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72gs455

1953 Buick dealership

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A car dealer was advertising on a local tv station, I asked them if they had the picture in the ad and if they could send it to me...

they did!

it was taken in 1953 with a row of new 54's in Fairmont Minnesota.

post-70955-14314274197_thumb.jpg

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OH MY.... be still my beating heart.....

271801d1411865277-1953-buick-dealership-image.jpg

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Cool pic, but I would bet any one of those Buicks that the pic was taken in late-1954 judging by the high number, seven-digit 1954 Minnesota license plate number on the Buick at the right end of pic.

Note the absence of a 1954 Skylark, Estate Wagon, and convertible. With over 3,000 Buick dealerships during that era and only 836 Skylarks made, 1954 Skylarks and other low-production number models were a rare site on a Buick Showroom floor when new. You got to love those white mechanic's shop coats!

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

Edited by 1953mack (see edit history)

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We had a 54 Lark on the show room floor, then two weeks later I tore the passenger door off. Yep it fell on the ground, and OH how fun that was driving back to the dealership MISSING a door, WELL, it was in the trunk.

Mother never knew,

Dale in Indy

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A car dealer was advertising on a local tv station, I asked them if they had the picture in the ad and if they could send it to me...

they did!

it was taken in 1953 with a row of new 54's in Fairmont Minnesota.

Now that's an awesome photo.

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Dad was a Buick dealer in Bloomington,IL. I was in HS. dad allowed me to come to the dealership during our hour long lunch break. This allowed me to take the car back to school and show some friends. I had less than an hour......

I arrived at the school, picked up best friend, he advised me that another friend was behind us on the sidewalk, so I started backing up,,,,,,,I didn't know he had opened the passengers door, a bread truck was at the curb, with the door open it struck the front bumper, folded the door, broke the cast hinges, and the door feel to the ground.

I felt like my world was ending, got out, put the door in the trunk, and headed back to the dealership. Needless to say my friends didn't want to be anywhere near when dad saw the missing door.

Dad was sitting on his desk in the showroom, he saw the door missing, he came out in a hurry, I was 17, I was crying, dad said, "DALE, CALM DOWN, JUST DON'T TELL YOUR MOTHER". He knew I was upset, and he felt bad too, but knew no one was hurt.

He called Buick, they air shipped a new door that afternoon to Chicago, the body shop foreman drove the 130 miles north to pick it up. The body shop crew worked into the night and repaired the car, MOTHER NEVER KNEW.

We have no clue as to where the car is, or if it is a survivor.

That's the story, and I'm sticking to it.

Dale in Indy

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Cool pic, You got to love those white mechanic's shop coats!

Yea I have noticed white coveralls/coats were the norm back in the day. Many pictures I see of mechanics in the 40s and 50s they have white coveralls on. Wonder when that trend died off. Maybe by the 60s?

That is a neat picture back when all they had to do was line the cars up and take a photo for advertising. Fast forward to now and some car commercials have to have superficial and outrageous stunts along with head banging music just to get people to notice.

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I have tried and tried to locate the car. I don't have any ID numbers, so always said, CHECK UNDER THE DOOR CARD, SEE IF IT GIVES SIGNS OF THE DOOR BEING REPLACED, but no response.

Dad knew I was his helper, he felt bad that I felt bad. We never talked about it from that day on.

He retired with Buick as a salesman in Austin, Texas. He was Buick's salesman of the year, ONE YEAR. I have the ring given to him. Myers Marshall Smith, 1912.

He got involved with cars in the 20's, he would mix up a coffee can of tarry sticky stuff, and would walk the streets looking for a car that need the soft roof coated. Often he would find one, and even if the owner wasn't around he would coat it, then wait for the owner. He charged .10cents. If they didn't want to pay he would move on. Today he would go to jail, hehe.

When he was 16 he became what was THEN called a GREASE MONKEY. He advanced to tech, then service manager, then to general mgr, finally dealer.

He enlisted in the Marines in 1942 even with us five kids. He could have gotten a deferment, but that wasn't his style, and many other AMERICAN'S dove head first into the war. He came home as a captain. He was in the 1st. Marine division, and in many countries, beach heads were terrible, he lost lots of buddies, again he would not talk about it.

The day the war ended, Mother gave us kids pots and pans so we could march up and down the walk banging such.

We went to the train station many times, saw far to many families crying when their loved on didn't come home. It played hard on us kids, war is hell, but you have to stand your ground.

God Bless America,

Dale in Indy

P.S. He was a Buick guy for over 60 years.

