Today’s Post by Joe Farace
Although I’ve never owned one, I have previously documented my love affair with classic Buicks here before. Named for automotive pioneer David Buick, this was one of the first American automobile marques and was the company that established General Motors in 1908. GM’s founder William C. Durant had originally served as Buick’s general manager and major investor.
In addition to my all-time favorite Grand National, here’s another one of my favorite Buicks. Created to mark Buick’s 50th anniversary, the Roadmaster Skylark was a top-of-the-line, limited-production convertible that General Motors introduced in 1953 by to promote its design prowess. They sold 1,690 units of the 1953 Skylark with a sticker price of $5,000 or about $48,044 in today’s dollars. For a comparison, the German-made (and now discontinued) 2019 Buick Cascada convertible starts at $33,070. On the other hand, a well-preserved 1953 Skylark in #1 condition is worth $177,000, according to Hagerty’s Price Guide.
How I made this shot: Camera was a Fujifilm FinePix S3Pro DSLR with 35-70mm f/2.8 lens (at 62mm) with a Program mode exposure of 1/1500 sec at f/9.5 and ISO 400.
Skylark production ran for two years and featured Buick’s new 322 cubic-inch Nailhead V8 in place of their old stand-by straight 8 and the car had a 12-volt electrical system. The Skylark also had sporty full-cutout wheel openings, a styling cue that was ultimately used by the entire 1954 Buick line. The Skylark had red or white wheel wells with styling that included wheel fender linings with chrome Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels with plated and painted Skylark center emblems.
In 1954 the Skylark returned with wheel fender linings that could be painted in a contrasting color to the body. The trunk was restyled into a semi-barrel and tail lights were moved from the fender onto chromed fins mounted atop the rear fenders, which is the easiest way to spot a 1954 model. Skylark production for 1954 was 836.
You can see a 1953 Skylark, similar to the one above, at the Cussler Museum that’s dedicated to the preservation of rare and vintage automobiles from around the world. This extensive collection has more than 100 of what they consider to be significant automobiles, ranging in years from 1906 to 1965, and was established by best-selling author Clive Cussler.
Trivia: Although officially called the Roadmaster Skylark, aficionados will note the lack of the traditional Roadmaster “portholes.”
- The Cussler Museum
- 14959 W. 69th Ave.
- Arvada, CO 80007.
- Open seasonally May thru September.
- Monday thru Thursday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.