It all started at the Atlantic City midwinter auto show at which I first heard of a 1953 Skylark for sale which was "beyond restoration" but had, oddly enough, a perfect red and white leather interior. Just what I needed to finish another one I had been working on.
I left Atlantic City with directions in hand and went to see the subject vehicle. Indeed the extent of rustout would make it a project beyond my teen capacities, and yes the interior was "Mint".
I came to an agreement on price and left a deposit, with a promise to return in a week. All the way home I planned what I would need to move this largely disassembled hulk back home. I returned armed with my entire toolbox, floor jack, four fresh tires on Buick wheels, and all the ancillaries one might imagine.plus a giant U-Haul car tow bar to use behind Dad's "Borrowed" 69 Chevy 427 station wagon.
Back in Baltimore the gods were against us. The tow bar would not close tight enough nor open wide enough to accomodate the Buick's "Dagmars". What to do? Drive her home, of course. And quickly, since darkness was approaching.
No fenders, no problem. No gas tank, no problem. No exhaust system at all? No problem, No paperwork or plate, no problem! A trip to the hardware and I came back with 16 bolts, four for each fender. The wiring and lamp system was rigged with zip cord taped around the outside of the car and alligator-clipped into each lamp, with one cut to form the brake light "switch". The gas tank went back in with plumber's pipe strap. The front plate of dad's wagon became the rear plate for the Buick. We fired it up, and it ran great. Noisy with nothing but manifolds for exhaust, but a light foot produced less noise we quickly learned.
Out we went to the Beltway at rush hour, got gas and expected to confront the worst traffic. Our luck was good! Someone else's not so. An accident blocked the highway right at the entry ramp we needed. Drove that way all the way home to Long Island, top down,fenders flapping, wiring improvised and the tow bar fast asleep. Got home without any incidents and upon further inspection decided to restore that car and sold the other! It now makes the show circuit looking swell.
Won't get into what Dad had to say when we got home at midnight "from the store" with his car less a plate, and a noisy, rusty Buick surrounded with duct tape and lamp cord with alligator clips. He was a sport (as always) although his head took days to stop shaking when he looked at the Beast from Baltimore in his office driveway! At least the Buick's toothy grille looked at home in the town dentist's driveway!