Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Golden Anniversary Buicks of 1953

Hard to believe that the Buick Motor Division celebrated its Golden Anniversary sixty years ago in 1953. They had a lot to celebrate, too. The restyled line up featured more chrome, more comfort, and for the Super and Roadmaster models- a brand new high compression V-8 engine. The little Specials would have Buick's venerable straight engine for one more season, but the era of the Buick V-8 had arrived with fanfare. 

The new engine displaced 322 cubic inches and had an 8.5:1 compression ratio, which was the highest compression in the industry. It was rated at 188 horsepower in the Roadmaster, and 170 HP in the Super when equipped with Dynaflow. It was the beginning of a thrilling new era for Buick. 

There was another reason to celebrate as well- a new limited production model, the Buick Skylark. Offered in limited numbers, the Skylark was the most expensive Buick offering in 1953. Priced at a flat $5,000, it was built on a Roadmaster chassis and offered every Buick luxury plus a leather interior and chrome plated wire wheels. It made its public debut at the General Motors Motorama at the Waldorf in January of 1953. 

Greatness was the theme of Buick's advertising and the cars lived up to the claim. The new V-8 engine was a good one and would be used in Buick automobiles for fifteen years. The market responded to the Golden Anniversary Buicks with enthusiasm, allowing Buick to retain it's traditional fourth place in the industry with almost a half million sales- 488, 755 to be precise. 

Irv Reynolds, Sr, was the recipient of the above letter in 1952 inviting him to the showing of the Golden Anniversary 1953 Buick line. It further advised him that he would be recognized as having been a Buick dealer for over twenty five years. In fact, by 1953, Reynolds Buick had already been selling Buicks for thirty eight years. 

And sixty years later, we still are. 

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