|Photo courtesy Kevin Kirbitz.
More than a century has elapsed since David Dunbar Buick was exiled from the car company he founded and from Flint, Michigan, the city that became synonymous with his automobiles. Since his death while nearly penniless in 1929, Buick’s personal legacy has been a tale of how hard one could fall in the fiscal free-for-all that met its death the same year he did.
In this space, we recently told you about two parallel efforts to memorialize Buick, one in Flint and the other in his birthplace of Arbroath, Angus, Scotland. Amazingly, neither group seeking to erect a memorial to Buick was aware of the other’s efforts until just months ago. The stateside effort is complete, as a life-size bronze statue of Buick was unveiled in downtown Flint on December 1. This image of the ceremony shows (from left) Doug Boes of Los Angeles, the great-grandson of David Buick; Kevin Kirbitz, a Buick biographical researcher, sculpture creator Joe Rundell of Clio, Michigan; and veteran Buick publicist/historian Lawrence R. Gustin, author of the first, and still definitive, biography entitled David Buick’s Marvelous Motor Car: The men and the automobile that launched General Motors. Look on the base of the statue: The small brass cannon is a Buick family heirloom, which Doug donated to the Sloan Museum in Flint. David Buick used to fire the cannon as a starting signal for regattas in the late 19th century, when he was vice commodore of the Detroit Yacht Club.
The bronze statue of David Dunbar Buick has been finished at the Fine Arts Sculpture Center in Clarkston, Michigan and will be
returning to Flint tomorrow, Tuesday, November 27, 2012. The statue will be set in place by crane between 11:30 and 12:00
Tuesday morning. The unveiling of the statue will be held on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 11:30 AM at the Statue park in the flat lot on the corner of Saginaw and Kearsley Streets. Speakers will include members of the Tom Brown family from Attentive Industries, who sponsored the statue, and Douglas Boes, great-grandson of David Buick. Mr. Boes will also be presenting personal items of David Buick’s to the Sloan Museum.