Director’s Thoughts, August 2017
How are you doing? The summer is now ½ over. What can you say for yourself? What can you say you did this summer so far? Have you attended any events, such as: car show(s), mall shopping, flea marketing, camping, yard sale shopping, swimming, car buying, trail walking, family reunions, bike riding, working, miniature golf playing, lawn care, picnicking, house redecorating, volunteering somewhere, gardening, weed whacking, bush trimming, tree chopping, patio sitting, concert going, gambling, vacationing, or just plain RELAXING, (I like this one, don’t you?)
Well, now that August is here & the summer will shortly be coming to a close, don’t forget there are still events occurring that you need to be reminded of:
- August 4-6, 2017 = Das Awkscht Fescht
- September 5, 2017 = reconvening of chapter meeting
- September 23, 2017 = Tour to Thomas Edison Museum, NJ
- September 29-October 1, 2017 = Upstate NY Buick Regional
- October 5-7, 2017 = Hershey Region AACA Meet
- October 10, 2017 = chapter meeting
- October 29, 2017 = Old Car Show, Kempton, PA
- November 7, 2017 = Chapter meeting
- December 5, 2017 = “Holiday Gathering”
Enjoy the rest of your summer. Looking forward to seeing some of the membership during DAF! Clarence/Sally Getz & John Moore’s flea market spots during DAF have been changed. Got tired of getting stuck in the mud when the weather wouldn’t cooperate during the show. We are still in the same field as we have been for years, but a different spot. See if you can find us. If & when you find us, stop by to say “HELLO”. It’s like the book, “Finding Waldo, Where Is Waldo?” Let us know you found us!
Your elected Director, Sally Getz
“Free Spirit” Chapter Meeting Min.
August 2017. No meeting held, vacation.
August 2017, Past Renewal Dues
June was the “Free Spirit” Chapter renewal dues month. If you have not yet paid your yearly dues, please do so NOW! Please submit your check of $12.00, payable to “Free Spirit” Chapter, BCA, to Dolores Kennedy, 2620 Ambassador Drive, Bethlehem, Pa. 18017-7717. Please renew by August 15, 2017!
CALLING ALL BUICK “FREE SPIRIT” MEMBERS!
Looking for BUICK members to help park BUICKS in the prime BUICK area of park on Sunday, August 6, 2017, @ Das Awkchst Fescht. There has to be at least 2-3 persons for 7 am. Contact Sally, 610-377-6130, email@example.com BEFORE JULY 31st. After July 31st, call 484-464-3418. Please volunteer so we DO NOT LOSE our prime front row seats with SHADE!! “Thanks” to those who already contacted me. Sally Getz
HISTORY OF THE CAR RADIO
Seems like cars have always had radios, but they didn’t. Here’s the story:
One evening, in 1929, two young men named William Lear and Elmer Wavering drove their girlfriends to a lookout point high above the Mississippi River town of Quincy, Illinois, to watch the sunset. It was a romantic night to be sure, but one of the women observed that it would be even nicer if they could listen to music in the car.
Lear and Wavering liked the idea. Both men had tinkered with radios (Lear served as a radio operator in the U.S. Navy during World War I) and it wasn’t long before they were taking apart a home radio and trying to get it to work in a car.
But it wasn’t easy: automobiles have ignition switches, generators, spark plugs, and other electrical equipment that generate noisy static interference, making it nearly impossible to listen to the radio when the engine was running.
One by one, Lear and Wavering identified and eliminated each source of electrical interference. When they finally got their radio to work, they took it to a radio convention in Chicago.
There they met Paul Galvin, owner of Galvin Manufacturing Corporation. He made a product called a “battery eliminator”, a device that allowed battery-powered radios to run on household AC current. But as more homes were wired for electricity, more radio manufacturers made AC-powered radios .Galvin needed a new product to manufacture. When he met Lear and Wavering at the radio convention, he found it. He believed that mass-produced, affordable car radios had the potential to become a huge business.
Lear and Wavering set up shop in Galvin’s factory, and when they perfected their first radio, they installed it in his Studebaker.
