Under The Hood

An odd couple

An odd pairing of postwar Milestone cars: a rough 1953 Skylark and a mint 1948 Tucker at the Wisconsin Auto Museum during a Kaiser-Frazer meet.

Believe it or not, this odd couple was parked at lot of the Wisconsin Auto Museum in Hartford when I was attending the Kaiser-Frazer Owners Club International Midwest meet Sept. 10. Neither is a Kaiser or a Frazer, but each is a very desirable and rare postwar car although their conditions couldn’t have been farther apart.

The 1948 Tucker brought by Adam Harder wears a fine older restoration. It’s car No. 48 of 51 built, and Harder had just retrieved it from the museum where it had been displayed for the last three years. Harder is also a Kaiser-Frazer fan with enough Kaisers titled to him to make Wilhelm jealous. In addition to wowing club members with his Tucker, he and his family brought several fine Kaisers to the meet.

The 1953 Skylark was brought to the meet by a friend of Harder. It’s not so much a barn find as a barn archaeological dig. It had been parked in a barn that collapsed, and debris had to be pulled off the car in order to retrieve it. Some body parts were missing from the Skylark, but according to the owner, the car’s previous owner had acquired it and as many as three other Skylarks in the 1960s and 1970s and there were parts available to make the car whole. After some work, the current owner has gotten the Skylark into a runner and a driver, at least on nice days when a heater and a convertible top aren’t called for.

There's something beautiful about seeing a diamond in the rough back on the road to recovery.

She's on the rough side, but definitely restorable.

Can you guess which car fetched more attention? While the Tucker seemed to draw more eyes from hobbyists, the rusty Skylark definitely received more attention from John Q. Public.

As a bonus, here’s Harder’s Tucker at the local BP station. When’s the last time you saw a Tucker fill up?

The BP colors match the Tucker perfectly. Is that on purpose?

Adam fills the tank on the Tucker. Yes, the gas fill is on the driver's front fender of this car.

Related Resources

Find values on the 1953 Buick Skylark in the 2012 Collector Car Price Guide

Look up recent sale prices on 1948 Tucker automobiles on Old Cars Report

Read about the Tucker in the Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946-1975

2 thoughts on “An odd couple

  1. Robert Bacchi

    If I read the info on the Skylark correctly, that is, there are parts available from the previous owner, then the car is relatively easy to restore. Otherwise, it will be a serious search situation. Either way, this vehicle is a very desirable restoration project. Hope it works out that way.


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