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The Scottsdale Auction / 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible Chassis no. 16986767

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Lot 113
1953 Buick Skylark Convertible
27 January 2023, 10:00 MST
Scottsdale, The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

Sold for US$140,000 inc. premium

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1953 Buick Skylark Convertible
Chassis no. 16986767

322ci OHV V8 Engine
Single Four-Barrel Carburetor
188bhp at 4,000rpm
Twin Turbine Dynaflow Automatic Transmission
Independent Front Suspension - Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes

*Offered from the John White Ramshead Collection
*2018 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance participant
*Cherished in the Ramshead Collection for more than 28 years
*Buick's 50th anniversary celebration and GMs 1953 Motorama star car


THE BUICK SKYLARK

Three special convertible models graced General Motors' 1953 catalogs. Cadillac's Eldorado featured standard chrome wire wheels and a top hidden, when lowered, by a body-color metal cover. The Oldsmobile 98 Fiesta came with every conceivable factory option except air conditioning. Both cars presaged the wraparound windshields that GM would usher in on the upscale marques for 1954. A model apart from the two was Buick's 1953 Skylark.

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 upon the Roadmaster convertible. The windshield was chopped four inches, 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. The model was noteworthy for lacking Buick's trademark "ventiports" on the front fenders, and it rode on standard Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels. While the Eldorado and Fiesta were based on standard convertible bodies, the Skylark was something completely different. Although on the Roadmaster chassis, it had its own distinctive fender lines, and unlike the sibling specials retained a simple curved windshield. Called the "Anniversary Convertible," it commemorated Buick's 50th birthday and came standard with virtually all options. With 1,690 built, the Skylark outsold the Eldorado and Fiesta by nearly three to one. While the Skylark name would continue as a limited-production model for 1954, and it would reappear in Buick's hierarchy for decades, the 1953 is considered the most special and sought after by collectors.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

The spectacular 1953 Buick Skylark offered from John White's Ramshead Collection is a truly outstanding example that has received a wonderful restoration. Mr. White acquired the rare Skylark in 1994, and the car has since formed part of his collection while receiving devoted care and exercise. The convertible bodywork of this 1950s icon is finished in a light Mouse grey-like color and is in phenomenal condition. The extensive brightwork that adorns the exterior is equally impressive, possessing a deep and luscious shine. The superbly fitting black convertible top adds the perfect level of sophistication to the outward appearance while eluding to the interiors matching two-tone red and white color scheme. The upholstery work is truly exceptional and is sure to draw admiration from onlookers. The attention to detail continues under the hood and on the undercarriage. The Fireball V8 glistens in the engine bay, as does the tidy red signature wheel-wells. The chrome wire wheels are in excellent condition and wrapped on era-evoking wide white-wall tires. Essentially, every element of the vehicle possesses a factory appropriate and beautifully restored appearance. The history file accompanying the Skylark includes instruction manuals and many restoration and maintenance receipts.

Among numerous other events, in 2018, this very Buick Skylark was shown by John White at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, indeed a very impressive showing for nearly any 1950s American car. Surely one of the finest 1953 Skylarks available, this particular example deserves serious consideration.

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