19-20 January 2012

Previous Next

Lot 237

1953 Buick Skylark Convertible Coupe

  • Chassis no. V1863937
  • Body no. G1092

Sold for $96,250

Model 76X. 188 bhp, 322 cu. in. “Nailhead” OHV V-8 engine, Twin-Turbine Dynaflow automatic transmission, independent front suspension, live rear axle, and four-wheel power-assisted hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 121.5"

• Rare and highly exclusive Buick landmark design

• A very well-maintained older restoration in proper running order

• One of only 1,690 examples originally built for 1953

General Motors reflected the dynamic, forward-looking attitude of early-1950s America with its highly popular traveling Motorama shows, which brought such futuristic concepts as Buick’s radical XP-300 to the people. While the XP-300 was unsuited to volume production, public acclaim encouraged Buick executives to develop sportier models, particularly the Skylark prototype of 1952, which entered limited production for 1953 to celebrate Buick’s Golden Anniversary. Low-slung and luxurious, with its design directed by Harley Earl, the Skylark predicted the emerging and lucrative “personal luxury” automobile market.

As the sole Buick model offered for 1953 without the GM division’s trademark hood “ventiports,” the Roadmaster-based Skylark’s highly customized body required significant amounts of hand labor to produce. Mechanical features included Buick’s first overhead-valve V-8 engine, a 322-cubic inch unit developing 188 bhp with the highest compression ratio available from an American marque (8.5:1), plus the refined Twin-Turbine Dynaflow automatic transmission. All available Roadmaster features were included on the Skylark except air conditioning. It was, quite simply, the best-equipped Buick ever made. Selling new from $5,000, the Skylark was available starting in January 1953, with only 1,690 built.

The current owner acquired this example in restored form during 2002, and it clearly benefits from excellent care, as confirmed by a show appearance at a 2009 Buick Club of America meet, where it earned a first-place award. In 2003, the undercarriage and engine bay were detailed, several chrome items were re-plated, and a new set of tires was installed. In 2010, the rear-bumper chrome was re-plated. The owner reports that this Skylark is a great-driving example that starts without hesitation and runs smoothly, with the automatic transmission and brakes operating well. In addition, the electric top works properly, as do its other power features. A handsome example to be driven and shown with pride, this 1953 Skylark is a fitting tribute to GM’s rich early-1950s design legacy.

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