Then Galvin went to a local banker to apply for a loan. Thinking it might sweeten the deal, he had his men install a radio in the banker’s Packard. Good idea, but it didn’t work. Half an hour after the installation, the banker’s Packard caught on fire. (They didn’t get the loan.)
Galvin didn’t give up. He drove his Studebaker nearly 800 miles to Atlantic City to show off the radio at the 1930 Radio Manufacturers Association convention. Too broke to afford a booth, he parked the car outside the convention hall and cranked up the radio so that passing conventioneers could hear it. That idea worked — He got enough orders to put the radio into production.
WHAT’S IN A NAME
That first production model was called the 5T71. Galvin decided he needed to come up with something a little catchier. In those days many companies in the phonograph and radio businesses used the suffix “ola” for their names – Radiola, Columbiola, and Victrola were three of the biggest.
Galvin decided to do the same thing, and since his radio was intended for use in a motor vehicle, he decided to call it the Motorola. But even with the name change, the radio still had problems: When Motorola went on sale in 1930, it cost about $110 uninstalled, at a time when you could buy a brand-new car for $650, and the country was sliding into the Great Depression. (By that measure, a radio for a new car would cost about $3,000 today.)
In 1930, it took two men several days to put in a car radio — The dashboard had to be taken apart so that the receiver and a single speaker could be installed, and the ceiling had to be cut open to install the antenna. These early radios ran on their own batteries, not on the car battery, so holes had to be cut into the floorboard to accommodate them.
The installation manual had eight complete diagrams and 28 pages of instructions. Selling complicated car radios that cost 20 percent of the price of a brand-new car wouldn’t have been easy in the best of times, let alone during the Great Depression.
Galvin lost money in 1930 and struggled for a couple of years after that. But things picked up in 1933 when Ford began offering Motorola’s pre-installed at the factory. In 1934 they got another boost when Galvin struck a deal with B.F. Goodrich tire company to sell and install them in its chain of tire stores. By then the price of the radio, with installation included, had dropped to $55. The Motorola car radio was off and running.
(The name of the company would be officially changed from Galvin Manufacturing to “Motorola” in 1947.)
In the meantime, Galvin continued to develop new uses for car radios. In 1936, the same year that it introduced push-button tuning, it also introduced the Motorola Police Cruiser, a standard car radio that was factory preset to a single frequency to pick up police broadcasts. In 1940 he developed the first handheld two-way radio — The Handy-Talkie for the U. S. Army.
A lot of the communications technologies that we take for granted today were born in Motorola labs in the years that followed World War II. In 1947 they came out with the first television for under $200. In 1956 the company introduced the world’s first pager; in 1969 came the radio and television equipment that was used to televise Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon. In 1973 it invented the world’s first handheld cellular phone. Today Motorola is one of the largest cell phone manufacturers in the world. And it all started with the car radio.
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO the two men who installed the first radio in Paul Galvin’s car? Elmer Wavering and William Lear, ended up taking very different paths in life. Wavering stayed with Motorola. In the 1950’s he helped change the automobile experience again when he developed the first automotive alternator, replacing inefficient and unreliable generators. The invention lead to such luxuries as power windows, power seats, and, eventually, air-conditioning.
Lear also continued inventing. He holds more than 150 patents. Remember eight-track tape players? Lear invented that. But what he’s really famous for are his contributions to the field of aviation. He invented radio direction finders for planes, aided in the invention of the autopilot, designed the first fully automatic aircraft landing system, and in 1963 introduced his most famous invention of all, the Lear Jet, the world’s first mass-produced, affordable business jet. (Not bad for a guy who dropped out of school after the eighth grade.) Sometimes it is fun to find out how some of the many things that we take for granted actually came into being!
110 Buick Facts, Milestones During Its 110 Years In Business, May 19, 2013
1. Detroit plumbing inventor/executive David Dunbar Buick, already building gasoline engines, founds Buick Auto-Vim and Power Co. in 1899.
2. Walter L. Marr built an experimental Buick in 1899-1900, then bought it for $225 in 1901.
3. In 1902, Eugene C. Richard applied for a Buick patent on an overhead valve, or valve-in-head, engine. The design is later adapted across the auto industry.
