When one talks about a classic car like the Buick Skylark, it’s not typically the kind of car that people think of as a performance vehicle. Granted, it shared a platform with some of it’s more popular siblings in the General Motors family, but a Skylark usually brings to mind blue-haired old ladies, or Grandpa’s church car. It’s different, and a 1961 Buick Skylark is about as different as you can get when it comes to building a cool car.
That term – “different” – is exactly why Royce Bradley decided to turn this ’61 Buick into a Pro-Streeter. Bradley had already owned six Camaros and had been building cars using parts from Chris Alston’s Chassisworks for about 17 years. You stick with what you know, right? And he knew that he could count on Chassisworks to help him get his cars completed.
But when it came to the Skylark, off-the-shelf parts are mostly limited to generic, maintenance parts. So when Bradley set out to build his “different” Buick, he knew that Chassisworks was going to have the parts he needed to complete the build. From the 2×3 crossmember mounted Battle Cruiser 4-link rear end to the mandrel bent 2×3 frame rails up front, this Buick build is about as custom as it can get.
Even the roll cage was built utilizing information obtained from Chassisworks’ downloadable worksheet. When it came time to put this car together, “No Excuses” was the name of the project, and Bradley didn’t use any excuses – he counted on Chris Alston’s Chassisworks to get the job done.
As you can see from the pics, it was quite a build, and lots of custom work was required. Once finished, the 8-71 blown 388ci SBC looked like it was ready to be driven, and Bradley says he got about 10 mpg on a cruise he did in Northern California. No doubt, the Gear Vendors overdrive helped in that department, with a 9-inch rear end and 4.11 gears on the Chassisworks 4-link, those 325/50R15 drag radials can really get this car moving!
You might not be working on something different like this Skylark, but you can be sure that Chris Alston’s Chassisworks has something to help get your project in gear, and on the street where it belongs.