General Motors dazzled the automotive world in 1953 with the unveiling of three special convertible models to highlight GM’s industry-leading design under the leadership of Harley Earl. Cadillac's Eldorado featured standard chrome wire wheels, cut down door design and a body-color metal boot covering the top when lowered. The Oldsmobile 98 Fiesta came with every conceivable factory option except air conditioning. Both cars introduced the wraparound windshields that would appear on GM’s upscale brands for 1954. A model apart from the two was Buick's magnificent 1953 Skylark.
The Skylark was first displayed as a General Motors Motorama show car in 1952, and it was essentially a factory-built "sport custom" based upon the Roadmaster convertible. The windshield was chopped four inches, the beltline was cut down and notched at the rear fender line, and the rear-wheel cutouts were rounded and raised to match those in the front fenders. The model was noteworthy for lacking Buick's trademark "Ventiports" on the front fenders that normally distinguished a top-of-the-line Buick from a lower priced model by the number of these chrome embellishments it possessed. While the Eldorado and Fiesta were based on standard convertible bodies, the Skylark was something completely different. Although on the Roadmaster chassis, it had its own distinctive fender lines, and unlike the sibling specials, it retained a simple curved windshield instead of the wraparound-type of the Olds and Cadillac. Called the "Anniversary Convertible," it commemorated Buick's 50th birthday and came standard with virtually all options. With 1,690 built, the Skylark outsold the Eldorado and Fiesta by nearly three to one. The Skylark name continued as a limited-production model through 1954 only, and while it would reappear on Buicks later in history, it was never again as a glamourous special-bodied convertible. The 1953 Skylark is one of the most sought-after postwar Buicks and has been coveted by collectors for decades. It is easy to understand why - these cars are exceptionally beautiful from every angle.
This stunning Skylark benefits from an authentic, body-off, comprehensive restoration some years ago and has been well maintained ever since. Presented in excellent condition, it has been driven and enjoyed since the restoration, and has aged well, showing a soft patina on close inspection. The paint and chrome gleam, and the engine bay shows well with correct decals, tags, clamps and so forth that one would expect of a car once restored to a very high standard. The undercarriage is tidy, while showing its age and the fact that the car has been carefully driven and enjoyed. The sporty styling with full wheel openings in the body showcases the handsome Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels that enhance this brilliant Harley-Earl era design so beautifully. This Skylark is fitted with a set of modern, period-look wide white-wall radial tires that aid in the comfort and reliability of the driving experience.
The snappy red and white interior shows equally as well with the high-quality leather showing some character with age, making the hides supple and inviting. Attention to detail and authenticity is evident throughout this rare car, exemplified by the correct instrumentation, pushbutton AM radio, and employment of correct “Dynoc” pattern applied to the metal dash and door panel trim.
Rare and beautiful, this lovely 1953 Buick Skylark has been restored to a high standard, then sorted and enjoyed for several years, making it ideally suited for touring and would make for a quality addition to any collection of important postwar American automobiles.
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