Stunning frame-off restoration in 2005 and still in fantastic condition. Very correct throughout, rebuilt engine & transmission, power brakes & power steering. Everything works, including windows & seat. This is the Skylark you buy to enjoy on the road!
This bright red Skylark was originally sold to a customer in Germany and spent the first 40 years of its life there. It came back to America and in 2005 it was treated to a cost-no-object frame-off restoration that stripped it down to a bare frame and restored it from there. Photos of the work show a completely solid body with no rust issues and no signs of accident damage, so it must have led a good life in Germany. All the unique Skylark components were retained and the hand-leaded seams were duplicated to give the body its low, sleek shape. Refinished in the original Matador Red, it looks spectacular today. The finish is deep enough to deserve a seat on the Motorama show stand once again and panel fit is quite good given the car’s largely hand-built nature. The brightwork remains in exceptional condition with no issues or degradation and even the notoriously fragile pot metal parts look almost new with crisp details. This was some high-quality work. There are a few minor signs of use, since this car was a favorite driver and was restored for the road rather than the show field, but it remains just beautiful from any angle.
It carries correct red and white leather upholstery that works well with the Skylark’s flashy image. Aside from the cut-down doors and their matching door panels, most of the interior is the same as the Roadmaster on which it’s based, although the patterned applique on the dashboard is unique to the Skylark. A full array of gauges monitors the engine and they’re all operational, as are all the secondary controls in the center stack. The factory AM radio is disabled, but there’s a modern AM/FM/satellite head unit in the glove box, which has been cleverly integrated with the original power antenna. The power windows work properly and the power seat motors forward and back as it should. Overhead, there’s a fresh white convertible top that powers itself up and down easily and stows under a matching red boot. In back, the Roadmaster’s spacious trunk remains and is correctly trimmed with burlap-type material and carries a matching chrome wire wheel wearing what appears to be a ‘50s era spare tire (check out the whitewall pattern!).
The other big news in 1953 was the arrival of the “Nailhead” V8, Buick’s first all-new engine since 1936. Displacing 322 cubic inches and rated at 188 horsepower, it was a huge step forward in terms of performance and packaging over the previous straight-8. It’s impeccably smooth and makes effortless torque at any speed, pulling the sleek Skylark around with ease. Fully rebuilt to stock specs, it’s topped by a 4-barrel carburetor and that massive air cleaner, plus distinctive chrome valve covers and Buick Green paint. It starts easily using Buick’s familiar accelerator pedal-mounted system and hums quietly, muscular but not at all aggressive. It’s never fussy, it stays nice and cool under any circumstances, and even though it’s been driven a bit, it’s clean and well-detailed under the hood.
The undercarriage is likewise nicely detailed, with a correct satin black frame on a bright Matador Red background. Most Buicks and all Skylarks in 1953 used Buick’s famous Dynaflow automatic transmission, which finally found its perfect dance partner in the Nailhead V8. The smooth, shiftless Dynaflow gives the Skylark the acceleration of an electric locomotive: no interruptions in the torque, no hitches, just an unending pull that is quite addictive. Try it and you’ll understand. 3.60 gears make it an awesome highway flier that keeps up with modern traffic and it never feels like it’s working very hard. You also get a capable suspension that’s supple without being sloppy and massively powerful brakes augmented with optional power assist. At some point in its past, it received a custom dual exhaust system, which was faithfully replicated in stainless steel during the restoration, giving this Skylark a pleasing V8 exhaust note that’s suitably hushed. Original Kelsey-Hayes chrome wire wheels are fitted with 235/70/15 Goodyear wide whitewall radials.
Documentation includes restoration receipts, photos, manuals, catalogs, and more.
With a great history, lots of documentation, and a no-stories restoration, you can buy with confidence and use it as intended, something that many trailer queens can’t claim. This Skylark is right in every way that matters. Call today!
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