4. David Dunbar Buick founds the Buick Motor Co. on May 19, 1903 in Detroit.
5. Flint Wagon Works purchased the Buick Motor Co. on Sept. 3, 1903, and moved it to Flint.
6. From 1903-1998 Flint, then known as “Vehicle City” for its vigorous carriage industry, was Buick’s home.
7. Buick helped William Crapo “Billy” Durant create General Motors in 1908.
8. Buick’s first vehicle, the 1904 Model B, was also the shortest, riding on an 83-inch wheelbase. The 2013 Encore luxury small crossover isn’t quite as small, but it does have the shortest wheelbase (100.6 inches) since the 1912 Model 34 (90.7 inches.)
9. In 1904, a famous test drive was taken by Marr and Buick’s son Thomas from July 9-12 from Flint to Detroit and back.
10. Willian C. “Billy” Durant, who would co-found General Motors, took charge of Buick on Nov. 1, 1904.
11. Buick produced 37 cars during its first year of production in 1904.
12. In 1905, Durant moved Buick’s car assembly temporarily from Flint to Jackson while raising money to create a huge factory on Flint’s north side.
13. From 1906-1907, Buick’s north Flint complex was built. Nearly 16 million Buicks were completed between 1907 and 1999.
14. After merger talks failed with Henry Ford, Durant created General Motors on Sept. 16, 1908.
15. Buick quickly became a part of General motors, followed by Oldsmobile, Cadillac and Oakland, which later became Pontiac in 1908-1909.
16. In 1908, Buick claimed U.S. car leadership with production of 8,820 vehicles.
17. Buick has a deep motorsports history, proving its performance on race tracks as early as 1908. A Buick has served as Official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500 six times, and the brand also won two NASCAR Manufacturer Championships, in 1981 and 1982.
18. Between 1908 and 1910, Durant’s Buick racing team, headed by Wild Bob Burman and Louis Chevrolet, captured 500 trophies.
19. There are photographs of Dr. Sun Yatsen, first provisional president of the Republic of China, riding in a Buick in Shanghai in 1912.
20. In 1914, GM Field official Johnston Martin claimed Buick as the first car driven across South America. He sent a 1912 Model 28 from Buenos Aires to Santiago, Chile.
21. Buick introduced the six-cylinder engine and electric starter in 1914.
22. After just over three decades of engineering progress, the first production Buick topped 100 mph. It was the appropriately named 1936 Buick Century.
23. Durant, after losing GM (including Buick) to bankers, helped Louis Chevrolet form Chevrolet Motor Co in 1911.
24. Durant regained control of GM and built it into an empire from 1915-1916.
25. Walter P. Chrysler was Buick’s president in 1916.
26. From 1917-1918, Buick built Liberty aircraft engines, mortar shells, ambulances and experimental trucks for World War I.
27. In 1920, Walter P. Chrysler resigned as Buick president and later forms Chrysler Corp.
28. Durant, overextended in stock market, was again forced out of GM in 1920.
29. Buick built its one-millionth vehicle in 1923.
30. In 1925, Buick and GM Export sent a Buick around the world without an assigned driver, handing it off to various dealers to publicize worldwide service.
31. David Buck died March 5, 1929 at 74 years old.
32. In 1929, Buick opened its first sales office in Shanghai.
33. By 1931, all Buicks are powered by straight eight engines.
34. The 1938 Buick Y-Job, credited to famed designer Harley Earl, is regarded as the first concept car ever built. Its waterfall grille is still used on Buicks today, and it featured futuristic technologies like power windows. Earl drove the car himself for more than a decade.
35. In 1940, Buick debuted its Estate Wagon.
36. U.S. production hit a then-record of more than 320,000 units with nearly 8,000 being exported from the U.S. in 1941.
37. In February 1942, the last civilian car left a Buick facility before full attention was placed on engineering and producing aircraft engines, ammunition and the M18 tank destroyer, better known as the Hellcat.
