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jt54skylark

1954 Skylark "Barn Find"

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I am a first time poster on this website, but thought I would share the incredible "barn find" my father and myself stumbled upon last week. The story begins with the sale of a Ford Mustang Cobra we had owned for quite a few years. The new owner of the car noticed my fathers E body mopar collection in the garage and mentioned that his late father was an avid car collector and his step mother was looking to sell off his collection. He mentioned that most of the cars were from the 40's to 60's and warned us that they had all been sitting since the late 60's when his father lost interest. Intrigued by the story, my dad set up a time to come view the vehicles.

Long story short, most of the cars were in total disrepair from being improperly stored. IE a Hudson Hollywood that was rumored to be parked in perfect condition rotted out from being parked on gravel. Not interested in any of these cars, the seller mentioned two other cars that his father was very keen of stored in a garage. One of these vehicles inside the garage just happened to be this black '54 buick skylark convertible. The seller had many interested parties, but one potential buyer had gone so far as to disable the vehicle so no others would want to purchase. After a few hours of tinkering and a cap of gas in the carb she ran. We fired it up for all of 3 seconds and immediately shut it off to avoid any damages. Gotta love 50's cars, it has been parked since 1956 with 26,000 miles and still ran after 56 years of sitting. An undisclosed amount of money was paid for the vehicle and it was immediately transported home under lock and key. The old lady was even so kind as to give us the original title from 1954. Here are the pictures from when we got it home. The car will be for sale soon, as we only bought it to preserve such a rare car from falling into the wrong hands.

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Jt54skylark, Man, that is a Great story and find. You and your Dad are very lucky!I see the car has Ohio plates.Is it currently in Ohio?Looks like someone will be getting an AWESOME CAR.Lamar are you there?

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Jt54skylark, Man, that is a Great story and find. You and your Dad are very lucky!I see the car has Ohio plates.Is it currently in Ohio?Looks like someone will be getting an AWESOME CAR.Lamar are you there?

Thanks Rich! It is a great car, if I had the money i'd purchase it from him and just drive it. We are located in north east ohio just outside of a small town called Hartville. If it does sell I hope the new owner appreciated is as much as we do.

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The '54 Skylark is quite possibility my ultimate dream Buick. What a spectacular find!

Here's a question for the '54 experts: Would the engine in a '54 Skylark have been painted red at the factory? If not, this suggests a rebuild or engine transplant along the way.

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That is truly an amazing story. And the car is awesome. Looks to have been truly played with and enjoyed for the time it was on the road. I don't believe I have ever seen a SL with a continental kit. This car would be great to just leave as is, as a testament to that once upon a time, folks actually drove and played with their Skylarks. Congrats on the find and THANKS for sharing. We would really appreciate if you would also post your story over on The 1954 Buick Highway, there is a subforum just for Skylark owners.

Buick on....

Edited by MrEarl
stupid grammar (see edit history)

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The '54 Skylark is quite possibility my ultimate dream Buick. What a spectacular find!

Here's a question for the '54 experts: Would the engine in a '54 Skylark have been painted red at the factory? If not, this suggests a rebuild or engine transplant along the way.

no red paint on Skylark engines. In fact I see a hint of Buick Green on the rocker covers. I suspect the po just thought it would look cool in red with the black. Me thinks the po really enjoyed this car. I suspect the odomometer has been around at least once.

I also don't know that I ever knew that the Skylarks VIN had a 7 prefix. I would have thought it would be 100. I'd love to know the engine number, it should end with a # 7. I'd also like to know if the underside of the front and rear fenders looks to be original and if so what color are they. There is alway much discussion related to this subject.

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That is truly an amazing story. And the car is awesome. Looks to have been truly played with and enjoyed for the time it was on the road. I don't believe I have ever seen a SL with a continental kit. This car would be great to just leave as is, as a testament to that once upon a time, folks actually drove and played with their Skylarks. Congrats on the find and THANKS for sharing. We would really appreciate if you would also post your story over on The 1954 Buick Highway, there is a subforum just for Skylark owners.

Buick on....

Thanks so much. I registered over there but I am waiting for a moderator to open my account. The continental kit looks factory, or a darn good aftermarket one at that. Anybody able to rough estimate a value on this car? We truly love it, but our whole fleet is mopars and the money would be better spent finishing a few of the cuda's

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In respect to the mileage, we have service records from this vehicle for the two years that it was driven as a daily driver. There is an oil change sticker in the door from 1958 and one from 1960 that are only 10 miles away from eachother. The old lady told us her husband had the entire fleet serviced at the local sohio gas station. The state of Ohio has signed an affidavit certifying the mileage and last date of registration.

