Buick Cars in Hawaii

Buick cars are stereotyped as for old people today. But when they first came out in the early 1900s, they were innovating the American car industry.

Buick cars made their debut in Hawaii in 1906. To wet the public’s demand, car dealership von Hamm-Young Co. started advertising “the famous 1970 model Buick” in local newspapers in December 1906. The Buicks’ features, which many take for granted today, included two gas head lights, two oil lamps, and one tail light. The Buicks sold for $1,425, compared to $2,000 or $2,500 for cars of other brands.

Mr. and Mrs. W. A. McNeill of Iowa were likely the first to drive a Buick in Hawaii. They sailed to Honolulu with their Buick in November 1906 and stayed with Dr. and Mrs. Hoffman as Mr. McNeill was Mrs. Hoffman’s brother. The wealthy mine owner brought his Buick, “the first machine of its kind … in Honolulu,” so he and his wife could drive around the island and see Hawaii’s outdoors.

Buicks are still seen on Hawaii’s roads today. However, the von Hamm-Young Co. no longer is around today as it was liquidated in 1965 as one of Hawaii’s first large bankruptcy cases.

– Alice Kim


Buick Model 10
Pacific commercial advertiser, Jan. 2, 1909, Page 10
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85047084/1909-01-02/ed-1/seq-10


Buick Model 10
Pacific commercial advertiser, May 23, 1909, Page 8
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85047084/1909-05-23/ed-1/seq-8


Buick Model 10
Evening bulletin, Dec. 31, 1908, Page 6
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82016413/1908-12-31/ed-1/seq-6/


Buick Motor Cars
Hawaiian star, June 8, 1912, Page 12
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015415/1912-06-08/ed-1/seq-12/


Buick Motor Cars. The von-Hamm Young Co., Ltd.
Buick Motor Cars 2
Evening bulletin, March 23, 1912, Page 10
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82016413/1912-03-23/ed-1/seq-10/


Buy a Buick
The Garden Island, January 10, 1922, Page 7
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015411/1922-01-10/ed-1/seq-7/


Buick Motor Cars
The Garden Island, November 14, 1922, Image 7
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015411/1922-11-14/ed-1/seq-7/

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