38. The M18 and Hellcat logo originated in the design studio of Harley Earl, whose team also worked extensively on early camouflage paint. The logo, flanked by the words “Seek, Strike, Destroy,” depicts a wildcat biting down on crushed treads, signifying the Hellcat’s mission of targeting enemy tanks.
39. Buick engineers brought the Hellcat to life from the design team’s sketches and developed an innovative torsion bar suspension that provided a steady ride, according to GM.
40. Production of the M18 Hellcat began in mid-1943 and ended in October 1944. The project was so secretive that a story about the “new” tank destroyer ran in newspapers just a month before production ended.
41. Vehicle production restarted in 1945. Buick, like other auto brands, experienced tremendous growth through the ’50s and ’60s following WWII.
42. Durant dies March 18, 1947 at the age of 85 in New York.
43. On its reliability and quality, Buick, known as the “doctor’s car,” quickly turned into a brand that mainstream consumers aspired to own and the wealthy respected.
44. In 1955, Buick reached third place in the industry with 745,000 deliveries.
45. Buick became the first major corporate sponsor in golf with the Buick open at Warwick Hills near Flint in 1958.
46. In 1959, Buick sales slumped; Buick dropped the Roadmaster, Super, Century, and Special to introduce the LeSabre, Invicta and Electra.
47. The Buick Electra 225 nameplate was introduced in 1959, with the “225” referencing the model’s overall length in inches.
48. By 1975, the Electra grew to become the longest vehicle ever produced by Buick. It measured 233.7 inches from bumper to bumper.
49. In 1962, Buick Special, with first U.S. mass-produced V6 engine, is Motor Trend “Car of the Year.”
50. The 1963 Riviera, often regarded as one of history’s most beautiful cars, celebrated its 50th anniversary that year. The powerful sport coupe was said to be inspired by a Rolls-Royce that Buick design boss Bill Mitchell saw through a fog in London.
51. In 1965, Buick joined the muscle car-era with the first of 145,000 Gran Sport and GSX models.
52. Buick’s quickest car was also one of the brands rarest. Car and Driver magazine recorded 0-60 mph acceleration for the 1987 Buick GNX at just 4.6 seconds. Just 547 were built.
53. The controversial “boat-tail” design debuted on the Riviera in 1971. It survived three model years from 1971-1973.
54. The compact Skyhawk arrived in 1975.
55. Powertrain innovation is a Buick hallmark. Today, the company’s turbocharged, direct-injected 2.0L delivers 259 hp, but displacement was king in the 1960s and ‘70s. Buick’s largest engine, a 455-cubic-inch (7.5L) V-8, was introduced in 1970.
56. The 1979 Riviera was the first front-wheel-drive Buick.
57. The ’70s and ’80s were arguably Buick’s heyday. In 1985, production of the Century and Electra spurred Buick’s North American production to top 1 million.
58. In 1982, a soft-top Riviera helped lead the return of the convertible, which had disappeared from domestic lineups in the late ‘70s.
59. Buick worldwide sales topped 1 million for the first time in 1984.
60. In 1988, the Academy Award-winning film “Rain Man” prominently featured a 1949 Roadmaster convertible.
61. The Flint-built LeSabre ranked No. 1 in North America and No. 2in the world in major independent quality study in 1989.
62. Buick changed its slogan from “The Great American Road Belongs to Buick” to “Buick: The New Symbol for Quality in America” in 1989.
63. By the 1990s, Buick was sponsoring four PGA Tour events.
64. In 1991, Buick led the industry in improvement in market share and sales.
65. By the late 1990s, Buick was the industry-leader in supercharging.
66. A commemorative plaque was unveiled in 1994 at David Buick’s birthplace in Arbroath, Scotland.
67. In 1996, Durant was named to the Business Hall of Fame.
68. Buick offered hands-free experimental driving to officials and press in 1997.
69. Detroit once again became Buick’s home, when GM moved its headquarters from Flint to the Motor City in 1998.
70. In December 2009, the first Chinese Buick rolled off a production line in Shanghai.
71. Buick opened its “Gallery and Research Center” at Flint’s Sloan Museum in 1998.
72. The last of nearly 16 million Buick built in Flint rolled off the line on June 29, 1999.
73. The last Buick built in Flint was a 1999 LeSabre.
74. In 2001, the Rendezvous, a crossover vehicle, was Buick’s first model based on a truck since 1923.
75. In 2002, starting momentum for Buick’s centennial in 2003, Buick and Sloan Museum collaborated to take a selection of vintage Buicks on a tour of automotive museums across the country.
