The 1962 Buick Skylark was an underappreciated sport coupe overshadowed by the Ford Falcon and Chevrolet Nova, its competitors. The three cars were early examples of Detroit automakers' development of small, sporty two-door coupes. Buick occasionally resurrected old nameplates for new cars. The 1962 models fall in the 1961 to 1972 version of Skylarks and bear no relation to the 1953, 1954 and 1975 to 1998 Skylarks.
The original 1953 and 1954 Buick Skylarks were limited edition convertibles with only 1,690 units produced. After the 1954 line debuted, the Skylark nameplate was retired. The name was revived for the 1961 model year when Buick entered its compact cars into the fray with the Buick Special model to compete against the Falcon, Nova, Corvair and Volkswagen. The Skylark in 1961 was only a subseries to the Special, called the Buick Special Skylark, according to Conceptcarz.com.
For 1962, the Skylark was promoted as its own model and was distinct from the Special. It was sold separately alongside the Special and Special Deluxe. The Skylark was offered as a two-door coupe and convertible. The Skylark was accompanied by the Special's coupe and convertible. The Special also came in a four-door sedan and station wagon, identified by Buick as an Estate Wagon. The Skylark and Special shared the same bodies, but had different front and rear ends and different interior and exterior styling accents.
The Skylark sat on a 112-inch wheelbase and was 188.4 inches long. The coupe had a curbside weight of 2,687 pounds and the Estate Wagon weighed in at 2,871 lbs. Prices ranged from $2,621 to $3,012, depending on the options ordered.
The 1962 Buick Skylark’s production details can be found on the vehicle identification number plate fastened to the driver’s front door post, next to the hinge. The first digit of the VIN identifies the Skylark with a “3.” The second digit, an “I,” identifies the Skylark as a 1962 model. The third number identifies the assembly plant where the vehicle was manufactured. For example, a “2” means the Skylark was built in South Gate, California. The remaining six digits are the production numbers starting at 501001 for 1962 Skylarks.
The Skylark featured a sculpted body style with Skylark badging on the front fenders. The seats were covered with vinyl upholstery and vinyl headliner. Front bucket seats and carpeting were options. Another option was a four-speed, floor-mounted stick shift for manual transmission Skylarks. Most competitors still offered only the shift lever on the steering column.
Under the Hood
The 1962 model was powered by a 215-cubic-inch V-8 engine generating 190 horsepower, with an impressive 11.0:1 compression ratio and a four-barrel carburetor. A three-speed manual transmission shifter mounted on the steering column was standard and a Dual-Path Turbine automatic was optional along with the manual floor shifter.
In all, 154,467 Buick Specials and Skylarks were sold in 1962. The Skylark two-door coupe was the most popular with 34,060 units sold. Nearly 9,000 Skylark convertibles were produced.
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