Concours Condition: 1954 Buick Skylark Convertible – Sold?
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November 4, 2022, Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
Harley Earl’s design studio efforts were on full display for the 1953 model year as General Motors launched stylish limited-production convertibles that year. As part of that effort and to commemorate Buick’s 50th anniversary, Buick launched the stunning Roadmaster Skylark convertible. Production lasted only two years, and this restored 1954 Buick Skylark originally listed in October 2022 on Craigslist in Seal Beach, California (Orange County) is a stunning example.
The seller reports their Skylark being in Concours Condition. Interestingly, the seller notes that while the two-tone blue vinyl interior is original, he calls the paint “original to the year blue.” That signals to us the car features a color change from new. However, the current interior exterior combination is so striking that we say no harm no foul.
Once offered for $149,500, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is at the top end of the five-year rolling average of this guide’s summary for 1954 Buick Skylarks. By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you evaluate the price of the truck featured here:
As a second data point, the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask lands above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” estimate of appraisal of $142,000.
Created to mark Buick’s 50th anniversary, the Roadmaster Skylark joined the Oldsmobile 98 Fiesta and Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado as top-of-the-line, limited-production specialty convertibles introduced in 1953 by General Motors to promote its design leadership. Of the three, the Skylark’s run of 1,690 units proved the most successful and an amazing sales feat, considering the car’s 1953 list price of slightly in excess of US$5,000 ($55,000 in 2022 dollars) was over 50% more than the well-equipped US$3,200 Roadmaster convertible on which it was based ($34,000 in 2022 dollars). It was comparable in price to the 1953 Packard Caribbean with a similar retail price.
Production ran for two years. Based on the model 76R two-door Roadmaster convertible, the 1953 Skylark (designated model 76X) had identical dimensions (except height), almost identical appearance, shared its drive train, and had all its standard equipment, plus it’s few remaining options, including power windows, power brakes, full carpeting, and a “Selectronic” AM radio. Only air conditioning was not offered, deemed unnecessary in either convertible.
Importantly, the new Skylark featured Buick’s new 322 cubic inch Fireball V8 in place of the automaker’s longstanding straight 8, and a 12-volt electrical system, both division firsts. It debuted full-cutout wheel openings, a styling cue that spread to the main 1954 Buick line. Accenting its lowered, notched beltline was a new “Sweepspear” running almost the entire length of the vehicle, a styling cue that was to appear in various forms on many Buick models over the years.
The 1953 Skylark was handmade in many respects. Only stampings for the hood, trunk lid, and a portion of the convertible tub were shared with the Roadmaster and Super convertibles. All Skylark tubs were finished with various amounts of lead filler. The inner doors were made by cutting the 2-door Roadmaster’s in two and then welding the pieces back together at an angle to produce the rakish door dip. An overall more streamlined look was reinforced by cutting the windshield almost three inches shorter and lowering the side windows and convertible top frame proportionately. Seat frames and steering columns were then dropped to provide proper headroom and driving position. Front legroom was 44.7 inches. Authentic wire wheels were produced by Kelsey-Hayes, chromed everywhere except the plated and painted “Skylark” center emblem.
The Skylark returned in 1954 with radically restyled styling unique to the Buick line, which included wheel cutouts that could be painted in a contrasting color to the body. The trunk was sloped into a semi-barrel, and tail lights moved to large chromed fins projecting atop the rear fenders.
Re-designated model 100, the car was based on the all-new shorter Century/Special series 40 chassis and not the larger series 60 Roadmaster/Super chassis, also all-new for 1954. Once again, all Skylarks were built as 2-door convertibles and carried the same luxury equipment as before, but the front leg room decreased by nearly three inches. While smaller and lighter, the Skylark received a performance boost by retaining the big Buicks’ powertrain, an evolutionary improvement of 1953’s with the highest output in the division’s lineup.
The 1954 Skylark once again had unique sheet metal stampings for its elongated wheel cutouts and new semi-barrel trunk, though fabrication was done without hand labor. The hood ornament was unique and adopted the following year across the Buick product line.
Sales proved to be poor, reflecting the Skylark’s continued high price of US$4,843 ($50,000 in 2022 dollars) coupled with a perceived step-down from the Roadmaster/Super series using the Century’s chassis, slumping far enough to cause the model’s cancellation at the end of the 1954 model year, with only 836 being manufactured.
The If This Car Could Talk! YouTube Channel features this modern historical perspective of the 1953-1954 Buick Skylark convertible:
If nothing but the best will do, this 1954 Buick Skylark is for you. We are amazed at how well-preserved the original interior remains.
Here’s the seller’s description:
Very rare color combination! Original to the year blue. With red inner fenders. The paint is in immaculate condition. All chrome and stainless steel is in new condition. Everything is in Concours condition.
Original two-tone vinyl interior. No damage, brand new condition. All gauges and electrics are working. Tinted windows. The beautiful blue carpet and all details are there and perfect.
The engine drives amazingly and has been completely rebuilt to its original specifications. Transmission shifts are very smooth. All new bushings and, suspension, brakes have been overhauled. Great comfortable driver to enjoy on trips.
Lots of documentation is coming with the car.“
Show or go: What would you do with this Concours Condition 1954 Buick Skylark? Please comment below and let us know!