1909 Buick Model GRoadster
Year of manufacture1909
- A rare survivor from the final year of Model G production
- One of only 144 built for 1909, of which only two are known to survive
- Wears an older, but well-maintained and period-correct, restoration
- 1999 AACA National First Junior and Senior and 2000 AACA Cup-winner
- An ideal candidate for Brass Era touring or exhibition
Buick has the distinction of being America’s oldest surviving producer of automobiles, but by 1909, it was no longer an independent operation: The previous year, it had been purchased by General Motors. When William C. Durant orchestrated the acquisition of Buick, he was buying a company that already possessed a solid reputation—earned, in large part, by the stout two-cylinder Model F Tourer and the related Model G Roadster, which were introduced for 1906.
That year, the Chicago American and Examiner staged a 1,000-mile relay run from Chicago to New York. A Buick Model F was the only competitor to complete the event. A contemporary account notes that “stretches of bad road [were] rendered well nigh impassable by rainstorms…through all this struggle of a thousand miles, the Buick never failed to move forward.” The Model F earned the nickname “Old Faithful,” as it was soon touted in a company brochure. So popular were the two-cylinder cars that they remained in production after four-cylinder Buicks joined the catalogue in 1907, with the G being discontinued after 1909 and the F at the end of 1910.
This Model G Buick Roadster, with single rumble (or “mother-in-law”) seat, was found in a barn in Indiana. Ed Messenger, of Longview, Texas, restored it to pristine condition over a period of four years. It won a National First Junior in Antique Automobile Club of America judging in the spring of 1999. That autumn, it took a National First Senior and then the coveted AACA Cup in February 2000. Its subsequent owners, who purchased the car in 2003, are said to have used it extensively in AACA, Horseless Carriage Club, and Veteran Motor Car Club tours, during which the Buick performed admirably.
The Buick’s next owner and present consignor acquired the car in 2013. Its older restoration remains in carefully maintained condition, with its factory-correct dark red bodywork and red wheels and undercarriage, to say nothing of its eye-catching brass brightwork, remaining highly presentable. Its cabin, trimmed with red leather upholstery, is simple and purposeful, though it does feature a wood-rimmed steering wheel, a classic bulb horn, and a Stewart speedometer.
Offering a driving experience quite unlike anything built today, this delightful 1909 Buick Model G Roadster. One of only two known survivors from the 144 built in the final year of Model G production, it would be an ideal candidate for exhibition or Brass Era touring—where its next owner can put its reputation, and its 22 horsepower, to the test on the road. To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/hf21.