A Remarkable Journey: Vintage 1920s Buick Makes Its Way Home to Arbroath
A rare 1920s Buick, a relic from the heyday of American automotive history, has recently completed an extraordinary journey back to Angus, Scotland, the birthplace of David Dunbar Buick, the founding father of the Buick Motor Company. The vintage car, a 1926 Buick Master Six, holds a significant historical connection to Arbroath, as it was the town where Buick’s family embarked on their journey to the United States when he was just two years old.
Buick’s fascination with engineering and automobiles drove him to establish the Buick Manufacturing Company in 1902, with the goal of producing and marketing engines for other car manufacturers, as well as creating his own vehicles. However, financial difficulties plagued Buick, resulting in limited success. Ultimately, he was forced to part ways with his own company, selling his only share for a staggering amount of money. Despite his passion and aspirations, Buick’s name became synonymous with missed opportunities and unfulfilled potential, and he passed away in 1929 without amassing significant wealth or achieving the fame he had once chased.
Fast forward to the present day, and Brian Rennie, a retired policeman and dedicated car enthusiast, found himself unaware of the historical significance of the vintage Buick that he had acquired. Rennie purchased the 97-year-old convertible from a retired engineer in Frome, Somerset, back in 2009. Little did he know that this iconic car had traversed continents, from Canada to Australia, before finally finding its way to Angus. It was when Rennie asked a local estate agent to measure the garage of his newly purchased home that he learned about the car’s connection with the town’s legendary name.
The Buick Master Six, resplendent in cream and green, now resides safely in the garage of the Rennies’ Arbroath home, a former sailmaker’s house overlooking the North Sea. The couple, who had previously spent several years in France, found themselves drawn to Arbroath due to its strategic location as a midpoint between their families in Aberdeenshire and Stirlingshire. Little did they know that their decision to settle in Arbroath would bring them closer to the Buick family’s roots.
Brian Rennie, who now has more time on his hands, expressed his excitement at being able to dedicate himself to the restoration and enjoyment of the vintage beauty. He affectionately refers to the car as a “keeper,” highlighting its significance among the numerous classic vehicles he has owned throughout his life. Of the three models of the Master Six—sedan, convertible, and doctor’s coupe—Rennie believes that his convertible is one of only two in the entire United Kingdom.
The arrival of the Buick in Arbroath has generated significant interest and excitement among locals. The Rennies shared photos of the car’s arrival on social media, garnering around 600 likes and sparking conversations about the car’s historical importance. Brian Rennie hopes that the Buick’s presence will reignite interest in the Buick brand and its connection to Arbroath. He also calls for greater recognition of the town’s famous association with the renowned automotive manufacturer through initiatives such as plaques or statues.
The Buick’s journey back to Arbroath serves as a poignant reminder of David Dunbar Buick’s humble beginnings and the legacy he left behind in the American automotive industry. While Buick himself may not have achieved the fame and fortune he aspired to, the marque bearing his name continues to be an iconic symbol of luxury and craftsmanship. And now, as the vintage Buick finds its home in Arbroath, the town can proudly claim its place in the annals of automotive history alongside other notable connections, such as the birthplace of the family behind Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
As Brian Rennie embarks on his own journey with the Buick Master Six, one thing is certain—the allure of vintage automobiles continues to capture the hearts and imaginations of enthusiasts worldwide. And in this rare Buick, a fascinating piece of history has found its rightful place in the quaint coastal town of Arbroath.