World of Wheels 2013

1954 Skylark

1954 Skylark

World of Wheels was my first car show of 2013 and I thoroughly enjoyed it, in spite of having to nurse a pulled calf muscle. I rode with a buddy who said “we’ll stay an hour” but he liked it too and we stayed almost three hours. There was only time for the first floor so I didn’t see any ‘tuners’.

Being a child of the 50s & 60s, I am drawn to cars of those decades; and the ‘restored original’ ones are special to me.

You may jump ahead to my teaser gallery or the music section. The full set of my photos is here.

So I’m focusing on Art’s Lido green 1954 Buick Skylark convertible. Art’s first show car was a 1956 Buick Special (and there was one of those near the Skylark but I didn’t purposely take a picture. But it was parked alongside a silver ’65 Riviera and the Special is in the background of some shots .. like this and  this). All of the 836 Skylarks that year were convertibles as were all 1953 Skylarks except for ‘one of one’  2-door hardtop, which was built for a Buick executive. When he first bought the car in 2001, it had been repainted a blue-green and white two tone but Art wanted it to match facory specs (actually Buick didn’t offer two-tone until 1955 models).  Skylark was the ‘top of the line’ for Buick and it was built on the Buick Special chassis. This was the first year all Buicks had 12 volt electrical systems. The Skylark was built only in 1953 & 1954, until being revived as a small car in 1961.

'Nailhead' V-8

‘Nailhead’ V-8

The 200 horsepower motor (painted ‘apple green’ as from the factory) is a 322 cubic inch ‘Nailhead’ V-8 which was used by Buick from 1954 (264 ci) to 1966 (425 ci), the latter having been used in Riviera, Electra and Wildcat models. (Also discussed here). The valve covers are straight up and down (not aligned with the Vee) and there are spark plug covers.

The Buick V-8 was originally called the “Nail Valve” by early hot rodders because the valves looked like nails since the stems were so long and the heads were small. At some point “Nail Valve” got replaced by “Nailhead.”

The transmission is a Dynaflow which doesn’t actually shift (See_df) during acceleration rather it relies on a variable pitch torque converter, which took the place of the clutch. Buick was first with a variable pitch torque converter.

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1954 Buick Skylark photo gallery

Buick sister of Art’s Skylark

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My rather large ‘Teaser’ gallery

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Music we heard on Saturday 3-2-13

I did not see the DJ, Flashback 50s Tony, but a good friend of mine did recognize him from the first time we’d met Tony at Wood Dale Cruise Night on June 7, 2012. Danny says that Tony didn’t have his red ’57 Chevy booth so here’s a photo of him.

  • Tracks of My Tears by Smokey Robinson
  • Gloria by The Shadows of Knight
  • Louie, Louie by The Kingsmen
  • Tobacco Road by Rare Earth
  • Wipe Out by The Surfaris
  • Dead Man’s Curve by Jan and Dean
  • Whole Lotta Shakin ‘ by Jerry Lee Lewis
  • My Maria by Brooks and Dunn
  • I Want to Hold Your Hand by The Beatles

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