When you think of Buick, maybe the first thing that springs to mind is smooth driving, a spacious interior, and top luxury features like you would see in the upcoming 2016 Buick Envision. But did you know that Buick has a history of taking significant honors on the race track? For this Flashback Friday we’re going to take a look at the impressive Buick early racing heritage and the dedication to top performance that the brand has maintained to this day.
Founded in 1899 by David Buick, the company wasted no time developing some of the best vehicles on the road. By the time the Buick Motor Company teamed up with R. S. McLaughlin to branch the brand into Canada in 1907, they were the most-sold brand in North America.
Buick Race Cars at the Indy
Just a couple years later in 1909, a Buick race car won at the first race at the 2.5-mile (4 km) Indianapolis Motor Speedway, two years before the first Indianapolis 500. Driven by Bob Burnam (and averaging more than 85 kilometres per hour), that Buick raced car (pictured to the right) won the Prest-O-Lite Trophy and was one of only nine vehicles that successfully completed the race. A third of them were Buicks.
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Buick 60 Special Bug of 1910
Just few years later the art of racing had been transformed. The 1910 Buick 60 Special “Bug” (pictured at the top of this post) had a giant 10.2-litre four-cylinder engine and an aluminum body designed for optimal speed (though the blunted nosecone may have been more for style than because of any scientific principles of aerodynamic design). Two 60 Specials were built: one for Bob Burnam and a second for Louis Chevrolet, who would found the Chevrolet Motor Car Company in 1911.
In 1909 Bob Burnam won at less than 100 kilometres per hour. In 1911, he broke a speed record with the Buick 60 Special Bug averaging just shy of 150 kilometers per hour (91 miles per hour).
Today, performance optimized vehicles like the GS model of the 2016 Buick Regal can reach speeds of more than 240 kilometres per hour, and maintain a quiet, comfortable cabin with excellent handling at the same time. Interested in being a part of the Buick brand? Schedule a test drive with a Buick at Craig Dunn Motor City today.