First Year Buick Skylark Captures America’s Spirit …
A Matador Red 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible was the featured car in this week’s Cars On Line newsletter. Eric’s Muscle Cars in Clarksburg, Maryland offers the incredible classic Buick for sale. They describe this Buick Skylark as an “elegant driver.” In the collector car hobby that is code for “probably not a high end show car or trailer queen,” but you can see from the photos that this one is very nice. You better believe the Matador Red 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible will turn some heads at your local car show.
GM’s Harley Earl designed the 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary. It is arguably one of the most the most impressive collector cars of all time. In its day it was Buick’s statement to the world that it was a preiminent luxury car, challenging Cadillac, Packard and Lincoln with its progressive lines and stance. Earl and Buick so believed in this car that they allowed it to go into production knowing that they would lose $1,000 on each car they built. Look at all the chrome, the curvaceous body, the distinct body lines and the low stance. America had never seen a car like this come from Detroit. Only 1,690 Skylarks were built in this first year of production. The Skylark was only available as a convertible in the first two years of its production, 1953 and 1954.
This particular Matador Red 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible underwent a frame-off restoration and has a correct Jenkins Leather interior. Eric’s Muscle Cars tells us it is a very reliable car to drive. The sale includes a binder with various receipts and history.
This Skylark is powered by the standard 322 Fireball V8 engine, with correct V210457 assembly stamp. The new for ’53 322 cubic inch 188 horsepower Fireball V8 engine with an airpower carburetor was Buick’s largest-bore engine in the past 25 years. “Perhaps the most interesting feature is the combustion chamber,” wrote John Bond in Road & Track. “Valves are arranged vertically and in-line. This requires a specially shaped piston crown to achieve the desired compression ratio, set at 8.5 to 1, the highest in the industry.” The basic block served Buick until 1970. The powerful Fireball 8 is mated to a twin-turbine Dynaflow 2-speed automatic transmission with correct J assembly stamp.
The brake booster was rebuilt by White Post Restorations. The exterior features correct side badges and correct Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels with Diamondback whitewall tires. All Hydromatic systems are working, as is the power antenna.
The Skylark came with luxury options such as power brakes, power steering, Easy Eye glass and “selectronic” radio. Because it was a convertible Buick decided not to offer air conditioning on this model even though it could have.
The original horn button shows the original owner’s name. It also features the correct DI-NOC on the dash, the correct original Cowl Tag and power steering. They say the car can be driven anywhere. All systems working. This car was purchased from a Buick Club member who has driven the car 4,500 miles in the last thirteen years since its frame-off restoration. Notice the fully detailed engine bay.
Buick wanted to make a statement about automotive styling and progressive post war production capability. So it came out with the Skylark, a progressive sports car which would capture the imaginations of “space age” America.
Its ground breaking design and progressive technology gave the 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible a stature of celebrity in those early ’50s post-war days. It was the car of the future, which would incorporate advanced design and function, and set the standard for the automotive industry for the next decade.
Be sure to view other great classic Buick cars in the Buick Section online at the Cars On Line website. This car was featured in this week’s Cars On Line newsletter. Don’t miss a single edition of the Cars On Line newsletter. Click this link to subscribe now.