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Buick Skylark



History

1953-1954 & 1961-1972






Introduction: The Buick Skylark first appeared as a limited production model in 1953 and 1954, when it disappeared. It would reappear in 1961 and serve as the basis for the mighty Buick GS line.


1953 Buick Skylark




Comments: The first Skylark helped commemorate Buick's 50th anniversary. Built as a limited edition (1,690 units) model off of the Roadmaster line, it was distinctly unique. The Skylark was only available as a convertible and the Harley Earl designed model spoke of class and performance. The body design made it look lower than a standard convertible. There were no ventiports (known as "port holes") that were a standard feature on other Buick models. The windshield was laid over, and the wheelwells were opened up considerably. A body-length strip swept from the front fender down to the front base of the rear wheelwell, then outlined the front of the wheelwell before ending at the taillights. Distinctive Skylark badges were located just ahead of the rear wheelwells. The leather interior was luxurious with ribbed inserts and the Skylark came with numerous standard luxury features. Borrani chrome forty-spoke wheels completed the look. The Skylark also was the first Buick to showcase its new engine, a 322 cid V8 with a four barrel carb, and an 8.5:1 compression ratio, which was rated at 188 bhp. This engine pushed the 4,315 lb. Skylark from 0-60 in about 12 seconds and to a top speed of 105 mph. This is arguably one of the most collectible and valuable Buicks ever made.

Production:
Convertible: 1,690

Engines:
322 V8 188 bhp.

Performance:
322/188: 0-60 in 12 seconds.


1954 Buick Skylark




Comments: The Skylark was again a limited production model for 1954, with only 836 made. The Skylark received a new distinctive rear end which featured unique chrome tailfins that contained the taillights, a styling feature never seen before. The rear styling was accentuated by a pair of ridges that ran parallel down the rear trunk lid. The backup lights were mounted on the outside and midway up the rear deck. The chrome wire wheels, by Kelsey-Hayes, were again in place along with a distinctive emblem located just forward of the rear wheel cutout. The rear wheelwells were opened up considerably aft of the wheels. Reportedly, the open areas were sometimes painted red at the factory. The 322 cid V8 continued, although output was increased to 200 bhp. The Dynaflow transmission was standard with a 3.40:1 rear end. The Skylark name vanished after 1954, only to reappear in 1961.

Production:
Convertible: 836

Engines:
322 V8 200 bhp.

Performance:
322/200: 1/4 mile in 18 seconds.


1961 Buick Skylark




Comments: Buick brought back the Skylark name in 1961, this time on their intermediate sport coupe. Performance was again good, with a standard 215 cid V8 with a four barrel carb rated at 185 bhp.

Production:
Coupe: ?
Convertible: ?

Engines:
215 V8 185 bhp.

Performance:
N/A


1962 Buick Skylark




Comments: The Skylark was back with a distinctive design and a Skylark badge on the front fender. The 215 cid V8 saw a compression ratio increase to 11.0:1 and horsepower increased to 190 bhp.

Production:
Coupe: ?
Convertible: ?

Engines:
215 V8 190 bhp.

Performance:
N/A


1963 Buick Skylark




Comments: The Skylark received full-length body panels and was identified by pillar-mounted emblems. The same 215 cid V8 saw another horsepower increase to 200 bhp.

Production:
Coupe: ?
Convertible: ?

Engines:
215 V8 200 bhp.

Performance:
N/A


1964 Buick Skylark




Comments: The Skylark saw another performance increase with the addition of a new 300 cid V8 with a four barrel carb. The top of the line "High Performance" V8 engine was rated at 250 bhp.

Production:
Coupe: 42,356
Convertible: 10,255

Engines:
300 V8 (2 bbl) 210 bhp @ 4600 rpm.
300 V8 (4 bbl) 250 bhp @ 4600 rpm.

Performance:
N/A


1965 Buick Skylark




Comments: 1965 saw the introduction of the Gran Sport option, which eventually became its own model, the Buick GS. Meanwhile, the "base" Skylark continued with engines ranging up to the High Performance 300 cid V8.

Production:
Coupe: ?
Convertible: ?

Engines:
300 V8 (2 bbl) 210 bhp @ 4600 rpm.
300 V8 (4 bbl) 250 bhp @ 4600 rpm.

Performance:
N/A


1966 Buick Skylark




Comments: The High-Performance engine gained 40 cid of displacement, and 10 more horsepower.

Production:
Coupe: ?
Convertible: ?

Engines:
340 V8 220 bhp.

Performance:
N/A


1967 Buick Skylark




Comments: The High-Performance engine carried over and was still rated at 220 bhp.

Production:
Coupe: ?
Convertible: ?

Engines:
340 V8 220 bhp.

Performance:
N/A


1968 Buick Skylark




Comments: The Skylark received a new top of the line 350 cid V8 for 1968. Known as the L77, this engine had a four-barrel carb, 10.25:1 compression ratio, and was rated at an impressive 280 bhp and a whopping 375 lb-ft of torque. It was also available (as the L30) with a two barrel carb and a 9:1 compression ratio and was rated at 230 bhp.

Production:
Coupe: ?
Convertible: ?

Engines:
350 V8 (2 bbl) 230 bhp @ 4200 rpm, 350 lb-ft @ 1300 rpm.
350 V8 (4 bbl) 280 bhp @ 4600 rpm, 375 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.

Performance:
N/A


1969 Buick Skylark




Comments: The Skylark was mostly carryover for 1969.

Production:
Coupe: ?
Convertible: ?

Engines:
350 V8 (2 bbl) 230 bhp @ 4200 rpm, 350 lb-ft @ 1300 rpm.
350 V8 (4 bbl) 280 bhp @ 4600 rpm, 375 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.

Performance:
N/A


1970 Buick Skylark




Comments: 1970 saw the peak of Skylark performance, with the two barrel 350 gaining 30 bhp to 260 bhp and the four barrel gained 5 bhp to 285 bhp.

Production:
Coupe: ?
Convertible: ?

Engines:
350 V8 (2 bbl) 260 bhp
350 V8 (4 bbl) 285 bhp

Performance:
N/A


1971 Buick Skylark




Comments: Performance began to suffer as all GM engines had to be detuned to run on unleaded gas. The two barrel 350 dropped to 230 bhp and the four barrel also fell considerably. Interestingly, the top engine was now refered to just as the 350 cid four-barrel carb V8, instead of its previous "High Performance V8" name.

Production:
Coupe: ?
Convertible: ?

Engines:
350 V8 (2 bbl) 230 bhp
350 V8 (4 bbl) ??? bhp

Performance:
N/A


1972 Buick Skylark




Comments: Horsepower ratings fell again as all engines were rated in "net" horsepower with all accessories, instead of the previous net rating. The performance era was definitely over.

Production:
Coupe: ?
Convertible: ?

Engines:
350 V8 (2 bbl) 155 bhp (SAE Net)
350 V8 (4 bbl) 175 bhp (SAE Net)

Performance:
N/A








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