left McLaughlin Buick Club of Canada right
McLaughlin Buick Club of Canada

Homecoming 2008 - Oshawa, Ontario

Homecoming. This tradition was established in 1971 when a group of McLaughlin cars was assembled to parade by Col. Sam McLaughlin, on the occasion of his 100th birthday. In 1908 his vision lead to the formation of McLaughlin Motors, and his business acumen made it thrive. The automotive scene in Canada would have been much different without him. It was from this celebration that the McLaughlin Buick Club of Canada was formed, and consequently, our annual Homecoming event was born to celebrate this important milestone. This year, we set out to recreate the original event, so at the end of a weekend of tours and our other usual events we all gathered together to parade through the streets of the City of Oshawa.
With well over 120 McLaughlin Buicks and Buicks this “once in a lifetime” celebration of the 100th anniversary of the McLaughlin Buick at Parkwood, in Oshawa, Ontario, was a spectacular success.
In brilliant sunshine the cars were staged and sent on their way from the Oshawa Centre by Parade Marshall (one of the organizers of that 1971 event) Bob James. The Centennial Parade to Parkwood Estate drew many spectators. Upon arrival at Parkwood the pre-war vehicles were parked on the grounds with the post-war cars just across Adelaide St. in the St. Gregory Church parking lot. There was great interest in every vintage of vehicle with the cars being constantly surrounded by the crowds of people attending the event. For those that wanted to photograph a particular car you had to be prepared to wait a while for the crowd to thin out.
It really is a shame that the McLaughlin name vanished from the cars after 1938, although they were still officially called “McLaughlin Buicks” up until 1942. Sadly, when car production returned to Canada after WWII they were known only as Buicks. The McLaughlin name was certainly displayed with pride, albeit somewhat modestly on the cars from the early thirties, when it received equal billing with the Buick.
There were fine examples from just about every year, with the pre WWII straight eights (1931-1942) comprising about 20 cars, the very early era was represented by General Motors of Canada who brought their own restored 1908 McLaughlin. A restored 1910, and an original 1910 were displayed nearly side by side. All other decades were well represented too, with cars from the twenties, the late forties and many chrome laden examples from the glorious fifties, with cars from the more modern eras, up to and including 2008, present also.
A few final words of thanks to all those that helped make this show a reality. We are a volunteer organization, and many people, too numerous to mention, both members and non members put countless hours into making this happen. Lastly, we would be remiss without thanking the staff at Parkwood Estate and St. Gregory’s Catholic Church for all their help and allowing us the full use of their respective grounds. Plus our parade was also graced by the presence of two City of Oshawa officials, Mayor John Gray, and councilor Louise Parkes.
By Keith Corby and Rob Fraser.
2014 logo 1908 to 2008 plaque