mclntosh & Sons, Ltd. of Sydney, to represent the Buick in Armidale exclusively.

Mr. Le Petit replied he would not represent our line of cars exclusively because he said no car was good enongh for exclusive representation, he considered that there was no car yet made that would suit all requirements and Mr. Le Petit promised to sell Buicks to his customers when he thought Buick would suit their requirements.

Mr. Le Petit has since sold an enormous number of 1916 Buick sixes in the Armidale district and the cars have turned out so satisfactory that we reproduce a copy of an advertisement, which now appears in the " Armidale Chronicle."

Webmasters Note: This is the text of the advertisment, it?s an interesting read!

?10,000 worth of my mates arrived in Armidale district during the pastthree months. Is it not a record in the Motor Life? Now, don?t give all the credit to the Buick agent, for it is I that speak for myself. Your friends are buying me - the Buick Six of Sixteen. I am owned by the squatter, because he has an eye that can judge a beast a mile off and so he judges me - he admires the graceful and silent way that I glide over hills and dales; then he is proud to take his visitors to the garage and show them the beautiful stream-line coat and body I have, saying ?Isn?t she a beauty!?

I am owned by mail contractors, because they can put loads on my back that they used to put on a waggon, and yet, I always run to time with their mail. Even the Taxi boys are using me, and how proud they sit up in their seat as I glide along, for they know quite well that there are hundreds of eyes watching my graceful movements.

Yes, I am admired and loved by all who own and ride in me, but, alas I am hated by all garage owners who are not my agents. If you were to ask them what of me, they will look down and say I am no good. The truth is, I am no good to them, for owners of the Buick Six of Sixteen never have repair bills to pay as other car owners do; therefore I am no good to the garage owner.

Now, the brains of the world has thought me out and so designed me that I stand aloft in the Motor world. My appearance you never saw better: any one part of me there is none better. Take my radiator, of honeycomb type; my engines are the six-cylinder of very small bore, therefore I drink very little petrol, for my throat is only half the size of the four-cylinder engine of my power; in having the six gentle explosions, it means I climb almost anywhere without the trouble of changing gears. What of my cranking handle? I don?t require one, for I start by pressing a button; I am oiled by proper pump system, which makes circulation in all my working parts, so preventing wear; my heads are water-cooled in the same way, therefore I always keep cool; my clutch is leather to metal, properly encased, preventing dust and mud from the road getting on that working part, which is a common fault on many makes of cars; my gear box is swung in the centre of the car, with the gear leavers for the right hand control, which everyone knows is the best; my gears are run on ball bearings; my differential is full floating, which means the weight of the load and the jar of the road does not come on the driving axles, as in other cars; my axles are supported on the double row type, ball bearing, which insures everlasting life, therefore no repair bills to pay.

Further particulars, or to have a ride in me, call and see my Local agent, who will be pleased to point me out.

J. LE PETIT. Motor Expert, Beardy-Street, Armidale. Phone 156

Posted 10/2003
1916 - Floods in the Riverina District of New South Wales
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? September 1916
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine

A party of Commercial Travellers were caught in the River Laughlan, which is a tributary of the River Murray; they had to proceed on their business and charge the flood waters, of course with good results.
Posted 02/2004
1916 - English Scenes in Australia
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? September 1916
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the origional magazine

Snow scenes at all times are very pretty and remind one of the Old Country. All the cities and large towns of Australia are generally situated not far from where snow falls in the winter months. Fully seventy per cent. Australians have never seen snow and it is difficult to make them believe what they have missed-it is quite a contrast to the ordinary conditions of Australian life. Fifty to a hundred miles driving is worth while going to see a snow scene and you can easily do it per Buick. Get your friends in the snow affected districts to send you a telegram when snow falls, wrap yourself up warmly and proceed per Buick.

Posted 02/2003
1916 - An Interesting Trip - New South Wales and Queensland
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? September 1916
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine

Pic 1 At Ben Lomond, New South Wales, the highest railway point in Australia.

Pic. 2 Overlooking Murrurundi New South Wales

Pic. 3 Near the Queensland border, "Bluff Rock"

Pic. 4 Near the border of Queensland and New South Wales

Pic. 5. " The Summit." One of the many interesting places in Queensland.

Posted 02/2004
1935 - Obituary Peter McIntosh, founder of McIntosh & Sons (NSW Buick Distributor)
Article contributed by Marc McInnes from text supplied by Mrs D Durrant of the Quirindi and District Historical Society Inc

The McIntosh family has long associations with the Wallabadah and Quirindi district, first working on the land and later as storekeepers. The brick store dating from 1891 still stands in Station Street, Quirindi, although P McIntosn and Co. sold their interest in it in 1946.

Peter McIntosh, a grandson of the original Peter who arrived in Australia in 1838, also had an interest in flourmills. He and Alex McIntyre started one in 1897 on the corner of Station Street and Borah Creek Road, some distance from the McIntosh store, but he sold out to the Mc Intyres in 1904. An article in the Newcastle morning Herald Feb.9, 1900, refers to P. McIntosh and Co.'s new flourmill at Hamilton near Newcastle. (The McIntyre family also had a flourmill at Hamilton, though they kept the Quirindi mill going till 1929)
Interest in selling cars (especially Buick) is evident in Quirindi as well as Sydney. One of our members managed to find ads for the 4 Cylinder Buick (feb.9, 1923). More research would be necessary to find when their agency began and ended in Quirindi.

Enclosed is obituary from The Quirindi Advocate May 3, 1935

Death of Mr Peter McIntosh
The death occurred yesterday in Sydney of Mr Peter McIntosh, a well-known businessman of Sydney, aged 74 years.

Deceased who was a native of Wallabadah, commenced business as a general store keeper at Quirindi 50 years ago, and later started a flourmill in the same town. Some years later he erected a mill at Hamilton, near Newcastle and subsequently, in partnership with Messrs Gillespie Bros., commenced business in Inverell.

In 1910 the late Mr McIntosh went into partnership with Mr. Alick McNeil as motor garage proprietors in Market Street, and later owing to growth of the business, the firm moved to a larger business in Elisabeth Street and later in Phillip Street.

Deceased is survived by a widow and three sons, Messrs Thomas, Claude, and Harold.

Posted 02/2003
1916 - Body Building in Queensland
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? September 1916
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine

The occupants of the car are Mr. James Howard, Managing Director of Howard Motor & Cycle Co. Ltd., the " Buick " agents for Queensland, and Mr. W. J. Strachan (at the wheel), the General Manager of the Company. .

Last year the Howard Co. turned out something like fifty cars with special roadster bodies built in Queensland and this year aimed at turning out a special roadster body that would he equal to anything on the Queensland roads, and the general opinion of motorists of Brisbane is that they have achieved this object. The seating accommodation is roomy for three and only the best materials have been used throughout. The carrying capacity of the boote has been well thought out; this carries the spare rim and tyre, apart from which there is a tool receptacle in the floor of the boote; it has also openings both at the top and the rear; a receptacle has also been arranged in the rear for tools that are most required. The hood is of the genuine one man principle; the windscreen, as can be seen, is of the frameless type. The lines of the body are very uniform, the difference between the heighth of the back of the seat and the radiator.cap being only three inches, although it has the appearance of more than this. The Howard Motor Co. are also turning out a five-seater touring body on similar lines, both models being very much admired. The car illustrated has been selected by the occupants for use in connection with the Company's business. The design of the body and the supervision of the building of same goes to the credit of the Company's Sales Manager, Mr. Albert Harrington, and it certainly does him credit.

The Howard Company advise that they have had a tremendous demand for 1915 model Buicks right through the year and up to the present they have never had stocks on hand to he able to give immediate delivery when called upon ; orders have had to he booked in every case from shipments to arrive. Although they have sold a large quantity they are certain that had stocks been available they could have easily disposed of fifty more of them. On two successive days orders for ten Buicks had to he turned down through not being able to give reasonable delivery. " Buick " cars today are very conspicuous by their number on the Brisbane Streets, but the Company advise that the largest quantity of their cars have gone into the country, and from all parts of Queensland they have received nothing but glowing accounts as to the work the new Buicks " have been doing.

Posted 02/2004
1924 - Solving the Problem of Traffic Congestion - Victoria
Article contributed by Marc McInnes from material researched and generously provided by Hal Molony (AMHRG)

The Australian Motorist July 1, 1924
A 1924 Buick Four proving that impossible roads are not impassable. A highway in the Leongatha district, Gippsland, Victoria, which discourages traffic congestion - a tip for city traffic experts. It shows how Flinders-Swanston street congestion could be solved by simply blowing up Prince?s Bridge and digging up Flinders street. This is an entirely new idea, suggested by the success in dealing with traffic congestion in many country towns. Keep the roads impassable and traffic congestion is automatically solved, and democracy is safe, also the stray dogs.

Posted 02/2003
1923 - Her Right of Way, Mrs J F Furlong
Article contributed by Marc McInnes from material researched and generously provided by Hal Molony (AMHRG)

Motor Life, March 14, 1925
Mrs J F Furlong and her two daughters, of Neutral Bay, seen here in their Buick car, take a delight in exploring the New South Wales coast. Usually two car loads of friends join Mrs Furlong on her expeditions, and the party always returns convinced that Australians should see their own country first before going further afield in search of beautiful scenery.
Posted 02/2003
1916 - Hill Climbing in Queensland - Buicks Successful as usual
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? December 1916
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

Mr. A. HARRINGTON (Howard Motor Co.) in his " Buick Six " Tourer climbing One Tree Hill at the recent Queensland Auto Club's Hill Climb.

Posted 02/2004
1916 - Motoring on the South Coast, NSW
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? December 1916
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

Miss Beith, daughter of Dr. Beith of Kiama, is a motor enthusiast and is the first lady to drive her own six-cylinder Buick in the South Coast district.

The South Coast of New South Wales is notorious for its steep hills, bad roads in places, and very nasty and dangerous curves. In spite of this Miss Beith drives her Buick with the ability of a professional driver.

Our picture shows a dent in the mudguard and in defence of Miss Beith we might say this was not done whilst the car was in her hands.

Posted 02/2004
1916 - Messrs. Eyes and Crowle Ltd., Mount Gambier Branch
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? October 1916
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

The most progressive firm in the motor business in South Australia to-day is that of Messrs. Eyes and Crowle Ltd., of Adelaide, who have branches throughout the various parts of the country, we produce herewith a photograph of the Mount. Gambier Branch.

Mount Gambier is in the far South East corner of South Australia, three hundred and eight miles from Adelaide, and is reached by road after crossing the Coorong, a long sandy desert of about ninety miles in length. The firm of Messrs. Eyes & Crowle Ltd. is directed by a number of gentlemen consisting of leading Adelaide business men and is headed by Mr. P. J. Marshall, son of Mr. James Marshall, founder of the firm of James Marshall & Co., Universal Providers. Hence it is easily seen that the firm is well backed up by substantial men of sound business integrity. In fact the same can be said about all the Buick garages in Australia.

Take for instance, the most Northern State of Queensland, this is controlled by the Howard Motor Co., the Governing and Managing Directors Messrs. James Howard and W. J. Strachan respectively are business men of twenty years standing, who devote their whole interest to one object, and today they stand as the leading garage in Queensland.

Exactly the same can be said of Mclntosh & Sons Ltd., Sydney. This firm is piloted by Mr. Peter Mclntosh, of over thirty years sound business standing, this gentleman is also connected with several other firms all of which are the leading of their class.

In Victoria and Western Australia Buick interests are controlled by Messrs. Dalgety & Co, Ltd. Good cars of the Buick class are only represented by good sound business men and such men never devote their attention to anything unless it coincides with their business reputation.

Posted 02/2004
1916 - Way Out in the Never Never by Buick
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? December 1916
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

A Commercial Trip in Central Queensland and the Northern Territory

From the "Steering Wheel"

Picture right shows "Mr E, Scott Miller and his Buick".
Contributors Note: Amazingly the driver was a novice as he states in the last paragraph. These days conventional wisdom requires heavy duty 4wd with bullbars and 1/2 ton of recovery gear, never travel alone etc, etc.
View a modern map of this epic journey at the bottom of the article

I have just undertaken a trip as Northern Representative of the firm of Pike Brothers Limited, about which I think you might care to have a few particulars. This trip was designed to give me an opportunity of visiting personally the outback places out of reach of the average travelling salesman. Driving a Buick, I think I may claim to have penetrated every conceivable, kind of country as far north-west of Borroloola, and as far north as Burketown.

As it was raining heavily and being informed that the Thompson River was flooded, and was still rising rapidly, I was prevented from making further headway, and was compelled to remain in Longreach until I was able to cross the various branches of the river. February 18th, I managed to cross, with some difficulty, the water reaching far beyond the axles. The carburettor had to be covered to prevent the water getting in. On the other side I pulled up at West Longreach Hotel. After a short spell I made a start for Winton, calling at the various stations on that road. The tracks were very rough from the recent heavy rains, but I arrived at Winton safely where I met Mr. Jack Armstrong, a business man of that town who kindly offered to accompany me. Thinking of the long and lonely trip I might have had by myself I accepted his offer.

The following morning (on March 3rd), we made preparations and started out at 8 p.m. for the 20 Mile, arriving there at 9:30. The next morning we left for Elderslie Station, where we met Mr..C. Brabazon. From Elderslie we proceeded to Lovell Downs, spending Sunday, returning to Elderslie at evening. Monday morning we left for Lucknow and experienced a very rough time crossing the range. This was accomplished at night time with our lamps to pick out the road for us. The tracks were plentifully, dotted with fallen timber washed down, by the flood waters. When over the range we met a couple of teams camped on the road, and being rather late, we decided also to camp there for the night. The fire still burning we put on the billy, and after tea retired for the night. Next morning we left for Min Min Hotel, which is on the road to Lucknow. At the latter place we put up for the night by the kind invitation of Mr. T. N. Gilmore, an old friend whom I met at Rosedale Station. We left the following morning for Warenda. Late in the evening we proceeded on to Fort William returning again to Warenda next morning.

We left Warenda again after lunch and made for Boulia. When a few miles out we were caught in a heavy thunderstorm, the rain pouring down soon made it very bad travelling but we managed to push through. Reaching the Wills River we were within a short distance of the rural town of Boulia. To cross without assistance seemed rather a tough proposition as all the crossings had been completely washed away, and large sand beds left in their places by the running water. Being too late at night to seek assistance, we decided to make an attempt to cross, and with the good strong arm of my companion behind the car, we succeeded in reaching the other side although it was in the early hours of morning.

After a few days in. Boulia, where we had some enjoyable evenings, spent at Mr. Weigh's home, we procured petrol and the necessary oils, and started out for Bedourie. The sergeant of police at Boulia, being rather a genial sort kindly gave us a black tracker to guide us on our way, the roads being very hard to trace owing to the long grass and lack of traffic. We reached Marion Downs Station, but unfortunately the manager was not at home, and no one being there but a few blacks, we decided to go on to Bedourie. After going some considerable distance we could see what seemed to us to be a heavy storm ahead, coming in our direction. We questioned our black friend and he informed us that it was a Bedourie sand storm, which is prevalent during the early months of the year in these parts. Thinking it was rather risky to proceed we decided to return to Boulia. We had not gone far when the storm caught up to us, and before long the car, although closed in, was covered with sand. Fortunately we carried a shovel, and were able to dig ourselves out. The sand was very dangerous and we could barely see but a few yards ahead. Still plunging through we at last arrived at our destination, where we had a little liquid to wash the sand down.

The following day my friend Armstrong received a wire, requesting his return home as his little daughter was very ill, so, unfortunately, we had to part, my friend taking the coach next morning for Cloncurry. Here (Boulia) I met Mr. Coglan, manager of Roxburgh, whose Company I was pleased to have as far as Roxburgh. We left at 11 o'clock for that station, and after some rough travelling across country, the road being mostly a washaway, we reached Roxburgh that evening. The following morning I started out again for Carandotta Station. Having no company it was rather a lonely travel. When about 20 miles out I was caught in the rain which continued very steadily until I arrived at Carandotta. I was welcomed by Mr. McKellar, manager. After spending a few hours at the station, I proceeded to the shearing shed, where the board was in full swing. As the rain commenced to pour down very heavily, and the wind was blowing a gale, I put the car under cover and camped at the shed that night.

The following morning I left for Urandangie, calling at Wolgra Station, where I had lunch, and arrived at Urandangie at 5 p.m. Here I met some drovers, including Sutton Brothers, of Longreach, who were taking sheep to Ayrshire Downs. I left for Headingley Station and arrived there that evening at sundown. The following day I set out again for Lake Nash where we spent the night, and then. proceeded the following morning to Austral Downs in the Northern Territory, arriving at 8 p.m. that evening. Here I met Mr. Lamond.

Next day, I started out for Camooweal, the road to which was very rough and seldom used. On arrival at the Georgina River, which was at this time running from the previous rain, I had difficulty in finding a place at which to cross. Seeing no other means of getting over and trying the depth of the water by wading in, I decided to venture with the car. On getting down a steep embankment, which was very rocky, though unnoticeable by the long grass, I had the misfortune to damage the gear box on a hidden stone. It was then time for me to get out and get under, and I lost no time in proceeding to repair it temporarily to carry me in to Camooweal, a distance of about 20 miles. Having some wire with me (considered by the men of the west, "The Bushman's Friend", I repaired the damaged part sufficiently well to proceed. This carried me to Camooweal without further trouble.

Here I met Birtles the "Overlander," who had just arrived from Urandangie. He was camped at the Chinaman's water hole, just down from the hotel, for just over a week, and then left for Burketown, where he spells for three months, fishing, alligator shooting, taking pictures of the blacks which he sends below. While in Camooweal, I met Mr. Campbell, the manager of Rocklands Station, who after being informed of my misfortune offered to repair the car, he having the necessary tools, etc. I then took the car out to Rocklands, and I found, on arrival, that they had quite an up to-date engineering shop. I left my car to be repaired at their convenience. A few days later the car was returned to me being driven in by Mr. Fraser. On approaching Mr. Campbell as to the cost for the repairs, he quietly informed me that no charge was made in those parts, it being a hobby of his.

The following day I started out to Herbert Vale Station, and when about 40 miles out, I was again caught in the very heavy rain, and was unable to proceed further owing to the ground being so boggy. I was compelled to pull up a nd arrived at Rocklands at 9 p.m. drenched to the skin. ( did he walk back?) The weather having cleared the following day I decided to make an attempt to get the car in to Rocklands. Mr Campbell having advised me not to take the track to Herbert Vale, owing to its being too rough. On arrival, and fixing up the car, I then made a start, but after a few miles on first gear over the plains, the ground was too boggy to travel, the car in many places being bogged to the axles, so I decided to pull up and camp for the night. I made a fire, boiled the billy, and partook of what rations I had with me, after which I got the blanket and camped near the fire, where I was quite content to remain for the night. The following morning the sky was beautifully clear, so, making myself some tea, I packed up and proceeded on to the station, ( Rocklands?) arriving there in the afternoon, I then went into Camooweal.

I left there the following morning for Avon Downs Station in the Northern Territory. I arrived at Avon after a good run, and met Mr. Lloyd, the manager. Shearing being in full swing, the shed and station hands held an afternoons sports meeting in aid of the Camooweal hospital. There was a good attendance from the station and also the shed. A fair amount was realised. On Sunday morning I started out for the Rankin, 50 miles further on, and arrived there at evening. Leaving the Rankin next morning for Brunette Downs thence to Borroloola, I travelled some considerable distance, following the mailman's pad. I decided to camp for the night on the bank of a creek. Preparing again for the road, I started out about sunrise and had been on the track but a few hours when I met the mailman, Grant, from Borroloola.

I turned to the Burketown road for Morestone Downs, and reaching the O'Shanassy River, I fixed camp for the night. Getting an early start next morning I proceeded on to Morestone Downs. Leaving Morestone the following day I left for Gregory Hotel, arriving there at 8.30 p.m. Crossing the Gregory which was the only flowing river in that part, I reached Gregory Downs Station, situated on the bank. Returning from Gregory Downs, I proceeded on as far as Burketown, arriving there on Thursday, 11th May, at midnight. On Monday morning Mr Petitt and I drove back to Burketown.

