'53 Skylark restoration slow but sure - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

'53 Skylark restoration slow but sure

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(06/17/10) - When car lovers come to the Sloan Summer Auto Fair in Flint, they'll be able to the check on the restoration of a 1953 Buick Skylark.

ABC12's Randy Conat reports that it's not finished yet, but progress is being made.

This is what the classic convertible looked like three years ago when workers began the restoration process.

"We bought it as a basket case. The engine was apart. The body was off the frame. A few missing pieces here and there," Buick Gallery Restoration Shop Supervisor Greg Keller said.

Rust was a major issue. "We fabricated our own rocker panels and floor pan sections," Keller said.

It was hoped that the Skylark would be finished in time for the Sloan Summer Auto Fair June 26 and 27, but Keller said time just slipped away. "Most of the sheet metal work is done now. Everything's welded in and it's just surface work now."

This is the instrument panel for the Skylark and this big thing is the AM radio. It sat behind the instrument panel. The speaker came out here. The Skylark had a little foot switch to remotely change radio stations.

"This was the first year for the V8 for Buick, the first year for power brakes," explained Keller.

Among those working on the vintage car is Taylor Adams. He's a student from McPherson College in Kansas who is studying historic automotive restoration. "It's nice to be part of this effort. This is a pretty rare car. I've never seen one before. It's a treat to work on it."

Restoring the upholstery for the Buick is the next big step. That can take several months.

"I'd love to see the car done next year," Keller said, hopefully.

The Skylark will be on display at the fair. It just won't be the shining jewel it will be in 2011.

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