1953 Buick Skylark ConvertibleSOLD
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Estimate: $125,000-$175,000 US

Sold: $107,250

188bhp, 322 cu. in. V8 engine, automatic transmission, independent front suspension with live rear axle, and four-wheel power-assisted hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 121.5"

The early 1950s represented an era of new beginnings for much of American society. General Motors reflected this forward-looking national sentiment with its traveling Motorama, a dazzling display of technological innovation that highlighted a multitude of stunning automotive concepts. Accordingly, Buick introduced its futuristic XP-300 concept car in 1951, which was conceived by Chief Engineer Charles Chayne in close association with legendary designer Harley Earl. Although it was well received, the XP-300 was unsuitable for volume production. Nevertheless, Buick executives were strongly encouraged to consider sportier offerings, in anticipation of the GM Division’s upcoming 50th Anniversary.

While automotive folklore suggests the resulting design was born of Chief Stylist Ned Nickles’ sketches for modifying his own Roadmaster, experts do agree that Buick management never saw a full-scale clay model of the new Skylark’s design. However, the success of Buick’s anniversary model was undoubtedly due to its many trendsetting features, such as V8 power from a new 322 cubic inch engine, a 12-volt electrical system, fully-radiused rear wheel openings, Kelsey-Hayes 40-spoke wire wheels and stylish ‘sweepspear’ chrome body accents that would find their way onto future Buick models. By lowering the top and seating position a few inches, designers gave the Buick a very sporty stance and a height of just five feet.

The low-slung Buick did not just look the part; it came equipped with luxurious amenities to match its sporty exterior. Power steering, power brakes, power windows, power seats, a power antenna, Selectronic signal-seeking radio, pleated leather upholstery and a power-operated convertible top made the Skylark Anniversary Convertible the best-equipped Buick ever made. Priced from $5,000, 1,690 Skylarks were produced in 1953. When compared to total Buick production figures for 1953, however, which neared the half million mark, the Skylark stands out from its peers as a particularly rare automobile, and it remains one of the most collectable American classics.

The 1953 Skylark presented here was treated to a complete, professional restoration prior to its acquisition by the current owner at the 2003 Buick Centennial Celebration in Flint, Michigan. Benefiting from knowledgeable ownership and thorough maintenance in a noted private collection, the Skylark remains an excellent example, finished in Light Patriot Blue, and beautifully accented by superb brightwork and a set of Kelsey-Hayes 40-spoke chrome wire wheels. The inviting interior, trimmed in two-tone blue and white leather upholstery, is mirrored by a matching dash, steering wheel, and controls that are likewise correct, attractive and very well maintained in their presentation.

Overall, this Certified Milestone Car remains in excellent condition, maintained to “… run on command”, as asserted by its current owner. From the handsome grille to its trendsetting and curvaceous bodylines, this Skylark is certainly a luxury convertible with the engineering and amenities to match its commanding presence and the distinction of being one of a limited few Skylarks produced for 1953.

Reference Number 38567

as of 2/10/2009

Car 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible
VIN 16842896 
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