From Burketown I started on the Cloncurry road and made for Lorraine Station. When about half way I noticed a camp at a short distance from the road. On going over I learned that they were contract fencers, and was surprised when heard that all in the camp (16 in number), had been stricken by Beri Beri, one man having died. The others were waiting be conveyed to the hospital. After a brief spell, since was of no assistance to them, I proceeded on to Lorraine Station, arriving there in time for lunch. I met Mr Kirkaldy, who has been managing the station for over 18 years - canny old Scot. After a pleasant night, I made further tracks to Glenormiston Station. Just before sundown, while going along at a fair pace I passed mob of dingoes busy devouring a dead kangaroos. I was at Glenormiston in the evening at 8 p.m. The following morning left for Granada Station, managed by V. C. Fussell, I then proceeded on to Quamby Hotel thence on to Cloncurry, crossing all the creeks which other cars were, I was told, unable to do without assistance.
On reaching Cloncurry after a couple of day's spell, I then left for Mackinlay. From there I went across to Strathfield, returning to Mackinlay the same day. I left next morning for Kynuna, calling at Eulolo station on the way. Arrived at Kynuna, I started for Maxweltown, calling at Crendon, Tarbrax, and Hamilton arriving at Maxwelton at a rather late hour. Being unable to rouse the people, of the house, I went on to the Camp Hotel or rather "One Eye", kept by Robert Marques, where I managed to get a camp without any trouble. The following day I crossed the river and visited Poverty Point, calling at Molesworth on the return. I then drove to Maluba, owned by Mr. Douglass, who kindly invited me to remain for the night, an invitation which I accepted.

I left next morning for Richmond, arriving there in time for lunch drove the following day to Marathon, arriving in the evening just as the rain commenced to pour heavily. I met Mr Dixon, the manager, who kindly invited me in to dinner. By the next morning the sky was quite clear, and although the roads were very heavy by midday I made a start to Telemon where I Met Mr. Macalister, the manager, a fine old gentleman. That evening I left for Hughenden, arriving there at 5 in the evening. After dinner I ran on to Alba Scour, where Mr. Halloran gave me comfortable quarters for the night. From Alba I proceeded on to Stamford, visiting the surrounding stations in the district and proceeded on to Winton. From Winton left for Longreach at 1 p.m arriving there at 5 p.m. a distance of 128 miles.

In all, the trip lasted three months, and the mileage covered approximately 7,000 miles, a goodly proportion of the time I was alone and hundreds of miles from human ken. When you take into consideration the fact that I had only a few days tuition in the Buick before I started on my trip it speaks volumes for the little car
E. Scott Miller

Posted 02/2004
1916 - Through Beautiful Gippsland
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? November 1916
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

An interesting trip, showing some beautiful views of GIPPSLAND country through which "BUICKS" are running and daily adding fresh laurels to the "BUICK" reputation.

No. 1 -A view of CARRAJUNG-Yarram Road. Car just commencing a very steep ascent; this view also gives one a splendid idea of the GIPPSLAND country.

No. 2 is on the Black-Warry Road, Yarram way, and gives an idea of the grades to be coped with by motorists particularly note the manner in which the car is "chocked" under the rear wheels, which, whilst in no way speaking detrimentally for the brakes, demonstrates very plainly the fact that the motorist considers it advisable to take no risks on such a grade.

No. 3 is a continuation of the road shown in No. 5, and gives a further idea of the tracks over which "BUICKS" have to run in GIPPSLAND, and, moreover, brings very plainly to view the straight GIPPSLAND Timber so well known and often spoken of.

No. 4 -View of the Walhalla Road, overlooking the flats of Traralgon district, where our agent, Mr. Dunbar, operates from. These views also give an idea of the hills in the locality.

No. 5 depicts Gippsland road in the WALHALLA district, and (though it would seem almost an exaggeration, one which is practically only used by motorists, the road, you will note, is practically obliterated by ferns.

Posted 02/2004
1916 - From Rockhampton to Bundaberg and back in a Buick 6
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? January 1917
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

The large gathering of citizens that were assembled on the morning of November 22nd in the immediate vicinity of his late residence, for the purpose of paying their last sad respects to all that was mortal of Dr. May, were greatly surprised and astonished at the rapid approach of a car enveloped in a cloud of dust, and which apparently was being driven with an utter disregard of the condition of solemnity which reigns on such mournful occasions. However, as thecar stripped of wind screen and hood, and showing evidence of a long trip-raced between the long line of vehicles, it was quickly recognised that the passengers were Mr. Kenneth ("Peter") May and his wife, who had just reached here by-road from Rockhampton, in time to see the last mortal remains of a loving father.

Speaking subsequently to Messrs William and Frank Finlay, of Finlay Bros., motor car proprietors of Rockhampton, and formerly well known and respected members of the local cab rank, in one of whose cars it was that the trip was made, a re- presentative of the "DAILY NEWS" (Bundaberg) elicited the following account of the strenuous overland journey, which they had just so successfully and expeditiously completed. A start was made from Rockhampton the previous afternoon at 3.30 P-M, the run through to Gladstone, a distance of 96 miles. taking three and a half hours. After par-taking of tea and a brief rest at the harbour town, the run was continued at nine o'clock and within an hour the Boyne River was reached, and here the state of the tide seemed to effectually challenge the progress of the motorists. However, this, the first difficulty was easily negotiated with the kindly assistance of the well-known fisherman, Mr. Christle Conneil, who, offered his services as a pilot. Continuing Bororen was left behind at 11.3.o and Mirlarn Vale passed through at midnight. The gates of Thornhill Station were. reached an hour later, a halt was made, owing to the precarious state of the roads, and creeks in that locality.

However, daylight saw the car again in motion, and by 7:30 Rosedale hove into sight. The next stage, as far as Mullett Creek - which is practically an unused road - was very bad owing to the amount of fallen timber, long grass which, in places completely obliterated all trace of the track - and numerous washes-out, eight miles per hour being the best that even expert driving could manage. Later, the road improved, and an average of twenty miles was maintained through to Yandaran. Entering upon the final stage, and with only forty minutes to reach their destination- Bundaberg - The Yardaran Hotel was left behind at ten minutes to ten; the run through Invicta to the Kolan - Smith's crossing - occupying twenty minutes, and with a speed which ran at times up to fifty miles per hour over the remaining few miles of the 26o mile journey, Mr and Mrs. May reached their tragic destination at 10:29, or one minute short of the hour fixed for the funeral to move toward the cemetery.

Throughout the long trip no car troubles what- ever were experienced, 'not even a puncture which speaks volumes for the reliability and splendid run ning qualities of the six-cylinder 'BUICK..' This particular car, we may, mention, is one which if it has not established a mileage record, must be very close to one, for although only on the roads seven weeks, it has already travelled over five thousand miles. In this connection it may be said as evidence of the scope of this connection which Messrs. Finlay Bros, enjoy in Rockhampton, that their cars are generally in demand for long service runs, some of the trips which they have negotiated extending from Rockhampton to Townsville.The two brothers who made the trip we have described, after spending a couple of days in Bundaberg renewing acquaintanceship of old friends, returned by road to Rockhampton in the"BUICK SIX," the return trip being negotiated without the slightest trouble of any kind. Immediately the car returned, it was washed down and then started off on another trip to St. Lawrence, a distance of over 100 miles North of Rockhanipton.

Extract from " Bundaberg Daily News,"

Posted 02/2004
1916 - Tour of Six Thousand Miles
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? December 1916 & January 1917
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazines.

Picture right - Wollombi Ranges near Hawkesbury River, N.S.W



After a 6,ooo-mile tour of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland in a Buick motor car, Mr. H. Davy has returned to Melbourne. Mr. Davy began his tour at Mildura last June, and came to Melbourne. Then he travelled on to Sydney. After a short holiday there he left for Brisbane in August, and had an uneventful trip, calling at Toowoomba and Ipswich.

From Melbourne to the Interior of Queensland

An overland motorist who arrived from Victoria during the month, is Mr., H. Davey, who came through from Mildura to Brisbane in his 1916 Buick, the total distance covered being 2,000 miles. Mr. Davey remained in Brisbane a few days and has since left by road for Blackall where we understand he intends to reside.

Mr. Davey outlined his trip as follows:-

"I left Mildura at 10 a.m. on Friday, arriving at Euston, 6o miles, in 2 1/2 hours. From here through Balranald to Swan Hill, where we stayed the night, leaving at nine next day for Echuca. We covered the first 300 miles in just under 13 hours over very bad sandy roads. The next 57 miles to Bendigo took 2 hours; the following 43 to Kyneton 2 hours 10 minutes. From here I had a good run right into Melbourne, covering the 57 miles in one hour 30 minutes.

After leaving Melbourne I struck some bad roads and ran through the 'glue pot' in the dark. The road was very bad as there had been heavy rains. From Wangaratta to Albury the road was good. Except for a few showers I had a splendid run to Yass, thence on to Bowral. Here I was advised to give up the idea of going any further as it had been raining for about a week. 1 was told it was impossible to get beyond Picton. At any rate I made the attempt; the roads were very bad and for miles I was running in ruts 10 inches deep and then in very soft mud and water. Several times I had to stop and clean the lamp glasses as the mud became so thick on them that they gave no light. I arrived in Sydney however just at mid- night.

From here the roads were good as far as Tamworth. Eighteen miles further we had to ford a very bad creek, but the car took it well. Towards dusk rain set in and from Guya we had a very bad road and heavy rain. The town clerk told us it had been raining for 11 weeks, but we managed to get through to Glen Innes that night. Sunday's run was a short one to Tenterfield.

The next day the run to Stanthorpe was good and from there to Warwick the roads were extremely rough. We had some very heavy pulling on the black soil, sinking axle deep at times. We spent the night at Clifton it being impossible to drive on account of the heavy rains. Our next day's run took us to Ipswich, and the following morning we ran into Brisbane.

On the trip we added only one gallon of lubricating oil. The car was driven 6,000 miles before any oil was added to the differential, I have been 6,500 miles with one puncture, and the other three tyres haven't had a pump on them. The Buick came through without the slightest mechanical attention.

Queensland Roads

He then set out for Dalby, and found the roads in fairly good condition. Continuing on to Chinchilla, he encountered bad roads, and had trouble with his tyres. Near Yeulba the road became even worse. It was studded with gilgi holes, and the car became bogged several, times. These water- holes were often 20ft. across, and, owing to the thick prickly pear on either side, it was impossible to drive around them. It took five hours to travel 12 miles.

The next stopping place was Roma, which is a big trading centre. At Muckadilla, Mr. Davy saw an interesting artesian bore, which has been taken over by the Queensland Government. The mineral waters thrown up from the bore are said to contain medicinal 'properties, and rheumatic patients travel far to take treatment there. The Government institution employs a trained nurse.

The journey was continued on to Longreach, where.Mr. Davy spent much time travelling around the neighbouring stations. It was early in October when he left Longreach for Blackall, which is about 140 miles distant, through Portland Downs, which is beautiful pasture land, and is covered with an abundance of grass. From Blackall he went past Tamboo and Charleville, which is nearly 200 miles distant. Myriads of mosquitoes were here, and made camping out a most disagreeable experience.

Across the Border

Then followed a journey of 140 miles along the Warrego River to Cunnamulla. This is very sandy country, but in October there was an abundance of food everywhere. The Queensland border was crossed at a place called Barringun, and from there the route was followed to Bourke, 170 miles away. Approaching Bourke there is a difference in the country. The soil is more of a sandy nature, and there are more trees. Bourke, which was once a flourishing township, had quite a delapidated appearance, and business seemed to be at a standstill.

From here Mr. Davy travelled south to Cobar. For the first 50 miles the roads were particularly good. He describes them as being as level as a billiard table. The change in the appearance of the herbage and timber was most noticeable. Mr.Davy says that the grass in New South Wales is finer and more nourishing than the Queensland grass, which is coarse and grows to a great height. This coarse grass, however, appeared to be very fattening, as the stock passed in Queensland were in excellent condition. The general air of prosperity at Cobar impressed him very much, many of the mines which had been closed down having been re-opened.

Difficulties Met

This is a country of great distances, and the next run was over 164 miles to Hillston. The journey was then continued to Gilgunnia and round Mount Hope. Rains had made this country very rough, and the abundant growth of grass made it mpossible to distinguish the track. It was remarkable that this rich country was poorly stocked. Mr. Davy had to cross several flooded creeks and was often bogged. On occasions he had to borrow horses to pull the car out of difficulties. In one place the car became badlv caught in the mud, but fortunately the teamsters with passing waggons came to his assistance. It took nine horses to pull the car out. A wool waggon also crossed the creek at this spot. It carried a four ton load, and it took 32 horses to do the job. The road right on to Hay was beset with similar difficulties; but the car was still in good condition when that town was reached. From Hay to Deniliquin the distance is 77 miles, and all communication by car had been cut off for several weeks, owing to the bad state of the roads. The Buick however, ploughed through and left a track for the whole distance of about six inches deep. Melbourne was reached by way of Echuca, Rochester and Bendigo. Mr. Davy says that the self-starter gave no trouble, and the lights always burned brilliantly. The average petrol consumption for the whole trip was 21 3/4 miles to the gallon, and a gallon of oil averaged about 1300 miles. Fully equipped with camp material and other necessaries, the car's weight was 30cwt.

Photo captions

Between Wallangarra and Stanthorpe Q.

The Darling Downs Q.

Through the Prickly Pear. Buick Car near Chinchilla, Q.

Back in Melbourne. The black soil and Riverina mud gives evidence of the trip. Photo taken fifteen minutes after arrival

Posted 02/2004
1916 - Second Annual Buick Convention, Sydney
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? November 1916
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

Dinner Given to the Buick Delegates
Our Second Annual Convention.

Photo right: Nearest to the camera is Mr. S. L. Tyler and on the right Mr. H. H. McIntosh (Sydney) then comes Mr. H. A. Raseley (Delco) (Dayton, 0., U.S.A.), Mr. C. E. McIntosh (Sydney), Mr. R. Graham Tucker (Melbourne), Mr. F. E. Wodell (Detroit, U.S,A.), (G.M.E, Co.), Mr. P. A. Mclntosh (Sydney), Mr. H. C. Piper (Henry W. Peabody & Co., Sydney & New York), Mr. C. C. Rust (G.M.E.Co., Sydney), Mr. P. Marshall (Adelaide), Mr. W. J. Strachan (Brisbane).

The first week in October has brought together the Interstate Buick agents. They met in Sydney, at.the headquarters of the branch of the Buick factory. Their object in coming together is to discuss the best ways and means of marketing the coming season's production of the Buick factory. The greatest desire of the agents is to hit upon an economic basis so as to keep down the selling costs and the prevention of increasing price of the cars. Just what this has meant in the past -year has been that instead of increasing the price of Buick cars about ?50 or more as most other houses have had to do, the Buick agents have only found it necessary to increase the price of their cars ?30. When the price of the six-cylinder car was decided on last year the freight rates stood at 50/- per ton, since then they have risen as high as ?10 per ton, showing an actual. difference in freight of about ?7/10/- per ton on goods' measuring about nine tons equalling about ?66, yet through the medium of the Buick Conference these agents have come together and have found ways and means whereby they.have not found it necessary to increase the price of the car ?66 for extra freight.

This year the new model four cylinder car was inspected and tried most thoroughly by the agents and tests have proved very satisfactory, more especially in the hill climbing ability of the car. Hills in and around Sydney on which it was necessary to change gear in the previous four-cylinder models, were easily negotiated on top gear with six persons aboard, a maximum speed of fifty-two miles was obtained. The petrol consumption works out about the same as that of the previous four- cylinder models.

Next September or October whether there will be a new model Buick or not the agents of the various States will again assemble and discuss further business experiences with a view to further economy to be exercised for the benefit of our patrons.

Posted 02/2004
1916 - First Motor Car Funeral in Australia - Singleton NSW
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? November 1916
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

The picture shows the first motor car funeral held to our knowledge in Australia. Mr. H. Taylor, of Singleton, N.S.W., who makes his living in the motor car business had the misfortune to lose his daughter, and the funeral arrangements were conducted per motor car.

In the Singleton district there are seventy-eight motor cars and of that number twenty-six are Buicks, another car also equals the Buick in num-ber, but is much lower in price, the remaining few cars are spread over about twelve different makes.

In the district of Walcha, N.S.W., there are more Buicks than any other make of.car.

Posted 02/2004
1916 - Sydney Motor Trader in the United States
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? October 1916
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

Mr Peter McIntosh's Observations

Another prominent Sydney Motor - Trader has returned from a visit to the United States, and we hear at first hand the story of the remarkable development of the motor industry in America. Leaving Sydney in February last, Mr. Peter Mclntosh, who is the head of the well known car importing firm of Mclntosh & Sons Ltd., journeyed first to Vancouver.

"I noticed as soon as I landed in Canada," he said, "the prominent part which the car plays in the life of the people on the Pacific Coast. There were cars everywhere, many more than one sees in Sydney, and I noticed amongst other makes a large number of Buicks, for which we hold the N.S.W. Agency. The evidences of the war are very marked in Canada, one sees many returned wounded soldiers in the streets, and the loyalty of the people to the British Empire is manifested in many ways."

"The first place I visited in the United States was Seattle, a large and very lively town, where the motor car is much in evidence. At San Francisco, the Buick Agents, the Howard Motors, informed me that they had sold upwards of 5,000 Buicks in the twelve months ending last August and that they could have sold from 1,500 to 2,000 more if they could have got them from the factory. Of course nearly everybody in San Francisco has a car. Owing to the low first cost, and economy of maintenance, it is possible for people with quite a small income to drive their own cars. Gasoline for instance only costs from 17 to 19 cents per American gallon on the Pacific Coast, and in the Eastern States from 25 to 27 cents."

"I visited several of the large car factories in the East particularly the Buick at Flint, where I was much struck by the enormous extensions which have been made since my last visit a couple of years ago. The factory now covers an area of 170 acres, and the floor space alone is 80 acres. The whole of the works have been kept up-to-date, and the most modern methods of manufacturing and assembling have been adopted. All the cars are now put together on a long travelling platform, which moves slowly from one end of the workshop to another. It starts at the upper end with the framework, and as the chassis moves slowly along workmen in each department add the wheels and springs, the engine, the gear box, and all the other parts of the mechanism till by the time it reaches the end it drives off under its own power, a fully completed car ready for the road. By this wonderful system a finished car emerges from the building every one and a half minutes. The output of this one factory alone is 400 cars daily which, allowing for 300 working days in the year, would give 120,000 cars a year. And the company, it is stated, could have sold 20,000 more cars this year if it had had them to deliver. The Buick factory it, must be remembered is only one of the many concerns belonging to the General Motor Co. which is the largest organisation engaged in manufacturing motor cars in the world. In fact it is the second largest buriness organisation in existence, being only excelled by the U.S. Steel Company.'

"I spent some fifteen weeks in New York and had ample opportunity for studying the car situation there. On Sundays and public holidays there is simply a continuous line of cars going to or returning from the various pleasure resorts outside the big cities. Once you get into the row of cars you have to keep moving along with them. At Long Beach, 34 miles from New York, I saw 5,000 cars parked in one place, besides the thousands which were on the road. In consequence of all this motor traffic there has been enormous improvement in the roads throughout the Eastern States and from Buffalo, which is 500 miles from New York, to the seaboard the highways generally are in excellent condition. Great efforts are being made to improve the roads in other parts of the country, particularly in California, where some very excellent cement highways have been constructed. If we had anything like these roads in N.S.W. you would certainly see a marked increase in the use of motor cars. Number of cars in use at present is upwards of 2 1/4 million in U.S.A."

"Business is brisk all through the States, partly due to the large war orders, so that there is a very large amount of money in circulation and the buying power of the people has been correspondingly. increased. Consequently they can afford to purchase motor cars, and there seems practically no limit to the demand. The.feeling all through the East is very pronounced in favour of the Allied cause, but of course I cannot make any predictions as to the political future of the Great Republic."

Posted 02/2004
1916 - 261,800 Miles in a Buick without renewing the bearings
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? June 1916
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

Such a feat seems almost impossible, but this was accomplished by Mr. F. L. Slason, who had competed in the Hyatt contest. By October last his car had run the distance above mentioned on the original Hyatt bearings. There were twelve entered and all the other cars had to leave off, but Mr. Slason's still kept going. You cannot wear out a Buick.

Posted 02/2004
1916 - Inverell visit for Govenor of NSW
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? November 1916
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

The accompanying photograph tends to show the increasing popularity of Buicks in the progressive town of Inverell, N.S.W. This photograph was taken on September 7th, during the, visit of his Excellency the Governor of N.S.W., and, immediately after his reception at the Town Hall. The Town Hall it will be noticed was decorated for the occasion.

No less than 4 six-cylinder Buicks took active part in conveyance of Vice-Regal party and guard of honor through the town and these cars appear in the photograph together with several others that were available.

Mr. C. Martin, manager for B. & W. Ltd., is the agent in Inverell, and although he has been our agent for only 18 months, he has succeeded in placing 16 cars.

This result, not only proves the capabilities of the agent but speaks volumes for the car itself and evidenced by its present popularity, we predict a good "Buick" future for the Inverell district.
(Agent is in the 3rd car from left).

Posted 02/2004
1916 - Buicks at Amsterdam, Holland
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? September 1916
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

We have pleasure in reproducing herewith a photograph received from Mr. T. Schilperoort of Amsterdam of a Buick Car outside one of the Public buildings of Amsterdam, Holland.

In recent years Buicks have made great headway throughout Europe, especially after two years success in the ?Tour de France? the greatest and longest trials in the world, and Buicks are the only American Cars to score success in such trials. It is interesting to know too that Buick was successful in the Russian trials in 1914 and it is these successes that have produced, in the Neutral countries of Europe, enormous sale for Buicks.

