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History of the 1961-1963 Buick Skylark
Downsizing became all the rage around Detroit in 1959 with both Ford and Chevrolet introducing compacts: the Falcon and Corvair, respectively. General Motors followed suit with a pair of V-8-powered “senior compacts” two years later: Oldsmobile's F-85 and Buick's Special. They were nicely priced models meant to offer considerably more size and prestige than the air-cooled pancake-six Corvair. Wheelbase for both was 112 inches.
Midyear in 1961, Buick introduced a special Special: a deluxe two-door sport coupe adorned with an equally special Skylark name. A vinyl roof, extra trim, turbine-style wheelcovers, unique exterior identification and a plush vinyl interior helped set the $2,621 Skylark apart from its $2,330 Special sport coupe cousin. Standard power came from an innovative aluminum V-8 displacing 215 cubic inches. Output was 155 horsepower.
A Skylark convertible joined the carryover coupe in 1962 and both bodies remained available the following year. Skylark production was 12,683 coupes in 1961; 34,060 coupes and 8,913 convertibles in 1962; and 32,109 coupes and 8,771 convertibles in 1963.
1961 Buick Special Deluxe Skylark Info
8-cyl. 215cid/185hp 4bbl
Curb Weight: 2687 lbs.
Length: 188.4 in.
Wheel Base: 112 in.
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