Buick Logo History

The Buick Motor Company was founded in 1903 by David Dunbar Buick, a Scottish-American inventor who invented the overhead valve engine. If you didn’t recognize the name, you’re not alone – but remember this: Buick, a high school drop out founded a company that later became the world’s largest auto company, General Motors.
At 15 years of age, Buick dropped out of school to work for a plumbing fixture manufacturer. When that business failed, Buick and his friend took it over – but within a few years, Buick had an argument with his partner because he preferred to spend his time tinkering with car engines. Buick sold his share in the company and quit.
With the money, Buick founded the Buick Motor Company and within a few years ran it to the ground. He was kicked out of the company by his partner William "Billy" Durant in 1906 and later sold his stock for a mere $100,000. Had he held on to his shares, it would’ve been worth well over $100 million today. In his later years, Buick held low-paying jobs and couldn’t even afford a telephone. He died penniless as an inspector at the Detroit School of Trades. Ironically, years later Durant himself would be forced out. General Motors, the company that Durant built, refused him pension and he died almost penniless. (Source)

Buick crests and tri-shields (source: Buick Car Club of Australia)
Back to the logo story: Early Buick logos were variations of the cursive word "Buick." In 1930s, General Motor Styling researcher Ralph Pew found a description of the Scottish "Buik" [sic] family crest and decided to use it as a radiator grille decoration. In 1960, the logo incorporated three such shields, to represent the three Buick models then built: LeSabre, Invicta, and Electra.
In 1975, Buick changed their logo to a hawk named "Happy" with the launch of their Skyhawk line. However, in the late 1980s, as the Skyhawk car was retired, Buick went back to the tri-shield logo.
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