76. 2002 marked the last time Buick’s market share was above 2 percent in the U.S., according to Edmunds.com.
77. From 2002 to 2009, Buick’s sales drastically dropped about 330,000 units in the U.S.
78. Buick celebrated its 100th birthday on May 19, 2003.
79. To celebrate Buick’s centennial, Buick Club of America celebrated with a national meet in Flint.
80. In 2007, Buick introduced the 2008 Buick Enclave, which remains one of its most-popular models. It marked the beginning of Buick’s new design direction.
81. For the 2007 model year, Shanghai GM introduced the Buick LaCrosse.
82. In 2008-2009, Buick’s U.S. market share dipped to 1 percent.
83. In 2009, GM and government officials reach the decision to keep Buick as a brand.84. Buick’s U.S. sales were about 102,300 vehicles, a record-low for the brand.
85. On June 1, 2009 GM went into a government-backed bankruptcy.
86. In October 2009, Buick announced it would resurrect the Regal name for a new sedan.
87. The second-generation Buick LaCrosse received rave reviews for its design when introduced as a 2010 model.
88. 2010 marked the first time Buick experienced increased sales in the U.S. since at least 2002.
89. In January 2010 Buick debuted the Regal GS showcar at the 2010 North American International Auto Show.
90. In October 2010, GM announced an investment of $145 million at the Orion Assembly Center to build the Chevrolet Sonic and Buick’s future compact sedan – the all-new Verano.
91. In November 2010, GM said the 2012 Lacrosse would debut Buick’s eAssist, a new mild hybrid as its base model.
92. Buick debuted the Verano during the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
93. In 2011, Buick partnered with the NCAA to become the “official partner of human achievement.” This year marked the third-consecutive year of the partnership.
94. In July 2012, less than a year after its launch in China, sales of the Buick LaCrosse reached 100,000 units.
95. The fastest production Buick in history is today’s Buick Regal GS luxury sport sedan. At the 2012 Nevada Open Road Challenge, it recorded a top speed of 162 mph.
96. Buick has made many models with seating for two, four, five or six passengers. But only twice in 110 years has the brand produced vehicles with seating for up to eight: the 2008-2013 Enclave and the 1991-1996 Roadmaster Estate.
97. Buick debuted the Encore during the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
98. Buick introduced its “Experience Buick” campaign, which offers the security and convenience of a 24-month lease that includes routine maintenance, an OnStar Directions and Connections plan and SiriusXM radio, all bundled into one simple monthly payment.
99. Through the end of 2012, Buick has sold more than 43 million vehicles. That’s the equivalent of every vehicle sold in the United States over the past three years.
100. In March 2012, Buick and GMC told dealers that the brands will introduce nine new or significantly updated models in the next 12 months, starting with the new Buick Enclave luxury crossover SUV and GMC Acadia crossover SUV
101. Amid an aggressive product overhaul in October 2012, Buick announces its average customer age for the brand has dropped to 57, a seven-year decline from five years ago.
102. Buick retail sales for 2012 were up 6 percent over 2011 and at the highest level in six years, giving the brand its third consecutive year of retail sales gains in 2012. Buick total sales increased 2 percent in 2012 and were the highest since 2007.
103. Led by Buick, Shanghai GM’s sales increased 10.9 percent to a record more than 1.3 million units in China in 2012.
104. Buick sales in China increased 8.4 percent on an annual basis, finishing 2012 at a year-end high of 700,007 units, dwarfing the brand’s U.S. sales of about 180,400 cars and trucks.
105. January 2013 marked the first deliveries of Buick’s new luxury small crossover, the Encore.
106. Buick’s February 2013 retail sales were the best since 2004 with a 13 percent year-over-year increase, the 10th consecutive month of higher sales to individual customers. Total sales, including those sold to executive fleets and other commercial customers, were up 15 percent.
