There are some Curbside Classics one simply has to stop, turn around and photograph on the spot. I’m glad I caught this one, as it appears there is a large, 1978 Skylark-shaped hole in our CC Archives…
First off, let’s get it straight that the
dubs rims are not included. I presume the 145 hp Chevy 305 (5.0l) V8, is, however. Lest anyone be confused over what this car actually is (not), the owner has helpfully annotated the For Sale sign.
Although a heaping helping of flat black paint almost obscures it, the ’78 grille received a minor update that included two horizontal bars running its width.
Out back, the tail lights were divided into three sections vs. two from the previous year, not that anyone would notice.
Besides being a member of the National Street Machine Club, our car also sports the optional Landau roof, available only on the Coupe.
It appears the rattle can (and broughaminess) ran out before making it to the interior, however. Loose wires hanging out of the steering column always sets off warning flags, but front seats that are not bolted to the floor is just cause for a four-alarmer.
Only 17,116 Skylarks rolled out the factory door in 1978 with a V8 (just over 10% of production) – the vast majority came with the 3.8l V6. Besides the coupe, Skylark could be had as a sedan or hatchback. A short 1979 model year would mark the end of the RWD X-body Skylark, with a completely redesigned FWD model bowing in 1980.
This copy from the Canadian 1978 Skylark brochure offers a clue as to whom these Barely Badge-engineered Buicks were aimed. The US brochure mentions that Skylark is “Small enough to offer practicality an maneuverability, and Buick enough to reward you with genuine comfort.”
The vibe I get from this car (dubs and flat black notwithstanding) is that it’s not quite sure what it wants to be. Like the ad copy above, one has to work hard to find something positive to say. I’m not even sure where I’d begin were I to purchase something like this. Put it back stock? Go “full hood” and finish what was started? The X-body is definitely a moddable platform, but who mods a Buick?