I spent many hours to no avail trying to identify the model of this Buick automobile. It is definitely built using mostly Marquette parts. Judging by the style, I would place the model year between either 1909-1910 or possibly even a 1911 model. Judging by the length of the hood and the number of cooling fins my best guess is 1910. It appears to be some kind of special built automobile and is assembled with an eye towards making a combination “Speedster-Roadster”. The closest I can find in any books showing all models built is a model 16 or 17. The seat has a rakish slant to it like a racing model and also has a fuel tank behind the seat like a racer, but there is no oil tank behind the fuel tank, so that should rule out a racer. Also a racer would not have the fenders, trunk and tool box. This auto even has headlights and an unknown bracket hanging off of the radiator filler neck. The strangely shaped cowl is reminiscent of the cowl on the famous Buick model (Special “60”) “BUGS” built in 1910 only it is even more streamlined. The location for this photo is facing north with Industrial Avenue at the left. The map below shows where it was taken, the photo below that shows the factory which would become Buick #38 in 1916. It was Michigan Motor Castings at the time of this photo. This automobile was definitely important enough to merit getting it’s picture taken. If anyone can enlighten me on this I would really appreciate it.
|This map shows the location of the Michigan Motor Castings plant built in 1908 which quickly became obsolete and saw a total renovation in 1909. Before Michigan Motor Castings was organized Buick engine castings came from Barker and Hamel on west Water Street located in downtown Flint. As stated previously Buick did not own this plant until 1916 and then numbered it #38. The green X shows where the automobile was sitting at the time the photo above was taken. Also notice on the map that the first suspension bridge has now been erected crossing the Flint River.|
This 1920 view of factory #38 shows the area where the speedster photo was taken. The auto would be sitting where the guard shack is located behind the wall, of which neither existed in 1910. Links: