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Restored Show Piece: 1954 Buick Skylark

The stuff of high-dollar car shows is how I’d describe this 1954 Buick Skylark. I’ve seen plenty on TV auctions but I’m not sure that I’ve ever actually seen one in the steel. And there’s a likely reason for that as only 836 were actually built and they occupy pretty rarified air. This Skylark was treated to a restoration 3,000 miles and twenty-two years ago, so let’s look it over and see how it has fared. Fenton, Michigan is where this Skylark calls home and it is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $50,099 with the reserve not yet met. There is a BIN price of $62,500 available.

The first Skylark was introduced in ’53 as a Roadmaster Skylark. It was a limited production specialty car that helped to commemorate Buick’s 50th anniversary. Offered in convertible form only, it served as a launching point for Buick’s new 322 CI, overhead valve V8 engine. For ’54, the Skylark, which remained a convertible-only bodystyle,  received a new distinctive rear end that featured unique chrome tailfins that contained the taillights – it was a styling feature never seen before according to Muscle Car Club, kind of a bolt-on tail fin.

The most distinctive styling cue, to my eyes, is the opened-up rear wheel opening which really seems to show more of this car’s “underwear” than necessary.  They were frequently finished in red or white – I get red but white? In this case, they appear to mostly match the exterior shade. The seller states that this Skylark had been stored since ’74 and the conditions were likely favorable allowing for a sound restoration base. The job appears to have been impeccably administered, the exterior is just perfect and that includes the chrome and trim. It’s nice to see images included with the top both up and down – the folding canvas looks fine.

The interior is referenced as “clean” and I’d add, rather elaborate – notice that the pattern of the door and upholstery panels are the same as that employed in the center seat panels. The original upholstery, which this may or may not be (the carpet looks new), is “cowhide” according to Buick’s publicity brochure and while it may well be, it’s not the image that I conjure when I read the word cowhide. The chrome fittings, which adorn the dashboard, are always a treat to see on cars of this era.

As with the first year Skylark, this ’54 also utilizes a 322 CI V8 engine but it now generates 200 gross HP (188 in ’53) and works through a Dynaflo automatic transmission – the only choice available. This nailhead engine features an “Airpower Carburetor” and I guess that’s the reason for the chromed ram-air style air cleaner assembly. Power steering and power brakes were all standard equipment.

OK, so now it’s what to do with it time. This car, to me, is a museum piece. And that’s OK if you just want to look at it or try to flip it in a few years for a return. I suppose that it could be driven, gingerly, but it seems too nice even for minimal use. Old, fine cars, in my estimation, are meant to be driven and enjoyed so I’m not sure how this Buick fits into that equation. That’s my two cents, what’s yours?


  1. Avatar photo Cattoo Member

    Trailer it to events where it could then be gingerly driven.

    Like 2
  2. Avatar photo Will Fox

    Beautiful, rare, and museum quality for sure. Of the two years these were built, `54 was definitely the best looking. The sweeping wheel openings really help set these off visually with their standard Buick wire wheels.
    Somewhere at home I have an old B&W snapshot of my dad and a buddy of his standing next to the guy’s white `54 Skylark after a gold game. Must’ve been some good times back then.

    Like 4
  3. Avatar photo Patrick J Curran

    What else can be said about those taillights?

    Like 1
  4. Avatar photo Rick in Oregon

    The gaps on this car are horrible! Looks like a complete lack of attention when reassembling it. Rare, yes, but the details make all the difference when it comes to a car of such low production, makes me wonder where else corners were cut???

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Solosolo Member

      I don’t see a problem with the panel gaps, however, the car on offer is a Buick not a Rolls Royce, and I have owned them both, so you might get slight differences on the panel gaps of the Buick which is still a lovely motor car.

      Like 0
  5. Avatar photo Mutt

    Love those Dagmars…

    (Kids, ask your parents what that means).

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Charlies

      I love Dagmars, but not on cars…

      Like 2

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