Buick Skylark

A distinctly unique mode, a part of the Roadmaster line, the first Buick Skylark was a limited edition vehicle designed to salute 50th anniversary of the company. Only 1,690 convertibles were produced under the guidance of famous vehicle designer Harley Earl.

Skylark had some distinctive features such as lower body design, absence of common Buick port holes, laid over windshield and opened up wheel wells. From the front fender to the taillights a characteristic strip completed Skylark image.

Near the rear wheel wells one could find iconic Skylark badges, destined to show high class. On the inside, vehicle had luxurious leather interior along with majority of deluxe equipment features at the time.

Skylark wasn't just a pretty sight, as it was also a demonstration of the new powerful Buick 322 cu in V8 engine. With a four barrel carburetor and 8.5:1 compression ratio it produced 188 horsepower, allowing the model to reach a top speed of 105 mph and going from 0-60 in nearly 12 seconds.

The original 4,315 lb Buick Skylark was only the beginning of the brand, since the American buyers wanted more and company wasn't hesitating to sell more units. In 1964, rising sales finally convinced Buick management to create a separate Buick Skylark line. This major event was followed by other changes as well, like the intermediate size chassis shared with Oldsmobile F-85, Pontiac Tempest and Chevrolet Chevelle. New characteristics included a wheelbase of 115 in, totaling the Skylark length at 203.5 in.

Power performance was secured with standard Skylark 225 cu in V6 engine generating 155 horsepower at 4400 rpm. At the same time, the old standard 215 cu in aluminum block V8 engine production was discontinued and after a period of time bought by famous English car manufacturer, Rover, to equip their sport utility vehicles and trucks line. In essence, the new engine was original Buick V8 300 CID engine without two regular cylinders.

A model cast iron blocks and heads were used, which subsequently became regular practice. An optional V8 version of the 300 CID engine was offered with a 11:1 compression and a 4-barrel carburetor generating 250 horsepower. When it comes to transmission a four speed Hurst shifter was available.

1964 model introduced four-door sedan for the first time, alongside previously designed two door convertible and hardtop coupe style. Vinyl bucket seats became a regular on the convertible model and optional for hardtop coupe. During 1965 the company made available Buick Skylark Gran Sport option for more demanding buyers. Market had already shown a strong demand for similar vehicles, i.e. Pontiac Tempest or Pontiac LeMans.

Gran Sport option included Buick's 401 cu in V8 engine using a Carter four barrel carburetor generating impressive 325 horsepower at 4400 rpm. Additional special features were one of a kind Gran Sport badges, a heavy duty radiator and dual exhaust system. As an interesting fact, Buick Skylark Gran Sport 340 only available as two door hardtop coupe is still very popular with the collectors.

The 1970s brought new government regulation aimed to reduce pollution and to increase energy efficiency. Power performances began to decline since Buick had no choice but to adapt with circumstances. By 1973, the production of the Buick Skylark had stopped for the first time. It was continued again in 1976, when Buick offered Skylark in seven different styles including sport coupe, coupe, sedan and hatchback. Production of this incredible classy and highly collectible model continued until 1997, when it was finally retired.

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