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David Buick was born in Arbroath, a fishing village on the North Sea north of Edinburgh, Scotland, on Sept. 17, 1854. His family (which used the "Buik" spelling in Scotland) moved to the United States when he was two and he grew up in Detroit.

Buick, a plumbing inventor and businessman, began to tinker with gasoline engines around 1896, and the first experimental Buick horseless carriage was completed between 1899 and late 1900. His first automobile-related company, Buick Auto-Vim and Power Co., was probably formed late in 1899. That evolved into Buick Manufacturing Co. (1901 or 1902), Buick Motor Co. of Detroit in 1903 and Buick Motor Co. of Flint in 1904.

In the fall of 1903, Buick Motor Co. was purchased by directors of the Flint Wagon Works in Flint, Mich., 60 miles north of Detroit. The company (which still included David Buick) began to build engines in Flint in December. In 1904, the first 37 production Buick automobiles were built. That November, Flint carriage maker William C. Durant, an energetic business promoter, took control of Buick. Four years later, in 1908, he used Buick Motor Co.'s success as the foundation for his creation of General Motors. That year, Buick claimed to lead the country with more than 8,000 sales.

By the end of 1908, David Buick had left the company to pursue other business interests. He apparently prospered for a number of years, but at the time of his death in Detroit in 1929, he was said to be in near poverty.

Source: Buick Motor Division
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