Car of the Month – February

1954 Buick Skylark Convertible

Specs

  • Engine – 321 CID
  • Horsepower – 200 hp V8 Fireball engine
  • Transmission – Twin-Turbine Dynaflow automatic transmission
  • Curb Weight – 4,430 lbs
  • 0-60 time – 12.3 seconds
  • ¼ mile time – 18.7 seconds
  • Top speed – 104 mph
  • Number built – 836
  • MSRP price – $5,000.00

Description

General Motor’s first head of design was the now-renowned Harley Earl who is credited for creating the first use of tail fins on the 1948 Cadillac. Earl would go on to spearhead the design of the Buick Skylark, which was chosen by GM to celebrate Buick’s 50th anniversary as an automobile manufacturer. It is thought that Earl used his XP-300 experimental show car for inspiration for certain details of this design, with the result being what many believe is the most beautiful Buick produced to date and perhaps ever.

Only 836 Skylarks were produced in 1954 at the then-exorbitant price of $5,000, and all of them were convertibles. Styling details included front fenders without the traditional Buick vent ports and 40-spoke Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels that embellished the whitewall tires. The all-leather upholstery

was accented with a painted dash and an abundance of chrome. Although fins had started to appear on other models in the early 1950s when most car bodies were rounded, the ’54 Buick was the first car with fins of a magnitude that suggested they would be around for a while, and in fact, with the jet and rocket age came more outrageous fins on later cars in the ’50s.

The limited-production 1954 Buick Skylark was the top-of-the-line model that year and is a very rare classic these days. This car’s yellow color was a dramatic departure from the dark colors that typified cars form the mid-1940s to mid-’50s.