Specifications: 188hp, 322 cu. in. Nail-head V8 engine, four-barrel carburetor, automatic transmission, independent front suspension with live rear axle and four-wheel power assisted hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 121.5"
In 1953, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected president, the Korean War was coming to an end, Elvis was strumming acoustic guitars, and the beautiful new Skylark was available in very limited numbers, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Buick. In fact, the Skylark – brainchild of the then GM president, Harley Earl – was a radically different American automobile. With styling cues taken from Earl’s XP-300 experimental LeSabre, and a beautiful swooping beltline never before seen on a Buick, the Skylark was in a word, striking.
Mounted on a Roadmaster chassis, the new Skylark was intended to give European grand touring cars a run for their money. With the convertible top in place, the car was less than five feet tall. But the low-slung Buick did not just look the part, it came equipped with luxurious interior amenities to match its sporty exterior. Kelsey-Hayes 40-spoke wire wheels, power steering, power brakes, power windows and power seats, and even a power aerial, made this car the best-equipped Buick available. Unfortunately, only 1,690 examples were produced with sizable price tags of $5,000. In today’s collector car market, ownership of a Skylark, alongside its Oldsmobile Fiesta and Cadillac Eldorado counterparts, is considered a ‘Triple Crown’ or ‘Grand Slam’ and an acquisition of remarkable historic significance.
The 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 example, and its current odometer reading of approximately 55,000 miles is believed to be correct from new.
This Skylark is finished in the rare factory correct color of Reef Blue with a matching, special order, solid Reef Blue interior. The chassis and underbody were refinished to uncompromised levels of quality and, as a result, they display remarkable attention to detail right down to the factory correct white inner fenders. All the interior and exterior chrome and stainless pieces were either triple plated or polished to show quality standards. The Skylark exclusive trim, ornaments and badges are all correct; where new-old-stock replacements could not be found, the originals were professionally refurbished.
The car’s many special features, including factory clock and Selectronic radio, power antenna, power top and windows, power steering, power brakes, and power seats, all function like new.
This Skylark does not fall short in any regard, as it features Buick’s first overhead valve V8 Nailhead engine in beautifully restored condition with every correct decal, hose clamp, and wiring clip in place, all of which have been detailed to show standards. Extending to the rear of the car, the trunk was also restored to original specifications with all the correct finishes and materials. The Skylark is also equipped with a brand new and correct set of 40-spoke Kelsey Hayes chrome wire wheels shod in wide whitewall tires.
Overall, this particular 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible is in virtually flawless condition and is without a doubt, concours-ready. From its striking grille to its trendsetting, curvaceous design, the Skylark was truly a luxury convertible with groundbreaking styling. Above all, it represents a rare opportunity to own a part of General Motors’ Golden Anniversary and a crucial milestone in Buick’s history, exemplified inuncompromising elegance.