Buick Turns 110 This Year, Names 11 Representative Models for Each Decade

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For its 110th anniversary year, Buick has chosen 11 representative models for each decade of its existence. Of course, choosing just one model for a 10-year period can be a difficult job and Buick’s choices can stir debate. But I'll have to assume that’s exactly what Buick wants, so here are the 11 most representative models as the carmaker sees them.

1903-1912: 1904 Buick Model B

The first Buick ever made gets the honor of being the most representative model of the first decade. The first unit was sold to doctor Herbert H. Hills of Flint, Michigan, decades before Buick became known as a “doctor’s car.”

1913-1922: 1916 D-45 Touring

The D-45 Touring was the top selling model in 1916, when Buick switched from four- to six-cylinder engines. Sales reached six digits for the first time that year and Buick became the top-selling brand a few years later, largely due to five-passenger touring models.

1923-1932: 1931 Series 50

In 1931 Buick once again upsized its powertrains, this time from six- to eight-cylinder engines. The Series 50 was the best-selling model that year, with larger engines and upgraded design helping boost Buick’s image during the Great Depression.

1933-1942: 1936 Century

The 1936 Buick Century showed president Harlow Curtice’s revolutionary vision for the brand. The Century sported a streamlined design and was the first Buick to reach 100 mph (161 km/h). Sales rose from 53,249 in 1935 to 168,596 in 1936 and continued to increase in the years to come.

1943-1952: 1949 Roadmaster

The 1949 Roadmaster inaugurated Buick’s most well-known design features, including signature waterfall grilles and portholes. The Roadmaster is one of the most collectible Buicks of all time and even became a movie star in the 1988 film Rain Man.

1953-1962: 1953 Skylark

Buick celebrated its 50th birthday with the 1953 Skylark, a limited-edition convertible with advanced design and technology. Each Skylark came with Italian wire wheels and the owner’s name engraved on the steering wheel. 1953 was also the year Buick introduced V8 engines and a new twin-turbine Dynaflow automatic transmission.

1963-1972: 1963 Riviera

Probably Buick’s most famous production design, the 1963 Riviera was a powerful sport coupe said to be inspired by a Rolls-Royce that Buick design boss Bill Mitchell saw through a fog in London. The Riviera helped Buick’s image following a period of design criticism.

1973-1982: 1975 Regal

Buick adapted to the oil crisis and introduced the 1975 Regal, which came with a standard V6 engine at a time when competitors offered only thirstier V8 engines. Today, Buick offers four-cylinder engines on four of its five 2013 models.

1983-1992: 1987 GNX

The 1987 GNX remains Buick’s most iconic performance car, combining a lightweight V6 engine with the brand’s success in NASCAR. With 276 hp under the hood, the GNX sprinted from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in just 4.6 seconds – at least according to Car&Driver magazine.

1993-2002: 1999 Century

The 1999 Century was Buick’s first model built in China for the local market. Buick’s decision to build cars in China resulted in the Asian country being the carmaker’s largest market, with 700,007 sold there in 2012.

2003-2012: 2008 Enclave

According to GM, the 2008 Enclave luxury crossover inaugurated Buick’s current design language and brand focus, along with the LaCrosse sedan, which went on sale as a 2010 model.

So what do you think, did Buick miss anything? Tell us in the comments below.

By Dan Mihalascu


PHOTO GALLERY

The first production Buick was also the shortest. The 1904 Model1916 Buick Model D-45 Touring1931 Buick 50 Series Two Door SedanThe first Buick to reach 100 mph was the appropriately named Cen1949 Buick Roadmaster Riviera Convertible1963 Buick RivieraBuick’s 110th anniversary coincides with the 1963 Riviera’s 1975 Buick Regal CoupeThe legendary 1987 Buick GNX was the quickest car the brand has 1999 Buick Century2008 Buick Enclave CXL