1953 Buick models: Buick celebrates 50 years of automotive excellence (part 1)
"Then-Now-Tomorrow - When better automobiles are built, Buick will build them." This was one of the slogans in ad campaigns by Buick during the year 1953. 1953 was Buick's 50th Anniversary, and Buick wanted to celebrate in style with new innovative automobiles. From 1903 to 1953, Buick had been one of the top auto names in the nation, and the goal was to continue its legacy.
Buick was a motor division of General Motors Corporation and was based in Flint, Mich. Several models were released for 1953, each having a bundle of benefits for buyers. Performance, design and exquisite interiors were all emphasized. The "Golden Anniversary" year Buick models were appealing then and still are today. Here's a look at the models released by Buick this year along with some great features.
1953 Buick Roadmaster
The Buick Roadmaster was custom-built by Buick and was characterized by its luxurious features. It offered both comfort and power, a combination rarely seen in those days. The Roadmaster came in several distinct models. The 76R Roadmaster was a two-door, six-passenger Riviera built on a 121.5-inch wheelbase. The 76C Roadmaster was a two-door, six-passenger Convertible built on a 121.5-inch wheelbase. The 72R Roadmaster was a four-door, six-passenger Riviera Sedan built on a 125.5-inch wheelbase. The 79R Roadmaster was a four-door, six-passenger Estate Wagon built on a 121.5-inch wheelbase.
The Roadmaster body design featured long fender contours with deep deck lines. It also had high-positioned stop lights and tail lights arranged to highlight the rear of the car. The rear window had no divider bars, giving passengers an unbroken panoramic view. On the front was a sweepspear fender trim with panels of chrome, and new four-port markings. Roadmaster models this year were marked by sweeping lines down the sides of the car.
The Roadmaster had the shortest turning radius of fine cars in the industry and was known for easy handling while driving. Dynaflow drive, power steering and power brakes could be combined to enhance the smoothness of the Roadmaster's ride.
Seated for comfort
Roadmaster seats were made for comfort with soft double-depth Foamtex cushioning, which was the most luxurious softness available on fine cars of that day. The carpet was a foam-rubber-based Roxpoint nylon carpet. Nylon, leather and broadcloth were used in the interior to create a harmonic look and feel while driving or riding along.
Distinct model features
The Roadmaster Convertible featured hydraulic controls that would position the top and windows where the driver wanted them, as well as adjust the front seat. It also had a tilt-away, slide-away feature for the front seat, permitting easier access to the rear compartment.
The Estate Wagon could be used for many purposes - large families, frequent travel, camping, business, etc. Its body design was of a seasoned wood and sturdy metal. Roxpoint nylon carpet was installed all the way to the back and sides. The Estate Wagon was available on either a Roadmaster or Super chassis in limited production numbers.
The engine featured in Roadmasters was a valve-in-head, 322-cubic-inch V-8 engine rated at 188 horsepower. It had a bore and stroke of 4.0 by 3.2 inches. Full-pressure lubrication was used for the main, camshaft and connecting rod bearings as well as the rocker arms. It had an oil capacity of six quarts. For fueling, thermostatic heat control was used along with an automatic choke and automatic idle control. It had a fuel tank capacity of 19 gallons.
For cooling, thermostatic and by-pass temperature control was used; the filler cap had a pressure relief valve. The car featured independent front wheel suspension with a ride stabilizer and all coil springs. For steering, ball bearing worm and nut steering was used with a 20:1 ratio. Power steering was available.
Brakes on the Roadmaster were four-wheel hydraulic brakes with Buick cast brake drums and a step-on parking brake. The Roadmaster also featured a Delco-Remy electrical system with a Solenoid starter, and front and rear, double-acting shock absorbers. The wheels used were broadrim, demountable steel disc wheels, size 15 by 6.
1953 Buick Skylark
The Skylark was an all-American two-door, six-passenger sports car with a modern design, chrome-plated wired wheels and many other great features. It was built on a 121.5-inch wheelbase. With the top up, it stood less than five feet high. The top was of soft-tanned choice cowhide. The Skylark was available on limited production and offered amazing power with its 188-horsepower V-8 Fireball engine, which was combined with airpower carburetion. Standard on the Skylark were power steering, power brakes, Easy-Eye Glass, Selectronic Radio and white sidewall tires.
The Skylark shared many of the same specifications as the Roadmaster; however, it had road clearance of 16.2 inches and a windshield height of 11 7/8 inches. The front and rear seat thickness was 8.1 and 7.8 inches. The accessories and equipment that were optional for Roadmaster were standard for the Skylark.
1953 Buick Super
Known for its "superb" style, the 1953 Buick Super was spacious and beautiful. It was fitted with the finest finishes and fabrics ever seen on a Super. It offered broad seats for comfort and an extra large trunk that was wide, deep and high. So, carrying luggage on trips was no problem. The trunk lid was self-locking, needing no handle or key to lock.
Models for the Buick Super included the 56R Super two-door, six-passenger Riviera, the 52 Super four-door, six-passenger Riviera Sedan, and the 56C Super two-door, six-passenger convertible. The Super was medium-priced to fit almost anyone's budget.