Stunning restoration in original colors. Beautiful paint and chrome, restored interior, newer top. Powerful 322 cubic inch Nailhead V8, smooth Dynaflow automatic. As fantastic to drive as it is to look at.
This Skylark is clearly a ’54, with a familiar grille and headlights, but the quarters are totally unique, as is the trunk lid, making the Skylark easy to spot at a distance. But perhaps its most striking feature are the open wheel arches, which show off the contrasting inner fenders, a feature Harley Earl loved on the ’53 and wanted to showcase even more dramatically on the ’54. And show them off it does! White inner fenders against this car’s Cavalier Blue finish are a fantastic combination, subtle yet flashy at the same time, a car that gets attention because it’s beautiful not just because it’s covered in chrome. Wearing a very high-grade frame-on restoration, finish quality is excellent, with a deep shine to the paint and exceptionally straight bodywork that shows very well. There’s a vast amount of money invested in the chrome and stainless trim, starting with the fine-toothed grille up front and ending with the lovely chrome fins atop those rounded quarter panels. There are special ‘Skylark’ emblems behind the doors and tall block letters on the trunk, and check out how the trunk lid blends into the rear bumper! Yes, there are a few signs of use and age, but this is a gorgeous car from any angle.
Leather upholstery was still standard on the Skylark, with this car carrying wonderful two-tone blue hides with ornate block stitching. The instrument panel is standard 1954 Buick aside from the “BUICK SKYLARK” lettering between the dials. All the gauges are fully operational, including the clock, and all the power accessories work including windows, seat, and antenna. It appears that only the Selectronic AM radio is offline, although it does power up. Plush carpets are considerably more luxurious than those in the ’53 model and the new-for-1954 wrap-around windshield offers superior wind control in the cockpit. The white power top motors up and down easily and stows under a matching blue boot, and for a vintage ragtop, this one seals up surprisingly well thanks to new weather seals. There’s also a fully upholstered trunk that’s as big as anything else of the era, and carries a matching full-sized spare and chrome wire wheel, along with a proper jack assembly.
Performance was even stronger in 1954—the 322 cubic inch “Nailhead” V8 was now rated at a nice, even 200 horsepower and there’s a mountain of torque available at almost any speed. This particular engine has a slightly upgraded camshaft, so it’s a bit stronger than stock, and this heavy ragtop moves like a middleweight rather than the heavyweight it is. The engine is correctly detailed in Buick Green engine enamel and topped by a giant air cleaner that helps keep the Nailhead nearly silent at speed. For something so muscular, it’s extremely quiet at idle and undetectable on the roll. There’s a 4-barrel carburetor, a correct generator making 12 volts, and both power steering and power brakes were standard equipment in 1954. There are minor signs of use, but it is quite clean and the restoration was thorough, so little stuff like the fasteners, decals and wiring harness are correct. It starts quickly and easily using the accelerator pedal starter switch and it’s not at all fussy, hot or cold. Someone invested a lot of time making this car work properly.
The Dynaflow automatic transmission (which Buick was calling the Twin-Turbine at this point) works as advertised, delivering a smooth flow of power entirely bereft of shifts. Steering is effortless, and with massive drums at all four corners, you won’t worry about disc brake upgrades or other nonsense like that. The floors are in excellent condition with no patches or other signs of previous distress, and there’s a uniform coating of satin black paint over everything, which some experts will argue is exactly how Buick did it in 1954. A single exhaust system is probably why the engine is so muted, and it features a new muffler. Skylarks still came standard with gorgeous Kelsey-Hayes chrome wire wheels, and these are wrapped in 225/75/15 wide whitewall radials that really enhance the handling.
Extras include an original owner’s manual, some spare weather seals, a center spinner for the wire wheels, and service receipts.
Are you a ’53 Skylark fan or a ’54 Skylark fan? This stunning Cavalier Blue convertible makes a compelling case for the ’54, particularly considering its wonderful road manners. A benchmark automobile that defined Buick in the 1950s, the Skylark rightfully belongs in the finest collections. This car is not perfect, but it’s exceptional in the ways that matter: attractive, well-sorted, and just a joy to drive. Call today!
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