The Two Marquettes of General Motors

Written by Mike Brazeau






I was there...

Tell us your story >

The Marquette was introduced as a companion car to the Buick in June of 1929 as a 1930 model (although some seem to have been registered as 1929 models). The "Baby Buick" had a 114-inch wheelbase compared to the 118-inch wheelbase of Buick’s smallest car, the Series 40. The Marquette Business Coupe was offered at $990.00, some $270.00 less than Buick’s least expensive Series 40 Business Coupe. Other GM divisions also built companion cars. Oakland had the Pontiac (which surpassed its parent company when the Oakland Motor Car Company became the Pontiac Motor Car Company in 1932 and the Oakland name was dropped). Oldsmobile had the Viking and Cadillac had the LaSalle. Although 35,007 Marquettes were produced in the U.S., it was cutting into Oldsmobile sales and with a crowded low price six-cylinder field it was dropped at the end of 1930. The depression fighting economy car had a short life, but did you know it was not General Motors first Marquette?

Billy Durant bought the Rainer Motor Company of Saginaw, Michigan and the Welch-Detroit Company in 1908 (just after founding General Motors) and formed the Marquette Motor Company. In 1909 and 1910, Bob Burman and Louis Chevrolet raced Buick Bugs that were known as Marquette-Buicks. Durant continued to build the Rainer and parts for the Welch-Detroit until a production Marquette auto was introduced in late 1911. By February 1912, the name was changed to Peninsular Motor Company to avoid confusion with the Marquette Motor Company formed earlier. Some of the last cars produced were registered in Michigan as Peninsulars. So by 1912 the Marquette name had ended its short second life, although Buick brought back the Rainier name (slightly different spelling) in 2004 as a midsize SUV. This was fitting since the Rainier was Buick’s first truck (except for the Rendezvous) since the 1920’s.

Tag Cloud

1897-1909 Creation  1910-1930 Acceleration  1931-1958 Emotion  1959-1981 Revolution  1982-1999 Globalization  2000-Future Transformation  AC Spark Plug  Advertising & Marketing  Allison Engineering Company  Alternative Fuels  Alternative Materials  Alternative Propulsion  Anniversaries  Autoshows  Behind the Scenes  Beyond North America  Board of Directors  Brands & Products  Buick  Cadillac  Celebrities  Chevrolet  Color & Trim  Competitions  Concept Vehicles  Corporate Responsibility  DELCO  DELCO Electronics  Dealers & Distributors  Design  Design Centers  Detroit Diesel  Diversity  Education  Electromotive  Electronics  Emblems & Logos  Employees  Endurance  Energy Conservation  Engineering  Enthusiasts  Environment & Energy  Eras  Executives  Finance  Firsts  Fisher Body  Former Divisions  Frigidaire  GMAC  GMC  GMOO - GM Overseas Operations  GM Daewoo  HUMMER  Headquarters  Holden  Hughes Electronics  I was there...  Innovation & Technology  Innovators  Joint Ventures  LaSalle  Labor  Manufacturing  Mergers & Acquisitions  Methods & Techniques  Motorama  Oakland  Oldsmobile  OnStar  Opel  Operating Units  Pace Vehicles  Parade of Progress  People  Places  Plants  Pollution Control  Pontiac  Powertrain  Proving Grounds  Racing  Research  Retirees  Saab  Safety  Sales & Service  Saturn  Shows & Events  Specific Races  Sponsorships  Studios  Suppliers  Technical Centers  Ternstedt  The Business  Trends  United Motors  Vauxhall  World's Fairs