Edited by smithbrother (see edit history)

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.....Dad was a Buick dealer in Bloomington, IL..... I was in HS..... We have no clue as to where the car is, or if it is a survivor.....

FWIW: A long shot, but you never know.

From Buick records, 1954 Buick Skylarks rolled off the Flint, Michigan assembly line starting in February 1954 and ended in August 1954. You are saying you were in high school at the time, but you don't give a specific month, February thru May(?), when the Skylark showed up at the Dealership before the accident. Colors would also be helpful. If you rule out May, June, July, and August production figures, you're talking a production number somewhere between #1 and #480, out of 836 built.

Doing some investigative work, I'm trying to get a range of your production number on the BODY BY FISHER number plate. Knowing the month, I can easily check to see what I have for owners in the Illinois area on my on-going 1953-1954 BUICK SKYLARK REGISTRY project. I could then give you names that I come up with. Another option if you want to, would be to write a letter to the Editor of the '53-'54 BUICK SKYLARK CLUB NEWSLETTER with your story. I'm sure Gary would be happy to publish it. I can fill you in on all the details if you're interested.

I've also heard stories (fish stories?) of the first dozen or so 1954 Skylarks being given (no charge) to high-up-the-ladder Dealers, Zone Managers, Assembly Plant Presidents, etc. Let me know if you want to pursue this further.

Thanks.

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

Edited by 1953mack (see edit history)

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All I can tell you is I DON'T REMEMBER/KNOW when it happened. I do know it was just a couple weeks old when I tore the door off.

It was the only 54 Skylark the dealership received. Corn Belt Motors, Bloomington, Il. maybe there is a record of when Buick shipped it to the dealership?.

It was light blue, light blue interior, BRIGHT RED exterior fender wells, white top.

Thank You for the help,

Dale in Indy

P. S. Sure, I would be happy to send letter, or you have my permission to do such. You decide.

Edited by smithbrother (see edit history)

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Yea I have noticed white coveralls/coats were the norm back in the day. Many pictures I see of mechanics in the 40s and 50s they have white coveralls on. Wonder when that trend died off. Maybe by the 60s?

My dad worked for Stuart Conklin Buick in Hutchinson, KS up until '58 or '59. He wore the coveralls everyday over another pair of pants and shirt. He would leave the coveralls in the locker room at the dealership. His routine was to come home, take off his coat and his hat and hang them in the garage next to the door. One day he came in and my mom said "Herb, you forgot to take off your hat." He said nothing and continued through the kitchen. Turns out that a car backfired up through the carburetor and singed the hair off his head - kind of like a revers mohawk haircut. But as long as I remember him working for Buick, he always wore the full length coveralls; white with dark blue belt and lapels. This picture brought back a fond moment for me. Thanks for posting.

Ed

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.....maybe there is a record of when Buick shipped it to the dealership..... It was light blue, light blue interior, BRIGHT RED exterior fender wells, white top.

Finally getting back on your search.

It's my understanding that Buick shipping records, original owner, dealership who sold them the new car, individual production dates, individual assembly plant records (seven other plants besides Flint, Michigan in 1954), etc., were destroyed for the 1954's, along with many other years, and are nowhere to be found. Some info for later years is out there. You would think that had they survived, the records would have surfaced by now.

Here's some additional info that you might want to include with your story for the '53-'54 BUICK SKYLARK CLUB NEWSLETTER and/or BUICK BUGLE. Based on your given info, the attachment shows what the BODY BY FISHER number plate would read:

post-41556-143142806476_thumb.jpg

BODY NUMBER: G (made in Flint, Michigan; all Skylarks were made in Flint) ??? (unknown production number 1-836)

TRIM NUMBER: 67 (Light blue leather with dark blue leather bolsters) W (White convertible top)

PAINT NUMBER: 11 (Malibu Blue)

That leaves you with the only unknown, the body production number. It would be ideal to narrow the body production number down a little closer. Think about what you might have been doing.

The following 1954 Buick Skylark body production numbers were included in a '53-'54 SKYLARK CLUB MEMBERSHIP ROSTER.....

#1 - #5............February (highly unlikely)

#6 - #245........March (heater on, cooler weather, or snow on the ground)

#246 - #480.....April (short-sleeve, convertible top-down weather, eating Easter jelly beans)

#481 - #671.....May (asked my Dad if I could take it to the Senior Prom)

#672 - #753.....June

#754 - #831.....July

#832 - #836.....August

I will send you a PM with Gary's email address. Next issue comes out in December. Good luck.

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

Edited by 1953mack
added June, July, August for future references (see edit history)

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