Syko Lark: Larry Anderson’s 25-Year – 1967 Buick Skylark Project Car

Larry Anderson has been working at perfecting his ’67 Buick Skylark since high school. The two-door hardtop originally belonged to his Aunt and served as her daily driver, complete with wheel skirts. It then passed to his mother and eventually was gifted to Larry.

“I drove it during high school until my brother got into an accident with it,” Anderson describes. “During the rebuild, we found a clean Skylark from California and merged them together into my then-street machine.”

Through the thicks and thins of life, Larry and Terri Anderson have always held on to their Skylark. Sometimes lying dormant combined with many years of project car updates, it has always been a part of Larry’s long-term passion for all things Buick.

Coming to a head as a show-stopping drag car he has named “Syko Lark,” this current manifestation includes a back-half chassis originally constructed by Rick’s Race Craft several years ago. The remainder of the construction over the past years has been completed by Anderson; it includes a Glasstek fiberglass hood, scoop, and trunk lid, along with VFN fiberglass bumpers.

All the windows, including the small vent doors, were custom-formed and installed by Pro Glass Windows. Greg Gastfield crafted the Skylark’s meticulous bodywork along with the original factory color.

Anderson's primary goal is to compete with the various Chicagoland outlaw groups. With that in mind, he constructed a wheelie bar kit from S&W Race Cars, which extends a full 80-inches from the rear axle.

Mickey Thompson Tire brand Pro 5 wheels include double-beadlock 16×16 hardware on the rear. Mickey Thompson 26×4.5×15 ET Fronts and 33.5×16.5×16 3185 ET slicks will soon hit the track surface.

Before his ultimate project car has touched the track, Larry has reconstructed the rear suspension, utilizing a FAB9 rear end housing, PRO 32-inch adjustable ladder bars, and a PRO Outlaw X-track locator, all from Chris Alston Chassisworks. A pair of AFCO Racing 1.25-inch canister shocks are set up using AFCO chrome coil-over Extreme springs with a rate of 110-lbs. Anderson also fabricated the wheelie bars from an S&W Race Cars kit.

“I’m looking forward to being competitive with the Chicago Wise Guys and Chicago Mafia groups,” Anderson says.

The Buick front subframe is equipped with Global West upper and lower control arms and has coilover shocks by QA1 Precision Products. Larry nicely reworked the steering with a rack and pinion unit and matching A-Body billet aluminum steering arms, all from TRZ Motorsports. The chrome-plated steering column is a tilt unit from Ididit Inc.

When it hits the track, the drivetrain is sure to hang the wheels high with a 540-cube big block Chevy utilizing a General Motors Performance Gen-VI block combined with Dart Machinery Pro-1 345 aluminum heads. An Eagle 4340, 4.250-inch stroke crank, Eagle 4340 Steel H-beam rods, and Wiseco Performance 15-1 compression pistons make up the rotating assembly.

The valvetrain includes a 284 intake/304 exhaust roller cam, roller lifters, 3/8-inch pushrods, billet double-roller timing chain, stud girdle, and roller rockers, all from COMP Cams. The engine is buttoned up with a Shafiroff Racing aluminum timing cover, MOROSO Performance Products aluminum fabricated valve covers and Milodon Pro Competition oil pan.

Though Anderson has not had the Buick out to the track yet, the car weighs in at 2,900-lbs and the engine makes a little over 1,000-horsepower on motor alone. "That should put me in the mid 8-second zone at 165 mph in the 1/4-mile," Anderson continues.

Alcohol fuel injection will feed the Buick with a 5-inch toilet system, a crank-driven gear rotor fuel pump, and a gasoline primer kit, all from Ron’s Fuel Injection Systems. The ignition is exclusively Holley/MSD Performance components, including Pro Billet distributor, 8-Plus ignition control, HVC-2 coil, crank trigger, Power Grid system, and Control Launch Module. A pair of Optima yellow-top batteries supply the voltage.

Other powerplant assembly incidentals include multiple fastener sets from ARP Fasteners, Dart intake manifold, Lemons Headers brand 2.25- to 2.38-inch step headers, and an ATI Performance Products 7-inch Super Damper. The A3000 fuel pump and regulator assembly along with lines and filter system are all from Aeromotive Inc. Anderson also plans on using multiple stages of a Holley/NOS system in time as well.

Being a perfectionist, Anderson just wasn't satisfied with the rear suspension. Over time, he redesigned it with Chris Alston Chassisworks and Afco hardware. If there's one thing you can say about the Syko Lark, there is PLENTY of trunk space for the Aeromotive fuel system and Optima batteries.

Anderson is using a Prince Racing Powerglide with Reid Racing transmission case, 1.80 straight cut gears, 300M input shaft, ten-clutch drum, and JW Performance tail shaft. A Transmission Specialties Super 8-inch racing converter utilizes a spragless 5000 rpm stall design. The ‘glide is outfitted with a TCI Auto trans cooler and a Precision Performance Products Shifter with CO2-powered auto shifter.

Demonstrating his intense love of Buicks, Larry Anderson has had some iconic representatives of the brand autograph his dash and glovebox. These signatures include Buick funny car and dragster legends John and Jerry Lipori, “TV” Tommy Ivo, and Ron Pellegrini.

Anderson’s 25-year project car has now reached his paramount vision of what he wanted for his Skylark. “Spring weather can’t get here soon enough,” he chuckles. “If something wasn’t constructed right the first time, I taught myself to re-do it right.”

To say Anderson is in love with all things Buick is an understatement. Not only does he hope the Skylark is a hit at various Buick-Olds-Pontiac events he plans to attend, but he also intends on stopping traffic when he rolls into the pit gates.

“My brother has convinced me to look for a wagon of the same make and year,” Anderson describes. “We always talked about how cool it would be to have a tow wagon exactly like the race car.”

With that intention, he is now completing a Skylark wagon with an LS3-4L80 engine/trans combination sporting a Chassisworks FAB9 rear end and Ridetech air ride suspension. It will roll out with matching paint and similar wheels to the race car.

If you are a Buick lover, make sure to look out for Anderson to roll into the pits during the 2020 season. He will be the one turning heads and stopping spectator traffic as he drives through the gates with his killer race car and wagon combo.

About the author

Todd Silvey

Todd has been a hardcore drag racing journalist since 1987. He is constantly on both sides of the guardwall from racing photography and editorship to drag racing cars of every shape and class.
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