1961-1963 Buick Special Skylark

The Buick division of General Motors introduced the Skylark model in 1961 to place itself in the muscle car bracket of automotive manufacturing and engineering.  Their performance stand was to appeal to the younger generation of car buyers that were being targeted by several other manufacturers of muscle cars.  After Buick Special had a seven year absence from the automotive market, Buick engineered the Special Skylark with same chassis as the Chevrolet Corvair, the Pontiac Tempest, Oldsmobile F-85 and Buick Special came with front engines which differed from the Corvair.

Introduced in the middle of the 1961, and based on the 1960 Buick Special  two-door coupe, Buick Special Skylark was given unique Skylark emblems, lower body side moldings, taillight housings, a vinyl roof, and turbine wheel covers.  It also featured plush interior and optional bucket seats.  The basic Buick Special came with a 215 cid all aluminum block with 155 hp at 4600 rpm.  The Buick Special Skylark was given a little more muscle with a version of this engine with a higher compression ratio and added a 4-bbl carburetor to produce 185 hp.

The 1962 Buick Skylark had the same distinctive design as 1961 models, but was made a model of its own branding – Skylark instead of Special Skylark. The 1962 model had the same basic sheet metal, but was available in two different body styles; a two-door pillarless hardtop that was unique to the Skylark, and a two-door convertible coupe. Also added to the 215cid V8 was additional horsepower rating it at 190hp.In 1963, the Skylark was given a considerably different look of full length body panels giving it a boxier style and five inches added to the length of the Y frame from 188 inches to 193.  Again the 215 V8 was given additional muscle, boosting it to 200hp at 5000 rpm. Transmission choices were, “three on the tree” manual, a floor shift Borg Warner T-10 manual, or a two-speed “Dual Path Turbine Drive” automatic, a design specifically by Buick and had no common parts like the “Power Glide” by Chevrolet.

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