1904, A Dreamer Takes Over at Buick

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Buick backers and Flint civic boosters turned to native son William Crapo Durant (the future founder of General Motors, known to all as "Billy"), to pull Buick Motor out of the tank. Having built America’s most successful horse-drawn vehicle empire, William Crapo Durant had been skeptical of automobiles but was immediately smitten with the Buick’s potential. He unveiled the Buick Model D at the 1905 New York Auto Show and received 1,108 orders on the spot, even though fewer than 40 of the cars had yet been built. In the photo, Durant is at the wheel of a 1906 Buick Model F.