I’m not sure this is actually a ’76; I’m afraid my Skyhawk identification skills aren’t quite what they once were, due to lack of usage. When was the last time I saw one? Quite a while. And you? I don’t think we’ve ever seen one here at CC either. But thanks to whatnext2010 who posted this well-preserved find at the Cohort, we are once again graced by its presence. What a find. And what a fine complement it makes to today’s Electra Limited, which is why I’m calling it a ’76. Anybody know exactly from this picture? Calling all Skyhawk experts!
The Chevy-Monza clone Skyhawk arrived in 1975, undoubtedly in response to the energy crisis. It also arrived the same year as Buick’s repatriated V6, once the tooling was rushed back from AMC, re-installed on the same foundations, and cranked up. Buick was desperate to get the little Fireball V6 back after having sold it to Kaiser-Jeep back in 1967. Kaiser-Jeep had been buying V6 engines from Buick since 1965, and undoubtedly got a good deal on the whole transfer line. The de-smogged 231 inch V6 now made 110 net hp, which was barely adequate in the 3000lb Skyhawk; never mind the 4200 lb Le Sabre that it found itself in in 1976.
Needless to say, the difference in the Skyhawk from the Monza were subtle, given how quickly it was rushed into production. But the Monza had V8 engines, and the Skyhawk didn’t. How odd was that? Nothing was odd in the seventies.