Inspired by GM’s futuristic concept cars starring in the corporation’s dazzling Motorama shows, the glamorous Skylark celebrated Buick’s landmark 50th anniversary in 1953. A limited-production image leader, the Skylark debuted alongside the Cadillac Eldorado and Oldsmobile Fiesta. Based on the top-of-the-line Roadmaster, the Skylark was produced with much handwork and featured sweeping, cut-down doors, full-radius rear wheel openings, Kelsey-Hayes chrome wire wheels, and of course, Buick’s signature “Sweepspear” bright bodyside accents. Priced from $5,000, just 1,690 Skylarks were built for 1953. No mere styling exercise, the Skylark highlighted Buick’s engineering advances including the GM division’s new 322 cubic-inch overhead-valve V-8 engine, advanced 12-volt electrical system, and wide array of new power accessories.
The Skylark returned for 1954, now based on the slightly shorter chassis of the Century with frontal styling directly influenced by Buick’s Wildcat (subsequently redesignated ‘Wildcat I’) 1953 Motorama show car, including the headlamps, grille motif, and bomb-shaped bumper guards. As with the prior model, the 1954 Skylark was devoid of Buick’s customary “Ventiport” front-fender accents. Prominent stylistic features included fender cutouts boldly finished in contracting paint and cut-down rear quarter-panels were re-formed and fitted with unique chrome extensions for the taillight housings. A fashionable wraparound windshield and other detail items provided additional curb appeal. Buick’s 322 cubic-inch V-8 engine was uprated to 200 horsepower and mated to Buick’s smooth-shifting Dynaflow automatic transmission. As before, the 1954 Skylark was lavishly equipped to match its exotic looks and while it carried lower base pricing of $4,483 for 1954, the Skylark was still more expensive than both the Cadillac Series 62 and Buick’s own Roadmaster convertible.
Formerly a long-term part of a noted private automobile collection, this gorgeous 1954 Skylark is one of just 836 built in the final year of production for the original Skylark. Presented in Matador Red with contrasting white wheel arches, a matching convertible top and dark red boot cover, it is a striking example of a rare and highly collectible Buick icon. As offered, it continues to benefit handsomely from a superb, highly-detailed, restoration down to the last nut and bolt. In addition to its captivating livery and gleaming brightwork, the Skylark features power steering, power window lifts, an electric clock, and ‘Selectronic’ AM radio with dash-mounted speaker and floor control button. The Skylark’s inviting and luxurious interior is trimmed in handsomely embossed red leather upholstery with matching carpets and presents extremely well, including the heater/defroster controls with a layout similar to a postwar jet airliner’s throttle quadrant. The superbly detailed engine and underhood compartment features proper factory colors, finishes, components, and labels throughout. The fully restored trunk compartment is consistent with the rest of the Skylark, equipped with a correctly patterned floor mat and full-size spare chrome wire wheel and period style wide whitewall tire. A chrome plated exhaust deflector and Kelsey-Hayes chrome wire wheels mounting period style wide whitewall bias-ply tires provide finishing touches. Clearly benefiting from long-term collector care and ready for all manner of driving and concours events as desired, this 1954 Buick Skylark is a beautifully restored, well-detailed, and great-driving example on all counts. Certainly, it is one of the finest of its rare breed currently available.
Offers welcome and trades considered