In 1953, Buick introduced the Skylark as part of the Roadmaster line to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The Buick Skylark was a top-of-the-line convertible, with limited production, hand-finished bodywork, and a price tag that was more than twice that of the average Chevy. The Skylark sold better than it’s similar GM siblings, the Oldsmobile 95 Fiesta or the Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado.
Under the hood, it had the new 322 cubic-inch Nailhead V8, the replacement for the Straight 8. The Buick Skylark’s dimensions were much like the Roadmaster convertible, but the windshield was cut down three inches, as were the side windows and convertible top, giving the Skylark a much more streamlined appearance. The Skylark also shared the Roadmaster’s considerable list of options including power windows, power brakes, Selectronic AM radio, and full carpeting.
The 1954 Buick Skylark had become its own model, and was based on the shorter Century/Special platform. There were changes to the bodywork and trim. The wheel wells were elongated, with contrasting colors painted inside the wells. The trunk had a rounded “barrel back,” and there was a unique hood ornament. Buick was offering the Skylark as a sports car. Performance had increased from the 1953 model year, as the new Skylark still sported the Nailhead V8, but was hauling around less weight. However, there was some perceived loss of value, as the new car was smaller, but carried the same price tag. As a result, some Skylarks sat on showroom floors until they were sold at a discount. A scant 836 Buick Skylarks were built in 1954. The Buick Skylark was cancelled after the 1954 model year, and would not return to the Buick lineup until mid-year 1961.
Our featured Buick Skylark was formerly part of a museum collection. It is finished in a lustrous glossy black. The extensive chrome and stainless trim are both brilliant and well polished. Kelsey Hayes chrome wire wheels wear wide whitewall Uniroyal tires. Glass and weatherstrip are both in good nick. Red painted wheel wells pop in contrast to the black finish.
Inside the Buick Skylark, front and rear benches are finished in a bright red waffle patterned material. The carpets are also bright red. The dash is the same glossy black as the exterior, with a red painted insert. Gauge lenses are clear, with minor pitting on the chrome bezels. The Buick Skylark is well equipped with power windows, push-button Selectronic AM radio, dash clock, and power brakes.
The 322 cubic-inch Nailhead V8 transmits power to the Dynaflow automatic transmission. It has had a recent mechanical freshening with new gas tank, sending unit, lines, fuel pump, batter, belts and hoses, and a carb rebuild. The engine bay is largely as it should be, with just a bit of dust present. A modern battery has been fitted, but the balance appears to be period correct.
This Buick Skylark is accompanied by the original owner’s guide, dealership brochure, and parts catalog. It will be on the auction block at the Mecum Auctions Glendale, Arizona sale March 18th-20th.