10-11 October 2013

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Lot 107

1909 Buick Model G Roadster

  • Chassis no. 13194

Sold for $52,250

22 hp, 159 cu. in. horizontally opposed twin-cylinder engine, two-speed planetary transmission, solid front axle with three-quarter-elliptic leaf springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic springs and single chain drive, and two-wheel mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 87 in.

  • Roadster version of Buick’s “Old Faithful”
  • Correct older restoration
  • Excellent for touring

William Crapo Durant took a ride in a Buick in 1904. Two months later, he had become a member of the company’s board of directors. As a partner in the Flint, Michigan, Durant-Dort Carriage Company, Durant had not been enamored by automobiles, but he was impressed with the car built by David Buick, Walter Marr, and Eugene Richard, and he felt it worthy of investment. Durant was an avid stock speculator, and he had soon floated a $300,000 stock issue for what was now the Buick Motor Company. Durant was a superb salesman, as he managed to sell more than 1,100 Buicks before the firm had even built 40.

From the start, Buicks had overhead-valve “valve-in-head” engines and two cylinders. They were robust and ready, and they found an enthusiastic audience, as production reached 750 by 1905. A revised Model F Tourer and its companion, a Model G Roadster, were introduced in 1906. That year, the Chicago American and Examiner staged a 1,000-mile relay run from Chicago to New York. A Buick Model F was the only competitor to complete the event. A contemporary account notes that “stretches of bad road [were] rendered well nigh impassable by rainstorms…through all this struggle of a thousand miles, the Buick never failed to move forward.” The Model F earned the nickname “Old Faithful,” as it was soon touted in a company brochure. So popular were the two-cylinder cars that they remained in production after four-cylinder Buicks joined the catalogue in 1907, with the G being discontinued after 1909 and the F at the end of 1910.

This Model G Buick Roadster, with single rumble (or “mother-in-law”) seat, was found in a barn in Indiana. Ed Messenger, of Longview, Texas, restored it to pristine condition over a period of four years. It won a National First Junior in Antique Automobile Club of America judging in the spring of 1999. That autumn, it took a National First Senior and then the coveted AACA Cup in February 2000.

The current owners purchased the car from Messenger in 2003, and they have since toured with it on AACA, Horseless Carriage Club, and Veteran Motor Car Club events. In 1,500 miles of touring, it has never suffered a breakdown.

The Model G Roadster is far rarer than its touring sibling, the Model F. During the cars’ four-year lifespan, just 1,091 were built, compared to the 11,709 of the Model Fs. This is one of just 144 built in 1909, its final year, and only two of which are known to survive. As it has been tested and true in touring, it will be an excellent car for Brass and Gas events and one- and two-cylinder tours, or for providing just plain fun.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver


+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht


+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig


+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose


+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould


+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach


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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry


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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut


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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin


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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill


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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher


+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more