Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by benjaminhuf

  1. Good stuff. Unfortunately, unless I'm missing something, they don't seem to allow you to download the images. And so I don't see a way to directly post images here, for instance....? Hmmm. Looks like they charge $1 per image. I hope we can still do some free sharing here from our own collections.
  2. Interesting I think to see what other brand names were being established at the same time as the Buick name, and so two ads from 1921 show Planters Peanuts and International Business Machines. The Pierce Arrow advertisement from 1923 describes a deluxe trip in that deluxe car that you can probably read if you magnify as much as possible. And then finally there's the Buick eight from 1930.
  3. August 1946 and January of 1950.
  4. Thanks for the thoughts on shifting early cars. Interesting stuff. I recently read a good book about Harley Earl called Fins by William Knoedelseder. In the book there was this passage that talked about the fine sound of Pierce-Arrows. And below are a couple of advertisements for the Pierce-Arrow. One of Harley Earl's hires—after he was appointed in 1928 by Alfred Sloan as the head of GM's new "Art and Colour Section" (a name Earl didn't like)—was Frank Hershey, whose affluent mother had purchased custom cars designed by Harley Earl. Frank Hershey was an influential car designer for decades, and helped design the 1949 Cadillac fin, and helped design Ford's 1955 Thunderbird. Earl liked designers who, in his words, "had gasoline in their veins"—and Hershey fit that. For instance, Hershey could identify almost any car of the 1920s just by their sounds, as he remembered in an interview in the 1990s a few years before he died.... "The Marmon had a hollow, spooky sound, partly because because they didn't have any louvers in the hood, Studebakers were distinctive because their rear axles whined all the time. The Pierce-Arrow had a swishing sound, sort of like it was riding on water, almost like steam, it was so quiet. And I could always tell a Cadillac because they sounded like the valves needed adjusting." The advertising copy for that Peerless car ad above is strangely wistful. Since it's impossible to read the ad without clicking on it to enlarge it multiple times, I'll type some of it here just in case someone might be interested. "....Up Life's winding course, regret pursues change and change bites the heels of habit and custom. The stage-coach of romance gives place to steam and speed. The electric light snuffs out the soft-beamed candle. Tinkling sleigh-bells drown in the roar of motor horns. But Youth knows naught of the old, Age accepts the new, and who will say that smiles were brighter or spirits keener at the Christmases of our fathers than they are today? Richer and wider is our modern life, with its locomotives, its electricity, its motor cars—they have extended our horizons, increased our comforts and opportunities, multiplied our human relationships. Here at the Peerless factory we measure our accomplishment by the degree to which the Peerless Two-power-range Eight shares in this widening and enriching process. As the new year approaches, we renew our pledges of devotion to ideals of sound building and honest dealing. The Peerless Motor Car Company CLEVELAND : OHIO"
  5. Yes, please post more of these images of very early Buicks—including the technical stuff. One thing I don't understand about early cars is how they could be shifted while minimizing grinding the gears before synchromesh. Was there a technique to it in terms of "rev matching"? Do you folks with pre-1930 Buicks have the original type of transmission and clutch?
  6. Thanks for pointing that "mental typo" out. I had just been looking at the 1929 advertisements for Oldsmobile's Viking. And here are two more high rez ads from 1930 for the Eight as Buick Builds it.
  7. I also enjoy the advertisements for fashion and other things as well. These first two ads are from 1928, one of which shows a huge advantage GM had starting around 1920—GMAC. Ford and most other car makers made you pay the entire cost of your car up front or find your own financing. But through GMAC you could buy a Buick with c. 25% down over a year or so with a low interest rate. Often the trade-in on your old car would cover your downpayment, and then you'd just have a monthly payment for 12 or 18 months. Already by 1928 I think something like 80% of GM buyers used the financing to get into a nicer car. The last two ads are from 1930. Just before the Great Depression hit Buick made the decision to move to Straight 8 engines for all its cars for the added power. During the 1920s the size and weight of Buicks went up fairly steadily, and so moving to a powerful Straight 8 made sense.
  8. From late 1928 an advertisement for a suit for a prosperous young man of that era that might be in the market for a Buick. From 1929 an ad for the company that was part of GM that made the door handles and other fittings for Buicks. Also from 1929 an ad for the short-lived companion car for Buick. The Marquette was a "budget Buick," but it didn't make much sense because at the same time Oldsmobile was introducing Viking, which was a deluxe, V-8 powered luxury Oldsmobile. Plus Pontiac had the upscale companion brand Oakland. Anyway, all of these extra brands would die in the early years of the Great Depression. Last we have an ad from May of 1930 for a Buick. Again, these are all high rez, and so if you click on the images multiple times to go to full screen, you should be able to read the small text—if your computer screen is large enough.
