Friday, December 5, 2008

The 1904 Model B & Flint Wagon Works.

When this was still the Flint Wagon Works office. The same view as below.


A latter view with the Ivy growing up the walls. This was originally The Flint Wagon Works office and at this time, Chevrolet. This view is facing north across Kearsley Street.


The Flint Wagon Works in 1896.


The Flint Wagon Works.  Wagon Works new lunch room.


This view of the Flint Wagon Works would be after the March 21, 1900 fire, that destroyed the main building along Kearsley st.


The Flint Wagon Works,after becoming part of Chevrolet. The man at left is standing on west Kearsley st. facing north.


The Flint Wagon Works, where the chassis of the first Flint Buick was built. The body is thought to have come from the W.F. Stewart body factory located a few blocks east on Kearsley at the location of the old Beardslee & Gillies plaining mill.


This is inside the Flint Wagon Works factory in 1913. The vehicles in the background are Chevrolet's.
The first completed 1904 Model B Buick in front of the "Buick Motor Co. Engine Works" on west Kearsley St. in Flint Michigan. Whiting and Begole are in the rear with Marr and Tom Buick in the front. This car had a chassis measuring 89 inches whereas the "Wolverine" shown in the top photo had a wheelbase of 82 inches. History tells us that David Buick designed the body while Marr designed the chassis. The Wolverine designed by Marr for the Reid Manufacturing Company in Detroit bears a striking resemblance to the Buick. Early Buick history often credits the Wolverine as an early prototype Buick. Now Marr left Reid January 5, 1904 and was contacted within three days by David Buick to join him in Flint. History also shows that Marr had convinced James C. Whiting, owner of Buick, to build a prototype auto by the third week of February. The new Buick was ready for testing on the Flint to Detroit run on June 4, 1904. If David Buick designed the body then I believe that he had either seen Marr's prototype for the Wolverine or was shown the above photograph by Marr. I know Reid introduced the car to the press in Detroit in mid November 1903. Reid also had an exhibit at the Detroit Light Guard Armory (Tri-State Automobile and Sporting Goods Association) February 16th through the 22, of 1904. I have not found a photo showing their exhibit so I figure the car looked as the prototype did, showing Marr next to it. Maybe Marr and Buick were both in attendance at the show. It makes sense that they would have been there. You can see in the Wolverine photo that this car did indeed have a rear differential as opposed to the chain drive of the first Buick's. It supposedly had a front mounted engine also which was another thing that the Buick did not have. So as far as early Buick histories claiming this as an early Buick prototype, I would agree. First Buick announced.  Another figure for 1904 production.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great photos! However, the person in the front seat with Marr is Tom Buick, not David.

Gerry Godin said...

Thanks for catching that typo,I totally missed that. I'm glad you enjoy the history. It sounds like you know a little bit to catch that mistake. Try and find some more. I re-read everything, but sometimes I get amazed when I find a mistake on here.