Posted 02/2004
1916 - The Car That a Lady Can Drive and Start.
Article reprinted from ?The Australian Buick Bulletin? October 1916
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine.

Bringing out the Stay-at Homes.

The demand for an automobile which shall fulfil all the needs of all the family is answered with utmost present completeness in this Buick six. From the first, Buick builders have kept ahead of the World's demands. And now the call for a car which a lady can drive with case and safety finds this Buick Six ready.

READY, with its wonderful reserve of power in the Valve-in-Head Motor, controlled by a touch, ready with rhythmic motion - velvety smoothness of running - instant response to starter - immediate stop.

When you own this Buick Six you own ?all out of doors?.

The Car That a Lady Can Drive and Start.

The family is independent of all inconveniences of travel. It brings you close to the beauty spots around your home and solves the vacation problem.

Confidence in the Buick,

The delightful pleasures of motoring are uniquely combined with physical rest and that mental relaxation which is the result of CONFIDENCE in the Car.

Big and graceful, roomy and full of character; luxurious riding; gasoline economy; in short, mechanical perfection, and that subtle something which we call distinction - these combined place the Buick as the car apart in any crowd.

Posted 02/2004
1929 - The Marquette Story
by BCCA historian Eric North

As the 1920s progressed towards their end, the free world?s economies were booming and along with that the motor industry.

Buick had etched out its own particular niche as a car of quality, as well built as a Cadillac or Packard, but with a more affordable price tag. This quality of course came at a price and Buicks became more and more expensive as the decade progressed, but with every expanding economies there was more money available to buy them. However by the advent of the 1929 model year things had deteriorated due in no small part to the body design of the 1929 models. Noted designer Gordon Buhrig had had a hand in the design of these cars, but claimed that Fisher Body had altered his design substantially and it had become known as ?The Pregnant Buick?.

Buick had decided to go the way of the ?companion car? to broaden its model range, a late move in General Motors terms, Oakland marketed the Pontiac for the 1926 model year, Cadillac the La Salle for the 1927 model year. Oldsmobile also marketed a companion car, the Viking, released in April 1929. It was unusual in as much as it was priced well above normal Oldsmobile models and was powered by a V8 engine. Companion cars were well established across the industry, for example Hudson?s companion car was the Essex, later to become the Terraplane, Reo?s companion the Wolverine, Studebaker, the Erskine and later the Rochne. With the exception of Pontiac all these companions would disappear by 1940. Pontiac was the only real success as the Oakland was dropped in January 1932.

The Marquette was a complete departure from normal Buick practice of the era, released prematurely in April 1929, it had been planned to be a 1930 model. Mechanically it featured a side valve six cylinder engine, which was very similar in design to the Oldsmobile unit, it had a single plate clutch, open tailshaft and semi floating rear axle. The Marquette was much lighter and more fuel efficient than the Buick, but the car was not a commercial success. In ?Buick the Complete Story? Gustin & Dunham put much of the blame for this on the Buick dealers, who felt that the car had much more in common with Oldsmobile than Buick and therefore had little enthusiasm for the vehicle. The Stock Market crash of September 1929, which triggered the Great Depression was also a factor, but whatever the reason only 35,007 Marquettes were built, of this number 1404 were built in other parts of the world on chassis exported from the U.S.A.

Automobile Trade Journal & Motor Age of June 1929 featured the Marquette, describing it ?In appearance as well as design, there is nothing which can be described as radical.? It goes on to describe the full mechanical details of the car including the ?Bendix? internal expanding brakes, which would also be introduced on the 1930 Buicks, some months later than the Marquette. The article quotes performance figures obtained at the General Motors Proving Ground showing a top speed of 65 m.p.h. acceleration from 10m.ph. to 25m.p.h. in 6.3 seconds and from 10 to 60m.ph in 31 seconds. Fuel consumption of 18.4 m.p.g (US Gallons) at 30 mph.

In the USA there were five body styles (six models) , the Model 37, Five passenger 4 door sedan, Model 30, Five passenger 2 door sedan, Model 36, Two passenger Business Coupe, Model 36S Four passenger Special Coupe, Model 34, Four passenger Sports Roadster, Model 35 Five passenger Phaeton.

Production in the USA continued into the 1930 calendar year, but the car was too slow
selling for Buick to continue in the very crowded section of a rapidly declining market and for 1931 there would be an all straight eight, overhead valve range and no more Marquettes.

The Marquette was introduced to the Australia public in Motor Life Magazine 10th August 1929 quoting Mr. Innes Randolph, managing director of General Motors (Australia) Pty. Ltd. who said ?The company believes that the high quality, and moderate price of the new product will be a helpful influence in supplying the demands of the many members of the public who seek a car in a lower price field than Buick, but produced under such advantageous conditions as Buick manufacture provides in regard to design, testing and actual production? he went on to say that ?Marquette will be introduced to the Australian public in a wide range of models in the latest body styles a little later in the year.?

The same magazine announced the Marquette, complete with a photo of the Coupe on 7th September 1929 quoting the model range will consist of; tourer, sports roadster, sports coupe, four door sedan, touring sedan and Majestic sedan. The Australian Motorist magazine described the Marquette in the 1st October 1929 edition under the banner ?New Buick-Built Car Combines Fine Car Features and Unusual Performance in the Low Price Field. The article goes on to fully describe car and quotes the following performance figures using a Majestic sedan laden with 450lbs. Acceleration from 5 to 25mph, 8.8 seconds, 10-25mph, 6.3 seconds, 10-40mph. 13.4 seconds, 10-60mph. 31 seconds.

The article also advises that the models available were: tourer, sports roadster, coupe, sports coupe, four door sedan, touring sedan, Majestic sedan.

On 30th November 1929 Motor Life magazine took a Marquette on a journey from Sydney to Seven Mile Beach, Gerringong with two objectives, to witness Mr Norman Smith?s attack on the Australasian mile record, and to test the capabilities of the Marquette. The article goes on to say ?In appearance the car is undeniably handsome. The vehicle used was a four door sedan of the type illustrated and it will be noticed that the car presents a most compact but graceful appearance on the road. This particular vehicle costs ?440, but a touring model is available for ?365, a ?Majestic? sedan is available at ?490 and five other models at prices varying from ?430 to ?505. Summing up the trip the writer says ?We finished the trip with a great respect and admiration for the Marquette. As a touring car of moderate price with exceptionally good performance, in our opinion it has very few equals.

The only Australian production figure available to this writer indicate that Holden Motor Body Builders produced 465 Marquette Sedans and 303 Tourers, all in 1929. This probably indicates that the roadsters and coupes that were sold here, were fully imported.

Motor Life magazine of 5th March 1930 ran the following article in the ?letters to the editor? column.

Eulogising the Marquette.

Mr. A. W. Taylor, managing director of Alvin Taylor Limited, recently made an extensive overland trip in his Marquette sedan. The distance covered amounted to 4,800 miles, during which no mechanical service was needed and only one pint of oil was required.

Careful check on petrol consumption between Sydney and Melbourne gave the economical mileage of 23.7 miles to the gallon and, on the return trip, 24 1/6th miles to the gallon.Relating his experiences to Messrs. Boyd Edkins Ltd., Mr. Taylor writes as follows: "I would like to convey my congratulations to you in handling a great line such as the Marquette; it is my personal belief that this whole car can be described aptly as a delightful piece of machinery:

"It has put up the finest all round performance of any cars I have owned and driven. Its principal characteristic seems to be the remarkable silkiness of operation at all speeds and its extreme economy. I took very careful tests of the petrol consumption on the way to Melbourne and on the journey back to Sydney. On the trip down I obtained 23.7 miles per gallon, and on the return journey, 24 1/6th miles per gallon. I drove approximately 4,800 miles during the trip, losing only one pint of oil on this distance, and required no mechanical service whatsoever.

?I am confident that this car is going to be as hardy in service as I know Buick to be.

?If your firm obtains success on the Marquette commensurate with the enthusiasm I have in owning and driving one, I feel you will be entirely satisfied

So ends the story of Buick?s only companion car, it was not a success for Buick, but they are favourites to those who own and lovingly restore and maintain them.

Posted 05/2003
1930 - Wizard Smith beats the Mountain Express in '30 Buick
Easily Beats it to Mount Victoria

Researched and contributed by BCCA Historian, Eric North from the Lithgow Mercury 8th October 1929

The ?Caves Express? left Sydney at nine minutes past eight on Friday morning and arrived at Mount Victoria at 10.35 a.m. It left on the return journey at 11.07 a.m arriving in Sydney at 1.30p.m. The trial was carried off without a hitch. This train revolutionises travel to the mountains resorts.

Mr Norman ?Wizard? Smith, motoring editor of the Sunday Times seized the opportunity of this trial trip to race the train on both journeys. He easily out distanced it both ways, a remarkable performance when it is considered the train at one point reached 64 miles per hour.

?Wizard? Smith?s trip from Sydney to Mount Victoria, took one hour 41 minutes and the return journey was accomplished in one hour 54 minutes. He used a stock model 1930 Buick sedan kindly lent him by Mr. Boyd Edkins, head of Boyd Edkins Ltd.

The car is new, has not been properly run in, and is in no sense of the word a racing car. It is exactly as sold to the public. In view of the newness, Mr. Smith never exceeded 60 miles an hour and as he did not want to ?rev it up? in second gear, he did the whole journey in top. His time included slow moving traffic out of the city and it took 23 minutes to reach the turn off at Parramatta, he slowed off through every town and hamlet and ?took no risks? with traffic laws.

He simply kept going and except for the fact that ?Wizard? Smith can negotiate corners and curves at speeds that would be unsafe for less experienced drivers, the ordinary tourist in a Buick sedan could have put up the same times

Mr Smith was waiting on the platform at Mount Victoria for the ?Caves Express? when she arrived and was entertained along with the press representatives at morning tea by railway officials. They were enthusiastic about the run which is not competitive with the ?Caves Express? carrying big volume traffic.

While awaiting the train Mr. Smith demonstrated the new car to several prominent local residents running them some distance down Mount Victoria Pass.

On his return journey he made a stop of nearly 15 minutes at Don Harkness? works on Parramatta Road where his ?mystery car? is nearing completion.

Historians note: The new machine refered to in the original article would probably have been the ANZAC, a Rolls Royce 18.7 litre aircraft engined monster monted on a Cadillac limousine chassis onto which was was mounted a streamlined racing car body. He used this car in his attempts on the 10 mile speed records in Australia and New Zealand.

Posted 02/2004
1916 - Buick D4 Bus really carries a load

Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes , Photo courtesy Battye Library, Perth. Western .Australia 225473P

The where or when of this photograph is unknown although quite possibly somewhere in the south west coastal region of Western Australia What we do know is that this very over worked vehicle is a 1916 Buick D4 truck. With a 122 inch wheelbase and powered by a 221 cu in, 4 cylinder engine, Buick built 1152 for domestic sales and 1347 for export. Many of them sold with stripped chassis rather than being fitted with the factory built express body.

The subject vehicle, being right hand drive would be one of the 1347 built for export and most likely came to Australia as a running chassis only. The body appears to be purpose built to transport passengers carrying driver plus two in the front and eight in the back, viz a viz, in fairly cramped conditions. The luggage adds substantially to the load. Buick recommended a 1500lb maximum load for the D4 chassis so with 11 grown men at say 160lb average plus say 30lb each for luggage as pictured the load was probably in excess of 2000lb.

It is unlikely that this was long hall transport, more probably a local shuttle perhaps from the rail head to accomodation.

Posted 10/2003
1912 - Australian, Rupert Jeffkins sets records driving Buick in California
Articles reprinted from ?The San Francisco Chronicle? March 1912
Researched and contributed by Brian Lear

San Francisco Chronicle Sunday, March 17, 1912


SAN JOSE, March 16 -- Because the American Automobile Association throws numerous safeguards about racing the twenty-five-mile event on the program of automobile races to be given at San Jose Driving Park, Sunday afternoon will be run in heats. There are ten entries in this event and five machines will start in each of two heats. There will be six in the finals, the first three to finish in each heat qualifying.

The entries includ R. Jeffkins, the Australian, who will drive a Buick for the Howard Automobile Company of San Francisco; Earl Cooper of San Francisco in a Stutz; Emile Agraz of San Jose, Maxwell; Earl Devore, San Francisco, Buick; Ray Cooper, San Francisco, Comet; A W Buehren, San Jose, Sunset; D H Ross, San Jose, Comet; Charles B Weldrick, San Francisco, Mitchell Six; A C Handy, Indianapolis, Velle; T D Orr, Sacramento, Pope-Hartford. There will be a five-mile event, a ten-mile, two match races and a mile record trial, in which all cars will enter.

San Francisco Chronicle 18th March, 1912


Devore is Star in Small Car Events, While Cooper Wins the Marathon Houors.

Special Dispatch to the ?Chronicle?
SAN JOSE, March 17 -- Earl Devore. in a Buick, carried off the honors in the small-car events at the St. Patric?s day auto race meet here today, while the Stutz with Earl Cooper as pilot, won the twenty-five-mile-free-for-all and the three-cornered match race, the feature event of the day. R. Jeffkins, the Australian driver made the fastest mile for the Merhid trophy, negotiating the distance in 0:551/2, establishing a new record for the track, a flat dirt saucer.

A general fistfight at the end of the twenty-five-mile event, in which Emile Agraz, the promoter and one of the drivers, struck at Jeffkins and bruised the nose of T.F.Holmes. the A.A.A. referee, marked the end of the day?s racing. Agraz accused Jeffkins of running into his Maxwell during the race. The largest crowd which ever attended a race meet here was present.

the summary follows:
One mile flying start against time -- won by R. Jeffkins, Buick 40: second Earl Cooper, Stutz 40, third Harold Hall, Comet 75: Time 0.55 1.5
Five-mile stock car race -- Won by DeVore, Buick: second Agraz, Maxwell: third Buebten, Sunset: Time 5:21
Three-cornered match race, five miles -- won by Earl Cooper, Stutz, Harold Hall, Comet, second; Jeffkins, Buick 40 did not finish: Time 5:02
Ten mile race, cars of thirty horse-power -- Won by Earl Devore, Buick; second, Emile Agraz, Maxwell; third Fay Cooper, Comet; Time 10:40 2.5
Twenty-five-mile free for all class -- Won by Earl Cooper, Stutz; second Harold Hall, Comet; third Emile Agraz, Maxwell; Time 25:18

San Francisco Chronicle 19th March, 1912


Manager D.W.McElligott of the Halliwell Company?s local branch was busy yesterday receiving congratulations on the good work of his Right Oil at San Jose, Sunday. This was the lubricant used by Jeffkins on the Buick which covered one mile in 0:551/2, which was the fastest mile of the day and a remarkably speedy time.

The Halliwell Company has but recently taken on the distribution of the Right Oil and it is their plan to press it into favour of the local motorists.

Webmasters Note 1: Nothing is known about the Buick ?40? that Rupert Jeffkins drove however it would be reasonable to assume that it was a stripped down version of a current production car as he was driving for the local Buick dealer. The 1912 Buick model ?43? touring was powered by a 4 cylinder, valve in head motor of 318 cu in. (4.5? bore x 5? stroke) which developed 48bhp. The cylinders were cast in pairs and attached to an all aluminium crankcase. (see below for picture of the production model)

Webmasters Note 2: The Howard Automobile Co., Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, who Rupert Jeffkins drove for, was certainly a major dealer for Buick in 1912. The advertisment below (which is of poor quality and hard to read) appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, March 17, 1912. It claims ?This third shipment of Buick cars is even larger than either of our two former trainload shipments, each of which held the world?s record in turn. First 224 cars, second, 228 cars and third 250 cars. That?s a total of 702 Buick automobiles, valued at $729,220, shipped to us within 60 days, sight draft against bill of lading.? Wow!!

Posted 10/2003
1917 - Buicks Were Popular in the Trangie, Nevertire & Tottenham Area

Article researched and contributed by Nancy Batten. Photos from the family album.

Whilst researching the family history it occurred to me that several cars featured in the family photo album could assist in establishing when the photos were taken. Believing two may be Buicks, contact was made with the Buick Car Club who soon determined they were and models and reference dates were established.

The photos were taken on the family property by my father, Jim Atkins. Some were also taken on the neighbouring property; both properties are in the Trangie, Nevertire area in North Western NSW. The property today remains in the family, owned and run by one of William Atkins? grandsons.

I believe that both Buicks were owned by my grandfather, William Atkins Snr, who is the front seat passenger in the main picture with his wife seated in the rear left.

Main Picture: 1917 Buick model D35X tourer with the proud owner in the passenger seat.

Thumbnail 1: The Buick D35X tourer looks brand new.

Thumbnail 2: The friends pose with the new 4 cylinder Buick.

Thumbnail 3: Dad?s motorcycle, ?T ? Ford probably a1914 model, 1917 Buick D45X (6 cylinder) and the Buick model D35X . It is interesting to note the Ford is sporting a wire wheel on the front right side whilst the others are artilery wooden spoked wheels.

Thumbnail 4: All smiles in the new Buick.

Thumbnail 5: Seems to be sometime later as the four cylinder Buick?s original white tyres ` have been replaced.

Thumbnail 6: The four cylinder Buick works for a living.
Posted 11/2003
1929 - Buick Ambulance had a long and interesting working life.
Researched and contributed by Colin Castle. Story compilation by John Gerdtz

This big 1929 Silver Anniversary Buick served the NSW Government for many years, specifically the WC & IC (Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission). Purchased new in 1929 by the WC & IC, it was delivered as a model 29-50X seven passenger sedan. This would have been one of the 319 right hand drive vehicles Buick built for export and, with a list price of ?795 in Australia, was quite a luxury car.

The Buick was assigned into service at the WC & IC construction site of the Wyangala Dam* where its principle role was that of VIP officers car. Soon after, supposedly because of the remoteness of the site, a greater need for an ambulance vehicle became apparent and the Buick was dispatched to G.H. Olding & Sons Ltd in Sydney. As renowned specialist motor body builders, they removed the sedan body, replacing it with an ambulance body before returning it to service at the Wyangala Dam construction site.

On completion of the Wyangala Dam in 1935, the Buick was transfered to the WC & IC office at Mulwala on the Murray River, where it?s principle role was that of ?Pay Car? during the construction of the vast irrigation system in the Murray Valley.

About late 1939 or early 1940, after the onset of the second World War, the Buick was transfered to Burrinjuck Dam** and again placed in service as an ambulance until about 1952 when it reverted back to pay car duties before retirement in 1954 when it was sold for ?40 to a local for private motoring.

It remained in the Burrinjuck area where it served the owner at weekends and for extensive holiday travel for several years, reportedly without any problems. In a letter written in 1971, this owner recalled that the Buick would run on kerosene after starting and warm-up on petrol. This was a common practice during petrol rationing in the 1940?s. His letter also recalls that the Buick had been fitted with a charcoal burning, gas producer during this period. In 1959 the Buick was again sold and moved to Nth. Yass, then on to Canberra and later to the Campbelltown area on the outskirts of Sydney.

An enquiry made in 1971 to G.H. Olding & Sons Pty. Ltd. the builders of the ambulance body resulted in the response letter pictured below. Unfortunately their records of that period had been disposed of but the letter included this interesting paragraph,:?You may be interested in the shop practices of the body building industry that applied when almost all vehicles, except production line cars and heavy trucks, were equipped with body work made individually to customer?s specification and requirements. A large vertical blackboard was always available on one wall of the body shop and on this a full scale drawing of the proposed installation was set out by the tradesman concerned. This established both side elevation and cross section construction details. Measurements transcribed from these drawings then allowed the timber frame to be pre-cut so that the structure was put together and finished by hand ready for panelling. Once the job was completed, of course, the blackboard was cleared ready for the next, so therefore no lasting records were normally available.?

The second picture below, shows the firewall identification plates that have survived from the original ambulance. Note the hand stamped model identification ?29-50X?.

The photo above, circa 1971, was taken prior to the Buick being dismantled ready for restoration. Regretfully the planned restoration did not proceed and the ambulance bodywork did not survive the ravages of time but much of the mechanicals did survive. Colin Castle acquired the mechanical remains for use in the restoration of his 1929 Buick Master Six roadster.

WC & IC?s mechanical maintenance had been kind to the Buick and the engine, showing little sign of wear, today in 2003, is in service again powering Colin?s roadster.

*Construction of the Wyangala Dam, situated at the junction of the Lachlan and Abercrombie rivers, commenced in 1928 and was completed in 1935.

**Construction of the Burrinjuck Dam, situated in the upper catchment area of the Murrumbidgee River, commenced in 1907 but due to delays caused by shortages of labour and materials during World War 1, it took 20 years to build. During a massive flood in 1925 water more than a metre deep, poured over the main wall, consequently the spillway height and dam capacity was increased with work commencing in the 1930?s and finally completed in 1956.
Posted 01/2004
1920 - Unique auto accessory, ?the demonstration?.
Original photo courtesy of Hal Moloney with comments by John Gerdtz

The auto industry has always been a leader in professional selling techniques and a great exponent of the ?add on sale?. This practice is historically demonstrated in this period photo as the purchaser of this 1920 Buick seems to have ticked every item on the accessory list.

