David Dunbar Buick

Although David Dunbar Buick was born in Arbroath, Scotland, his family moved to the United States in 1856 and settled in Detroit. Following the market trend of the era, Buick began experimenting with the internal combustion engine in 1890s.

Soon after, he opened Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company and started producing gasoline engines for agricultural and stationary use. In 1902 the company officially became the Buick Manufacturing Company with a goal of car and engine manufacturing. Beginning was slow, marked with unsuccessful experiments and debt. By the end of 1902, Buick managed to produce a single car. However Walter Marr, the head machinist and engineer Eugene Richard developed the powerful overhead valve engine that later put the company on the map.

The debts grew larger and even additional capitalization with a $100,000 stock value didn't make a difference. Unable to repay the debts, Buick was forced to sell most of his shares and took on the lower position of company secretary. In 1903 the Flint Wagon Works purchased Buick Motor Company.

When William C. Durant took control as the general manager the following year, Buick aimed at the top of the growing market, while becoming the cornerstone of General Motors in process. Buick was a strong admirer of craftsmanship, unlike Durant who insisted on mass production. As a result of the conflict Buick sold his stock to Durant in 1906 for $100,000. Upon his return to Detroit, Buick gradually withdrew from the automobile production. Buick Motor Company, still holding his name, on the other hand grew into one of the world strongest automobile manufacturers.

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