“On a lark” is a phrase that means “just for fun”, for those unfamiliar with it. I can think of few better ways to end a workweek than to drive one’s classic Buick to work and then out for a drive after leaving the office for the day. Last week was bookended by sightings of two vintage Buick Skylarks, with the newer car appearing on Monday and the classic droptop materializing on Friday afternoon. I can’t vouch for the model year of the X-Body, but from the taillamp lenses (if original), it’s either a first-year, front-wheel-drive ’80 or an ’81.
The newer car was the first such Skylark I’ve seen in traffic in what must be at least fifteen years… and it appeared to be in pristine condition. Even though this shot is somewhat blurry, one can clearly see a shiny finish, with a sidewalk scene nicely reflected on its passenger-side doors. Someone had actually preserved one of these. My money’s on the possibility that a grandparent (great-grandparent?) had gifted it to the current owner. The travel-sized-Electra styling really comes through, especially from this rear three-quarter angle.
The sight of the beautiful ’64 convertible made me gasp when I first spotted it as I walked toward the Red Line train station. Traffic tends to creep eastward toward Lake Shore Drive during rush hour, but I thought I had no chance of catching up to this car in time to get a few photos, after it had passed me several city blocks west. To my surprise, I was able to catch it at main thoroughfare State Street, in probably what must be one of the first and few times for which I’ve been thankful for the slowness and general, seeming confusion of out-of-town drivers in afternoon Loop traffic during summer.
I consider the Skylark to be the most attractive of the four, downsized X-Body variants, especially in four-door form. However, its starkly geometric forms stand in direct contrast to the sweeping, dynamic lines of the ’64, which was one of 10,225 Skylark convertibles produced for the model year. The older car seems to combine the restrained elegance that was then Buick’s calling card with a youthful, almost cosmic or Space-Age flair, especially in that shade of aqua, called “Teal Mist” from the factory. And check out that beautiful interior of white vinyl. Not counting the early and latter-day Oldsmobile Starfire as the only example that comes to mind at this writing, could two other cars that share the same make and model names be more different from each other than our two featured cars in image, concept and execution?
Downtown, The Loop, Chicago, Illinois.
Monday, 6/25/18 & Friday, 6/29/18.