Nothing is known of the history of the photo but a close look at the detail reveals several things. Firstly the car itself is a 1920 Buick, model K49 - 7 passenger tourer. This is evidenced by the centre body panel between the doors, which extends above the waist line, curving over to encase the rear of the front seat with a tonneau cowl. With Buick this feature was unique to the model K49.

In the early 1920?s Buick offered the very stylish and expensive ?Houk? wire wheels as a factory option and our owner just had to have them together with an after market running board tool box. As the other accessories are of Australian origin it becomes a reasonable assumption that our Buick was imported into Australia when new. The valance panel and rear mudguard kick plates are uniquely Australian in design and, possibly, also the running board insert mats but the ?peace de resistance? must be the ?shoe scraper? being demonstrated by the gentleman in the picture. This accessory is news to me having never seen one before. It appears to be fixed to the running board and has a pull out blade used to scrape the mud off the shoe.

What a usefull accessory, particularly as the factory specifications for the model K49 state ?the interiors are finished in black leather with black carpeting in the rear and hard rubber front floor panels?.

Posted 01/2004
1938 - Buick adopts coil springs in rear
Article reprinted from ?Motor?, November 1937
Researched and contributed by Hal Moloney from the original magazine.

New Body Mountings, pistons Increase Power, Automatic Transmission on 40
Along with a number of interesting mechanical changes including pistons which result in more power, new rubber body mountings and semi-automatic transmission optional on the Series 40, Buick has produced a leading inovation by adopting coil springs in the rear. In size and shape they resemble the front coil springs which have been used so sucessfully since 1934, and the theory behind these new springs has much in common with that which led to the adoption of independent front springs four years ago.

These rear coil springs, like the front, have only one job to do and that is to act as springs. They do not have to hold the axle in place with respect to the rest of the car. In a fore and aft direction this job is precisely handled by the torque tube while in a transverse direction an exact relationship between axle and frame is maintained by a cross link which is pivoted to the frame at one end and to the axle tube at the opposite end. This link is a light but stiff welded steel tube and its connections at both ends are rubber bushed. With this torque tube and cross link construction the rear axle and wheels are at all times accurately located with respect to the car just as the front wheels are precisely positioned by parallel cross arms.

Each rear coil spring rests on a bracket extending rearward from the axle tube while the top of the spring supports the frame side rail at the kickup, being insulated from it by a composition pad. A single bolt at top and bottom holds the spring securely in place.

In this spring system, friction has been reduced to a minimum and is limited to that in the rubber bushings in the cross link and in the mounting of the front end of the torque tube. By contrast, considerable friction resistance is offered by a leaf spring even when lubricated, and there is also friction of the spring bolts and bushings to be considered. While there is some difference of opinion among engineers as to how much friction, if any, should be present in the spring system, all agree that whatever degree of friction there is should be constant and should not vary with temperature and viscosity of the spring lubricant or other factors because whatever shock absorber setting is right for a certain amount of friction is wrong when the friction changes.

However with unvarying friction in the rear suspension, as in the new Buick, the original shock absorber setting should be fully effective throughout the life of the car. Hence riding quality should be unaffected by temperature and likewise should be just as good at 50,000 miles as at 1,00 and spring action should be just as limber on the first mile as after several hundred.

The comparative absence of friction naturally enhances the boulevard ride in as much as the springs are able to cushion the smallest bumps whereas conventional leaf springs do not act until the force of the bump is sufficient to overcome the static friction which binds the leaves and shackles into a solid unit.

The new construction is much simpler than the old, since two single-unit coil springs and a cross link replace two multi-leaved springs with their shackles, bolts and bushings. Buick?s torque tube construction, of course, is an essential part of this spring design as otherwise radius arms would be required to maintain the fore and aft position of the axle with respect to the frame. The coil spring design eliminates eight lubrication points as well as spring covers and spring leaf lubrication. Because of the absence of spring friction the rear shock absorbers have a diameter of 1 3/8? instead of 1? thus nearly doubling the piston area.

The cross link radius arm which exactly maintains the lateral position of the rear axle with respect to the frame is an important adjunct to the preciseness of the steering. In this connection it must be remembered that any automobile is steered by all four wheels and not the front ones alone, for certainly it is obvious that an automobile without rear wheels could not be controlled.

Buick engineers point out that leaf springs in the rear permit some lateral deflection with the result that the rear wheels may not always be where they should be and that this variation in rear wheel position naturally affects steering control. The cross link, however, eliminates the difficulty. As a concequence, it is stated that not only are the new cars more stable at high speed and in taking turns on gravelly, wet or icy roads but that, in addition, danger from a blowout is reduceHence for accurate steering, exact positioning of the rear wheels laterally by cross link, as well as fore and aft by torque tube, are of prime importance just as is the precise location of Buick front wheels by the cross arms of the independant spring suspension.

d. To support this contention blowout tests were made at speeds ranging fron 50 to 70 mph. It is reported that there was no swerving when a rear tyre was blown and that furthermore, because of the better steering control which the new rear end design provides, maximum swerving when a front tyre was blown out was limited to 3 inches.

The steering linkage has been simplified and its action improved. A transverse drag link extends from the steering knuckle while a short rod attached to this link runs to the left knuckle. There is one less lubricating point, the steering effort curve is more symmetrical and the fact that this construction avoids the use of an intermediate steering arm eliminates this unit as a source of vibration and noise transmitted to the body by way of the frame.

The horsepower of the Series 40 has been increased from 100 @ 3200rpm to 107 @ 3400rpm while the output of the 60, 80 and 90 has been raised from 130 @ 3400 to 141 @ 3600rpm owing to the use of a new piston with a curved or crowned head as illustrated. The greated power results principally from the fact that the new piston has permitted raising the compression of the 40 from 5.7 to 6.15 to 1 while the compression of the larger engine has been increased from 5.9 to 6.35 to 1. The piston is an aluminium alloy type with an anodised surface.

Buick has developed a new body mounting to minimise the transmission of chassis vibrations and shocks from the frame to the body. It was found that a frame vibrates and flexes most at the rear ends of the side rails. The vibration causes drumming especially in the large body panels while the flexing tends to buckle the panels and thus produce crackling noises and squeaks.

But it also noticed that there were points of neglibible vibration at the middle of the rear cross member and on the side rails a few inches forward of the X member. From these neutral points the amplitude of side rail vibration gradually increases toward the rear.

At these two points the body is securely bolted to the side rails, a single thick rubber washer being used to insulate the body from the frame at these two points. The bolt at the centre of the rear cross member has a thick rubber washer under its head as well as between the body and cross member. These three bolts tie the body firmly to the frame. In addition at two intermediate points on each side rail there are large, soft rubber mountings to steady the body on the frame. These mountings consist of thick rubber washers above and below the flange on the mounting bracket. Therefore there is no metallic contact between the bolt and either the frame or the body. These soft mountings permit the frame to weave with minimum distortion of the body. There is sufficient clearance between body sills and side rails so that there is no contact between the two except as provided by the mountings just described.

Frames have been redesigned. The X member is now a channel section instead of an I-beam. Side rails are straight. The front box member is stiffer and there is a tubular cross member at the top of the kickup.

Detail changes have been made in the appearance of the new Buicks. The front line of the radiator grille is now nearly vertical and the hood is much longer. The two top panels of the hood are hinged at the centre. The hood side panels are bolted in place. They are stoutly flanged along the upper edge, therefore making radiator brace rods unnecessary. Bumper guards are taller and parking lamps on the fenders are slim replicas of the headlamps.

Wheelbases of the 80 and 90 have been increased 2 inches, the new lengths being 133 and 140 inches respectively. Series 80 bodies are 3 inches longer and 90 bodies have 2 inches more leg room. Head room has been increased 3/4 inch and doors are taller. Vertical vision through the windshield has been increased by 1 3/8 inches. The front seat is 2 inches wider and the rear seat (on the 80) is 1 1/2 inches wider.

The top of the front seat back has a soft roll construction. The instrument panels, of new design, have a recessed centre section to accommodate the radio grill. Below it are the control knobs. The position of the accelerator pedal has been changed to give the driver greater comfort and there is a ledge at its bottom for supporting the heel so that the shoe does not come in contact with the floor. The gasoline filler neck is concealed in the left rear fender. It is reached by opening a spring-closed door.

Clutch spring pressure has been increased and the throwout bearing is sealed. Clutch pedal pressure has been reduced on the 60 by the use of an over-centre pedal return spring. Various improvements have been made in the standard transmission. The clutch shaft bearing protrudes from the front about 1/8 inch and is piloted in the flywheel housing in order to obtain accurate alignment. The rear mainshaft bearing is supported in a heavier and more stiffly ribbed retainer. On the 40, two-lobe synchronizers improve shifting.

A self-shifting transmission, similar to that on the Oldsmobile, is optional on the 40. Advantages include ease of operation, improved acceleration and hill-climing ability, greater fuel and oil economy, longer-lived, smoother engine operation. The clutch, which is conventional, is operated only when starting and stopping. Just under the rim of the steering wheel is a lever which may be moved to the following positions: Reverse, neutral, low-range, high-range. Low-range includes first and second with automatic shifting between them, while high-range includes first, third and fourth with automatic shifting. A start may be made in either range although low- range is recommended on an up-grade or when the engine is cold or both. The control lever may be moved from one range to the other without touching the clutch. Above 20 mph the car is in high gear unless the accelerator pedal is depressed slightly beyond its fully open position when third gear is smoothly and automatically engaged, thus providing extra acceleration and hill-climing ability exactly when it is wanted - that is, when the throttle is wide open plus.

Hypoid rear axle gearing is now used on the 80 and 90 as well as on the 50 and 60. All differential assemblies are now mounted on self-aligning roller bearings which are longer lived and which permit a greater preload. Both these advantages improve the silence of operation.
Posted 01/2004
1940 - Stolen Buick Ambulance in Police Chase
Article and picture contributed by George Purdie

Early in the 1940's a Railway Porter at Lithgow broke into the Railway Station Master's Office and stole a hand gun. In the early hours of the morning he held up the duty officer at the ambulance station and then stole one of the Buick Ambulances. Fuel rationing was at its peak at this time and the Buick was of course full of fuel and a prime vehicle to make a getaway out of town. The Police anticipated that he may be heading for Sydney and the only other vehicle in town capable of matching the speed of the Buick was its twin.

The police commandeered the second Buick and proceeded to give chase down the Main Street of Lithgow and headed out towards the Great Western Highway. When nearing the junction of the highway they heard the familiar Buick ?whine? approaching from the opposite direction at a tremendous speed. After it passed they turned around a gave chase, eventually apprehending the felon in the back streets of Lithgow. He was later imprisoned for his deeds.

Webmasters Note:

In his correspondence George goes on to say; ?I have read with much interest the article recently published on your internet site on Buick AmbuIances used over the years by the New South Wales Ambulance Service.

My late father was the Superintendent at Lithgow where in 1940 the service purchased two (2) 1940 Buick 8/40 Chassis to replace two 1934 Vauxhall?s. The bodies on the Vauxhall's were actually transfered onto the Buick Chassis by W.S. Grice at Summer Hill. This exercise saved money and also overcame a shortage of body steel at that time due to the War effort.

Attached is a photo of my late father, Alexander "Sandy" Purdie, standing beside one of the Lithgow Buick Ambulances.

I have a soft spot for Buicks, I leant to drive on one and always remember the Buick Motto?

Posted 01/2004
1938 - Majesty of right royal limo
Reproduced from the Daily Telegraph - CARSguide, "Warrens Wheels"
Friday, January 30th, 2004
with appreciation to Warren Brown

One can only imagine the discussion that took place in the Buick showroom in Amsterdam in 1938. ?With all due respect, your majesty,? the sales representative feebly suggests, ?you are the tiniest monarch in Europe and the car you?re ordering is more than eight metres long.?

The 5ft. 2in. (157cm) tall Queen Wilhelmina of Holland stared up at the nervous rep, squinting disapprovingly. ?If George VI has a Roller, Hitler has a Mercedes and Mussolini has a seven-litre Isotta Fraschini, then I want a dirty big straight-eight Buick that?ll make those fellas look like rank amatures.?

Indeed she got her wish. In 1938, the diminutive Queen Wilhelmina took delivery of a magnificent Canadian-built straight-eight cylinder McLaughlin-Buick 8/90L (Limousine) and was able to show all the fascist kids on the European block just how refined a bit of brash American know-how could be.

The 8/90L was a truly majestic car, built in Ontario by McLaughlins coachbuilders, a firm of craftsmen renowned for precision carriage-and-sleigh construction.

Queen Wilhelmina wasn?t the only monarch enamoured with Buick before World War II - she followed a line of Buick limousine devotees which included the King of Italy and Edward VIII, who drove to the wharf in his Buick limousine, chucking in his job as the King of England to be with the love of his life, Wallis Simpson (who, coincidentally, also owned a Buick limo).

But Queen Wilhelmina?s Buick was unique. Because of her tiny stature, the rear seats in this gargantuan car were raised and padded to dizzy heights so that her loyal subjects could witness the royal wave. For the same reason, an extremely low-geared differential enabled slow speeds even in top gear.

To co-ordinate all this, the car was fitted with a cumbersome intercom from the glass-divided driver?s compartment to the rear, where the monarch could issue directions. But in 1940, Hitler?s armies marched into Holland and the Queen was forced into exile in England.

During the German occupation of Holland, the Queen?s daughter Juliana sought refuge in Canada, where she gave birth to a daughter, Beatrice, while the Buick and the chauffeur were sent to the Dutch consulate in Melbourne.

After the war, and fed up with Europe, the Queen?s chauffeur promptly retired in Australia and was given the car as reward for his service. Hanging up his cap and driver?s gauntlets, he embarked on a career as a potato farmer in Victoria, where the car found a new job as a truck, carting sacks of spuds until the Buick simply became too expensive to run.

The Buick passed through various hands, including those of a bunch of surfers, until it found its way into the collection of Basil Keir, a Buick enthusiast in southern Sydney. When he bought it in the 1980?s it was nothing more than a stack of parts, but it was a car he had been after for years.

?The bloke who owned the Buick agreed to sell it to me a day before the auction,? says Keir. But there was nearly a riot when everyone else found out the next day. People had travelled from all over the country to bid for the car.

Keir rolls his eyes when he thinks of the cost of undertaking the restoration and focuses on the sheer beauty of the result. ?Wherever she goes,? he says ?people just come to admire her - she?s truly beautiful.?

Posted 02/2004
1915 - New Buicks Awaiting Delivery
The location for this marvelous period picture is unkown but possibly in New Zealand with the photo taken circa 1915

The vehicles appear to be,

Front row L to R; 1915 Buick C4 Truck (note LHD), 1915 Buick C34 Roadster, 1915 Buick C35 Touring, 1915 Cadillac Touring

Second row; 1915 Briscoe Touring (both vechiles)

Others; 1915 Briscoe Roadster (rear end view), others unidentified (note: large roadster also LHD

Posted 02/2004
1940 - Ron Ewing Buick Special Race Car
With special thanks to motor sport historians, John Medley, Brian Lear and Barry Lake.

Owned and built by Ron Ewing this race car is fitted with a Buick 8/40 engine fitted to a Terraplane chassis, with a Lancia gearbox. The car first ran at Bathurst, Easter 1940, then modified and raced after WWII at the Easter Monday Speed Trials at Marsden Park Airstrip where it was was beset with overheating and misfiring problems.

Next appearance was at the NSW Sporting Car Club circuit race meeting in June at the same venue. It again was dogged with misfiring problems as for these two events the car was fitted with four Amal carbs - the float bowls are clearly visible in the photo. Subsequently the original carburettor was refitted.

Photo: Owner/builder Ron Ewing in the car at Marsden Park airstrip 1946

Posted 02/2004
1947 - Fisher Bodied Buick and Caravan
Geoff Heaps, our regular New Zealand contributor, sent in this post card from Dunedin.

The postcard depicts a beautifully crafted period caravan together with a Fisher bodied 1947 Buick 8. The caravan dates back to when the Buick was made but remained in holiday service until the late 1980?s.

Both are on display in the Otago Settlers Museum, Dunedin, New Zealand. Word has it, the museum has some great displays and well worth a visit when you are in the area.
Posted 02/2004
1921 - Ubiquitous Buicks Railcars used in South America
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? May 1921
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford

Buick Engines Used for Tramways

The transportation system of any country passes through various stages of evolution in the course of its history. The first trials are those of the pioneers -the men and women who, braving the terrors and hardships of the unknown, push forward and onward, opening up country, and adding new provinces to the State. The trails they blaze are narrow and tortuous, made by heavily laden men, or pack animals. Consequently they follow the valleys and watercourses, choosing the easiest way, and making detours round obstacles, however small. As the country becomes more settled, wheeled traffic is used and wider roads are cleared between the most important points. These usually follow the original trails, but unnecessary bends are often straightened out by clearing away the smaller obstacles. From this time on the roads are straightened and the surfa?e unproved, until the time comes when so much traffic is passing over their that local transit by road is not rapid enough, or convenient enough.

At this stage, tramways and light railways come into being, to connect the points between which most of the traffic passes. These are frequently tramways used solely for passenger haulage, and whose motive power is horses. Occasionally they are electric, and still more frequently steam. The steam and electric lines are often used to transport merchandise in addition to the passenger traffic. The addition of petrol driven vehicles to light railway service is, however, rather unusual; still, instances of this are in existence. One of these is an interesting little road that runs from joaquim Egydio to Lacerda, in Brazil. It is a sixty centimetre (two feet) guage line, slightly over five and a half miles in length. It is a typical hill country line; the grade varies from three to three and a half per cent., and there are seventeen curves. The passenger vehicle is a specially constructed tram car, into which a Buick automobile engine is built. This vehicle carries 25 passengers, and replaces the steam engine that used to operate the line. The motor tram makes the journey in half the time the steam train used to take, and burns less than three pints of petrol, as compared with two cubic mctres of wood consumed by the steam engine. Commodities are also transported on this little railroad by means of a goods vehicle, and this also is propelled by a Buick engine.

Our illustrations show the motor tram car on this line, and the goods car loaded with over eight tons of timber. In the coffee picking seison it carries great quantities of coffee.

Posted 03/2004
1911 - Model 14 Buick Still Going Strong
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? May 1921
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine courtesy of Eddie Ford

Age Cannot Wither It

Often, when, watching a line of beautiful modern motor cars pass by the casual bystander will have his attention attracted by a car which has a strange, yet familiar appearance. Closer inspection reveals that in reality he is confronted by a machine built in the earlier days of the industry. So rapidly do the outward lines of motor cars change that it requires a straining of the memory to place the exact period to which the car belongs.

The Buick shown in the illustration is a model 14, of the year 1911. A comparison with the modern Buick shows how, even in that -comparatively brief space of time, the fashion in bodies has changed. This old timer is a striking testimony to the faithfulness of Buick engineering work. The car has been in constant service for 10 years, yet, according to its proud owner, Mr. E. F. Blackmer, of Crown Point, New York, "It is in as good running condition to-day as any car here." To slightly paraphrase a popular army song, "Old Buicks never die and, never fade away."

Posted 03/2004
1918 - The Green Hornet
By John Gerdtz with the kind permission of Warren and Judy Tanna and acknowledgement to the Buick ?Bugle? for the historical text information. Photos by courtesy of Warren Tanna.

The original builder of this most interesting vehicle was a French-man named William Moal who emigrated to America after falling in love with a girl from Berkeley, California. She had met William whilst on a trip to France in 1910.

Moal, who had trained as a wheelwright, settled in Oakland, California, starting a business, mainly building custom radiators, but also dabbling in coach building and race car fabrication.

John Battistini contracted Moal to build this special sports using Buick mechanicals. Legend has it that four such cars were built. Certainally there were two as evidenced by the well documented 1922 Battistini Buick pictured in ?70 Years of Buick? by George Dammann and also in the wonderful article about it and this car in ?The Buick Bugle?, October 1999.

Our subject Buick was known as ?the Green Hornet?, probably because of its paint colour, and was discovered in a wrecking yard in California in about 1950 by Bud Lundell who was an enthuiast and collector of early and classic autos. Bud restored the car and was assisted with guidance and information from a craftsman who was employed by William Moal and had worked on this car when it was first constructed.

Regretfully no one knows what the original motivation was to have these cars built, although there is much speculation. The ?Bugle? report about the other Battistini Buick speculates about the possible purpose of the second large fuel tank ?that has a large round opening with a threaded cap, large enough maybe, just maybe, to have allowed a few bottles of moonshine to slip down it once or twice in order to be transported, delivered or relocated, as it were, sometime during the ?20s.? Well let?s add to the speculation as The Green Hornet also has a second large fuel tank in the boattail with a large round hole and screw cap just behind the seat. I was able to comfortably get my arm through this filler opening and it is easy to speculate that this tank could hold a dozen bottles or more.

