The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles has reopened, offering fans a cornucopia of top-shelf GM models to ogle. Among the precious metal on display is a number of custom rides belonging to Metallica frontman James Hetfield, headlined by this gorgeous 1953 Buick Skylark.
Nicknamed “Skyscraper,” Hetfield’s Buick Skylark takes inspiration from the factory customization process that set the original model apart from the 1952 Buick Roadmaster upon which it was based, extending the bespoke aesthetic to foster a more radical visual presentation.
To create Skyscraper, Hetfield employed the talents of Rick Dore Kustoms in California. The project was so successful, Hetfield turned to Rick Dore Kustoms for several additional builds in the years to follow.
Although the 1953 Buick Skylark is a stunning piece of design right out of the box, Rick Dore Kustoms added a few special touches that truly make it shine, including shaved badges and a smoothed front bumper. The convertible was also converted to a hardtop. And of course, we can’t forget the gorgeous purple paint job, which covers Skyscraper head to tail for a jaw-dropping candy color finish.
The purple color theme continue into the cabin, where the same hue was applied to the dash, doors, and center console, offsetting the white upholstery for a lovely one-two visual punch.
Naturally, this custom 1953 Buick Skylark also features a number of musician-inspired details. For example, the accelerator pedal was redone to resemble a bass-drum pedal, while the gauges are meant to resemble Fender pearloid guitar picks. Skyscraper even comes with a matching 2007 ESP X-Tone PS-2V electric guitar and 2007 Mesa/Boogie Lone Star Special amplifier, both of which are draped in the same glossy purple/white finish.
All told, Hetfield’s custom 1953 Buick Skylark is dripping with rockstar appeal from tip to tail. Fans can see it in person at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, where Skyscraper is on display alongside various other bespoke rides in the Reclaimed Rust: The James Hetfield Collection exhibit.