1923 Buick Sport Roadster, 2 dr., Master Series 50-54, Series 23-54
Original cost: $1,625.00
Number made: 4,501 in 1923
Engine, etc.: Inline 6 cyl., 60 h.p., 242 cu. in.; wheelbase: 124”
For the 1923 model year, Buick improved its styling with crowned fenders, cowl lights, and new drum-shaped headlights. The grill design was new and would remain almost unchanged through 1927.
This was a very popular roadster with a 6-cylinder engine and wire spoke wheels. Running lights and an exterior sun visor that matched the convertible top set this model apart as sporty.
The Delco System on the engine, a combination starter and generator, made this a sought-after vehicle that did not need to be crank-started.
A modified Model 54, Series 23-Six was timed at 108.24 mph in a run at the Muroc dry lake in California.
Buick is credited with creation of the overhead valve engine, advertised as the valve-in-head engine. It was powerful, reliable, and developed more horsepower with its displacement than other engines of like size then on the market.
Buick is the oldest still-active American automotive make and among the oldest car brands in the world. It was incorporated as Buick Motor Company in 1903 by David Dunbar Buick in Detroit Michigan. Later that year it was taken over by James H. Whiting who moved it to Flint, Michigan and brought in William C. Durant as manager in 1904.
No one could raise money, sell products, and plan big organizations like Billy Durant. Buick’s success was assured. He went to the 1905 New York Auto Show and took orders for 1,000 Buicks before the company had built 40.
In 1923, the famous writer-travel, Lowell Thomas, used a Buick in the first automotive expedition into Afghanistan. Two years later Buicks won trophies in a series of Leningrad-to-Moscow endurance and reliability runs, beating more than 40 cars from all over the world. A Buick magazine of the ’20s routinely reported events such as a hill-climb victory in Africa, winning a tug-of-war with an elephant, a trek through New Zealand, and the Sultan of Jahore with his Buick in the Far East.
Production reached more than 260,000 units in 1926 and the car’s reliability was world famous.
Sources: Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1805 -1942. Beverly Rae Kimes, et al. 3rd ed. Krause Publications, 1996.
http://www.oldcarbrochures.org/index.php/NA/Buick/1923-Buick/1923-Buick-Full-Line-Brochure (Original brochure; see page 20)