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Rare Classic On Craigslist: 1953 Buick Skylark

Every marque has its special cars that collectors covet above all others.  One of Buick’s most collectible cars was the 1953 Skylark.  Amazingly, one of these limited production Buicks built to celebrate Buick’s 50th anniversary has emerged from, you guessed it, 50 years of storage.  Take a look at this 1953 Buick Skylark for sale on craigslist (of all the places to sell a car like this…) in Renton, Washington.  While the car needs a bit of work to get back on the road and a lot of work to be a showstopper again, this rare Buick is currently available for a $55,000 asking price.  Is that a bargain considering this is one of the most collectible Buicks ever made?  Thanks go to intrepid reader T. J. for this amazing tip!

The story of the 1953 Buick Skylark has been written about numerous times.  However, one of the most exhaustive and extensive articles was written by our friends at Hemmings.  This story on the Buick Skylark gives you the history, current values, and even the cost of parts at the time of publication.  It would be pointless to rewrite this excellent piece, but the story in a nutshell is very intriguing.  The post WWII period had General Motors heavily involved in building experimental show cars and displaying them at auto shows.  They also put on their famous Motorama shows across the country to draw attention to their products.  One of the stars of these shows was the Buick XP-300 concept car.

First shown in Chicago in February of 1951, this sleek “sports car” was a hit with show goers and inspired Buick to create a production model inspired by the show car.  The 1953 Skylark was the result.  Skylarks were built with only convertible bodies and used top of the line Roadmaster drivetrains.  They were a favorite of celebrities and folks of sufficient means.  One interesting piece of trivia about the car is that the original owner’s name was engraved on the horn button of each of the 1,690 cars built that year.

Today, a perfectly restored Buick Skylark can command six figures, and they commonly do when auctioned off by top shelf firms such as Bonhams and RM Sotheby’s.  They are a very expensive car to restore to perfection considering the amount of additional man hours and special parts the model demanded.  The effort must be worth it, as there has always been quite a demand for these sleek convertibles.  Part of that desirability stems from the powerful and reliable drivetrain, compliant suspension, and the comfortable interior.  Examples have sold for roughly half of a million dollars, but more reasonable prices can be found if you can settle for less than a concours level restoration.

The car you see here is, inexplicably, advertised in craigslist of all places.  Like nearly all craigslist ads, this one is short on words despite the fact that the ad is free.  There are also only five pictures.  This situation looks like the classic situation of someone decidedly not interested in cars finding themselves the recipient of an old car inheritance.  This is just not how a car person goes about business.  They did state that the car runs and drives despite having been stored for the past 50 years.  We are also told that the car does not have matching numbers.

If you are a fan of these special Buicks and have the means, then this may be a show up with cash and see what kind of bargain you can get situation.  The car looks good enough to clean up and enjoy, but we are not dealing with a lot of information in this ad.  There is no debating that this Skylark would be a gem in anyone’s collection and probably a great touring car as well.  Hopefully it finds a new home soon.

Do you think someone can strike a bargain on this 1953 Buick Skylark?  Let us know how you would approach this deal in the comments.


  1. Will Fox

    Unless you can find the original numbers-matching nailhead V8, this Skylark will never be a $125K masterpiece. Close, but no cigar.

    Like 5
  2. Todd Zuercher

    Unfortunately, values on these cars continue to plummet as the owners age out. My best friend’s dad has 2 – a 53 and a 54. This is with nowhere near $55k in its present condition today.

    Like 5
  3. Alex Wiley

    Had a chance to buy one in 1963 for $65.00. It had a 3 speed standard. How rare was that? I kick myself monthly for not doing it.

    Like 6
    • Timothy Phaff

      Since 1963 you may have had to pay 53k in storage fees!!!

      Like 2
  4. Chuck

    The 54 with a buy it now price of $62,500 is a much better deal. Turn key & in much better condition.

    Like 1
  5. Bob Mck

    This could be stunning.

    Like 0

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