1953 Buick Skylark Convertible

Offered without reserve

RM | Auctions - FORT LAUDERDALE 2019 - Offered from the Richard L. Burdick Collection

Identification No.
  • Offered from the Richard L. Burdick Collection
  • Formerly of the Wayne Davis Collection
  • Beneficiary of a professional nut-and-bolt restoration
  • One of only 1,690 produced for 1953

The Skylark was first displayed as a General Motors Motorama car in 1952, and it was essentially a factory-built “sport custom” that was based on the Roadmaster convertible. The windshield was chopped four inches, while the beltline was cut down and notched at the rear fender line, and the rear-wheel cutouts were rounded and raised to match those in the front fenders. These were all techniques being used by California’s customizers during the same period. The model was noteworthy for lacking Buick’s trademark “ventiports” on the front fenders, and it rode on standard Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels.

A production version of the Skylark wowed the following year, as it was a limited-production offering that celebrated Buick’s 50th anniversary. The production Skylark was noteworthy both for its beautiful design and as the car that debuted Buick’s first modern overhead-valve V-8, also called the “Nailhead,” which produced 188 hp. Power steering, brakes, windows, seat, antenna, and convertible top were included in the nearly $5,000 price tag, which helped to keep sales to just 1,690 units.

While the Skylark name would continue as a limited-production model for 1954 and would reappear in Buick’s hierarchy for decades, the 1953 model is generally considered the most special and desirable by collectors. Along with the original Cadillac Eldorado and Oldsmobile Fiesta of the same year, it was a true example of Harley Earl’s “dream car design” that had been put on the street for the public to buy.

This 1953 Buick Skylark, offered from the from the Richard L. Burdick Collection, is finished in white with a green interior. The car has been a part of Mr. Burdick’s museum display for a number of years. Prior ownership includes noted collector Wayne Davis, under whose ownership the car benefitted from a professional, nut-and-bolt restoration. The paint, brightwork, and Jenkins interior are all indicative of expert workmanship, attention to detail, and proper adherence to factory-correct finishes. The engine compartment and undercarriage likewise benefit from the same level of restoration work and, as such, are nicely detailed. The car rides on wire wheels and features Firestone Deluxe Champion wide whitewall tires.

Overall, this Buick is in excellent condition. From its beautiful grille to its trendsetting curvaceous design, the Skylark was truly a luxury convertible with styling to be admired and desired.

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