David Dunbar Buick

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David Dunbar Buick

Birthplace: Arbroath, Scotland (United Kingdom)
Death: May 03, 1929 (74)
Harper Hospital, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, United States (Colon cancer)
Place of Burial: Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, United States
Occupation: Inventor
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About David Dunbar Buick

David Dunbar Buick (1854-1929) was born in Arbroath, Scotland.

  • He emigrated with his father (Alexander Buick) and his mother to Detroit, Michigan when he was two years old.
  • David was an inventor. He produced a lawn sprinkler and a method for permanently coating cast iron with vitreous enamel which allowed production of white bath tubs at lower cost.
  • In the 1890s David developed an interest in internal combustion engines and spent most of his time developing them to a degree that his business Partner in the plumbing business dissolved their partnership and they sold the company
  • In 1899 David set up the Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company. He invested heavily in R&D to the point that he ran out of money and only produced one car.
  • In 1902 David set up another company, the Buick Manufacturing Company, to market engines to other car companies and manufacture and sell its own cars. Once again, all money went into R&D and only one car was produced that year.
  • This R&D produced the Valve-In-Head overhead valve engine, a more powerful engine that the rival companies were producing.
  • In 1903 David was forced to raise money via a loan from a fellow car enthusiast Benjamin Briscoe. With Briscoe's help, David formed the Buick Motor Company which would become the cornerstone of the General Motors Company.
  • In 1906 David left the company he had founded with a severance package that included one share of the company. The president of Buick, William C Durant, bought this share from David for $100,000.
  • David invested in California oïl and land in Florida and carburetor manufacturing, all of which were unsuccessful.
  • In 1920 David returned to the auto business as president of short-lived Lorraine Motors.
  • In 1923 he designed the Dunbar, an automobile prototype.
  • After all these unsuccessful investments, David was broke.
  • In 1928 he became an instructor at the Detroit School of Trades.
  • To date, over 35,000,000 cars have been built in his name.


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David Dunbar Buick's Timeline

September 17, 1854
Arbroath, Scotland (United Kingdom)
May 3, 1929
Age 74
Harper Hospital, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, United States
Woodmere Cemetery, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, United States