Name: 1966 Buick Skylark Gran Sport (GS)
Year(s) Produced: 1965-1966
Number Built: 12,816
Class: Mid-size car
Body Type: 2-door hardtop coupe
Engine: 401 cui, GM Buick Nailhead V8 401 (Wildcat)
Power: 325hp @ 4400 RPM
0-60mph: 6.7 seconds
Top Speed: 111mph
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Length/width/height: 204 in./ 75 in./ 53.2 in.
Wheelbase: 115 in.
Base Price: US$2,960 (NADA)
Highest Price: US$29,700 (Hagerty)
Kurt Brown of Fulton County, Georgia is a man of few words with laser like focus once he sets his mind on something that caught his fancy. A former police officer and a security and enforcement trainer, he is a no-nonsense car collector with a passion for his craft for more than 20 years.
Brown’s ride is a 1966 Buick Skylark Gran Sport (GS) that he’s owned since 1994 upon the encouragement of a friend who saw the Buick. “I was busy and couldn’t make the time to see it so my wife went with my friend. She had a camcorder and brought me the video,” he said. It didn’t take long before Brown was literally all over the Buick. He recalled that the car was well used, but it came from Georgia so it was rust free, and it was in good shape. Consequently, he already have a vision of how he want his Buick to become.
For many years since its inception in 1953, the Skylark name has always been associated with Buick. The first Skylark was introduced as a Roadmaster Skylark in 1953 until 1954. The Skylark name was reintroduced in 1962 as a separate model line of down-sized cars that were smaller than the full-size Buick cars. By 1966 the Skylark line offered a four-door hardtop, hardtop couple and convertible versions. At 204 inches, some people might say that the 1966 Skylark is a huge car, but not so during its time. The ’66 Skylark was actually 19 inches shorter than its full-size luxury car cousin, the Electra 225. It comes with enough space for four or five people while offering 18 cubic feet of trunk space which makes it very appealing to people back then.
Brown had everything laid out already when he envisioned his Buick to be a pure muscle car. Not satisfied with its default classic Buick 401 cubic inch Nailhead V8, he fitted his Buick with a General Motors 496 cubic inch motor producing a massive 525 horsepower. The big block is supported by a GM turbo 350 automatic transmission with a three-inch exhaust from front to back ensuring that the engine had plenty of breathing room. Brown didn’t stop there. The GS was treated to new high-performance suspension components and a set of custom-designed wheels, topping it off was a new Midnight Blue Pearl finish set off by a subtle pinstripe. Other aesthetic touches were made, such as a custom and smaller diameter steering wheel adding up to a singular gorgeous Buick that looks as good as it drives.