Introduced as a limited production luxury vehicle in 1953 to celebrate the car maker's 50th anniversary, the Buick Skylark would come to be seen as a stylist's answer to the Detroit muscle car. After a hiatus of several years, Buick reintroduced the Skylark as a sporty version of the popular Special in 1961. Originally offered only as a convertible, the model became available as a 2-door coupe, 4-door sedan, and 9-passenger station wagon.
The first Skylark to hit the market in 1953 was also Buick's first vehicle to come equipped with a V8 engine. During the model's heyday between 1964 and 1972, Skylark was available as either a V-6 or V-8, with the 300 CID version banging out a health 250 hp. Although thought of as a muscle car, Skylark migrated into the midsize category during this time and easily accommodated 6 passengers. During the four decades of its production, the vehicle was assembled in several places, including Flint and Lansing, Michigan and Tehran, Iran.
An offspring of the Buick Roadmaster, the first model was a completely custom vehicle with a price tag to match. At almost $5,000, the Skylark was one of the most expensive mass-produced vehicles available in 1953. Reintroduced mid-year 1961 as a compact two-door coupe version of the Special, the V-8 engine and optional bucket seats helped the car gain enough momentum to become a separate line the next model year and continue production for the next 36 years. Major changes to the model including a four-door version, transmission choices, and increased power, came again in 1964, which resulted in a surge in sales and popularity that lasted through the early 1970's. A loss of muscle and therefore market share followed the environmental regulations imposed in 1975, resulting in the Skylark returning to compact car status.
In the top tier of Skylark's most popular trim styling is the 1965 GS model. Along with the optional vinyl bucket seats, the interior trim sported a full-length console cover complete with horizontal speedometer and tachometer. Exterior appointments such as vertical VentiPorts, a sleek grill, elongated body, and open wheelwells combined to craft the car's animal-centric look and feel. Oversize wire rally wheels completed the picture of performance and power.
The last of the Buick Skylark model line rolled off the assembly line in 1997. A ground breaking product line for Buick from the beginning, Skylark was twice awarded Car of the Year by Car Magazine, first in 1965 for the Skylark GS and again in 1972 for the GS 455 Stage 1. From the ultra-collectible 1953 convertible to the sexy yet functional 1969 GS 400, the Buick Skylark is a vehicle to be remembered
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