Image credits: © Buick. GM Corp

1953 Buick Series 70 Roadmaster news, pictures, specifications, and information
Skylark Convertible
Designer: Harley Earl
Buick celebrated its 50th Anniversary in grand style, by introducing one of its all-time great cars. This, of course, was the very limited production Skylark, which cost $4,596, was luxuriously equipped and had a production of only 1,690 units. It weighted 4,315 lbs. and was the only Buick that did not feature venti-ports on the fenders.

The Skylark, a beautiful sports-type convertible quickly drew the attention of the entire automotive world. Sports Buick's new 53 V-8 overhead valve engine, 322 cubic inch, 188 horsepower, with its wide whitewall tires and attractive Kelsey Hayes chrome-plated wire wheels, and based on the Roadmaster chassis; the car was destined to become a modern classic. Equipped with power brakes, steering, windows, seats and power antenna for the foot-controlled Selectronic. Buick's Twin-Turbine Dynaflow automatic transmission was also standard equipment on the car.

The Buick Skylark featured slim, cast sweepspear moldings, leather interior, special-bodstyle emblems on the rear quarters and fenders with red or white painted open wheelhouses. A Selectronic radio, 12-volt battery and Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels came standard on the convertible, which cost $5,000 new.

The owner's name was engraved on a gold emblem plate placed on the hub of the steering wheel, which depicted and antique Buick and noted the 1903-1953 dates of Buick's Gold Anniversary.
Skylark Convertible
Designer: Harley Earl
Its beauty is just the beginning: The greatest Buick in 50 great years. The Skylark, designed by stylist Ned Nichols, was Buick's 50th anniversary sporting model. 1953 marked an innovative year in convertible styling with three great General Motors  [Read More...]
Skylark Convertible
Designer: Harley Earl
1953 was Buick's Golden Anniversary year. In recognition of this milestone, they produced the limited-edition Skylark. Based on the Roadmaster convertible, the Skylark featured an exclusive chopped windshield, rakish full length 'sweepspear' side t  [Read More...]
Skylark Convertible
Designer: Harley Earl
The Skylark, designed by Ned Nichols, was Buick's 50th anniversary sports car. A total of 1,690 were produced and sold to the public at $5,000 a copy. This is one of the 'GM Trifecta' of specialty cars produced for the 1953 model year; the other two   [Read More...]
Skylark Convertible
Designer: Harley Earl
The 1953 76X Skylark was Buick's 50th Anniversary Sports Car. 1690 were built and retailed for $5,000 in 1953. It was the first year for: V-8, Power Steering and Brakes, Power Top and Kelsey-Hayes Wire Wheels.  [Read More...]
Skylark Convertible
Designer: Harley Earl
The 1953 Buick skylark fuses styling quest from two sources, the XP300 LeSabre show car and stylist Ned Nickle's customized 1951 Buick convertible. It is mounted on a Roadmaster chassis, uses redesigned doors, quarter panels and a 1954 interior. The   [Read More...]
Skylark Convertible
Designer: Harley Earl
The Skylark was Buick's answer to the European sports car and it was a celebration at $4,596. It was the most luxuriously standard equipped Buick produced at that time. The Buick had power brakes, power steering, power seats, and power antenna for th  [Read More...]
Skylark Convertible
Designer: Harley Earl
The arrival of Gen. Dwight Eisenhower to the White House in 1953 with his vow to end the Korean War, which he did also ending wartime automotive production controls, brought a wave of optimism that swept America. General Motors rolled out its Motoram  [Read More...]
The year was a big one for the brand that served as the foundation for the General Motors empire. Established in 1903, Buick celebrated its golden anniversary with the introduction of the Fireball V-8, its first, ending a long tradition of inline eig  [Read More...]
Skylark Convertible
Designer: Harley Earl
Chassis Num: 17142626
Sold for $143,000 at 2006 Worldwide Auctioneers.
This beautiful 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible with chassis number 17142626 was offered for sale at the 2006 Worldwide Group Auction held on the Hilton Head Island. The estimated value was between $140,000 - $160,000. At the close of the auction, th  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2006
Skylark Convertible
Designer: Harley Earl
Chassis Num: 17055106
Sold for $165,000 at 2007 RM Auctions.
This 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible was treated to a no-expense spared restoration and was finished in the correct 1953 Skylark Color of Osage Cream. The interior and exterior chrome were either triple plated or polished to the highest standards. T  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2007
Skylark Convertible
Designer: Harley Earl
Buick celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1953 by putting a Motorama show car in production. Named Skylark, this limited-edition was an ultra-luxury, full-size sport convertible. And it was a Harley Earl creation all the way.  [Read More...]
Skylark Convertible
Designer: Harley Earl
Chassis Num: 53-4767SX
Engine Num: G848
Sold for $93,500 at 2007 Christies.
This 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible was offered for sale at the 2007 Christies auction of 'Exceptional Motor Cars at the Monterey Jet Center.' Under the bonnet is a Fireball V8 engine that measures 322 cubic-inches and capable of producing 200 horse  [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2007
Skylark Convertible
Designer: Harley Earl
Chassis Num: 53 47 89 SX
Sold for $20,900 at 2007 Christies.
This 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible was offered for sale at the 2007 Christies auction of 'Exceptional Motor Cars at the Monterey Jet Center.'   [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2007
In 1953 Buick introduced the Skylark - a vehicle built to celebrate the company's 50th anniversary and intended to be produced as a limited edition off of the Roadmaster line. Designed by the famous Harley Earl, the car had style and performance. The vehicle appeared to be lower than the standard convertibles, this was due to the body design. Ventiports, also known as port holes, were absent from the vehicle. Under the hood was a 322 cubic-inch 8 cylinder engine capable of producing nearly 190 horsepower. Only available as a convertible, this 4300 pound vehicle had a top speed of just over 100 miles-per-hour and a zero-to-sixty time of around 12 seconds. The interior was elegant, with leather seats and many standard features. During the introductory year, 1690 examples were created making it a highly collectable vehicle even by today's standards.

