Buick Skylark Origins
Introduced in 1953, the Buick Skylark was produced until 1998. During this time, Buick introduced six different generations of the car. The Skylark name was originally used by a company called Hupp for its Cord Model 810 Skylark, but Buick adopted the name in 1953 for its two-door convertible.
The Skylark model was also marketed under the Buick Iran name during the 1960s and 1970s.About the Buick Skylark
Each generation of the Skylark has its own special properties, but the Skylark is probably best known for its sportier models from the 1960s and 1970s, due to their collectability.Buick Skylark Evolution
The Skylark line exists in six generations.
The first Skylark was produced in 1953, a two-door convertible based on the Buick Roadmaster. Buick made 1,690 units of this model. It contains a powerful engine under the hood: a big 5.3-liter Nailhead V-8. The 1954 model was redesigned to have larger wheel cutouts, with a tire wall that contrasted the body color of the car. Most of the 1953 model is handmade, with much of the metal cut out by skilled craftsmen.
The 1961 Skylark comes in four different body styles, making it a bit more diverse than its predecessor. A two-door convertible, two-door hardtop, two-door coupe, and four-door station wagon were all offered. The cars still contain big V-8s, producing 155 horsepower, but the special Skylark edition produces 185 hp. The 1961 and 1962 models show little variation in design. The 1963 model, however, has a boxier style.
The third edition appeared in 1964. The chassis is of an intermediate-size, making the car extremely long and somewhat impossible to park. This generation disposes of the V-8 engine in favor of the compact, 225-cubic inch V-6 engine. Although the motor is smaller, it still produces 155 hp like the previous generation. The V-8 is still an option on this car though. Pillarless hardtop versions of the vehicle were made available in 1964 and 1965.
1968 saw a huge change for the third generation when new wheelbases were adopted; two-door models using smaller bases and the four-door models using larger ones. The design contains an inline six-cylinder motor instead of the old standard V-6. In 1971 the inline six-cylinder had a major drop in power, down to 145 hp, due to new emission standards set by the EPA.
Mid-size Skylark models were replaced in 1972 in favor of the Buick Century.
1975 saw the introduction of the two-door Skylark hatchback model, as well as a new standard Skylark and a four-door sedan. The V-6 returned in this model, but the performance is again lower, the V-6 only pumping out 110 hp. A V-8 was available with a two- or four-barrel carburetor. In 1977, a V-8 with a two-barrel carburetor that produced 135 to145 hp, depending on the model, was introduced; and in 1979, the two-door hatchback was discontinued.
The fifth generation of the Skylark was produced between 1980 and 1985. They have a boxier style. A two-door coupe and a four-door sedan are the only models available; no coupes. These new Skylarks switched to a front-wheel drive platform.
The body was changed again for the 1986 model, the sixth generation, to an N-body. The two-door coupe returns in this model, as well as the four-door sedan. An I4 and V-6 engine are the only available options.
The seventh and final generation of the model ran from 1992 to 1998. The car still used the N-body, but the design is drastically improved for better performance. The front of the car had a wedge-like shape with a pointed grille up front. This made the body of the vehicle aerodynamic and greatly decreases drag. Again, a two-door coupe and four-door sedan are available. A Quad 4 engine was introduced in 1995 to increase the horsepower to 1500 at 6000 rpm, making it a bit more powerful than some of its predecessors.
Production of the Skylark was discontinued in December 1997.