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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

1953 Buick Skylark Convertible 322 OHV V8 - Classic Car For Sale (Click Here)


Best of Show Automotive proudly presents one of the best looking most revered vehicles ever produced: The 1953 Buick Skylark. This classic car for sale is a car which needs no introduction to the faithful; its name strikes a chord with classic car collectors worldwide. Finished in a beautiful Mandarin Red Poly over the Skylark-specific red and white leather interior this proud Buick stands today as an excellently restored example of a bygone time when dreams became sheet-metal, regardless of cost.

In the 1950s, Americans were more prosperous than they had ever been. So were America's automakers, who -- in a burst of enthusiasm -- fielded a fleet of glitzy flagship models for 1953. Buick reached high with the 1953-1954 Buick Skylark. Looking back, it all seems so flaky. Buick built the Skylark because its general manager, Ivan Wiles, saw and liked a customizing job chief stylist Ned Nickles had done on his own 1951 roadster convertible. How different the Detroit of two generations ago! Today a general manager would never okay so radical a product, priced 40 percent higher than the top-of-the-line model, unless it had been through waves of review boards, PR men, lawyers, and government compliance experts. Imagine hanging on to a model that sells only 1,690 copies in its first year because the styling vice president likes it. Yet, that's the only reason Buick built a second-edition Skylark in 1954. It sold only 836 copies!

Check out the fantastic stainless and chrome trim on the exterior. The grille in all of its individual pieces, the side spears, the frame around the cut-down windshield and more are excellent and shine like new. Newer B F Goodrich Silvertown 7.60x15 wide whitewalls surround the original Kelsey-Hayes wheels—any other style simply wouldn't flatter the car. Built on a Roadmaster chassis, the Skylark went into production in January 1953, and deliveries began by spring at a cool $5,000 retail. Buick touted the Skylark's "sports car" features: "Styling is very similar to Buick's present line, except the new bombsight on the front has been recessed into the hood and the trunk lid has a faster slope to the rear. The 'taper-through' fenders, first introduced by Buick a decade ago, are fully cut out to reveal the Italian-made wire racing wheels. "The new rapier-styled sweepspear molding consists of a fine strip of chrome originating on the front fender and curving gently downward to the rear wheel. From this point it sweeps sharply upward, outlining the wheel housing and flowing back to the taillight. A medallion carrying the Buick crest, located on the rear fender in front of the wheel housing, is the only other decoration on the side of the car." The top and its mechanism are both in excellent condition, as is the glass. The dramatic low look of the car is somewhat of a clever mirage, because the "chop" amounts to only three inches, with the beltline following the slope of the fender line. The front seat was lowered so that the seatback sat level with the tops of the doors. The body on this car is all original, which is both unusual and necessary—most of the sheet-metal is exclusive to the Skylark!

Interiors of the first production cars such as this one were done in Helsinki Red leather with narrow vertical pleats, and the upholstery here is like new. The red carpeting, also exceptionally clean, is likewise special: A needlepoint style, vulcanized to a sponge rubber base. The dash retains its specific “3D checkerboard” pattern around all of the original, clean chrome switchgear. Skylarks included power everything: steering, the Delco "Selectronic" radio, brakes, seat, windows and top. There's even an electric antenna controlled by a toggle switch to the left of the steering wheel. The banjo-style steering wheel is excellent with a clean center medallion. You do sit lower here than other cars of the era—you simply feel special in here!

Open the hood and see the new-for-1953 322 cubic inch V8 that would serve Buick as the basis for all of their big power-plants until the widespread use of Chevrolet engines in all GM cars. Rebuilt and purring, the nail-head V8 here runs as well as it looks. Proper finishes are used throughout and what you see here is how the car looked in '53. There's the 12 volt electrical system, four barrel carburetor and many other items not commonly seen for another few years. Buick backed the new V8 with an updated version of its smooth Dynaflow transmission, upgraded for more power handling and better take-off. The unit here is rebuilt and runs fantastically. Drop underneath and you'll find the results of the thorough restoration in the clean floors and frame and the proper use of undercoating and paint. The brakes, shocks and suspension pieces function as they should. The exhaust is well muffled but still announces itself when the engine room is pressed for more power.

As a compact and then as an intermediate, the Skylark lived on. As late as 1972, Buick still issued press releases describing its current "popular intermediate car" as "the namesake of a special, limited production sport convertible built as part of the division's Golden Anniversary celebration." Although there would be additional Skylarks making a name for themselves in later iterations the original stands apart in its reckless excess, gorgeous lines and its exclusivity. The Skylark is one of the finest postwar cars built, and this car is a superb example of its blue chip heritage.

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  1. 1953 Buick Skylark pictured here is an excellent, highly original example that has had a no-expense-spared concours quality frame-off restoration. Having remained under the same ownership for over 40 years, it is a very straight, solid, and well-restored

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