Look up “Skylark” in the dictionary and you’ll notice that it’s defined as “a little bird known for its sweet song it delivers during flight.” Well that’s good and all, but what’s that got in common with this Buick Skylark? Absolutely nothing, well except for the fact that owner Albert Bonamici thinks his Skylark also sings a nice little “twin twisted tune” when it soars down any given dragstrip it decides to take flight on. And guess what? He’s damn righton about that.
Albert grew up under the tutelage of his dad, Albert Sr. The elder was known as “Big Al” and owned a garage where young Al would wrench alongside his dad. “He got me in my first street race, which I lost. I drove my Pontiac Grand Prix, a car I purchased myself and built from the ground up when I was 16. I hated losing and that drove me to do better. I fell in love with racing at that point,” Albert says. From there he moved on, building and driving a wild Pro Mod Astro Van to 6.80 e.t.’s at 200 mph. Nevertheless, Albert got tired of the traveling and towing, and started looking for something to build that could do it all.
Albert’s journey with his new-to-him Buick Skylark started a few years back. He was looking for a project to build into a street and strip dominator—a beast that would not only handle the roads around town, but could easily dominate any given 1320. “I decided to use a ’65 Skylark because it had the right body lines and the old-school muscle car look I was after,” Albert says.
He started his project with a car he found locally. It was complete, the paint was in usable shape, and its bones were solid. He commenced to split the body from the chassis and got to work. “I fabricated a new chassis for the Skylark, built with 2x3 steel and 0.120 walls to ensure it would not twist from the power I was looking to make,” Albert says. He then designed three frames in the center of the vehicle, along with a six-point chromoly cage for safety.
Next, he went to work on the rear suspension, building his own custom four-link out back. “That was the easy part. The hard part was fabricating the custom air ride suspension,” Albert continues. The system would need to hold up to the power curve of his future powerplant, plus be able to handle the tough streets of New York City; a place where the Skylark would definitely see some street time. Last, but not least, a bulletproof Dana 60 with a Strange Posi would handle getting the power to the big meats that were headed out back.
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