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Marquette

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The Marquette was an automobile manufactured by General Motors' Buick Division for model year 1930. Along with Pontiac, Viking and LaSalle, the Marquette conceived to span a price gap in General Motors' market segmentation plan. Marquette was placed below Buick, but above Viking which was to be sold in Oldsmobile dealerships. The Marquette "arrived" in dealer showrooms on June 1, 1929.

The Marquette line rode on an 114" wheelbase and was powered by an "L" head six 212.8 in³ producing 67hp. Marquette was built to sell in the $1,000 range, and was available in six body styles. Unlike Harley Earl's total LaSalle design, the Marquette's most unique styling feature was its herring-bone patterned grille. Reviewers at the time the car was released described it either looking like a small Oldsmobile or small Cadillac.

Compared to Oldsmobile's Viking, which only enjoyed a total production run of 7,224 over three model years (1929, 1930, 1931) Marquette produced 35,007 vehicles in the U.S. during its brief one year life span; additionally, GM Canada turned out another 6,535 Marquettes.

Despite its promising first year sales, two factors worked against the Marquette. The first involved Oldsmobile, which lost sales to Marquette; the second was that Buick executives didn't feel that enough Marquette's were sold to warrant the extra burden on the bottomline given the state of the economy. Buick gave no advance warning of the termination of the Marquette; just four months before the shut down 4,000 Marquette signs were shipped to dealers in the hope of better days ahead.


References

  • Kimes, Beverly R., Editor. Clark, Henry A. (1996). The Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1945. Kraus Publications. ISBN 0-87341-428-4


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