In 1992 Bud Lundell gave The Green Hornet as a wedding gift to his daughter Judy and new son-in-law Warren. Warren, being Australian, brought his new bride and the wedding gift back to Australia in the same year. The Green Hornet was put into storage and remained in storage until very recently when it was wheeled out, cleaned out , cleaned up, refueled and fired-up. Although needing some more TLC and a good tune-up it moves in and out of the garage under its own power but will need to be registered before heading out the front gate.

Warren and Judy were kind enough to allow a couple us to climb in, under, over, and out of this most extraordinary Buick. What a machine, low and sleek, with an aggressive stance, three spare wheels and looking nothing like any other Buick in Australia.

For the technical minded the following describes how we saw the car :-
The Green Hornet is a purpose built speedster and demonstrates the expertise of the designer/builder together with his creative talent. One of possibly four built, (at least one other is known to exist today), it was most likely built some time after 1922 but during the mid 1920?s.

The other existing car is reported to use a 1922 Buick engine, transmission and running gear and is mounted on Buick?s 124? wheelbase chassis of that year. The subject car is based on 1918 Buick mechanicals and running gear and has a wheelbase of nearly 120?. This is a little more than the 118? wheelbase used in 1918 but is most likely accounted for by the use of a non standard front axle and the stretch that comes with flattening the spring settings to lower the car. Comparing pictures of the two vehicles, the body work on both seems to be near identical except for the radiator cowls. There is no evidence of a chassis number at the front although sheet metal covers the expected location and the rear chassis overhang has been removed, shortening the chassis.

With the engine No 349234 it is identified as 1918, that is the crankcase casting and bottom end, however, the block casting is later. This is identified by the valve gear with the rocker assembly in three sections. This change was introduced on the ?K? series (released in 1919) and carried through until 1923. It is believed the car was restored in the 1950?s so the later engine block could have been introduced during this restoration. Buick used the same 6 cylinder chassis, engine and drive train from 1918 through 1923. There were minor upgrades like the valve gear but most mechanical parts were interchangeable through this period.

There is no bell housing bottom cover so from underneath it is easy to see that the flywheel has been lightened by some considerable amount and there are modifications to the external oil way plumbing on the sump.

Apart from the front axle assembly and carburettor (make unkown but not ?Marvel? as fitted to Buick) and except for the later engine block, all other mechanicals are consistant with 1918 Buick including drive train and rear suspension. The spring settings appear to have been lowered in keeping with the speedster design and the front axle, of unkown origin, is of the double drop type with the tie rod assembly placed in front of the axle, not a common practice for this era.

Stating the obvious, the body is an all steel fabricated sports special with advanced design styling of the early 1920?s sports cars.

The car is fitted with ?Houk? wire wheels of the lock rim type and is shod with 33 x 5 high pressure tyres. These 23? wheels are of a size and type consistant with those fitted as standard equipment on the big, up-market Buick sports roadster and tourer released in late 1922. Houk wire wheels were available on Buicks to customer order in earlier years, however, they would have been at least 24?, one size larger. The 1918 Buicks used beaded edge tyres size 34 x 4.

My earlier suggestion that the car was built after 1922 is based on the designer/builders use of these wheels.

Steering box and shaft assembly is consistent with 1918 Buick, however, the steering wheel has been reduced in diameter from 18? to 15?. Head lamps and tail lamp are not Buick and the non standard cast aluminium dashboard has a collection of period gauges including Buick?s standard 1918 oil sight gauge. The ignition switch is Buick but early 1920?s.

The conclusion is that the car is predominantly built using 1918 Buick six cylinder mechanicals but, because of the wheels used, build date would be sometime after 1922. Different car clubs have differing dating criteria, but to me it should be classified as 1918 Buick ?E? series.

Webmasters Note:The last picture is believed to have been taken about 1953, soon after it was restored. It is interesting to note that the car at this time was fitted with Buick headlamps of the type used on models made from 1924 to 1927. Also there is no rear vision mirror, radiator cap propeller, or bonnet side vents all of which must have been added later.

Posted 05/2004
1939 - Surfs Up, let?s cruise in the '39 Limited
Article and picture contributed by Ralph McAllister

We bought the Buick for just $20 and I got another one from Dapto and with the two of them my brother and I got this one going. We registered it and used it for surfing for two years but that was back in 1967.

It traveled the coast from Victoria to Queensland for two years, transporting seven of us just following the surf. The car was enormous inside two guys used to sit on the back floor backs against the front seat, quite comfortable on trips It was a case of filling up the oil and checking the petrol and the reliable old Buick cruised along. But on many a morning my mother would have to help push it so I could get it started to go to work.

I well remember the day I purchased it and drove it home flat out as it hadn't been driven apparently for ages. I used to work for a car yard and I borrowed their trade plates to run it home as it was out of registration. When I drove into the garden the brakes failed and I went through the fence. No damage to the car but the fence needed some new pailings.

Posted 03/2004
1909 - Buick wins the 250 at the opening of Indianapolis
Article reprinted from ?The Motor in Australia? - Oct 21, 1909. Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes

Buick Driver Finishes with Narrow Margin in Feature Race on New Indianapolis Speedway

Photo shows Bob Burman at the wheel of his race winning Buick, model 17 on the Indianapolis track

New Records Created

Lack of preparation on the part of the track management of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, on which the inagural automobile races occurred on August 19, materially interfered with the speed of the cars competing.

The 250-mile race for the Prest-O-Lite trophy, open to cars of 301 to 450 cubic inches piston displacement, with a minimum weight of 2,100 pounds, was a feature of the opening program and although many unexpected happenings conspired to retard the racers very good time was registered. The honors of the event fell to Robert Burman, driving a Buick car, who finished out the distance in 4h. 38m. 57 2-5s.

The Stoddart-Dayton (Clements) was second, in 4h. 46m. 1 4-5s., and National (Mershy) finished third, in 4h. 52m. 39 7-10s. Another National, with Kincaid at the wheel, was the only other of ten starters to finish the long grind.

Barney Oldfield, driving a high-powered Benz, covered a mile in 43 1-10 seconds, breaking De Palma?s mark of 0.51, and Loius Chevrolet, in a Buick, negotiated ten miles in 8.56 2-5, cutting Oldfield?s time of 9.12. Both of these are new American track records.

In the long race Strang was first to come to grief. His car caught fire before he had completed one lap. He was delayed some time by this, and the officials at first refused to allow him to continue, as he and his mechanician had been aided by the track volunteer department in extinguishing the blaze. Finally after a long discussion he was allowed to continue, but he dropped out after making a gallant effort to regain his lost ground.

Chevrolet dashed into the lead at the start, and held it for fifty-two laps, or more than half the race, with the brief exception of the fifteenth and sixteenth laps, when he relinquished it to his team-mate, Burman, the winner. Then he was blinded by dust and tar and was led from the track and his car withdrawn. Miller, in a Stoddart-Drayton, also gave up his losing race about this time. After Chevrolet?s withdrawl, Burman again went into the lead.

On the second day of the meeting more fast times were established. Lewis Strang and Len Zengal divided the honors of the day, Strang winning the fastest 100-mile race ever held in America, and Zengal establishing a new American track record for ten miles.

It had been feared the accident, which resulted in the death of W.A. Bourque, driver of the Knox car, and his mechanician, Harry Holcombe, would keep attendance down, and would have a dispiriting effect on the drivers entered in the races the next day. The accident had just the opposite effect, however, and acted as an incentive to draw the crowd and to spur the drivers on in their struggle to lower records.

The breaking of records was begun early by Len Zengal in his ?Big Six? Chadwick. Zengal won the ten-mile free-for-all event in 8:23 1-5, lowering the mark made by Chevrolet when he drove hjis Buick car over the same course in 8:56 4-5.

The feature of the day was the 100-mile race, captured by Strang. Although he won the fastest race ever held in America for the distance, he did not break the record for 100 miles set the previous day by Chevrolet in the 250-mile race. Chevrolet covered the 100 miles in 1:32 18 9-10, while Strang?s time for the distance was 1:32 48.

Strang beat Chevrolet?s time for all distances up to 25 miles, however, and in addition to that lowered many intermediate records. Strang drove the first twenty miles in 18.41, a new world?s record. He covered twenty-five miles in 23:20 1-10, beating De Palma?s mark of 23:25, and fifty miles in 46:04 6-10, breaking the record of 48:40 1-5 made by Barney Oldfield in 1904. New records were also created for sixty and seventy miles. Strang won the race by a margin of ten miles.

The time trials for the mile record failed to lower the mark of 43 1-10 seconds set by Barney Oldfield in his big Benz. Oldfield covered the distance in 43 1-5, but could not equal his performance of the previous day. De Palma, in his Fiat, covered the mile in 48 3-5, and Zengal, in the Chadwick, made the mile in 49 2-5.

American Motorist Hurled to Death

Urefrid Bourque, of Springfield, Mass., driver of Knox Car No 3, and Harry Holcombe, of Grandville, Mass., Bourque?s mechanician, were killed on August 19 during the running of the 250-mile race for the Prest-O-Lite Trophy of ?200, at the inaugural meeting of Automobile Speedway at Indianapolis.

The Knox racing car, in which the two men were riding, of which Bourque was the driver and Holcombe mechanician, left the track and crashed into a fence on the home stretch of the speedway. The accident was witnessed by nearly 10,000 persons, and women fainted, and the faces of men were blanched as they saw the car leave the track and turn over upon the daring occupants, crushing out their lives.

The car in which the two men were riding was running, second to the Buick driven by Burman, the ultimate winner of the race, and the crowd was intensely interested, as it was apparent that the race would be between the Buick and the Knox car that was close upon it. One hundred and fifty miles of the two hundred and fifty mile race was nearly completed when the accident occurred. The two cars were tearing down the track at terrific speed, and every eye in the crowd was centered upon them. Both cars had just passed the grand stand amid the shouts of the onlookers and the waving of handkerchiefs and cries of encouragement when the crash came. Whether the car skidded or the driver lost control in some way will never be known, but with thousands of eyes upon it the Knox machine leaped from the track and dashed into the fence and turned completely over, burying its occupants underneath.

Cries of horror from the grand stand rent the air as the car went over, and in a moment the wrecked machine was surrounded by a thousand persons, all anxious to lend a hand. Bourque was lifted from the machine, limp and helpless, and gasping for breath, and it was seen that both legs were broken and there was a bad fracture of the skull, from which blood was flowing in a stream. He died as he was being taken from the car.

Both Die in a Few Moments

With great difficulty Holcomber was brought from under the car, but he was still alive and was taken to hospital with great speed. His arms were broken, and there were three deep gashes in his skull, one of which had laid bare his brain, but a hasty examination of his pulse showed that life was not extinct. The mad race to the hospital was just completed when Holcombe died, without having at any time been conscious. All of the Knox cars were immediately withdrawn from the races, and gloom succeded to the hilarity with which the races had been watched.

As the bodies of the men were taken from the machine women were overcome by the sight of the crushed and dust covered forms, and two or three fainted when the fatal result of the accident became known. All interest in the races dissappeared, and in a few moments hundreds had left the grounds.
In the meantime, however, the other entrants in the race were tearing over the speedway as though nothing had happened, and the Buick, having lost its nearest competitor, won the race with comparitive ease.

Bourque Lost Control

Theories as to the cause of the accident vary and no one will ever know what really caused the car to swerve from the track. According to the story told by Private Frank Brandoer, Company H, Second Regiment, Indiana National Guard, who was nearest to the scene of the accident, and who had a narrow escape from injury, something caused both men to suddenly turn and look behind. As they did so the steering wheel slipped from Bourque?s hands, and he threw his arms helplessly in the air. Then came the crash.

One of the rear wheels was found a few hundred feet from the scene of the accident, and this has led to the advancement of the theory that the axle nuts on it had not been properly tightened when the machine had taken on a new tyre shortly before. The men probably felt that wheel slipping off, and after they looked behind they realized their helplessness to prevent an accident.

Louis Chevrolet, the French driver of the Buick team, was led into the hospital almost blinded with tar and dust from the track shortly after the two men had died. The Frenchman, who had been leading during the early part of the long race, was forced to give up. As he gazed upon the bodies of his two former rivals of the track he muttered, ?Too bad! Too bad!? and then staggered to a chair, too weak to stand both the physical and emotional strain of the moment.

Webmasters Note:Buick ran three factory team cars in this event, all specially modified model 17?s. All the factory modifications made are unkown save those obvious in the photo, however, in it?s production form the model 17 was powered by a four cylinder, 318 cu.in engine, of valve-in-head head design (4.5?bore x 5? stroke). Fitted with a cone clutch and three speed gearbox, the rear drive was by shaft in an enclosed torque tube. Buick?s factory race drivers for this event were the legendary Bob Burman (No 35) and Louis Chevrolet (No 37) and the team relief driver (No 47) identified only as ?Ryall?.

Posted 04/2004
1929 - Buick Delivery Van (The Original Sin Bin)
Contributed by John Neale who once owned this unique vehicle

In 1929 when this vehicle left the showroom it was a Holden bodied standard tourer and enjoyed this gentle life until 1932. By then, at the height of the great depression, like so many other fine vintage cars it was sent to be converted into a working vehicle. A local body builder at Wauchope on the mid-north coast of NSW was commissioned to remove the touring body and replace it with a delivery van body for use by the local baker. As can be seen in the photos the conversion was achieved to very professional coachbuilding standards.

Now a worker it spent most of its commercial life in the Wauchope area and little is known about this period other than at the end the engine was removed and put to work powering equipment in a local timber mill, possibly in the 1950?s.

The remains of the van were salvaged by a collector who accumulated a large collection of old vehicles on his farm at a nearby coastal area. We purchased the Van less motor and gearbox. from this collector and brought it to Sydney.

Then, in the late 1970?s, luckly we were able to purchase all the missing parts from a fellow who had them sitting in his shed for twenty years. The motor and transmission had been used in the past to run a saw at the timber mill, and the guy said that is was OK when a larger unit replaced it in the 1960?s.

We blocked all the obvious holes, water blastered it, painted it, drained the oil from both the engine and transmission, and installed it into the chassis. Then filed the engine and transmission with a very strong detergent and using 12 volts and with the coil disconnected and the spark plugs removed the, rear wheels of the ground, the transmission in second gear, we spun the engine for about 5 minutes. Letting the Van sit for a week, then repeated the process and removed the drain plugs and let it drain for another week.

After the week had passed, we refilled the engine and transmission with oil, reinstalled the 6-volt battery and fired it up. Amazingly it went.

On the outside we replaced the top and some of the electrical wiring, installed a blinker system and had the body sign written with MYOBB Deliveries (Mind Your Own Bloody Business and this was over 20 years ago before we heard of the computer software MYOB).

We successfully rallied the van for several trouble free years and it became well known for its special service in Buick Club events. The ladies loved it because of its ability to transport many from the display areas to the toilet block and back, especially in inclement weather. It reportedly once transported 14 from the motel to the pub at Coonabarabran.

Then we sold it to a guy who took it back to the Mid North Coast where he again put it into commercial service as a butchers delivery vehicle. Later it became a mobile bill board for a local restaurant. As far as we know it is still in the mid-north coast area.

Webmasters note: MYOBB also became a feature on early VCCA rallies to western parts of the state. I remember well on a lonely, but good, streach of road somewhere beyond West Wylong, motoring sedately along in my 1925 Buick tourer at about 60mph, flat out, and being passed by MYOBB only to have to slow rapidly as vision was lost in the cloud of smoke. A little further down the road MYOBB needed a change of badly oiled up spark plugs
Posted 08/2004
1929 - Government Minister favours Buick Limousine
Contributed by Michael Zwar (grandson)

Albert Michael Zwar MLC, a man of the people. He served as a Member of the Legislative Council in the Victorian State Parliament and a minister of the government of the day representing the North Eastern Province and favoured this magnificent 1929 Buick, 7 passenger limousine for his personal transport.

Albert did not drive himself but would have enjoyed the luxury of being chauffeured in this very large Buick. Speculation suggest it may have been a government fleet car issued for his use which he then purchased when it was retired from the government fleet. This could explain why the Buick was first issued with an original Owners Certificate in January 1933 in his wife, Harriet?s name. (see below pictures of Owners Certificate).

Albert was quite a fisherman, pictured below. No wonder, as living in Beechworth he was in the midst of some of Australia?s best trout fishing streams.

The ?Silver Anniversary? 1929 Buick, model 29-50L was the largest and most expensive Buick offered. It sold for ?845 plus accessories such as the uniquely Australian 2 bar bumper bars ,when you could purchase a Chevrolet or Ford for less than ?250 at the time. (yes, bumper bars were an add on accessory in 1929)
Very few of these big Buicks found their way to Australia.

The Australian Buick sales brochure for 1929 described it thus -
?29-50L Series 129-91 H.P. Seven- Passenger Limousine Sedan.
This is an exceptionally fine seven passenger closed car for either chauffeur or owner driver, an adjustable glass partition in the back of the front seat can be lowered out of sight or raised to devide the car into separate compartments as desired. The car is equipped with telephone from rear to front seat. In other respects the Limousine Sedan has the same fine lines and luxurious appointments which make the Model 50 so distinctive and complete.?

The car sat on a 128 3/4? wheelbase and was powered by an in-line OHV 6 cylinder engine of 309.6 cu.in (5.1 ltr) capacity which developed 91bhp @ 2750 rpm.

The last thumbnail shows the Buick as advertised in the 1929 Australian sales brochure

Posted 08/2004
1929 - Marquette Drive Report, the Pregnant Buick?s Baby
Edited from SPECIAL-INTEREST AUTOS, Apr.-May 1973. Contributed by Lloyd Bracher

THE BIG Joke of 1929 was that year?s new Pregnant Buick. People thought the car looked pudgy. It did - its body bulged out over its beltline as though it were about six months pregnant. The word ?pregnant? was pretty risqu? back in 1929, so the phrase ?Pregnant Buick?, followed by a snigger, swept the country.

When the Marquette arrived in dealer showrooms on June 1, 1929, America laughed even harder, because here was a Baby Buick - proof of the big Buick?s pregnancy. Thus both parent and child entered the Depression with two strikes against them. GM?s decision to launch a Buick companion car cost the company untold millions of dollars. Buick plowed $26 million into the Marquette initially and then sold a grand total of 27,821 units in the U.S. during 1929 and 1930. That comes to just over $1000 per gross expense, which was about the average retail price of each one sold. In other words, Buick lost all monies spent on materials, labor, tooling, manufacturing, advertising, and other expenses. (Some 7000 additional Marquettes were sold in Canada, Mexico, and overseas for a production total of 35,007).

The companion-car idea went back to 1924-25 when decisions were made to give Oakland the Pontiac for 1926. Cadillac the La Salle (1927), Olds the Viking (Apr. 1929) and Buick the Marquette (June 1929). These decisions were intended to give GM fuller market coverage, so there would be one car (or several cars) in each price range, from the least to the most expensive, Since Chevrolet was successfully filling the lowest price bracket, it escaped GM?s companion-car fever.

The Marquette was developed during 1926-28, partly in Flint under Buick?s chief engineer, Ferdinand A. (Dutch) Bower, but also with big helping hands from GM Research and the Fisher Body Co. The decision to go to an L-head 6 came straight from the 14th floor of the GM Building and certainly not from Buick. Some of the engineers who helped create the Marquette affectionately dubbed it the ?Oldsmobuick?, because its engine was essentially a reworked Oldsmobile F-28 - the L-head 6 that Olds introduced for 1928. This engine turned out to be a very good one for Oldsmobile: highly successful. It served Olds from 1928 through 1936 with only minor modifications. It sold extremely well and gave good value. Buick took the 1928 Olds 6, increased displacement by 15.3 cid (bore up 1/16 inch: stroke down half an inch) and then decreased the diameter of all four main bearings. Why shrink the mains? Well, in the interest of manufacturing economy. But the Marquette got away this cost cutting. After Buick stopped building Marquettes, all tools and dies to produce this 6-cylinder engine were shipped to Adam Opel AG in Germany and the Marquette L-head 6 became the 3.5 litre Opel-Blitz light truck engine and found some use in the military.

Buick sales had been slipping since 1926. The division registered a record high of 266,753 that year. But by 1930, production had dropped to 119,265, and Buick was in serious financial trouble (along with everybody else, of course). In 1929, which was a bountiful year right up to the Crash, Buick barely managed to find registrants for 156,817 cars, some 40,000 fewer than it built. Part of this downturn came via the Pregnant Buick. Part came, too, from the fact that you could buy an ohv 6 from Chevrolet in 1929 for about half the cost of a Buick. Buick dealers were fast taking on franchises for other makes of cars, mostly less expensive lines like Chevy, and those who still had exclusive Buick dealerships were screaming for Flint to bring out something cheaper, something that cost less than $1000.