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JT, be VERY VERY careful when cranking this car up. 322's are really bad for sticking valves causing bent push rods when they have been stored for a long time. And even after they have been ran, they still can stick due to the old carbon/oil deposits gettig sticky. (See the testimonial picture in my signature) Considering your experience with other cars, I am sure you know some techniques to do to prevent this though. Just saying, be careful.

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In respect to the mileage, we have service records from this vehicle for the two years that it was driven as a daily driver. There is an oil change sticker in the door from 1958 and one from 1960 that are only 10 miles away from eachother. The old lady told us her husband had the entire fleet serviced at the local sohio gas station. The state of Ohio has signed an affidavit certifying the mileage and last date of registration.

tha's cool. I mainly made my estimation based on the looks of the engine and without hearing the rest of the story. IE it only being driven two years before being garaged. That is awesome. There's a lot that could be learned from the originality of this car.

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JT, be VERY VERY careful when cranking this car up. 322's are really bad for sticking valves causing bent push rods when they have been stored for a long time. And even after they have been ran, they still can stick due to the old carbon/oil deposits getting sticky. (See the testimonial picture in my signature) Considering your experience with other cars, I am sure you know some techniques to do to prevent this though. Just saying, be careful.

Very good point. I fired it up for less than 4 seconds and shut it off. It has not been run since. We are going to leave the rest to the purchaser. They are going to be getting an unmolested specimen. I know its hard to judge, but what is the market value on an original survivor '54

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Thanks so much. I registered over there but I am waiting for a moderator to open my account.

yea, they're bout as slow as a herd of turtles stampedin through peanut butter over there.

I'll PM you my thoughts on value. It's gonna be a wide range though.

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1954 buick engine were never painted red, nor does it looks like a rebuild paint job. it just looks like someone wanted to rattle can paint the engine red while it still mounted in the car, you can see overspray all over the engine. charles coker, 1953 pontiac tech advisor.

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Thanks Lamar and Charles. I figured the engine would have been Buick green, so I appreciate the confirmation.

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I also don't know that I ever knew that the Skylarks VIN had a 7 prefix. I would have thought it would be 100. I'd love to know the engine number, it should end with a # 7. I'd also like to know if the underside of the front and rear fenders looks to be original and if so what color are they. There is alway much discussion related to this subject.

I think the serial numbers all started with a 7 or had no series digit:

History! PLEASE READ-GUIDE TO '54 BUICK SKYLARK SHOWROOM

Which Atlanta plant produced the Skylark?

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thanks for that refresher Sean.

slip slidin away...............

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glad to see so much interest in this barn find. If anybody has any information about the continental kit please feel free to send it to me.

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all I can offer is that it was not a factory option. possibly a dealer installed piece but not a Buick accessory.

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You have a very rare car,not only a survivor{nice}but a skylark,I dont know if you can put even a ball park figure on it,AIM HIGH!!I love survivors not many left,certainly not in that kind of shape!Hope it gets a good home mine did!!!!!!!! BEAUTIFUL RIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MARK

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You have a very rare car,not only a survivor{nice}but a skylark,I dont know if you can put even a ball park figure on it,AIM HIGH!!I love survivors not many left,certainly not in that kind of shape!Hope it gets a good home mine did!!!!!!!! BEAUTIFUL RIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MARK

Thanks a bunch! This is truly a great find. I'm glad to see so many people appreciate it. We were very apprehensive on this purchase just because we are mopar people, and had very limited buick knowledge.

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Why don't you suggest a price to the group, and get some opinions? heck, you might even sell it! Since you didn't start this out as a "for sale" post, we can talk about it.....

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Why don't you suggest a price to the group, and get some opinions? heck, you might even sell it! Since you didn't start this out as a "for sale" post, we can talk about it.....

Ha that would be a good idea! I will talk to my father and see what he was thinking. I know he was on the "make an offer" plan right now since we are not avid buick folks. 85k?

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All I can say is that how many 1954 BUick convertibles you see in good driver condition that are original....now add in that its a Skylark????

Can you say unicorn?

To someone who wants to restore it think low...for someone who wants to preserve it think freaking high cause they aint making any more original skylarks with a dammed continental kit that are in driver quality shape.

My suggestion is to be patient and market this car UNTOUCHED (not even cleaned) and see what offers come in...my bet somebody out there will pay very well for this.

Nice find....look forward to your arrival at the 54B site.

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