Scottish-born inventor David Dunbar Buick built his first automobile in Detroit, Michigan in 1903. That first Buick was a twin-cylinder touring car with 'valve-in-head' engine, 37 of which were completed in the first year of production (1904). Powered by a 'T'-head sidevalve engine, the first four-cylinder Buicks appeared in 1907 and were available with a choice of transmissions: three-speed sliding gear or two-speed planetary. The first 'valve-in-head' Buick four ? the Model 10 ? was introduced in 1907.
More designer than businessman, Buick lacked talent in the latter role, shortcoming that led to a number of changes of ownership in the firm's early years before its founder was eventually eased out in 1908, his departure from the Buick Motor Company coinciding with its establishment as the cornerstone of new owner William C Durant's General Motors. Under Durant's stewardship production rose dramatically from 750 cars in 1905 to 8,802 in 1908 when Buick's most popular model was the four-cylinder Model 10, priced at $900 and a direct competitor for Ford's Model T. The first six-cylinder models appeared as part of the 1916 line-up, and their refined and flexible overhead-valve engines would help establish Buick's image as a quality automobile for the prosperous owner/driver. Four-wheel brakes and a strengthened chassis and axles were new introductions on Buicks for 1924, the last year of the base-model four-cylinder car.
By the time this Model 30 was built, Buick's four-cylinder cars were powered by an overhead-valve engine, the one in this example displacing 201ci (3.3 litres). The Model 30 was available only as a two-door, two-seat roadster and was priced at $1,125. One of 3,500 produced in 1913, this example is of right-hand drive configuration, 1913 being the final year of RHD Buicks. Imported in 1989 by Halfway Garage of Walton-on-Thames from Washington State, USA, it comes with a most comprehensive lever-arch history file containing a 3"-thick bundle of receipts (viewing highly recommended). The file also contains a C&E Form 386 (dated September 1989); (copy) operating and instruction book; FIVA card dated March 2001; State of Washington Certificate of Title; VCC dating certificate (March 1998); and a V5C Registration Certificate.
In January 1990, Halfway Garage sold the Buick to Mr G J Bisson of Jersey (invoice on file), who commissioned Le Riche Restorers, Jersey to carry out a complete 'last nut and bolt' restoration. Work commenced in November 1996 and was complete in June 1997 (photographic record on file). The original body frame was beyond repair and a new one was made in English ash using the old one as a pattern, while renowned Veteran and Vintage specialists Archer's of Dunmow carried out the engine rebuild (bills on file exceed £50,000). The body now incorporates a new aluminium-skinned boot, ideal for storing luggage or spares, and a custom-made wooden box that the sits behind the hood bag for additional storage.
Following the restoration's completion, the Buick participated in a number of rallies on Jersey and in various VCC/VSCC events. Since its acquisition by the vendor, the car has been well maintained as part of his private collection, being used for VSCC light car and 'Edwardian' events. Only sold now to make way for a new project, this is a splendid and fast 'Edwardian' touring car, running well and ready to use.