Enter the Marquette. Pre-production publicity and teaser advertising popped up in Apr. 1929. Overnight, mention of the Marquette blossomed everywhere, stirring enthusiasm among dealers and customers alike. Here was a brand-new car, a high-performance car, from the great and reputable manufacturers of Buick, and for less than $1000. An early ad ran, ?The Most Complete Car in America Priced Under $1,000. What a startling statement that is, yet how convincingly the new Marquette fulfills its ever word. Underneath the hood is a six-cylinder engine which accelerates from 10 to 60 miles an hour in less than 31 seconds: an engine which delivers 68-70 clocked miles per hour: an engine which will climb any 12% grade in high!?
Marquette?s publicity and advertising were very cleverly planned and staged - one of the first integrated campaigns with everything color-coordinated. Ads were all on a deep plum background, with unique type faces, emblems, and (later) line drawings of the cars themselves. These same colors and treatments extended to all brochures, sales literature, dealer banners, and even shop and owners? manuals. So often when a car promises everything new and there?s nothing actually new about it, that?s part of what holds it back. The Marquette turned out to be conventional in every way: the engine, 3-speed Muncie gearbox, 9-inch dry clutch, 4.54 rear end, suspension, tapering ladder frame, and composite body. It was all very nicely done and well put together, but as a new car, it was almost too much like all the rest. About the only thing different was the induction system. This used a tube-fed hotbox above the updraft Marvel carburettor.
As for styling. AUTOMOBILE TOPICS commented that the Marquette, ?...would do very well in looks as a small edition of the Cadillac.? The Marquette looked good, but no better than other cars in its class. Actually it shared some body pressings with Oldsmobile. The Olds F-29?s wheelbase was only half an inch shorter than the Marquette's (113.5 vs. 114.0). And unfortunately for the Marquette, Oldsmobile prices were exactly the same as the Marquette?s, so Buick was challenging an established, successful nameplate with an unknown newcomer.
As first introduced, buyers got no color options. All 4-doors were blue, all roadsters buff, etc. Later, though, Buick bowed to sales pressures and made different color choices available.

The baby Buick came in six body styles: 2- and 4-door sedans, sport and business coupes, roadster, and touring car. As first offered in June 1929, prices ranged from $965 for the business coupe to $1035 for the 4-door. On dec. 9, Edward T. Strong, Buick?s president, announced a price increase on all Marquettes (and Buick), and the range now extended from $990 to $1060. From June through Dec. 1929, Marquettes found 15,490 buyers, meaning that dealers sold about one Marquette for every 10 Buicks. In 1930, Marquette registrations totalled 12,331. Buick called a halt to Marquette production late that year. A few leftovers were sold in 1931 and registered as ?31.

The Marquette, though, didn?t simply die and disappear. We?ve already mention what became of its engine - that it went to Opel to power light trucks and military vehicles. The Marquette?s body, meanwhile, was given over to the small Buicks of 1930-31. The 1930 Buick 40 roadster used the Marquette?s body with four inches more wheelbase and a longer hood. In 1931, with the first Straight 8s, the Buick 50 series used bodies practically identical to the Marquette?s and even reverted to the 114-inch wheelbase, So Marquette helped Buick shed its 1929 maternity wardrobe at a time when Buick needed a new look in a hurry.

The Marquette surely deserved to survive as much as any established car of its day. Why didn?t it? For a number of reasons. First and foremost, the Depression - not many people were buying cars of any sort after Oct. 1929. Second, buyers had their choice of too many good $1000 6s at the time: Auburn, Chandler, the Chrysler 65, DeSoto, Dodge, Durant 66, Elcar 75, Essex Challenger, Graham-Paige, Nash, Olds F-29, and Pontiac. For $300 more, you could move up into a big Buick. For $300 less you could buy a Chevrolet 6. Third, the Marquette was fighting both sides of the ?new? battle. For those who wanted something really new, the Marquette didn?t have it. And for those who tended to be conservative, why try an unproven model when you got pretty much the same thing from any number of more familiar cars? To the conservative buyer (and most were in the early 1930s), the Marquette simply didn?t look like a sure thing.

Special Interest Autos spent roughly a year tracking down a mint Marquette, and we finally found a lulu in Downey, Calif. The roadster you see here belongs to Blair Davidson, a building construction superintendent for Security Bank in the Los Angeles area. Mr. Davidson bought the car in 1967 in 40-point condition. Mr. D. does all his own restoration work, and he does it to absolute perfection. His Marquette took a first-in-class in the only show it?s ever entered - a regional AACA meet in 1972.

Our drive Report began as we headed south from Downey toward the little town of Brea, some 15 miles away. Brea is one of those rare Southern California holdouts against the big
bulldozers. It?s still surrounded by citrus groves - very green and lovely. We began our drive with the roadster?s top up, but the weather was so nice (71? on Jan. 13) that we soon stopped and put it down. The Marquette?s engine, which registered only 155 miles since its restoration overhaul, lights on the first twirl. All it takes is a firm toe on the starter pedal. The clutch depresses easily, and after a second?s hesitation, the non-synchro gearbox slips crunchlessly into low. Low gear, it turns out, is almost unnecessary, because the 4.54 differential allows easy starts in second with just minimal clutch slipping. Shifts between gears also demand a moment?s hesitation to let the cogs mesh.

Up to 30 mph, the Marquette accelerates alongside most modern automobiles. The first two gears moan a lot, but there?s no gear noise in high. After 30 mph in high, though, the Marquette picks up speed relatively slowly, and while we realize that the factory put top speed at 68-70 mph, anything above 50 is strictly pushing it. At 50, the engine?s turning 2800 rpm, and considering that horsepower peaks at 3000, that?s plenty of revs. She?ll wind out to about 3600 if you?re really completely heartless.

Ride feels choppy but not uncomfortable. Our 11-year-old son in the rumbliest found out why they call it that. Sitting over the rear axle, he discovered that only the bend in his knees kept him from flying out when we crossed rain gutters at intersections doing 45 mph. Those same bumps didn?t bother us at all in the front seat. The car seems to corner well, although we didn?t do anything very acrobatic. Steering is pleasantly light and positive at all speeds. Doors are relatively small, as in most roadsters, and you sit very low - practically on the floor. Also, there?s not much leg room. Anyone above about 6-2 absolutely couldn?t stay behind the wheel for more than about 10 miles without hollering uncle. It?s cramped enough if you?re our height - 5-9. But that?s what you expect from a roadster. It?s a very basic car, and that?s as it should be.

The thrill of a roadster at 50 mph is something today?s generation can?t appreciate unless, by some happy fluke, they get to drive a car like this Marquette. It?s great fun, because you become part not only of the car itself but even of the road and the wind. During the six pleasant hours we spent driving and photographing Blair Davidson?s roadster, there must have been 50 people who asked what it was. Marquette? What?s a Marquette? By Buick? You mean the Buick they make now? What has happened to it? How long did they make it? And so on and so forth. As a conversation piece, the Marquette beats the Model SJ Duesenberg hands down.

Posted 08/2004
1926 - Buick in the Pandanus Palms, Northern Territory
Article reprinted from ?Walkabout? magazine December 1st, 1935
Researched and contributed by Marc McInnes from the original magazine

The 1926 Buick pictured in the buffalo country, where the Pandanus palm grows in profusion.

Posted 12/2004
1927 - NRMA to the Rescue of a Buick Tourer
Contribution by courtesy of the NRMA?s magazine ?Open Road? Image Library

The information on the back of the photo reads: ?District Depot, Bega. Balmain Bros Service Truck towing car. Includes driver and two men attaching tow rope. 1930?s.?

The picture shows a 1927 Buick Standard Six tourer, model 27-25X, being hooked up to Balmain Bros NRMA tow truck, which looks to be a late veteran or early vintage Cadillac converted for towing. Balmain Bros of Bega, long time GM dealers, were, during this period, the NSW far South Coast Buick distributors.
Posted 09/2005
1928 - Overhead gas bag supplements wartime fuel supply during WW2.
Photo published with a feature article by Troy Lennon ?Black gold venture that didn?t end well? in The Daily Telegraph (Sydney), Sept 9, 2005

In the early years of WW2 some motorists supplemented their fuel supply with town gas. The big 1928 Buick Master Six pictured is a classic example of how this was acheived. Unlike modern LPG, this gas was not compressed but at town gas mains low pressure. The contents of this bag propelled the car little more than 50 miles (80km) so travel required the car to stay in close proximity of the gas works. Because of the low pressure, refilling was slow but at least it was readily available without restriction, unlike petrol which was severly rationed. As the gas was used the storage bag deflated and the driver could readily see the need to re fuel.
Posted 09/2005
1927 - Rare Buick Master Six Coach resided in Melbourne?s Eastern Suburbs.
Story and pictures contributed by the original owners grandson, John Wyatt

The attached photos are of my grandfather, John Wyatt?s Buick taken when new in 1927, at his residence in Wattletree Road East Malvern in Melbourne. He didn't own the car for many years as he never learned to drive, relying on my father, Laurie Wyatt, to chauffer him. In later years, father had been so impressed with the Buick that he would frequently quote the Buick ad with much amusement, "When better cars are built, Buick will build them"

Looking at the pictures closeup, it is my father behind the wheel and my grandparents in the back.

Rare to Australia, this Buick on the 120? wheelbase chassis was one of only 441 built right hand drive for export. With body by Fisher, it was finished in Delaware Green and Black. The engine of 274 cu.in.(4.5 litres) developed 75bhp.

Posted 09/2005
1918 - Early Buicks favoured by Queensland Ambulance (Q.A.T.B.)
Photo contribution - Michael Taylor

As was the case in other states, Buick vehicles played a major part in ambulance fleet work in Queensland in the earlier years.
Posted 10/2005
1926 - Buick Standard Six restored in Melbourne, where is it now?
Story and Photos contributed by Kylie Davis

This fine example of a 1926 Buick Standard six tourer was the restoration passion of the late Norman Percy Chesworth. Born in England, Norman served in the First World War at Flanders and again in WW2 in the Local Observatory Corps based in Shropshire. Apparently he use to do aircraft Identification. He also restored old cars favouring MG's and Riley's.? With wife Elsie and infant daughters Joan and Anne, the family migrated to Australia in 1956.

Norman quickly gained worked at GMH?s, Fisherman's Bend plant at Port Melbourne as an inspector of parts, which included supply and testing. They lived in the Melbourne suburb of Carnegie where he restored a couple of 1926 Buick's tourers. Granddaughter Kylie recalls he use to restore the cars from the ground up, including panel beating, spraying, mechanical and also upholstery, door trims, the works. Norman could turn his hand to all facits of car restoration.

Kylie clearly inherited her grandfathers genes. She says, I sort of got interested in the lawn mower and then meet my husband who also liked cars and then it progressed from there. Doing her apprenticeship at the RACV ( Royal Automobile Club of Victoria) Kylie became a qualified mechanic and continued to work there for 14 years progressing to Service Advisor. She was the first female Motor Mechanic with the RACV and in her time had the pleasure of restoring a 1946 Bedford tow truck.

Kylie?s great wish is that this story will jog someone's memory and that she will be able to learn what happened to grandad?s Buick. If you know the Buick?s where abouts today or any of it?s history since Norman passed it on, please eMail the information to the webmaster at mail@buickclub.org.au

1. Norman & Elsie motoring
2. Norman & Elsie under the bonnet
3. The 1926 in colour
4. Norman takes the family motoring in the Buick
5. One of the Riley?s restored by Norman
6. The motoring trophies
7. RACV?s 1964 Bedford Tow Truck restored by Kylie
8,9&10 Record the story in the GMH People, house magazine as it was told in September 1960.
Posted 04/2006
1922 - Buick Delivery Van-Satisfied Owner Orders A Second
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? September 1922
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine

This delivery waggon mounted on a Four-Cylinder Buick Chassis was purchased by Mr. E. J. Benton, a leading Melbourne Pastrycook. Mr. Benton is so satisfied with the way the Buick is doing its work that he has placed an order with Lane' Motors Pty. Ltd. for a second similar outfit.
Posted 04/2006
1922 - Newcastle Get A New Buick Ambulance
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? September 1922
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine

The picture shows Mr. Dolan, Superintendent of the Newcastle Ambulance Service, with the fine Buick Ambulance.

The Ambulance body is fitted to the latest Buick, 6 cylinder chassis which is powered by the 242 cubic inch valve in head motor.
Posted 06/2006
1922 - Buick With Californian Top
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? September 1922
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine

Lane's Motors Proprietary, Ltd., have sold to Mr. Herbert Brewer, a well-known Melbourne man, a six-cylinder Buick chassis fitted with a high-grade De Luxe Australian touring body, with a Californian top. The illustration gives an excellent view of the graceful lines of the car. The Californian top, which so far as we know is the first of its kind manufactured in Australia, is bound to attract attention. It was on account of the satisfaction he received from a 1918 model Buick that Mr. Brewer decided to invest in another Buick.

Posted 06/2006
1922 - Buicks in Launceston and Hobart
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? September 1922
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine

Buick Owner Drivers' Hire Service
The above Buicks are owned by individual owner-drivers who have joined together to form a fleet of up-to-date touring cars to enter for hire work for tourist traffic in Tasmania.
The fleet is composed of six 1922 six-cylinder Buicks with handsome bodies and the service takes in every picturesque spot in beautiful Tasmania. The Northern Motors Pty. Ltd. Garage is situated a few minutes from the leading Launceston Hotel (The Brisbane Hotel) and can be on the spot in three minutes.

Posted 06/2006
1919 - Buick for Rough Work in Queensland
Article reprinted from ?The Buick Bulletin of Australasia? September 1922
Researched by Marc McInnes from the original magazine

Mail Carrier and Scene Shifter in Queensland
These two striking photographs were forwarded to us by the Howard Motor Company, Ltd., Brisbane. The first one is Wilkinson Bros.' 1919 model six-cylinder Buick, which carries his Majesty's mail between Winton and Longreach. Big loads are the rule with this car, and even the trailer has to bear its share. Neither the mail officials nor the owner have any complaint against the Buick, which in sunshine and rain performs its task with consistent ease. The car is exceptionally light on tyres, and does as much as 6000 miles on the back tyres-Dunlop Railroads.????

The second picture is of a 1919 Buick belonging to Wilkinson Bros. It runs regularly between Longreach and Winton, and is here shown shifting the "props" of the O'Donnell-Rae Panto Company. In addition to this cargo, the car carried three passengers. Nevertheless, it covered the journey in six hours.
Both these photographs are evidence of what cars are called upon to do in the western parts of Queensland, and the fact that Wilkinson Bros. and the majority of the country hire men select the six-cylinder Buick for this class of work demonstrates unmistakably the reputation that Buick cars have established in standing up under rough conditions.

Posted 06/2006
1924 - Off-Road in a Buick: Sydney - Nerriga in 1931/2.
Story and pictures contributed by Robert Lowe with original text as published in the Sydney Mail 1932

A 460 km round car trip doesn't sound like much today but seventy-five years ago it warranted an article in the Sydney Mail. My grandparents together with two of their daughters (one of them my mother) were travelling from Sydney to Nerriga in the southern highlands in their 1924 Master Special Buick. The reason for the trip was to visit and provide provisions for their 22 year-old son, my uncle Frank, who had gone there with 3 mates to live cheap and trap rabbits. It was the depression and men who couldn't find work in the city, went bush, built a wattle and daub hut and lived off rabbit - eating the meat and trying to sell the skins.

The visit had been well planned with numerous letters in the weeks before departure. Frank had written that they had put in a week clearing the track so the vehicle should be able to get right to the camp.

My grandfather writes in the Sydney Mail;
"Despite a cyclone and some inches of rain the previous weekend and the uncertainty of a crossing 15 miles from the end of the outward journey, a start was made on Saturday morning shortly after 7 o'clock. The route was the south coast via Prince's Highway to Nowra thence in the direction of Braidwood to Nerriga where the main road was left and some miles of unformed road and bush track were traversed. ? N.R.M.A. "Road Before You" maps had been secured and studied beforehand. Nowra, 97 miles, was reached in four and a half hours some time being spent securing a broken radius rod. While this was being replaced, information was sought with regards to the condition of the road to Nerriga, with special reference to the crossing of the Beulah or Endrick River. Nothing was known of the crossing which in normal times, we were told was 15 inches deep. Information obtained was to the effect that a carrier who makes regular trips ! by lorry had left at 7 am. and it was decided to follow. Leaving Nowra at 2 o'clock we hoped to reach Nerriga between 4 and 5 o'clock."

My grandfather goes on to describe how they followed the lorry's tracks through the mud and big timber climbing to Sassafras.

"Speed of anything over 15 m.p.h. is out of the question unless the brakes do some hard work.... A mile or two out of Sasafrass the returning lorry was met and we discovered that the Beulah crossing was possible. How deep is it ? was the question. About half way up your battery box was the reply The box is on the running board which is 16 inches from the ground. Add 5 inches for half the depth of the box and there you are - 21 inches and fast-running. Right - we'll try it. A cheery good-bye and off again. Presently a sharp drop to the left gives warning of the 1000ft drop to the crossing about 3 miles away, so to first gear....Soon a turn to the right brings to view several tents - a prospector's camp- ?and then the river. The coasting having been in first gear , the crossing was immediately tackled and the engine rev'd up and steered straight for the opposite side.The crossing is estimated at 50 yards and owing to the course of the river, the Nerriga side is very rough and steep. When nearly over, one of the front wheels mounted a stone of fair size, this rolled the water in the shield- which is fitted to the chassis under the sump- round the exhast pipe under the bonnet, and this was lost to view in a cloud of steam. The climb out was safely made and Nerriga reached at 4.15. The main road was left here and a trip over several miles of unmade road is safely made though one place required several attempts to negotiate. Through a gate a bush track is taken -sometimes ?visible, but more often not. Presently a wet patch is struck and without warning both near side wheels drop through a crust to the axles -half an hour of daylight left and three and a half miles still to go. The rest of the journey was done on foot with the aid of a torch and lantern, our destination being reached about 7 o'clock."

"Sunday morning ?was spent in getting the car on to firm ground, during which operation it had to be lifted out three times. Camp was left at 9.30 Monday morning, and after a walk of an hour and a quarter the car was reached. Owing to another bogging Nerriga was not reached until 11.45. At the Beulah some of the mud was washed off, and the car made a little more respectable. The water was now two inches over the running board. Nowra was entered two hours later and home was reached about 7.45. The trip by the recorder - which under-registers slightly, owing to larger tyres being used than originally supplied - was 266 miles, petrol used was 18 gallons - approximately 16 m.p.g. and the sump required one and a quarter pints on arrival in garage. The car is a 1924 Master Special Buick, the R.A.C. being 27h.p. weight unloaded 34cwt, but on the trip down something over two tons."

Unfortunately, Uncle Frank's luck didn't get much better. While he was a talented carpenter, cabinetmaker and photographer he was unlucky to be in his prime in the depression and the right age and single when war broke out. He volunteered for the infantry at the start of WWII and was summarily captured by the Japanese in Singapore. He was one of aproximately 2700 POW's who were imprisoned and died either at Sandakan in Borneo, or on the notorious "death-march" to Ranau in 1945. His parents never learnt his ultimate fate.

The car was owned from new by my grandfather(Frank Higgison), and always garaged in Marrickville, Sydney. It was eventually sold in the 1960's and it's current wherabouts is unknown. Having survived intact for 40 years I have hope that it still exists. The original number plates are ?clearly seen in the photos(N.S.W. 52-937) and if anybody has any information regarding it I would be very grateful to hear.

Pictures 1,2 & 3 show the buick on the road to Nerriga. In picture 4 is Robert?s grandmother and his mother is the young girl in the middle, the other his aunt

Webmasters Note:
Robert hopes that this story will jog someone's memory and that he will be able to learn what happened to grandfather?s Buick. If you know the Buick?s where abouts today or any of it?s later history, please eMail the information to the webmaster at mail@buickclub.org.au

Posted 07/2006
1927 - A Peep in the ?Back of Beyond?
Contribution by courtesy of the NRMA. Article copied from NRMA?s ?The Open Road? February 19th, 1931

Main Picture: Old Man of the Forest
The long-distance tourist pauses long enough near Hawker (South Australia) to make a pretty setting for a snap beneath one of the immense trees that crowd the roadside.-L.J.Barnes (Dee Why)

Webmaster?s Note:Whilst the article makes little reference about the car, it is a 1927 Buick, model 27-20, 2door Coach, which clearly gave great service during this remarkable trip.

What is a round-Australia motoring trip like? Can you die of thirst? Are the roads-pardon, tracks!- any good? Can you miss your way very easily?

Let Mr L.J.Barnes, of Dee Why-artist and business man-tell you. He returned recently from a 9,000 miles tour of the outback from Sydney to Sydney, taking nine months for the job. With him were Mrs. Barnes and his sister, Miss Doris Barnes and his two sons, Lawrence (aged 18) and John (14). The ladies left the party at Port Agusta: Mr. Barnes and the boys went on to Perth, Derby, across to Queensland and then south.

