Curbside Capsule: 1984 Buick-Opel Skyhawk Ascona CC


For years we had Buick-Opel dealers in the US. They had plenty of Buicks, and they had some Opels too. But they never had any Buick-Opels. Finally I spotted one!


Last week I was in the beautiful city of Halmstad, on the southwest coast of Sweden. Walking back to the hotel, this CC caught my eye, obviously an Opel hatchback. But wait a minute, that front end looks familiar. What’s that emblem, could it be?


Yes, it’s a Skyhawk! So is it a Buick with an Opel badge, or an Opel with a Buick badge? Neither. Finally, I found a true Buick-Opel!


What we have here my friends, is an eighties J-platform Opel Ascona CC with a Buick Skyhawk front clip. It’s a perfect fit, too. The trim makes me wonder, are those Opel or Buick doors?


Its nose was too buried in the bushes to get a good shot, but here at least is confirmation of its Skyhawk beak.


The interior is best of all, Opel dash and steering wheel, with those plush Buick door panels. Are those plush Buick seats as well?


From 1981 to 1988 GM’s J-body platform was the core of a dizzying array of cars, the American Buick Skyhawk, Chevy Cavalier, Pontiac 2000/Sunbird, Olds Firenza and Caddy Cimarron, plus the German Opel Ascona C, British Vauxhall Cavalier, Aussie Holden Camira, Japanese Isuzu Aska and the Brazilian Chevy Monza.


Here’s a complete Opel five-door hatchback, called the Ascona CC. (It’s a CC, how great is that?) Opel was the only one with the five-door hatch.


What do you think is under the hood? Presumably the Opel drive train, but could it be a Buick? (They’re both FWD.) Are the fenders, nose and hood bolt-on interchangeable? Or is this the whole Skyhawk front end, including the Buick drive train? Check out the side exhaust. Is that a clue? And what about those doors? And the interior? How did a Buick Skyhawk ever end up in Sweden, anyway? Every car has a story, but this car has at least two. Quite a piece of work, don’t you think?