1 of 836 Skylarks produced for the 1954 model year
Correct Arctic White paint
Correct Matador Red interior
Correct Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels
Correct power steering
Correct power drum brakes
Era-correct 322 cubic inch Fireball V8
Era-correct Twin Turbine Dynaflow 2-speed automatic transmission
Factory power windows
Factory Selectronic AM radio
So you're a connoisseur of vintage metal, and now that you've owned tens, maybe even hundreds of classic '50s cars, you want to go all out and find the best of the best. Of course, we ALL know it just doesn't get any better than an Eisenhower-era convertible. And with that in mind, there are a few top-of-the-line cruisers that might qualify as your 'ultimate'. You could always snatch up a hot '57 Bel Air http://www.rkmotorscharlotte.com/sales/inventory/active#!/1957-Chevrolet-Bel-Air/134889 But as nice as those are, Chevrolet's market-dominating production capacity makes true exclusivity null and void. Well okay then, why not sign the papers on a slick '59 Impala http://www.rkmotorscharlotte.com/sales/inventory/active#!/1959-Chevrolet-Impala/135110 Unfortunately, that car's bulk and extravagance push things a little too far into modern and weighty. There's always Buick's Holy Grail: the original Skylark http://www.rkmotorscharlotte.com/sales/inventory/active#!/1953-Buick-Skylark/135178 But, while first year 'larks are certainly very cool, their lack of refinement can sometimes be a deal breaker. In that case, it's a good thing your friends at RK Motors Charlotte are offering this professionally restored Buick Series 100 Skylark! An official member of the 836 cars assembled during the last model year of the original Skylark, this investment grade drop-top is one of the rarest and most desirable '50s collector cars ever produced. Want the ultimate classic to park at shows or parade down Main Street? This Buick is the highly correct masterpiece you've been patiently waiting for!
Introduced as a celebration of Buick's 50th anniversary, the 1953 Skylark was one of three specialty convertibles created to promote General Motors' leadership in design and innovation. Like its Fiesta and Eldorado stablemates, the big Buick was a limited-production, hand-made halo that was overwhelmingly admired by the public and rewarded with a very successful sales rate. For the 1954 model year, the marque transitioned to a Century-based replacement that, despite complementing the car's handsome looks with mass-production refinement, was not as well accepted. And by the end of the sales year, sentiment was low, numbers were low and GM decided to pull the plug on the tri-shield division's once celebrated line-topper. Today, roughly 60 years later, the car's world-class design characteristics can be found in pretty much every modern automaker's aesthetic DNA. And its unique blend of optimistic swagger and unmatched exclusivity make it one of the most coveted classics on the planet.
The beneficiary of a thorough, frame-off restoration that was completed sometime around 2009, this killer drop-top is one of the coolest Buicks we've ever seen! The restorers began by stripping the car's smooth, Harley Earl-designed body all the way to bare metal. When that heavy cleaning was complete, solid panels were assembled into a clean profile that presents largely blemish-free surfaces. After that thorough test fitting, a silky coat of correct Arctic White paint was capped with correct Black vinyl and teased to a glossy, show-stopping shine. And today, this Skylark's prestigious appearance is a lust worthy representation of one of America's most glorious eras of motoring.
Lift the car's 'alligator hood' and you'll find a 322 cubic inch Fireball V8 that props a correct Roadmaster assembly stamp in front of a correct 1165165 casting number. Nicknamed the "Nail valve", and eventually known as the "Nailhead", this fully detailed mill employs greater lift and better duration to create a Kansas-flat power band. Funny thing is: hot rodders of the day actually coined the engine's nickname as a derisive description of its puny valvetrain and restrictive plumbing, but they certainly couldn't ignore its stellar power! The proven block has undoubtedly been rebuilt, and probably looks much better today than when it growled off the assembly line. Aesthetically, the mill, which perches a massive air cleaner and big, 4-barrel carburetor above factory heads, has been painted a traditional green hue. There are many fresh pieces like pliable belts, an old school generator and proven Belden ignition cables. A glossy firewall meets satin fenders to frame those pieces in a construct of distinctly American curves. And overall, the engine seems clean, simple and highly functional.
While the '53 Skylark was essentially a fully optioned, slightly customized Roadmaster, GM decided to build the '54 model on Buick's shorter Century/Special chassis. This certainly wasn't a popular decision at the time, but it definitely benefits the car today as more precise build techniques and better commonality make restoration and maintenance much easier. The basis for this drop-top's solidity is an industrial strength frame that's married to a correctly restored suspension. At the center of that suspension, a new-for-1953 Twin Turbine Dynaflow 2-speed twists power to a factory rear end. At the edges of that drivetrain, Dynaflow-mandated power drum brakes initiate quick, drama-free stops. Turns come courtesy of Dynaflow-mandated power steering. A single-pipe exhaust system makes good use of a factory replacement muffler. Everything rolls on familiar Kelsey-Hayes wires, which spin 7.60-15 BF Goodrich Silvertown whitewalls around "SKYLARK" branded center caps. And, with a fully sorted, red-tinged undercarriage that's ready to hit the road, this big cruiser would be right at home chauffeuring the family to their favorite dinner spot.
Loaded with virtually every option in the book, this classic Buick's correct Matador Red interior features a perfect mix of outrageous style and traditional American luxury. The big bench seats, 4-way adjustable up front, are stuffed with fresh Foamtex padding, covered in correct block-embossed leather and trimmed in pristine stainless brightwork. In front of those seats, a Carlsbad Black dash hangs chrome-trimmed gauges behind an electric clock, a Selectronic radio and a factory heater. At the base of that dash, high quality carpet frames matched Buick mats and slick Skylark sills. At the sides of that carpet, chrome-trimmed door panels found small power window switches between bright stainless toppers and correct chrome handles. In front of the driver, a flexible-spoke steering wheel spins a full horn ring around an ornate centerpiece. Behind the passengers, a lighted trunk hides a fifth Kelsey-Hayes wheel inside a fifth whitewall tire. And, based on a thorough visual inspection, the car's cockpit appears exceptionally restored, all the way from its glare-proof mirror to its snug-fitting convertible cowl.
For the sake of authenticity, here's a short breakdown of the car's VIN and Cowl Tag.
7: Series 75 Roadmaster
A: 1954 model year
1: Assembled in Flint, Michigan
XXXXXX: Sequential Production Number
54-100: 1954 (54) Skylark (100)
54-4667SX: 1954 (54) Buick (4) Century (6) Convertible...for more information please contact the seller.
Buick launched its compact Special sedan for the 1961 model year, mid-way through the selling season, it added a sport coupe called the Skylark, a name last used by the GM division in 1954.
My Dad and I bought this in 1984.
In addition to Cadillac and Oldsmobile, Buick celebrated its golden anniversary in 1953 with a special edition convertible.
Created to celebrate Buick’s 50th anniversary, the Skylark joined the Oldsmobile 98 Fiesta and Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado as the top-of-the-line, limited-production specialty convertibles.
Created to celebrate Buick’s 50th anniversary, the Skylark joined the Oldsmobile 98 Fiesta and Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado as the top-of-the-line.
Priced at $11,800 or best offer, the Pick of the Day is a 1963 Buick Skylark that might be a nice starter car for someone looking to get into the classic car hobby.
Thirty years ago in October, I went to buy a 1965 Buick Skylark hardtop, found out it was a four-door and decided to pass.
The first picture is why. The second picture is when. The third picture is now. Remembering Dad (and having a mid-life crisis.)
Forty-one cars used to replicate famous photo