For 113 years Buick has provided substantial, unpretentious luxury
to everyone from Wall Street bankers to professional athletes. You
might say the storied brand has done it all. It's the foundation
for today's General Motors Company. It's the foundation for
America's growth in the world's largest automotive market. And, in
the '50s, when Detroit was at the top of its luxury game, fine
automobiles like this magnificent Skylark gave serious credibility
to the line "When better automobiles are built Buick will build
them". Commissioned to celebrate the brand's 50th anniversary, this
fully sorted cruiser is 1 of only 1,690 Skylarks assembled for the
1953 model year. Visually, it's some of the coolest metal to ever
roll down an assembly line. Thanks to a remarkable combination of
smooth power and world-class style, the car sits at the pinnacle of
luxury engineering. And, if you're a cultured enthusiast who's
looking for a clean, investment grade classic, it's the carefully
restored masterpiece of your dreams!
The 1953 Roadmaster Skylark was one of three specialty convertibles created to promote General Motors' leadership in design and innovation. Like its Fiesta and Eldorado stablemates, the Skylark was a limited-production, hand-made halo that was overwhelmingly admired by the public and rewarded with a very successful sales rate. 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.
Owned for over 30 years by the same family, this stately drop-top is fresh out of an extensive, 5-year restoration that ensured a 100% factory-accurate appearance. The restorers began by thoroughly stripping the car's curvaceous, mostly handmade body. When that heavy cleaning was complete, all those Harley Earl-designed panels were assembled into a correct profile that presents largely blemish-free surfaces. After that thorough test fitting, a correct coat of Mandarin Red paint was 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 which wears a correct "V2248507" assembly stamp and twists a stout 188 horsepower into 300 ft./lb. of low-end torque. 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 carburetor above factory heads, has been painted a traditional green hue. There are many fresh pieces like pliable belts, a tagged Delco-Remy distributor, a tagged Delco-Remy generator and proven Packard TV R Suppression cables. A glossy firewall, satin fenders and a re-cored radiator frame those pieces in a construct of distinctly American curves. And overall, the engine seems clean, simple and highly functional.
Essentially, Buick's original Skylark is a fully optioned and highly customized Roadmaster. And the firm's decision to use its proven C-Body architecture certainly wasn't a bad one as quality and reliability, words rarely uttered in the same sentence as "highly customized", remained solid. The basis for this drop-top's solidity is an industrial strength chassis that rides on a correctly restored suspension. At the center of that suspension, a new-for-1953 Twin Turbine Dynaflow, which wears a correct "J" assembly stamp, twists power to a 10-bolt rear end. At the edges of that drivetrain, power-assisted drums initiate quick, drama-free stops. Turns come courtesy of factory power steering. A single-pipe exhaust system makes good use of a factory replacement muffler. Everything rolls on restored wire wheels, which spin 7.60-15 Coker Classic whitewalls around white inner fenders. And, with a fully sorted undercarriage that's ready to hit the road, this big cruiser would be right at home chauffeuring the family to their favorite dinner spot.
An excellent mix of new world style and old world luxury, this Skylark's correct interior is the perfect place to parade down Main Street. The car's plush benches are stuffed with thick padding, covered in pleated leather and trimmed in era-correct hardware. In front of those seats, a Mandarin Red dash hangs a correct Selectronic radio, a classy clock and chrome-trimmed gauges behind a textured instrument panel. At the base of that dash, high quality carpet is anchored by slick "Skylark" branded sill plates. At the sides of that carpet, ornate, chrome-trimmed door panels found small power window switches between correct chrome handles. In front of the driver, an intricate, color-keyed steering wheel spins a full horn ring around a customizable centerpiece. And behind the passengers, a snug-fitting cowl snaps over a fully restored trunk that centers an unrestored wheel inside a fifth whitewall tire.
OUR SALE INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTATION AND ACCESSORIES
A copy of Buick's Automobile Manufacturers Association Consolidated Specifications Questionnaire
A copy of the January, 1953 edition of Buick Magazine
A 1953 Buick paint palette
Reproduction factory tags and decals
Reproduction factory literature
A 1953 Buick Shop Manual
A Dynaflow Transmission Shop Manual
Modern literature featuring the 1953 Buick Skylark
A sheet of commemorative stamps
A diecast model
An extra carburetor
Extra interior fabric
Combining a thorough restoration with acute detailing, this investment grade Skylark is one of the best classics money can buy! Add in the car's smooth drivetrain and low production numbers, and it's virtually guaranteed to gain value AND exclusivity. We all know it's becoming increasingly tough to find top-notch, correctly restored post-war metal. Don't miss your chance to own one of the coolest Buicks on the planet!
Fresh out of a 5-year restoration that ensured factory-correct aesthetics
Owned by one family for the last 30 years
Correct 322 cubic inch Fireball V8
Correct Twin Turbine Dynaflow 2-speed automatic transmission
Correct Mandarin Red paint
Correct White & Red leather interior / Factory power windows / Correct Selectronic radio
Correct 15-inch wire wheels
Factory power steering / 4-wheel power drum brakes
10-bolt rear axle
1 of 1,690 Skylarks produced for the 1953 model year
This is the seventh car in a 10-day countdown to Barrett-Jackson’s annual Northeast auction
Pick of the Day was one-owner vehicle until he reached age 93
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.