1954 BUICK SKYLARK MODEL-X100 LUXURY SPORTS CAR CONVERTIBLE
Chassis No. 7A1090773
Black with blue leather interior
Engine: Fireball V8, 322ci., 200bhp at 4,100rpm; Gearbox: Dynaflow three-speed automatic; Suspension: front independent, coil springs and rear live axle, rear, leaf springs, telescopic dampers; Brakes: hydraulic drums all around. Left hand drive.
Following the war, the executives at Buick were quick to realize that the American market was ready to spend its money in more outlandish ways and that it was hungry for automobiles that exhibited style and flair in their designs. To promote their products, GM had a traveling stage show featuring fantastical dream cars which would tour the U.S. Several of those 'dream cars' were spun off into production models. Ned Nickles, known for his eccentric nature and embrace of the flamboyant, was chief designer for Buick and a major force behind the styling that Americans were craving. Whenever feasible, Nickles incorporated many popular 'dream car' features into the Buick production.
The year 1953 is recognized by car buffs as a sort of watershed year in which several GM dream cars reached production: the Corvette was introduced by Chevrolet, the Eldorado by Cadillac and the Skylark convertible by Buick. By this time, Buick had justifiably gained a reputation as a styling pace-setter.
The Skylark was the top of the line Buick that came loaded with everything typically only available as options on most other GM products. Skylarks came with chrome plated 40 spoke Kelsey-Hayes wheels, leather interior, a four way power seat and a power radio antenna. The Double Sweepspear trim on the side suggested the rakish lines of the European sports car, and there was even a slight dip in the side door as in the 'cut down' doors of the Jaguar XK120.
For the 1954 model year, Buick went to a shorter 122 inch wheelbase and the Skylark had a major revision for a single model year run. They redesigned the wheel openings, making the wheels and tires fully visible and adding a colorful touch. The distinctive vertical bar grille came from the GM XP-300 show car. The most radical change was in the rear fender styling, now reminiscent of the earlier Wildcat II show car, with separate free standing tail lamps encased in chrome plated fins. Also, the 1954 Skylark had 200 bhp (slightly higher than the previous year) and would do an honest 100 mph. The sales brochure of 1954 summed up the options as follows: As you would expect, this scintillating sportster is in limited production. As you would also expect, it has the mighty 200-horsepower Fireball V8 engine, Airpower Carburetor, 8.8 to 1 compression ratio, Twin-Turbine Dynaflow, Buick Safety Power Steering - plus, as additional standard equipment, Power Brakes, 4-way Power Seat, power-operated top and windows and telescopic antenna, Easy-Eye Glass, Selectronic Radio, WeatherWarden Heater and Defroster, and whitewall tires.
Only 836 Skylarks were built in 1954, an extremely low production number for GM and less than half the production run of the previous year. The lovely example offered here which for many years lived in California is reported to be a very presentable and original example of the rare, complex and sought after Skylarks. Though the body has been repainted in black, the car's interior is reported to be in very presentable condition. We are told that both the motor and the engine bay are also in good, clean order and still in original condition. Brightwork on the car appears quite commendable as do the custom chrome wheel well inserts. In recent years, classic cars from the 1950s have received a huge increase in popularity and interest. The 1954 Buick Skylark is one of the most rare and desirable of collectible cars of its era.