The McLaughlin Buick Club of Canada
In 1971 the City of Oshawa celebrated the 100th birthday
of one of their greatest citizens: Robert Samuel McLaughlin.
He was known as “Sam” and had been instrumental in
bringing General Motors to Oshawa. His father had moved his
carriage business there in 1877. It grew to become the largest
carriage manufacture in Canada. In 1908 the McLaughlin car
debuted with Buick engines and chassis. In 1915 The McLaughlin
Motor Car Co. was sold to General Motors.
In the early
1970's the Canadian
Automotive Museum in Oshawa was headed by
Jack Mann and sponsored a very successful Can-Auto Rally for
local owners of antique automobiles. The idea of a McLaughlin
Birthday Celebration, to be held in conjunction with Col. Sam's
100th Birthday was suggested.
June 20th, 1971 was to be the big day.
The celebration saw McLaughlin automobiles paraded past
in review for Col. Sam as he sat under the trees beside the driveway of his estate
Over fifty McLaughlin and McLaughlin-Buick automobiles from
as far away as Michigan and Montreal were assembled with almost
every year of production being represented.
Once the tour past Col. Sam had been completed, the cars returned
to the Canadian Automotive Museum to be placed on display
for the general public.
The celebration had been very successful and
enthusiasm was evident for the formation of a club for owners of
McLaughlin and McLaughlin-Buick automobiles, and an annual tribute
to Sam and the McLaughlin automobile.
Jack Mann headed
up a Steering Committee Meeting October 29th 1971 at the Canadian
Automotive Museum. Numerous meetings followed with the creation of
Bylaws, Committees and a publication to be called the Accelerator in
memory of early McLaughlin publications.
The first general
members meeting was held at the Genosha Hotel, Oshawa, January 29th
1972. Jack Mann was elected President and Dave Mitchell Vice
President. Membership numbering was alphabetical with the first ten
honourary membership and given membership number one.
1972 Jack Mann resigned from the Canadian Automotive Museum and the
Oshawa Chamber of Commerce. Dave Mitchell stepped up as President.
In 2008 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 to Parkwood
Estate drawing 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.
Mention should be made of some of the early
members of the club - Bob James, MBCC #37, served as the sparkplug that
gathered many of the McLaughlin owners that made the Birthday Celebration Parade so
successful. Bob also returned to be our Parade Marshall in 2008 for
our "100 Years of McLaughlin" Homecoming. Bruce Forester, MBCC #7,
served many years promoting membership in the club. Dave Mitchell,
MBCC #9, contributed significantly to the runnung of the club and served on
the Board of Directors untill December of 2015.
Purpose of the McLaughlin Buick Club of Canada
To help preserve for posterity the McLaughlin and McLaughlin
Buick name and automobile.
To develop a reference library on McLaughlin and McLaughlin
To provide a means of exchanging ideas and information
on McLaughlin and McLaughlin Buick cars through a bulletin
To organize an annual “coming home to Oshawa”
for McLaughlin, McLaughlin Buick and Buick car owners.
To help maintain a permanent record of the Canadian
contribution made by Colonel McLaughlin to the automotive
industry of North America.