In the illustrious annals of General Motors' founding era, the indomitable William C. Durant embarked on a spirited acquisition spree in 1908, seamlessly weaving together a tapestry of smaller automotive entities beneath the expansive umbrella of the burgeoning corporate titan. Amidst the eclectic array of marques he procured, two distinct gems caught his discerning eye: the Rainier Motor Car Company, hailing from the automotive hub of Detroit, and Welch-Detroit, with roots in both Saginaw and Detroit, Michigan. This financial conundrum prompted Durant to ingeniously forge the Marquette Motor Company, a venture tailored to reviving these struggling brands.
The Marquette name did not appear on an automobile until 1909, with William Durant's visionary decision to immerse yet another jewel from the General Motors treasury, Buick, into the exhilarating world of competitive racing. The rigid racing regulations of the time necessitated the christening of competition vehicles with a new moniker, thus heralding the advent of the Marquette-Buick. These beasts were equipped with colossal, torque-laden four-cylinder engines, making them formidable contenders of their era, steered to glory by racing legends such as Bob Burman and Louis Chevrolet.
A production iteration swiftly followed suit, making its debut in the twilight of 1911, hailed as “the outgrowth of two well-established and favorably known cars, the Rainier and the Welch-Detroit.” Marquette automobiles came equipped with mammoth 6.8-liter T-head four-cylinder powerhouses and were available in an array of two different wheelbase and horsepower configurations. Prices, ranging between $3,000 and $4,000, beckoned to connoisseurs of fine automobiles. Regrettably, the stars of mismanagement and Durant's departure from the General Motors firm converged to spell the conclusion of the Marquette chapter, ending its brief journey in September 1912, after only a solitary year of production. Nevertheless, its legacy as a paragon of performance and quality endured long past its limited production, a fact Buick capitalized on when reusing the Marquette name once again 18 years later for its more economical Series 30.
This remarkable Model 25 Touring stands as one of the few surviving examples of these Edwardian age automobiles. Poised upon a stately 122-inch wheelbase and powered by the robust 40-horsepower iteration of the T-head four-cylinder engine, this example was once part of the Memory Lane Museum for many years. Completely restored in 1972-1973, and receipts on file show that more recently the engine was rebuilt and a new top fitted in 2009-2010 by its most recent owner, a well-known Brass Era collector. Also included with the sale is an original Marquette Motor Cars brochure, as well as a photograph from ownership by the museum showing the car prior to restoration. While the restoration was done 50 years ago, it has been very well maintained and still presents wonderfully today. This is a fabulous opportunity to acquire a charming, rare, and historic automobile that can be driven, demonstrated, and shown with equal enthusiasm. A shoo-in for activities with Brass Era groups including the very active Horseless Carriage Club of America, and the Antique Automobile Club of America. With exceptional rarity and very interesting marque history, this delightful motorcar is sure to charm its next keeper for many years to come.
Offers welcome and trades considered
Stock number 7619
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