Even fewer examples were produced in 1954, with just 836 examples. The engine was still the 322 cubic-inch eight-cylinder except it was now producing 200 horsepower. A chrome tailfin could now be found at the rear of the vehicle, a unique design that was new at the time. The DynaFlow automatic transmission, air conditioning, and Kelse-Hayes 40-spoke rims were just some of the standard equipment. Of the 836 examples produced in 1954, it is believed that less than 50 exist today.

The Skylark was not produced in 1955. This limited production vehicle would not be produced again until 1961. When it did return, Buick had used its name on their intermediate sport-coupe model. Under the hood was a 215 cubic-inch 8-cylinder with a four-barrel carburetor resulting in 185 horsepower. A year later the compression ratio was increased and as a result, so did the horsepower. The Skylark had also gone design changes for 1962, one of them being a Skylark badge now adorning the front fender.

By 1963, the 215 cubic-inch engine had finally been tuned enough to produce 200 horsepower. The Skylark emblems could now be found on the vehicles pillars. The performance increase continued in 1964 with the addition of a four-barrel carburetor attached to the 300 cubic-inch 8-cylinder engine. The result was 250 horsepower.

In 1965 Buick debuted the Gran Sport package which, in the years that followed, would become its own series. The 300 cubic-inch two-barrel option produced just over 200 horsepower while the four-barrel version produced 250 horsepower.

The muscle car era was beginning to heat up. The cars were becoming smaller and the interior were being gutted to take advantage of weight-saving techniques. The engine cubic-capacities continued to climb and the horsepower-to-weight ratio was astonishing. This was true for the Skylark which saw its engine-size and horsepower climb throughout the years.

By 1968 the engine had been enlarged to 350 cubic inch. Depending on the configuration, the horsepower inched towards the 300 mark. The torque was equally as impressive with 375 foot-pounds for the high-performance engine. 1969 was similar and saw little changes in both its mechanics and its aesthetics.

The muscle car era saw its peak in the 1969 and 1970 years. After that the automobile manufacturers were forced to decrease their engine sizes in order to comply with strict government regulations and safety concerns. Insurance premiums were on the rise and it became economically infeasible for many to continue to own these high-performance machines. All this lead to the general public craving alternatives such as luxury and fuel-efficient vehicles.

1970 was a great year for the Skylark which saw its horsepower come closer to 300 horsepower. With the four-barrel 350 cubic-inch eight-cylinder engine, horsepower was rated at 285. In two barrel form the 350 cubic-inch engine produced an impressive 260 horsepower. For 1971 the horsepower began to decline as Buick began complying with the new government regulations. This trend continued in the years to come. By 1973, the production of the Buick Skylark had ceased. It began again in 1976 sitting atop a 111 wheelbase and offered in seven bodystyles including sport coupe, coupe, sedan, and hatchback. Standard was a 231 cubic-inch six-cylinder engine with a 3.8 bore and a 3.4 stroke and produced 11 horsepower. A 260 cubic-inch eight-cylinder was optional but still produced 110 horsepower. The 350 cubic-inch eight-cylinder brought the horsepower up to 165.

Production of the Skylark continued until 1997.
By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2008
Built as the centerpiece of Buick's 50th Anniversary, the rakish Skylark convertible offered a level of standard equipment beyond anything that Buick had ever offered.

Based on the premium-series Buick Roadmaster chassis, the Skylark had a look all of its own. The lowered windshield and sleek roofline yielded a profile less than five feet tall-very low for the time. The deeply notched belt line combined with full radius rear wheel openings to accentuate the 'sweepspear' styling theme that would become a Buick hallmark. The graceful Kelsey-Hayes 40 spoke chrome wheels are acknowledged by collectors as some of the most beautiful wheels to ever grace a production car. Powered by Buick's first modern V-8 engine, this car's performance matched its racy appearance.

Sales in 1953 totaled just 1640 units, making the Skylark a rare and collectible car.
Skylark Convertible
Designer: Harley Earl
Chassis Num: 16977916
Sold for $156,750 at 2014 RM Auctions.
In 1952, the Skylark was first displayed as a General Motors Motorama car. The car was based upon the Roadmaster convertible and was essentially a factory-built 'sport custom.' The windshield was chopped four inches and the beltline was cut down and   [Read More...]
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2014
Skylark Convertible
Designer: Harley Earl
Beginning in 1903, the Buick Motor Company was rolling out new Buicks, and produced 37 that first year.  [Read More...]
Skylark Convertible
Designer: Harley Earl
The 1953 Buick Skylark is one of the most stunning Harley Earl design exercises of all time and one of the most legendary GM cars ever built.  [Read More...]
The Roadmaster named first appeared on Buick automobiles in 1936 as a celebration of their engineering improvements and advancements in design. The Buick Series 80 became known as the Roadmaster. The Roadmasters were built on the longest wheelbase Buick had to offer. From 1946 through 1957 they were the most elegant and prestigious automobiles that Buick sold.

From 1936 through 1948 the Roadmaster appeared in coupe, sedan, convertible and station wagon bodystyles. A hardtop coupe was added in 1949 and dubbed the Riviera.

The Roadmaster named reappeared in 1991 and continued in production until 1996. It served as a replacement for the Electra model line and offered as an Estate Wagon. A sedan was introduced in 1992.

The end of the 1953 Buick Roadmaster station wagon meant the end of the last wood-bodied station wagon to be mass-produced in the United States. In 1996, the end of the Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon meant the end of the full-size family station wagons.
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2006
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