Early Buick Assembly.

This staged photo from the Buick assembly plant in Flint, Michigan shows what I believe is a 1909 Marquette Buick. I think the auto directly behind this one is a model 10 with a surrey top. The back light (rear window) design on the model 10 was used from 1907-1909; so this photo is narrowed to those years anyways.  I can’t say what the auto in the rear (facing) is. I would  certainly say this is in factory #06. The men posed for this photo sure look familiar to me but I’m not sure of their identity’s. The large gentleman ( second from left) resembles the Buick racing team manager William Pickens.

Bob Burman at the Indianapolis race in 1909. According to the book “Seventy Years Of Buick” by George Dammann this was one of 3 modified model 17’s entered in this particular race. Notice the Vibrator (coils) mounted on the dash just above the steering column; This is shown farther below; noted with the red line. The coil used here appears to have wires exiting from the top and bottom. 

This unit on an original 1909 Buick looks like a heavy duty unit that would be used on a racing machine.  Time Capsule 1909 Buick.

I have looked for other photos from this time period trying to determine the standard mounting procedure used for the vibrator on these special Buick’s. This is the only one I have found that resemble each other. Does this mean these two racers are one in the same? That would be interesting if proven but I will not make that judgment. Notice the Remy unit (below) 

on another 1909 Buick racer in the Indianapolis museum. It has what looks like bronze mounting straps. Some of the company’s making coil units at that time are:  K-W, Duplex, Lemke, Kingston, Heinze, Remy, Jefferson Electric, Detroit Coil, Atwater Kent, Bosch, Auto Coil, National and Perkins.  

 There were numerous company’s making these back then.  The Remy units were first used at Buick in 1905. Remy lost their business with Buick in 1911 at which time Remy and the Delco company merged thus creating the Delco and Remy company. This control switch was for changing connection from battery to magneto for the spark. The button is for the seldom used cold start or free start The button is for the Acetylene starter. You pull a button or handle on the dash, which injected Acetylene (used for headlamps) into the cylinders, then when you turned the switch for battery and pushed the button it fired the coils and theoretically started the engine. It is said that many engines blew apart using this starting procedure.. Other names for this unit were: trembler or buzz-coil.   Links: Delco Remy History  

Marquette – Buick A.C. On Industrial Avenue and the Buick Bug. Buick Racing Team 



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