Buick Skylark Convertible Coupe
General Motors reflected the dynamic, forward-looking attitude of early-1950s America with its highly popular traveling Motorama shows, which brought such futuristic concepts as Buick’s radical XP-300 to the people. While the XP-300 was unsuited to volume production, public acclaim encouraged Buick executives to develop sportier models, particularly the Skylark prototype of 1952, which entered limited production for 1953 to celebrate Buick’s Golden Anniversary. Low-slung and luxurious, with its design directed by Harley Earl, the Skylark predicted the emerging and lucrative “personal luxury” automobile market.
As the sole Buick model offered for 1953 without the GM division’s trademark hood “ventiports,” the Roadmaster-based Skylark’s highly customized body required significant amounts of hand labor to produce. Mechanical features included Buick’s first overhead-valve V-8 engine, a 322-cubic inch unit developing 188 bhp with the highest compression ratio available from an American marque (8.5:1), plus the refined Twin-Turbine Dynaflow automatic transmission. All available Roadmaster features were included on the Skylark except air conditioning. It was, quite simply, the best-equipped Buick ever made. Selling new from $5,000, the Skylark was available starting in January 1953, with only 1,690 built.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in March of 2009 at the The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida, in November of 2010 at the Robson Estate, Gainesville, Georgia, in March of 2011 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida in January of 2012 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona and in March of 2012 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.
188 bhp, 322 cu. in. “Nailhead” OHV V-8 engine, Twin-Turbine Dynaflow automatic transmission, independent front suspension, live rear axle, and four-wheel power-assisted hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 121.5".
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel