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54 Skylark on eBay reserve met at <65K


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https://www.ebay.com/itm/1954-Buick-Skylark/133469883677?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1431.l2649

 

Not mine of course but she is a beauty

 

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Overview

I have beenpainstakingly restoring this car for 3 ½ long years and have paid particularattention to originality, matching the factory as closely as possible (evendown to the correct color paint for the fuel pump and fuel lines). I built thiscar for me to use and enjoy, so one or two deviations were made from originalto suit my taste and needs.

My startingpoint was a very solid and rust free car that had been languishing for manydecades. The interior and top were shot, the paint completely worn out, chromedull, glass broken and engine seized.

At some pointin the past someone had restored the car, painted it navy blue, chromed up theengine and added a sporty exhaust. Also the rockers had been replaced as hadthe floor pans, making this incredibly sound & solid.

 

Body and Frame

The body wascompletely stripped down to bare metal and painted in its original color ofGulf Turquoise (paint code 19). I had the paint specially commissioned to matchthe exact same shade as the factory color, I own the copyright on this colorand will pass it on to the buyer.

The body,doors, trunk, fenders and hood were found to be completely rust free.

 Although I didnot take the body off the frame, this is as close as you will get for a body-onrestoration.

The chassiswas stripped of all components, suspension, axles etc, cleaned, painted anddetailed. Any parts that went back on were either refurbished or replaced asnecessary.

The fuel tankwas replaced, brakes, brake lines, fuel lines, suspension bushings, tie rodsetc, etc were all replaced.

All the gaugeswork as they should.

 

Interior

Originally thecar came with trim option 69, which is black & yellow. To my mind this wasa very strange combination, which to my eye didn’t match the turquoise paint;no accounting for taste!

At great expenseI had leather specially dyed to exactly match the turquoise paint. I had theleather embossed as per factory original and the whole interior made to be anexact replica of that shown in the original 1954 sales brochure.

My upholstererhas done a fantastic job & in Las Vegas is held in high regard for thequality of his work (he used to hand craft interiors for Mercedes Benz).

The power seatis electrically powered and runs smooth and quiet.

 All theweather-stripping was replaced throughout the car.

The brand newblack convertible top matches the original vinyl top and was made by Kee AutoTop, the USleader in convertible tops.

The trunkliner is matched to original material (I scored the last few yards left),reproduction card panels have been installed.

A bolt of thesame turquoise material as the interior is included in the sale, so that youcan make a parade cover for the convertible top.

 

Engine and drive-train

I like todrive my cars, so dependability is important to me. To that end the engine andtransmission were rebuilt using only the best components available, using whereever possible dead stock vintage Buick parts or premium parts made in the USA.

The engine wasstripped, hot tanked and re-bored to .030 over. The crank reground, all bearingsreplaced, along with pistons, rings, seals, lifters, timing gear etc, etc. Inshort a complete rebuild. The engine has not broken in yet, I recommend 500miles usage. I have used special break-in oil in the motor to keep this processsafe.

The transmissionwas completely stripped and rebuilt; again using only top quality US madeparts. 

Engine andtransmission were installed with brand new mounts all round.

As theoriginal sporty glass pack exhaust was in such good condition, this wasretained, the rest of the exhaust system being new.

All tiresincluding the spare are brand new and as per factory specifications.

 

Chrome and trim

Every piece ofstainless trim was removed and polished to a chrome like shine.

Almost everysingle piece of chrome was re-plated, even down to the bezels for the speedometer,clock, window frames etc.

A few of partsthat were not re-chromed (as the originals were so good), are the rear windowswitches, the horn ring and steering column stalks.

Door handles,crank handles and mirrors are reproduction parts as are the front two windowswitches.

 

Hydro-electrics

The top andwindows on this car do not use electric motors but are hydraulic, powered by apump that sits on the fire wall and controlled by a valve that sits under backseat.

The hydrauliccylinders for the top and windows are brand new as are all the hard metal linesand flexible hoses.

The control valvehas been professionally rebuilt and the power pump refurbished.

 

Faults

No 66 year oldcar will be without its faults, even fully restored examples.

As I live in Las Vegas, where the sunalways shines, I have not spent time trouble shooting washer wipers and heatersystem as I will never use these. The fans have been tested and do work.

I have nothooked up the radio, as I prefer to listen that throaty V8 and don’t choose tohave my ears assaulted by the noise they call ‘music’ these days.

As previouslymentioned the power top/window pump has been refurbished. The re-builder saidthat it generates 200-210 psi, this is not enough to raise the top or window.Not a problem for me, as I never put the top or windows up on my convertibles(no need to in Las Vegas).

The pump needsto generate 260 psi to be fully functional. The solution to this is to eitherhave it’s gearing rebuilt, find another vintage pump and rebuild that, orreplace it with a new non original pump. These are available specifically forthe Skylark (several suppliers have them for a whisker under $800), but do notlook the same as the original.

The top can beraised manually.

The KelseyHayes wheel show very well, but are not perfect. The spare wheel is really onlysuitable as a spare and not for show (the tire is brand new).

I had all there-plating done to show quality standard, however with some of the moredifficult parts to re-plate my chrome guy used a different chroming process andyou can see a slight color difference if you look really closely.

 

Summary

This is atruly exceptional example of this very rare Buick. I had a crowd gather, withlots of gaps and ooh’s an aah’s while taking photos for this ad, with manyother cars pulling over to take pictures.

It’s anabsolute guarantee this car will draw the biggest crowds at any show you go to.In fact, in over 40 years of classic car ownership, this is only the second ’54Skylark I have ever seen.

Please take alook at the other cars out there on the internet. 6 Skylarks on Hemmings andthe 3 on ClassicCars, you will see none come close to this stunner.

I have put alot of heart and soul into this car and am proud of the finished product, yesthere are a few things to tinker with and as the car is ‘brand new’ it willtake a few miles to bed everything in. The gaskets are new & will need toswell, to properly seat for instance.

The motorshould be driven carefully for the first 500 miles to break it in (just as ithad to be back in 1954).

The suspensionwill settle in with road use, as will the hood springs and trunk springs, themore they are used the smother they will become.

A folder withall the receipts for work done and parts bought will be included with the sale.

 

 

Edited by MrEarl (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, buick5563 said:

I saw that one. It certainly makes restoring one at this point not a sensible decision. A lot of 53’s available too. 

 

I could list 10 cars right now that are for sale for a fraction of their restoration costs.   It does seem like the age of the restoration is over.

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Lovely car, but let's face it to get the bigger money authenticity and correct restoration is king.  Even so, for that money it gets you into a dream car at a reasonable level 

 

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