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McLaughlin-Buick 28-496

Model Year: 1928 (model year) built in 1927

Location of Manufacture: Oshawa, Ontario

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Narrator 1:
And now to our profile biography for this week. It ‘s the story of Mr. R. S. McLaughlin, the chairman of Canadian General Motors.

Narrator 2:
At 91 years young, Colonel McLaughlin has a tremendous fund of stories about the early days of car production in Canada.

Narrator 1:
Gerry Quinney opened up the story by asking Colonel McLaughlin about his early days.

Colonel McLaughlin:
I saw Mr. Durant and different other people, and thought possibly I could make some kind of an arrangement whereby we could buy such necessary parts as we would find it difficult to manufacture in Canada. I nearly made an arrangement with Mr. Durant, but after two or three days hard work on his part and mine, we found we couldn’t just quite get together. And so I came home, and decided we’d build a car ourselves, and so I hired an engineer, Arthur Milbrath. A fine boy he was too and a fine engineer, and he and I proceeded to design a McLaughlin car, and we laid out the specifications and everything and drawings. I bought all the machinery, even Jones & Lamson and Gisholt automatic lathes and planers, drill presses, everything. And we started in to build 100 cars. We had the crank shafts in the place and machining them and doing all kinds of work when our engineer took sick with pleurisy, and that meant he was laid up for some time. So I wired my dear friend, Mr. Durant, and asked him if he could lend me an engineer. Instead of doing that he wired, he said “I’m coming over to see you tomorrow.” So, he came over and he had been giving the arrangement, we were trying to make a lot of thought, and he had smoothed out the troublesome point, and when he came over the proposition looked good and we made an agreement and, of course, that meant that we would use the Buick engine in our car.

© Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 1961. All rights reserved.

Interview with Samuel McLaughlin Originally broadcast on CBC Radio show, Assignment Broadcast date: 31 Octobre 1961 Duration: 3 :44

Download the audio (2.2 mb MP3)