There is nothing to fear about water supplies, Mr. Barnes told ?The Open Road.? there is good water to be had at regular intervals between Port Augusta (South Australia) and Perth. The West Australian and South Australian Governments have erected catchments- tanks covered by big iron roofs-about every 35 miles, and the traveller is assiured of a good supply of rain water at each. These catchments, too, make excellent camp sites, and as time is everything on that journey, the cross-country tourist is grateful for the respite from pitching the tent. There is no need to pitch a tent all the way.

Good water is available from Perth to Broome, mostly bores or stations on the track, and from Derby artesian bore water, beautiful to drink, is at hand about every 50 miles right across to the Queensland border.

On the whole the cross-country track is good all the way, except in wet weather, of course. In dry weather one can put up a really good performance. Only in one or two places can one miss directions. Between Derby and Fitzroy Crossing, for example, the track is broken up with other tracks running to stations. But by watching the speedometer the right track, if lost, can be rejoined. Mr. Barnes missed the way only once. They had 30 miles to go to the next station, but after 36 miles had passed they knew they had taken the wrong track. It was just a matter of retracing steps, and watching the mileage, to get on the propper course.

A humorous touch was provided at Madura Pass, on the Nullabour Plains between Port Augusta and Perth. The party arrived at a station late one afternoon and saw a black gin shivering in the cold, wearing little else than a thin cotton frock. She asked for a coat. Unfortunately the party had no surplus clothes, the only coats being rainskins, and they felt sorry. In the morning, however, the lady was seen strutting around in a tick fur coat that she had, in despair, brought from her boudoir. Apparently previous visitors had been more fully equipped in that regard!

Laurie, the elder boy, assumed the job of looking after the car. He was the driver of the party. John was allowed to drive on the open plains. And he got a scare once. a lot of cattle was met, and the bulls had a nasty habit of stopping dead in the tracks until the car was within a few feet. Had the car stopped for them there might have been trouble. John caught up with a huge bull, who refused to budge until the car was almost touching him, when, with a snort, he dashed off.

Thumbnail notes:
1. A Man-sized Job: Stuck in the red clay at Gordon (South Australia). One of the party had to walk a mile to get a limb of a tree to lever the car out of the mess.-L.J.Barnes (Dee Why)

2. Ghostly: In the nor-west ant hills are numerous. Some of them have a grotesque appearance, giving the surrounds the appearance of a deserted cemetery. They often take the shape of human beings and statutes.

3. Posing: One of the many roadside meetings on the Nullabor Plains. Here camels are numerous. They are quite tame, however, and haven?t any great objections to posing for the photographer.

4. Through the Range: There are no bridges in the Flinders Range (South Australia; after leaving Port Augusta), but it is possible to cross all the rivers in the dry season.

5. Heavy Going: This sort of thing does not appeal to the hurrying city man. But you just have to keep the ?bus moving, and all is well. Otherwise----! This is how the Nullabor Plains (Port Augusta to Perth) appear in wet weather.

6. His Bag: Between Derby and Hall?s Creek (W.A.), bush turkeys are plentiful, and if cooked in the bushman?s style, are delicious.-L.J.Barnes (Dee Why)

7. Lost: This is Bob, a kelpie much prized by Mr L.J.Barnes, of Dee Why, who jumped on the running board of a car between Kempsey and Sydney, and is now lost. The dog accompanied Mr Barnes on a recent round-Australia tour. Mr Barnes would appreciate some news.

Posted 07/2006
1924 - Famous Holden MD?s Buick Connections
Article contributed by Marc McInnes

Laurence Hartnett
Young Laurence Hartnett (right) with 1924 Buick in front of Guthrie and Co. Grange Road Singapore 1924

Englishman Laurence Hartnett was managing director of General Motors Holden for 13 years and is still regarded by many as the ?father? of Australia?s own car Holden. But what is little known is that he started his 24-year association with General Motors selling Buicks in the east.
As a young man Hartnett in the UK worked for Vickers, building First World War munitions and aircraft before being trained as a navy pilot. After the war he became involved in motor vehicle repair and used car sales and for a period had his own motor sales and service business.
Times were difficult so in 1923 at the age of 25 he moved to Singapore to help manage Guthrie and Co., a trading house and motor vehicle distributor. Hartnett developed the business setting up dealers through out the British Straits territories including Malaysia by capitalising on the British Empire Buick built in Canada.

?At the end of his 3-year contract with Guthrie?s he pursued his GM contacts for a job and became assistant to the Zone Manger of India responsible for southern India and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). He set off in a Buick tourer to organise his territory accompanied by his wife and 3 others. They covered 4,000 miles in 3 months.
In 1927 he was transferred to the New York and Detroit before being posted to Sweden as Sales Manager and was acting MD for some time during the construction of the new Stockholm assembly plant to assembly Buicks and other GM products. At the age of 30 he was appointed Export Manager for Vauxhall recently acquired by GM. He became a world traveller and his success building exports sales led to his appointment to the Vauxhall?s Board.
The 35 year old Hartnett moved to Australia in early 1934 as managing director of GM Holden?s, where for the next 13 years he lead the company through a period of strong growth, a major war effort and the early development of Australia?s first volume production car, the Holden.
During this period Buick consolidated it?s position as the top selling premium/luxury car in Australia. The late Peter Burden, a highly regarded motoring journalist with the Financial Review and Wheels magazine once said Buick had the same status in the pre and post WW2 period as that achieved in Australia by Mercedes Benz? in the 1980s and 90s.
During 1947 with the Holden program well under way Hartnett was asked to move on in the GM organisation. One option for the 49 year old was Vice President of Buick Motors.
However he declined, not wanting to uproot his family and leave Australia or Holden before the new car was launched. Disappointed he resigned from GMH and to start up his own car making business. While this was not successful his association with importing Japanese vehicles was and kept him involved in the industry for many more years. Sir Laurence was knighted in 1967 for his services to Australian industry.
He was guest of honour when the 4 millionth Holden rolled off the line in 1981.
He died in 1986 aged 88 years.

Posted 11/2006
1932 - Boyded Ltd Showroom, Sydney
Contribution by courtesy of the Virgona Collection

Photo depicts the original Boyded showroom in1932.
The location is 252 Castlereigh Street, Sydney.

Posted 12/2006
1938 - Boyded Pty Ltd Showroom, Sydney
Contribution by courtesy of the Virgona Collection

Photo depicts the Boyded showroom in1938.
The location is Phillip House, 119 Phillip Street, Sydney.

Webmasters Note: Have a look at the beautiful Century Sloper in the picture below. This body style (right hand drive only) is unique to Australia and was locally assembled with a ?Holden? body. The rear seat back folded forward (station wagon style) to form a flat floor, virtually foreshadowing todays 2 door hatchback design. The large luggage capacity achieved made this Buick the car to aspire to for the commercial representatives of the day.

Posted 12/2006
1926 - Buick Tourer Shows 50 Years Development to the 1976 Holden Statesman Caprice
Article and photos contributed by David McCredie

David restored the 1926 Buick Standard Six from a one owner car in original but rough condition. When finished in 1976 it won the CVVTMC Grand Champion award. Soon after, Marc McInnes asked David if GMH could borrow the car for a function to be held in the Hilton Hotel in Sydney to celebrate 50 years of GMH in Australia. They wanted to display an example of a 1926 GMH car alongside the latest 1976 Holden Statesman Caprice.

GMH would need the car for a week and during that time he would be provided with a new Statesman Caprice to test drive. David assumed at the time that there would be ramp to allow the cars to be driven into the hotel display area but that was not the case. The cars were to be displayed in the grand ballroom on the first floor of the Hilton and the only way to get them in was by crane into a small opening high up on the George Street fa?ade. This necessitated the closure of George Street in both directions so that a large crane could be parked in the middle of the road. To avoid traffic chaos, the Buick had to be in George St, Sydney by 5am. Marc had offered to have the Buick collected but David declined as he wanted to be there for the lift into the hotel.

The fa?ade of the first floor of the Hilton Hotel had two concrete doors that swung out to form an opening big enough for a car. David drove the Buick onto a car sized platform at ground level and it was roped down then raised up to the level of the first floor opening. Then came the hair raising stuff. The platform was tied off at the opening and he climbed into the Buick started it and drove it very slowly off the platform into the grand ball room. The platform felt very unstable and it was a long way above the road. It was great relief to get it back onto firm flooring in the building.

David collected the Statesman and drove home greatly relieved that it had all happened without incident, however the relief was short lived because getting the car out later proved to be a more frightening experience. The car had to be driven out of the hotel onto the same small platform but this time it was way up in the air with only a few posts and rope handrails to prevent it overshooting onto the ground below. If the initial lift was hair raising getting it back onto the platform suspended in mid air in total darkness, was terrifying. Arrival back on ground level was a great relief.

The function was attended by the Premier and many other VIP?s. A special wine was produced for the dinner and Marc very kindly put aside a case for David. Needless to say it was an excellent wine and was saved it for special occasions so it lasted for a long time. Looking back it was a lonce in a ifetime memorable experience.

David kept the Buick until 1986. He says over the years that he owned the car it was extremely reliable and participated in a number of long distance rallies. Its main problem for rallying was the very low ratio diff that reduced the maximum cruising speed to about 40 mph before the engine revs became a concern. The upside was that it would climb just about any hill in top gear. An excellent old car.

Photos below demonstrate the precarious lift to the first floor of the Hilton Hotel.

Posted 12/2006
1949 - Buick Ranch Car, a Custom Built Hunting Convertible
Contribution courtesy the David McCredie Collection and as originally published in Australian Monthly Motor Manual - September 1951

The kind of car everyone dreams about - a luxury job built to one?s personal specifications, was recently delivered to an American ranch owner. The car was engineered by the Buick division of General Motors and contains a number of interesting and useful features as our artist shows. twin spares, enormous luggage capacity, and two way radio are combined with rifle racks and built in winch gear to make the car capable of dealing with any situation.

The car only faintly resembles a normal Buick, and was built up from a 1949 chassis with a reduced wheelbase. Chassis and body members are extra braced throughout to carry the extra weight. Axle shafts and steering gear were constructed of heavier gauge steel and a much larger radiator fitted. a special reservoir tank of 1&1/2 gallons keeps this supplied under extremely hot conditions.

The 15 x 8.90 six-ply tyres are really light truck tyres, and the convertible top and side curtains are manual operated to save weight. Storage compartments are provided for ammunition, refreshments and first aid gear.

The winch gear is mounted behind the radiator grille and is driven from the front of the motor through a special clutch gear and can be hand-cranked if necessary. It has a six ton pull and will easily pull the car out of bogs, sand etc.

The instrument layout is interesting and features a rev counter, altimeter and compass, the radio equipment is also built into the panel.

The engine is standard Buick Roadmaster straight eight and develops 152 b.h.p. at 3600 r.p.m. and a Dynaflow torque convertor transmission is also used, these being the only standard components in the whole car.

Although no one has ever mentioned the price, you?re quite right, it?s not standard either!
Posted 02/2007
1923 - Buick Six Finished With Dupont Fabrikoid
Contribution courtesy the David McCredie Collection and as originally published in Motor Life, October 6, 1923

Dupont Fabrikoid
The car illustrated is a big 49 series. 1923 Buick 6, specially built for Mr R.F.Higgs, managing director of R.F.Higgs and Co, the agents for Fabrikoid, and a very fine example of Australian workmanship.
The unique and interesting feature of the car is the absence of paint, the body and panels having been covered with Fabrikoid material. The body is covered in red and the mudguards in black and as can be seen, the work has been carried out in a most expert manner.
This Fabrikoid covering marks a radical departure from the ordinary method of finishing motor cars, and has proved that it has many advantages. It will last for years, proved by one car which has been using this covering for nearly three years. This means a great saving. Fabrikoid also helps to stop rattling.
An interesting accident which occurred to a car covered with this material shows the saving in money and time. While crossing one of the punts, the front mudguard hit a cart and bent the front portion of the mudguard on to the tyre, so splitting the metal, but the fabric was still intact, with not even a scratch on it. The car was taken to a trimmer and the fabric lifted back just past the part where the guard was damaged, the panel was beaten into shape, without having to be taken off the body, the split in the metal was oxywelded, and the same piece of fabric was replaced, and the whole job only took two hours, as this material need very little attention. The trouble of cleaning is greatly reduced, as one of the big taxi companies, namely DeLuxe Motor Service, have found out, and so successful is it that this company is gradually covering its fleet.
The car shown here, although handsome in itself, is enhanced in appearance by the use of this Fabrikoid. There is hardly a limit to colours or grains, and many combinations can be procured.
A Fabrikoid covered car can be cleaned in a few minutes by simply running a clean rag over the body, and a continual polish is always retained.
Fabrikoid is not an experiment, but has been in vogue in America for a number of years, and many interesting lectures have been given on the subject.

Posted 02/2007
1923 - ?Before the Drive? - Mrs and Miss Govers
Researched and contributed by Dave McCredie from ?Motor Life? magazine, special feature ?Before the Drive? 11th August, 1923.

Mrs. and Miss Govers recently returned from Java, where they made a prolonged and pleasant stay in the interior of the island. Prior to this they made a world-wide tour. Both of them speak in terms of high praise of the excellence of roads in Java, which they state are, for the most part, as smooth as the proverbial billiard table. Miss Govers is seen at the door of the Buick sedan, in which she and her mother are making many local trips.

Webmaster?s Note:
Looks like a Buick, model 23-37X, 4 cyl sedan of which only one was reported to be made in RHD form for export

Posted 03/2007
1924 - Opera Star Visits Bulli in Buick
Article reprinted from ?Motor Life? August 2, 1924
Researched and contributed by George Seymour from the original magazine.

Sitting on the bonnet of the Buick is Madam Aga Lahowska. Madam Lahowska, who is a prominent member of the Grand Opera Company, is a native of Poland, having been born in Cracow. Whilst in Sydney she met fellow-countryman in the person of that talented pianist, M. Munz, who in this photograph is seen in front of the car. This photograph was specially secured for ?Motor Life? whilst the party were on a trip to Bulli. Madam Lahowska said that the scenery around Bulli was very similar to that of the coastline near Barcelona, in which city she played the title role in ?Carmen.?

Photo vehicle is a 1924 Buick Master Six sedan
Posted 05/2007
Contributed by Graeme Cocks, FremantleMotor Museum and reproduced from Restored Cars #181 - Mar-Apr 2007 with thanks to Eddie Ford

While motor sport in eastern Australia began developing along European lines in the 1920s with small displacement engines in light cars, Western Australia was still the place to develop large American engines in big cars for racing. Brands such as Dodge, Auburn, Essex and Overland raced on the two mile circular circuit at Lake Perkolilli near Kalgoorlie and national 24 hour speed records were broken on the claypan in
Studebakers and Chryslers. One of the first races recorded at Lake Perkolilli was in 1915 between a 45hp Cadillac, a 25hp Buick and a 35hp Studebaker. The Buick came second behind the Cadillac. Buicks raced at Lake Perkolilli in 1927 and 1928.

In 1927 the biggest race of the year included a Chrysler called Silverwings (see RC #128) which was once campaigned by Wizard Smith at Maroubra, a Bugatti Type 35, a Ford T speedster and a big Buick with a polished aluminium boat tail body. It was driven by Jack Smith of Perth who operated a hire car and taxicab business. The Buick led the way early, but Arthur Colliver driving the Chrysler soon caught him. After the Bugatti
retired with engine trouble, Colliver had the race to himself, repeatedly lapping the dirt
track at more than 80mph, with the Buick coming home in second place.

A race report at the time said, 'They made a bizarre picture bunched up on the line discharging volumes of blue smoke and making the atmosphere hideous with the deafening roar of open exhausts, the magnificent aluminium bodied Buick, the racy looking Ford transformed beyond even Henry's recognition, the perky and nifty Bugatti built for the job, and the veteran Chrysler with its skeleton body loaded with sandbags to prevent wheel bounce at the high speeds'.

This Buick was an impressive looking car. It appeared to have been based on a Buick Standard Six built between 1925 and 1927, with more 1927 than earlier parts. It had the wire wheels, which were an option at that time and the 12 inch mechanical brakes.

The mystery of this car to Buick enthusiasts is that the exhaust pipe comes out of the body at number six cylinder on the right hand side. Buick exhausts come out the other
side but there is no record of whether the car had a different engine or whether the exhaust was routed in an unusual way. In 1928 Jack Smith returned with a Bugatti and the big silver Buick slips from race records.

In 1928 a less flamboyant Buick arrived at the Lake driven by Eric Armstrong. Eric was
the son of Percy (PW) Armstrong who was one of the pioneer motor dealers in the State. PW had progressed from teamster to bicycle despatch rider across the Eastern Goldfields to importing the first motorcycle into the State. He was amongst the first to import cars into Western Australia. He built up a strong network of dealerships across the State and his son Eric ran the Kalgoorlie branch of his Armstrong Cycles and Motor Agency in 1926 selling General Motors brands including Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Cadillac and Buick.

Eric was born in 1900 as his father's business was expanding from bicycles to
motorcycles and cars and from a young age began to work for the family firm. He
followed his father's keen interest in anything competitive with an engine and began with
grass track motorcycle racing, then progressed to motor racing.

Eric stripped a 1928 Buick Standard Six for racing, just like the record breaking Chrysler, which had been on the lake the year before. His son, Paul Armstrong, recalls his father saying he bought a book entitled 'How to Make a Buick do 100 Miles Per Hour' but
he was disappointed by the result. It was hard work to adapt the big Buick power plants for racing and when he had to reach 75mph to qualify for the Australian
Championship race at Lake Perkolilli, he could not get it up to that speed.

Buick was not known for its racing machines in the 1920?s, but its earlier 4 cylinder cars had established the brand's reputation in the United States. Up to 1913 Buick entered its own factory racing team with accomplished drivers Bob Burman and Louis Chevrolet at the wheel. Buicks won races all over the country but Chevrolet left to establish the Frontenac company in 1914 and Buick did not participate in much racing until the 'junk' formula at Indianapolis from 1930 to 1933 when its 6 and 8 cylinder motors were used.

In the 1920s Buick was one of the leading brands in the United States and built its two
millionth car in late 1927. Out of 235,000 constructed in 1928, only little more than 5,000 were exported. The 1928 Standard Six differed from the 1927 with a double drop
frame which reduced the height of the body by three inches and the installation of Lovejoy shock absorbers all round. They were the last Buicks before General Motors introduced its Art and Colour Department to style its cars.

Even though Eric Armstrong could not extract all the speed he wanted from his Buick, he was successful at the Lake Perkolilli event in September 1928. In the Open Handicap
race he averaged 75mph over eight miles and he won the Members' Handicap over six miles at 73mph.

Arthur Colliver in Silverwings and another Chrysler driven by Miss Hilary Smith lined up for the State Championship with Eric Armstrong in his Buick and Gilbert Anderson in a Fiat 509. A Salmson, which had lapped the course at an unofficial 96mph during practise, 'ran' a bearing and could not race. The car could have provided some very good competition for Colliver. When the race began Colliver and Smith established a healthy lead over the rest of the field after the first lap of the 20 lap race with Colliver two seconds faster than Smith. Colliver put his foot down and built up speed, lapping at up to 91.1mph. He won and the local writers claimed his speed was an Australian if not a world record on a natural track'.

Eric Armstrong's Buick came third, peaking at 78mph, but was clearly outclassed by the Chrysler racer. Eric Armstrong won the prized championship in the next event in 1929, but that time he was driving a new Auburn. He then went on to race a very fast supercharged Triumph Super Seven ?Imp? to a string of victories and became the founding President of the WA Sporting Car Club. He organised, competed in, and won the State's first Grand Prix style event at Lake Perkolilli in his Triumph.

When the first 'around-the-houses' style motor race was held at Albany on the south coast of Western Australia in 1936, Eric Armstrong entered a Lagonda. Later, he left Perth to join the Atlantic Union company in Melbourne. After the war he joined Rhodes Motors, the metropolitan Melbourne dealer for Holden, Oldsmobile and Cadillac. Later as Managing Director he took the company onto the stock market and led its great business success before retiring in 1958. The Buick from 1927 survived for many years.

1928 was the only appearance of Eric Armstrong's powerful Buick at Lake Perkolilli. No doubt it was taken back to the showroom, the body was placed back on the car and it was sold. Neither car is known to still exist.


60 years later, two enthusiasts were confronted with a pile of Buick parts left over from a 1928 roadster restoration project, but what to do with them?

Mostly the parts lay around in a shed, but for Rob Stewart of Perth, he had other ideas. His friend Stuart Syme had just completed restoring a 1928 Buick roadster and together they headed for the 1994 Gull Speed Classic at Midland on the outskirts of Perth. This 'around-the-houses' style regularity event was based on the successful York Flying 50 and looked like a lot of fun.