  9. 1928-1929 Just threw in the color ad for playing cards from this era for fun. These are all high rez, and so if you click on them a few times and magnify to full screen you should be able to read the small text. As we all know, in 1927 and 1928 Henry Ford seriously damaged his company because he could be autocratic and closed-minded. The GM ads about their "open mind" were a critique of Ford. Somehow Henry Ford thought for many years that the Model T would never need to be completely replaced. The "Car Wars" of the 1920s were epic in their own way....Here's the market share for each of the big three starting in 1925. Ford fell off a cliff when it had to suspend production of the outdated Model T in mid 1927 because of collapsing sales. It was quite a while before production of the Model A began, but eventually it was a big hit. Even though in 1929 Ford reclaimed first place in sales by a small margin by number of units, in terms of total dollar sales GM remained ahead because of their richer product mix. The game of cards when it came to cars was something that GM was better at with Buick and most of its other brands. That ad about GM's new fan belt shows how they could throw a lot of resources into making many of the parts of their cars better. Market share of the big three 1925 Ford 45% GM 19% Chrysler 3% 1926 Ford 37% GM 27% Chrysler 4% 1927 Ford 17% GM 42% Chrysler 5% 1928 Ford 16% GM 42% Chrysler 11% 1929 Ford 35% GM 33% Chrysler 9%
  10. 1928-1929. Two million Buick's had been sold by early 1928 during the entire history of Buick. And you can rest assured that the Buick of the far-future year of 1949 "will still be the standard of comparison."
  11. In 1927 a Buick was advertised as long-lasting, luxurious, and it "laughs at the steepest hill."
  12. GM seemingly ran almost no ads for the first five months of 1946. This was probably because a 113-day strike meant that they had no cars to sell and so no need to run ads. But by June of 1946 things were getting back to business....
  13. If anyone here owns a Buick from the 1920s (or earlier), I think we'd all enjoy seeing a photo of your classic 1905-1929 Buick if you feel like it. In 1925-1926 Buick pioneered some crucial developments—the oil filter, the air filter, and the gas filter!
  14. Sales at Buick continued steadily higher until about 1927. Even with the added quality engineering in Buicks, Buick was so profitable it was like a money machine in the 1920s. But until about 1926 Sloan says Buick—operating as a company within a company—mostly had control over their own finances. When GM wanted some of Buick's huge profits for another division, or to start a whole new brand like Pontiac, they literally had send accounting people and executives over to Buick and painfully extract the money from them. Buick had ways of hiding their money from GM—in special accounts and inventory—but in the end Buick still had to turn over most of what GM wanted. Around this time Sloan and the GM team centralized and modernized GM's accounting and financial practices, and by c. 1926 Buick lost most of its ability to hide and keep its profits from the parent company. 1924-1925
  15. In Sloan's book he says that in 1920 and 1921 the only divisions keeping GM from collapse were Cadillac and Buick. Sloan says that GM's own internal studies showed that the Chevrolet model of 1920 not only cost significantly more than a Model T, but didn't have nearly as good quality as the Model T. Some people in GM suggested to Sloan that GM's top management break up Buick's successful management and engineering teams and spread the people around to other GM brands, and Sloan said, more or less, "Are you insane?" Sloan then went on to say that the loyalty of Buick's customers to Buick, because Buick actually built a good car and knew how to market it, was the only reason any of them at GM had jobs at all. Sloan said let's learn from Buick how to do things right and make the customer happy, but we need to keep that winning team intact, and in fact reinforce it and reward them for their success with more resources. Soon the management of Chevy was also quite good, and although they never meant to beat the Ford Model T on price, they wanted to get close enough that people would say that for a bit more money I'm getting a better car. Sloan felt early on that better advertising was important to GM's success. Quoting Alfred Sloan:"I had had some consumer studies made in 1922, and we found that people throughout the United States, except at the corner of Wall and Broad streets, didn't know anything about General Motors. So I thought we should publicize the parent company. A plan submitted to me by Barton, Durstine, and Osborn, now BBDO, was approved by the Finance Committee and our top executives....Bruce Barton was given full responsibility for conducting the campaign. We then formed the Institutional Advertising Committee, consisting of car-division managers and staff men, to assist Mr. Barton."So this big ad with GENERAL MOTORS in huge letters was part of this giant campaign that started running in 1923 and went on for many years. Each division had primary responsibility for their own advertising, but all ads were coordinated to some degree so they could work in harmony, and each car division also usually had to say in all their ads starting around 1923 "a product of General Motions" and/or "division of General Motors."Sloan says that the campaign was a success, and also had the effect of creating a greater group identity and esprit de corps within General Motors. GM employees saw the ads too, in other words, and thought of themselves more as GM people in addition to whatever division they worked for. 1923
  16. I recently read Alfred Sloan's book My Years with General Motors, which details how in 1920 GM was a total mess that was struggling for survival. In 1920 a triple whammy of chaotic and unrealistic management inside GM, a severe recession after the Great War, and brutal competition from Ford in 1920 (the price of the Model T was cut c. 25% in that year) left GM reeling. But in the early 1920s Sloan and a whole new team took over GM, and they started instituting a much better management system. Unlike Ford, which was basically a dictatorship, GM believed in a team approach, and in systematically, scientifically, and in a fact-based way examining the engineering of cars, the building of cars, and the marketing of cars. GM's market share grew from 12% in 1921 to an amazing 27% in 1926. 1917-1921
  • Create New...