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The Skylark Hatches

The first Buick Skylark began as a limited version of the 76R Roadmaster convertible to celebrate Buick's 50th anniversary for the 1953 model year. It came as a flashy two-door convertible with a chrome fascia and chrome streaked down a curvaceous body designed by the legendary Harvey Earl. Buick labeled it a sports car (although some enthusiasts disagree).  It did not meet Buick's sales expectations, but its 322ci engine with 188 horsepower was the first V8 for any Buick model. The 1954 version received a restyling mainly to the rear but the body also saw a few changes to make its appearance more streamlined. It also had the best engine output for 1954, at 200 horsepower. Buyers at that time, however, were less interested in performance, and so sales failed to meet expectations for the second straight year.


By 1961 GM released a series of "senior compact" cars (which were really smaller versions of the typical sedan) with the Oldsmobile F-85, Pontiac Tempest, and Buick Special models. The public, however, was by then more interested in luxury and sport models thanks to a recovering economy, so Buick released the Buick Special Skylark-a fancy two-door Buick Special detailed in vinyl and other additions like a Skylark emblem and tail light housings. It ran on a 215ci V8 with 30 more horsepower than the 155 found in the Special.

 The 1962 Buick Skylark became its own model, but it still shared much of the bodywork of the Special. The Special Deluxe took the Special Skylark's place in the lineup. Buyers could choose from a hardtop or convertible and a 198ci V6 with 135 horsepower or the 215ci which bumped up the output to 190 horsepower. A four door sedan and station wagon version was added for the 1963 model year.

Taking Flight

The 1964 model year brought the Skylark on its own line and laid on a larger chassis. The standard engine grew to a 225ci V6 kicking 155 horsepower. Buyers could also opt for a 300ci V8 with 210 or 250 horsepower. Still built to appeal to the upscale buyers, amenities like vinyl seats (optional on some bodies), a roomier and more stylish interior, and chromed exterior still made the Skylark a status symbol. Thanks to the recent surge in sales from performance options, it also joined in on the sporty action with the 1965 Gran Sport that used a 401ci V8 producing 325 horsepower.

A new generation debuted for the 1968 model year. Just like the Skylark, the Gran Spot diverged off to its own separate line but still retained much of the Skylark body. The standard base model was available as a coupe or sedan, but buyers could select the Custom trim that added a hardtop and convertible version. Horsepower stayed around the same at 155 for the six-cylinder base engine, but buyers could always opt for more power with the V8s.

To start off the ‘70s models, the 1970 Buick was officially stripped of its high-end status and replaced the Special as Buick's entry-level model. Emissions and a new GM rating system brought down engine output, and not long afterward, the Buick Century replaced the mid-sized Skylark entirely.

Slow Landing

The Skylark did return to its old compact form. Buick released the 1973 Apollo and gave the Skylark title to its 1975 coupe version. Its 231ci V6 was the standard engine, but that was most often found in the base S trim. A few buyers chose the Skylark S/R performance option instead as it ran on a 350ci V8 with 140hp.

For the 1976 model year, the Apollo name was dropped. Numerous V8s were added as potential options for the remaining years, but they never really exceeded the high 100s in horsepower. Soon the Skylark Custom returned, this time added as the top trim option.

For the 1980 model, Buick switched the layout to front-wheel drive (FWD) and adopted a mass-appeal design. Trim options included the base, Sport, and Limited. It ran on a 2.5L 4-cylinder capable of 90 hp, but buyers could opt for the 2.8L V8 that produced 115 horsepower. Engine output slowly crept up during this period as newer technologies were introduced-such as fuel injection. It even adopted a performance-oriented T-Type submodel for the 1983 model year.

The next generation, beginning with the 1986 model year, split up the coupe and sedan. The coupe version became the Somerset Regal, later known as the Somerset, and brought an aerodynamic design. The Skylark continued to be offered in a Custom or Limited sedan version. Engine output slowly ramped back up with options like the 2.3L 4-cylinder capable of 150 horsepower in the Custom S/E.

The Skylark's long flight came to an end during the ‘90s. It retained the long hood and short trunk shape, and the pointed grille from the mid-‘60s returned, but it was still not comparable to its older brethren. Two trim options: base and Gran Sport were available, and the standard 2.3L engine produced 120 horsepower while the 3.3L V6 produced 160 horsepower. Custom and Limited trims eventually returned. The Skylark remained a modest compact car during this generation, and it was the last of Buick's compact offering until the Buick Verano was introduced in 2011. 

Need Skylark Parts?

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1A Auto Parts is a premier supplier of brand new aftermarket Buick Skylark replacement parts. A new aftermarket Buick Skylark from 1A Auto parts saves you 30-50% over a comparable OEM dealer Skylark part. Want your Skylark parts now? 98% of our in stock Buick Skylark parts are shipped within one business day. The Buick Skylark was built to celebrate 50 years of Buick manufacturing. The Skylarks unique style and smooth ride made it a hit with average drivers and car enthusiasts. 1A Auto Parts understands that you want your Buick Skylark to have only the best aftermarket parts. Our 35,000 sq. ft. on site warehouse is filled with new Buick Skylark aftermarket parts for you to choose from. Buy your Buick Skylark new aftermarket parts to keep it running and looking like the Skylark should.

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