107. A year after its debut, Experience Buick leasing — a two-year term with a single monthly payment that includes entertainment, safety and maintenance features — led Buick to double its leasing business as a share of total sales over the last 12 months.
108. Buick debuted the 2014 Buick LaCrosse and Regal during the 2013 New York International Auto Show in in March.
109. Buick debuted the new Riviera concept at the Auto Shanghai 2013 in April.
110. Buick celebrates its 110th anniversary on May 19, 2013.
Calendar of Events
AUGUST 2017 Dog Days of Summer!
4 – 6 – Das Awkscht Fescht, Macungie, Pa
11-12 – 48th Annual Swigart Museum Meet, Huntingdon, Pa
20 – 18th Annual Sticks Reunion Show, Wind Gap, Pa
SEPTEMBER 2017 Happy Labor Day!
2 – 52nd Annual Duryea Days, Boyertown, Pa
3 – Slatington Car Show, Rt. 873, Slatington, Pa
5 – Monthly chapter meeting, Starlite Diner & Lounge. Dinner @ 6 pm, business meeting @ 7:30 pm. Guest speaker: Ms. Tammy Sholedice, Unit Manager, Clubhouse of the LV.
10 – Strausstown Car Show, Strausstown, Pa
10 –Star Buick GMC, BOP Show, Rt. 33, Easton, Pa
22-24 – Englishtown Swap Meet, Englishtown, Pa
23 – Tour to Thomas Edison Museum, NJ. Tour masters: Kathleen/Thomas Duckett
27- October 1 – Fall Carlisle, Pa
29-October 1 – Upstate NY Buick Regional, Clifton Park, NY
OCTOBER 2017 Happy Halloween!
5-7 – Hershey AACA Fall Meet, Hershey, Pa
10 – Monthly Chapter meeting, Star Lite Diner & Lounge, Allentown, Pa. Dinner @ 6 pm, business meeting @ 7:30 pm. Nominations to be taken for Officers & 2 BOD’s. You, as a member have a voice in these nominations.
29 – 41st Annual Old Car Show, Kempton, Pa.
CARS/PARTS “FOR SALE”
1939 Buick Special (41) 4-DR Trunk back Sedan, unrestored original car, Straight 8, manual transmission. Runs well! Rebuilt engine & components, brake system, drive train, transmission. Upgraded carb, electronic ignition, oil filter, NEW exhaust system. WW tires. Pics available. $16,500/negotiable. Ken Davis, 610-489-1649. firstname.lastname@example.org.
1951-52 Buick Mustache Bar to be rechromed, very hard to find! $400.00. William, 610-970-7183, 484-948-6213.
1958 Super/Limited Chrome & stainless trim, rear Ltd. Bumper end. 610-509-2061.
1962 Buick Skylark Conv. Overall GOOD condition. Various NOS chrome installed. Runs/drives nice! Transmission, rear, top & rear window good. Dave’s Int. restorations, 525 Chestnut St., Emmaus, Pa 18049
1964 Buick 300 V-8 w/ factory aluminum heads, complete w/ fan, carb, air cleaner, etc. TH 400 auto trans #BU-64-23582. Eng. #4K5029219, $700.00. 610-509-2061.
1966 Buick Skylark GS 2 dr HDT, red/white top. $16,500.00. 610-582-3758
1979 Buick Riviera 32,000 miles call Michael Spitzer at 215-255-5768
1981 Buick Regal 4 DR dark green, garage kept. 75K mi. 717-576-7588
1987 Buick GN, T-Top blk w/ grey/blk int., orig parts, EXCELLENT condition, 3200 ORIGINAL miles. Stored in heat controlled garage. $28,500 (OBO), email@example.com
In Search Of
OPEL Manual, 717-201-1660.
1948 Buick Special 2 door back chrome. Doug @ 570-573-0948.
1951-52 Buick Roadmaster RH grille bar extension. C. Wenger, 433-710-6624, firstname.lastname@example.org
1967 Buick Electra Conv. 610-730-4599, email@example.com