They had a pile of parts for a 1928 Buick up front including four chassis they had gathered from all over the State. They also had a faded photocopy of a Buick, which raced at Lake Perkolilli in the halcyon days of motor racing at the old claypan near Kalgoorlie in the 1920s.

It showed a rustic Buick with a couple of seats and a cowl and not much else. The chassis they had collected were all old farm utes, which had been cut down from sedans. Since they didn't have any bodies, building this speedster seemed like a logical thing to do.

Excited by the event Rob said to Stuart, "Righto, let's do it." They resolved to begin straight away and re-create the car from the pile of parts and compete at the next event in March 1995.

For most people, building a car from scratch in a year would be an insurmountable task. So many things can go wrong along the way and slow the process down, but for Rob Stewart it was achievable. Of course, it helped owning an engine machining business.

The rolling chassis was assembled with an ingenious set up using the original front and back axle, but converting the brakes to hydraulic operation with Falcon drums and a tandem master cylinder. Even though the original car, which raced at Lake Perkolilli,
had wooden wheels, they are not permitted for racing under CAMS rules so plate centres were mated to 16 inch Land Cruiser rims to create a set of disc wheels. This gave the car good braking and safe wheels to compete in regularity events.

Naturally the engine came in for close attention. Alloy Jeep pistons replaced the cast iron Buick pistons and large valves from a Ford D series diesel motor were used. The main bearings still use white metal and slipper bearings were used in the big ends. The large Buick flywheel was lightened and the sump was modified to prevent oil surge when cornering hard.

A radiator core from New Zealand was used and the old brake rods were left on the car to keep the period look. The car ran a 12 volt system with a modern fuel pump connected to the original fuel tank.

The original cowl and bonnet were used up front and two simple seats were placed behind for the driver and riding mechanic. Even though the original fuel tank was used, another fuel tank was added behind the
seats and in front of two spare wheels. Four mudguards were attached to the car so that they could easily be removed for racing.

With the help of his neighbor, Glen Hodda, who is also a car enthusiast and a panel beater by trade, the Buick was completed within 10 months and was campaigned at the Gull Speed Classic on Monday March 6, 1995.

The car later competed at other venues including Goomalling in the WA wheat belt. It is now owned by Rodney Cocks who has plans to go racing once again with the old Buick speedster.
Posted 08/2007
1913 - The Moline Family Buick Worked Hard
Special thanks to Bill Moline, Arthur?s grandson, for generously sharing these historic photos with all Buick enthusiasts. The story as told by Bill was written by John Gerdtz.

Born in 1877, Arthur Howard Prichard Moline was a mining engineer, who in his late 30?s was the Cocks Pioneer Mine manager at their Eldorado gold mine. Eldorado on Reedy Creek is situated about half way between Wangaratta and Beechworth close to the Western end of the picturesque Ovens Valley in North Eastern, Victoria.

Arthur and his wife Mollie were an active and sociable couple who loved to picnic in the scenic local countryside. In early 1914 Arthur purchased a new Buick motor car, probably from Dalgety?s, Wangaratta who were the local Buick agents and although the family always refered to it as the 1914 Buick, a close examination of the photos indicate it to be a fully imported 1913, model 31 fitted with the American made Stewart body. It was the larger 4 cylinder model of 201 cu. in. capacity, with a 4? x 4? bore and stroke, that developed 25.6 horsepower SAE. Selling price at the time was ?400.
This wonderful pictorial record shows the Buick had a very active early life with the Moline family.

Posted 05/2008
1922 - ?Old Faithful? The Buick Farm Ute
Story & Photos - Ian Hart

This is the story of one very hard working 1922 Model 22-35 Buick, otherwise known as ?Old Faithful?. The car, like many others in the tough times of the 1930?s, was cut down into a utility vehicle and it was in that form when my father bought the vehicle in 1938. We were at that time on a sheep station, between Boorowa and Yass, NSW, where both my mother and father had worked from the mid 1930?s.

In 1944 we bought and moved to a farm near Bowral, NSW and the Buick carried my parents and I, and all our personal possessions to the new farm. The only stops on the journey, apart from meals were for radiator water, most of which was collected from the roadside gutters most notably from the Breadalbane plains south of Goulburn.

The Buick was then put to even harder work, carrying hand cut bush timber to build farm and poultry sheds. The shed posts and rafters, because of their length were carried on transverse poles placed on top of the utility sides which stuck out either side, and the long timber, as long or longer than the vehicle, was then tied onto each side. Sand and gravel for concreting was also transported via bush tracks from a creek about 4 miles from the farm. As a boy I fondly remember riding in the back holding onto the top of the roof, or riding crouched between the front guard and the engine hood holding onto the headlight frame, more fun than the seat.

The Buick was our only vehicle until 1950 when it was de-registered and was then used for farm work only. I learned to drive on the Buick in the early 1950?s both on the farm and on nearby dirt roads. It was a great teacher in understanding basic motoring, car and engine (4 cyl OHV) maintenance, what ignition timing is, and with manual advance-retard, hand throttle (?cruise control ??) what more could you need ? It may have been the mechanical interest that started with the Buick that led me to a career in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering.

About 1960 the Buick got a ?hardtop? roof (see picture) made from galvanised iron. It was about this time a brush with a fence post collapsed a front near-side wheel and broke 3 spokes. These were replaced with hardwood square spokes which worked well and can be seen in the picture. Consideration was given in the early 1960?s to restoration, but was not undertaken because of cost.

The Buick was sold with the farm when it too was sold in 1965, and ?Old Faithful? continued to work on the farm for the new owners until the engine threw a rod and the vehicle was scrapped around 1970. The rear half of the Buick however did not die, becoming a farm trailer for a few years. So ended almost 50 years of faithful service. I?m pleased I removed and still have the identification plate, a few photos, one hub cap, the radiator badge and the horn, before we sold the farm.

Webmasters Note:
During the early years after the Great War, the Australian Government?s import tariffs favoured imports from British Commonwealth countries so the Australian office of GM Export based in Sydney, sourced all Buicks from Canada. Most of these were not complete cars but came in part assembled and minus any components that could be made locally such as tyres, batteries and the like to further minimise tariff charges.
As such, these vehicles were not truely classified as ?McLaughlin? Buicks.

Main Photo - Road registered in service - 1949
Thumbnail 1 - 1926 Morris Cowley & 1922 Buick Utes on the farm
Thumbnail 2 - The Buick gets a new gal iron hardtop in 1960
Thumbnail 3 - The original firewall ID plate
Thumbnail 4 - Brochure picture of the Buick as supplied new
Posted 02/2009
1916 - Touring Car On Buick Chassis built for Dalgety?s
Article contributed by George Seymour
Built and exhibited by Dalgety?s Limited, Melbourne.
This interesting and very different touring body was built in Melbourne especially for Dalgety?s (who were the Victorian Buick Agents) and was featured in the trade magazine ?Australian Coachbuilder and Wheelwright?, October 15th, 1916 edition. The unique coach built body is fitted to the then new Buick ?D? series, 6 cylinder chassis.
The hand writing ?Bishop Bros? on the photo is explained as the Bishop family who established a coach building business at Beechworth, and later transferred to Euroa. When the family moved to Melbourne in the late 1880s, one son became the proprietor of the trade journal ?The Australasian Coachbuilder and Saddler? , later ?Australian Coachbuilder and Wheelwright?.
Posted 04/2011
1936 - Buick Speedster Special in Argentina
Story & photos, Ariel Bassanetti - Comment, BCCA Webmaster John Gerdtz

Almost three years ago our website received an eMail from Ariel Bassanetti requesting some specification and technical information about a 1936 Buick 8/40 which he was using as the basis of a sports roadster special he was building. Ariel is from Argentina and has a specialist gasket manufacturing business in the outer south-east suburban area of Buenos Aires. It seems that information about early Buicks is scarce in Argentina.
Despite some translation difficulties, as I don?t speak Spanish, since the first eMail there have been several more, many including photos of Ariel?s Buick project and we have followed progress and supplied tit-bits of information as requested, all with great interest. Frank Hall and the club library have provided many of the answers. This is no ?hot rod? as, although it is a speedster special, it maintains it?s 1936 Buick mechanicals throughout the car. When one considers the magnitude of the technical and mechanical difficulties Ariel faced with almost all aspects of the build, one must admire the thought and effort he exerted to achieve such an interesting and functional result. Lets hope his work inspires many enthusiasts to find practical use for the remains of many Buicks that might otherwise just go to scrap or rot away.

As translated, this is Ariel?s Buick story.
I have owned this car since the year 1998. I was looking for a car with a long engine, and I was lucky to find a Buick. It was fairly complete, although it had been in an open field for 16 years, so the exterior was in poor shape and the wooden interior was ruined beyond repair. Then I started to look for information in order to restore it. I had no problems with the mechanics (which is my speciality) and besides it was complete, but I had problems with the wooden parts. I consulted several cabinet-makers, but the prices were too high for my budget (between U$S 8,000 and U$S 11,000 just for rebuilding the wooden structure).
My friends insisted on doing a ?Baque? (a chopped car), but I was reluctant to do it. Hot Rods are quite common, and I wanted to do something more stylish. Browsing the Web, I decided to go after a sharp front, and a driver?s seat that ends where the rear wheels start. I started by cutting 750mm from the chassis, starting from the fixing points of the rear suspension to the front. I did the same for the torsion tube and the brake lines. So I was left without a handbrake. Then I changed the position of the leaf springs? supports and the rear shock absorbers, but then problems with the suspension and especially the aesthetics started to emerge. I removed the leaf springs, made a Panhard bar, cut the chasis behind the first crossbar (the one that supports the fuel tank) and I inserted a tube where I placed the suspension coil leaving the original shock absorbers (they are currently loaded with SAE 190 oil).
At that time I thought that everything was going well. I didn?t know that the problems were just starting. I made the cowling 210mm thinner and I lowered it 150mm along with the front grill. Now the original grill was useless, since it was too large. I also cut the bonnet and riveted a hinge from a bus door someone gave me, since I couldn?t find such a large hinge.
The approximate shape of the car started to show up, a seat was missing (the first one was a fruit box) and I went out for a ride, accelerating with a small cord, because the accelerator system wasn?t working since I cut the firewall. I had adjusted the main and connecting rod?s bearings and I repaired the cylinders (they are in the original measure, but when finished, I plan to rebuild it, since the cylinder number 4 makes a noise when the car is still cold). I also had the clutch repaired along with the brakes. The differential and gear box were working acceptably well with a change of oil.
Obviously, the car was not driveable, it wouldn?t go in a straight line, the steering was poor (I had also cut one and a half rings from the front spring to lower it, which caused the front wheel assembly?s geometry to change, making it difficult to steer), the rear suspension was going beyond its capacity, the pedals and steering wheel were too high, but the power and speed were incredible because of it being so light, to the point that I still don?t use the 1st gear, I start in 2nd, and it works perfectly at 100/110 km/h, with a max speed of about 130 km/h.
I wasn?t sure where to start, so I chose to lower the gear box by changing a little bit the position of the holes where it bolts to the chasis. Then heated and bent the clutch pedal in order to lower it and the same with the brake pedal. Another problem which showed up on the first test was that when I lowered the firewall, the driver?s seat position was too high, so it was solved by cutting the (just-made) floor and lowering it inside the chassis, which is where the driver?s seat is now, 100mm lowered underneath the car?s floor.
I left the new rear suspension as it was, until I assembled the whole car (gas tank, rear, shock absorbers, etc) because I wanted the car to be ?sitting down? (lower on the back, which was harder than I thought, because it?s easy to lower it, but it?s hard to get the suspension to work properly).
Now I had to think how to assemble the rear end, the doors, the fuel tank, mudguards (at first I intended to leave the original ones, but after cutting the car they seemed too large), the windshield, the dashboard and instruments, the handbrake, shock absorbers (which I ultimately made by recycling the car?s rear leaf springs), the rear lights, adapted the front lights, cut the radiator (I used the car?s original, a Harrison, but I cut 150mm, which caused the car to overheat. I solved this by putting two oil radiators and a six-blade fan, I would have never used an electric fan because I like to keep everything consistent with what was available at the car?s time, bolts, etc. Even the water pump still has the rope packaging). I made the rear boat tail by adapting a 1940 Ford bonnet, which I bought for US$40, the doors have a welded tube structure and sheet metal skins, I adapted the door locks, but they are the car?s originals.
The fuel tank has a capacity of 50 litres (I used the original top) and it is hidden within the boat tail, leaving enough place to store clothing and other stuff. The grill was made with 5/16 and 1/4 bar, I bought the mudguards over the Internet and made 7/16 steel supports. They are anchored to the big nut on the brake backing plate. I assembled the instruments myself, the speedometer is the car?s original and I put it inside a round clock case, the tachometer belonged to a 1957 Ford truck and has a maximum of 4000 RPM (it was also hard to make it work because it?s mechanical and it drives from the camshaft with a part I fabricated that goes in the distribution top. The numbers in the clocks and the words ?Buicks 8? were made with the ?Paint? software from Windows).
The windshield belonged originally to a 1925 Chevrolet, I cut it and turned around the lower part, putting it upside down (I must still work on the frame). I redid the accelerator?s command, adapting the original parts and this works perfectly, with the original pedal and 80mm distance. I did the electrical wiring (12 volts), changed the dynamo (still keeping the 3 brush original part), the starter is the 6 volts original, but it works at 12 volts without burning out. Another problem was the height of the air filter, which was solved by making one and connecting it to the carburettor intake with a flexible rubber fabric hose. The handbrake is located in the original place, with the movements adapted and it works perfectly.
The car is painted with a two-layer paintwork (two color layers and two transparent layers), I am making the rims right now and I have to think how I am going to install the roof.
It has cost me a lot of work and money, but it pays back with satisfaction over and over again. It took time to finish, because at the same time I?m restoring together with my sons (Gonzalo and Jer?nimo who always help me) and my wife Adriana (who loves cars as much as I do), a 1952 Jeep Fiat Campagnola, A 1938 Ransomes MG2 Tractor and a 1981 Honda Prelude coup?. I hope you like the car, which I love so much and it is the favourite of every exposition I go to. I am not a member of any club, because I like to drive the car every day, not just standing up looking at it in an exposition, which is what sometimes happen.
I want to thank every member of the Buick club for your interest in my ?toys?, and specially John Gerdtz, who has shown interest and helped me so much with my questions.
Ariel, Jer?nimo, Adriana and Gonzalo Bassanetti

More about Ariel, his work and hobby vehicle projects can be viewed at these web addresses.

Posted 05/2011
1923 - Lowell Thomas ?Into Forbidden Afghanistan in a Buick?
Lowell Thomas was an American writer, broadcaster, adventurer and traveler, perhaps best known as the man who made Lawrence of Arabia famous. Look him up on Wikipedia, his is an interesting story.
In 1923 Thomas succeeded in obtaining permission to travel into Afghanistan to make a documentary film of this forbidden country. His trip started by entering through the Khyber Pass in his newly acquired 1923 Buick Six tourer. General Motors Export Co. published the story of this adventure in the magazine ?The Motor in Australia? on September 1, 1924. You can read this article (with photographs) by clicking here - Lowell Thomas in Afghanistan.pdf

Posted 12/2012
1927 - Now That?s a Real Aussie Ute
Those of us old enough to remember WWII and the immediate post-war years will recall the plethora of custom converted and home made utilities. Virtually from the end of 1939 until the late 1940?s it was impossible for a private buyer to acquire a new car or commercial vehicle, there just wasn?t any available. Even after 1946 when some new vehicles came to market, the buyers queues were long unless one had a government allocated ?need? approval. Private motorists just had to make do with their aging pre-war cars and farmers and commercial vehicle users needed to look to alternatives.

This created a burgeoning new back yard manufacturing business where any suitable old car, coupes and roadsters were preferred, would be ?uted?, in other words the rear of the vehicle would be discarded and a utility style, of which there were many, bodywork would be added. Some, by necessity as money was scarce, were DIY home made, but there were also many small bodybuilding businesses that produced very professional work.

One such Buick conversion has survived and recently rescued by NSW member Les Rundle and this is his story about his 1927 Buick ute with body by Superior Panel Beaters, Scone.

?1927 Buick ?converted ute engine No. 1949155 chassis No. 1869583 Holden body.
?In the ?Old Machinery Magazine? magazine, issue No. 165, I saw a ?1920?s Buick Ute, Converted, needs restoration? it read in the listing of items up for sale in an auction at Muswellbrook NSW. I said to myself..? self, I?m going to the sale and am not coming home without it? ,and that?s exactly how it came about, that I am the proud owner of the Buick Standard Converted Ute.
I was told by family at the sale that it was purchased new by the Mayor of Singleton, and was converted into a ute in the 1930?s by Superior Panel Beaters in Scone.
With the help of another bloke, I winched it onto my tandem trailer, after unloading from the back, the spare wheels, gearbox, bonnets and sundry bits, tied it down and started down the expressway, my Holden H.Q. sucking the petrol bowsers off the side of the road as we went along, about a 5 hour trip.
At home in Bundanoon, I left it on the trailer for a couple of days before I put it in the shed to start inspections on it, and plan the next move, I removed the rocker cover to see if the valves were stuck, luckily they weren?t, took the spark plugs out and tipped a mixture of oil and kerosene down the cylinders, then tried to crank it over but it turned only a little bit, so I decided to put it in gear and tow it around a bit,
My brother Jim, brought his Ferguson tractor down ?to our place, we hooked a tow line onto it, I put it in gear,( what I thought was top gear), but the wheels remained locked up, I was just about to put it back in the shed and start to pull the motor down, when I had a brain storm, I remembered when we had a 1929 anniversary model ?Buick in our teens, the gearbox pattern was back to front, compared to a Chev. Pattern, so I engaged the ?new? top gear, snigged it a bit more, and the motor turned over readily.
So....back into the shed with a different plan in view, I drained the old oil from the sump, let it drain for a week to let any sludge run out, in the meantime, fitted new spark plugs, ignition set, radiator hoses, made a new flat leather fan belt laced up with old boot laces, new 6 volt battery, cleaned the water pump out and fitted a new gland packing, 1 side plate gasket, cleaned out the carby and vacuum tank, also the oil filter, put some petrol in the fuel tank, filled the carby ?bowl and vacuum tank, filled the sump with new oil, re-wired the ignition, turned the engine over with the starter motor, a few turns, and it started up, but was choking on fuel, I adjusted the needle jet screw a full turn in, then it ran smoothly, turned it off after a couple of minutes (no water in the radiator). I ran it for about 20 mins the next day, to try the vacuum tank operation, thankfully it works well.
I wanted to see if it was going to run ok, before I bought new tyres and tubes, fitted them on, replaced the rotten running boards with Huon Pine rescued from the tip, years ago. Removed the broken windscreen with ?advice from ?John Gerdtz, re-constituted the seat springs in readiness for upholstering, had them re-done in black vinyl as per the pattern on one of the seats remaining intact, searched high and low for a good windscreen frame, as mine was missing the entire bottom section, finally, Adrian Dearling from Queensland contacted me saying he has a good one which is surplus to requirements, we did a swap, I sent him a Buick Century exhaust manifold, he sent me the windscreen. Had a laminated glass fitted to the frame, also had 2 ??batwing wind deflectors? made.
After fitting the new windscreen, I took the Buick for a test drive up a dirt track above our place, went about 300 metres, then all driveability ?disappeared, Jim to the rescue again, he towed us back home where I found that a key had stripped out, the hub was in very poor condition, so I put an ad. in the ?Mag?, soon John Lee from Molong came forth with a good hub and key, he even brought it to my door, and while he was there, he shared a copy of the maintenance manual for the 1927 Buick, put it on a memory stick for me, another swap, I traded a wire wheel for it. ?With more advice from John Gerdtz, I was able to remove the crook hub from the spokes, fitted the good one, put the wheel back on.
After not moving since 1956, everything needed a spot of lubrication, changed all the grease nipples, over 20 of ?em, adjusted the brakes, patched a small bit of rust in the firewall, cut new/old floorboards for the cab, re-wired the lights, fitted stop/tail lights, rear view mirror, sun visor, bought a ?Klaxon? horn on ebay and fitted that on. ?The steering wheel had been wrapped up for protection, it is like new, the spokes are in beautiful condition as it had been shedded for a long time, I consider ?myself lucky to find an old vehicle in such good condition, with virtually no work on the engine, or body. The paintwork is as found, only a wipe over with a rag soaked in engine oil and kerosene.
I have used it on a regular basis, doing maintenance runs, to test adjustments and improvements, I am yet to take it on a long run until ?confidence is gained in reliability. I am yet to have the roof trimmed and the side curtains done, but that?s next.
The second best move I ever made, was joining the Buick Club of Australia, immediately after buying the Buick, that was the best move! It has made so much difference to my being able to complete the work on it, with ?sourcing parts, encouragement, and advice, thanks to all who helped me out in times of me being ?stuck?.
Leslie R. Rundle
Member 1111

Posted 11/2013
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