Automobiles of Arizona

18 January 2008

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Lot 116

1953 Buick Skylark Convertible

  • Chassis no. 17051631

Sold for $143,000


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

In 1953, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected president, the Korean War was coming to an end, Elvis was strumming acoustic guitars, and the beautiful new Skylark was available in very limited numbers, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Buick. In fact, the Skylark – brainchild of the then GM president, Harley Earl – was a radically different American automobile. With styling cues taken from Earl’s XP-300 experimental LeSabre, and a beautiful swooping beltline never before seen on a Buick, the Skylark was in a word, striking.

Mounted on a Roadmaster chassis, the new Skylark was intended to give European grand touring cars a run for their money. With the convertible top in place, the car was less than five feet tall. But the low-slung Buick did not just look the part, it came equipped with luxurious interior amenities to match its sporty exterior. Kelsey-Hayes 40-spoke wire wheels, power steering, power brakes, power windows and power seats, and even a power aerial, made this car the best-equipped Buick available. Unfortunately, only 1,690 examples were produced with sizable price tags of $5,000. In today’s collector car market, ownership of a Skylark, alongside its Oldsmobile Fiesta and Cadillac Eldorado counterparts, is considered a ‘Triple Crown’ or ‘Grand Slam’ and an acquisition of remarkable historic significance.

The 1953 Buick Skylark pictured here is an excellent, highly original example that has had a no-expense-spared concours quality frame-off restoration. Having remained under the same ownership for over 40 years, it is a very straight, solid, and well-restored example, and its current odometer reading of approximately 55,000 miles is believed to be correct from new.

This Skylark is finished in the rare factory correct color of Reef Blue with a matching, special order, solid Reef Blue interior. The chassis and underbody were refinished to uncompromised levels of quality and, as a result, they display remarkable attention to detail right down to the factory correct white inner fenders. All the interior and exterior chrome and stainless pieces were either triple plated or polished to show quality standards. The Skylark exclusive trim, ornaments and badges are all correct; where new-old-stock replacements could not be found, the originals were professionally refurbished.

The car’s many special features, including factory clock and Selectronic radio, power antenna, power top and windows, power steering, power brakes, and power seats, all function like new.

This Skylark does not fall short in any regard, as it features Buick’s first overhead valve V8 Nailhead engine in beautifully restored condition with every correct decal, hose clamp, and wiring clip in place, all of which have been detailed to show standards. Extending to the rear of the car, the trunk was also restored to original specifications with all the correct finishes and materials. The Skylark is also equipped with a brand new and correct set of 40-spoke Kelsey Hayes chrome wire wheels shod in wide whitewall tires.

Overall, this particular 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible is in virtually flawless condition and is without a doubt, concours-ready. From its striking grille to its trendsetting, curvaceous design, the Skylark was truly a luxury convertible with groundbreaking styling. Above all, it represents a rare opportunity to own a part of General Motors’ Golden Anniversary and a crucial milestone in Buick’s history, exemplified inuncompromising elegance.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more