Mike Hayes found this ’68 Buick Skylark coupe, and noted it was “toothless and bald”. True that.
Bald? Yes; its once lush vinyl top is no more.
Here’s a better look at that situation. But it’s still looks ready to rumble.
I always wanted to like this generation of Skylark but every one looks like it was driven backward into a lamp-post. On this one the bent plate just draws the eye right to the offending area. Like my 1978 Datsun 200SX, it’s agonizing awkward to stare at it too long.
” every one looks like it was driven backward into a lamp-post.”
Truth! In fact, I was about to comment that this may be the straightest back end I have ever seen on one of these, but then you made me look closer.
That should be our next CCContest – find a 68-69 Special/Skylark with a rear end that looks like it is supposed to. I think we’ll be waiting for awhile.
Hi JP. This 68 doesn’t look so bad does it? Be careful, this one does have teeth (10.90’s on DOT tires and mufflers!
It looks like it might be undergoing a rolling restoration.
I can’t tell whether it’s black or very dark blue, if it’s the latter I’d be tempted to keep the original color and (re)adding a white vinyl top but if it’s black I’d go for metallic pea green or bronze without a toupee.
That light green Buick used on the ‘66’s is one of my absolute favorite shades of all time. Not sure if it’s the same you reference, but I always loved it:
These were always just strange. They were too sporty to be luxurious and too luxurious to be sporty. They certainly never got the jacked-up/mags treatment that most similar cars got from their teenage owners after about 10 years.
A relative had what may have been the best looking one of these I ever saw, a gold Skylark 4 door hardtop with a black vinyl roof and fender skirts. It was kind of a mini Electra 225, only swoopier.
My goodness, you nailed it: They were too sporty to be luxurious and too luxurious to be sporty.But then, that was a GM problem in the most extreme. With their constraints due to branding, the Buick models could not be too sporty, lest they offend the other Buick buyers. And dealers wanted the same thing other brands had, regardless of whether it fit the ideals of the brand or not. So you ended up with things like this Skylark. The sporty folks could have had the Chevy or Pontiac, the conservative folks the Olds or Buick, but no, they tried to make a high heeled running shoe, to appeal to fashion and sport, and it did not work for either. The Skylarks should have been what the Seville ended up being, but it was not to be.
I’ve often thought that if they could’ve telescoped their dealers down to one all-GM shop in every community, or even two (one for Chevrolet and one for everything else) by the early ’70s they could’ve kept clearer images for all five car brands. There would’ve been no need for “sporty” Buicks and brougham Pontiacs if every dealer sold both lines.
The one all-GM is really the way forward for GM, if it really wants to survive long term. And it has been for so long, without them doing such a simple yet needed solution, that it will probably never happen.
At the end of the day, do dealers really care about brand or just about having product that sells? GM does not understand that concept. They spend millions on brands, which have less and less meaning to anyone buying their product, and keeping dealers limited to one or two brands selling almost identical product to other brands in the same area. At most, there might be 2 brands – Cadillac/GMC and Chevy/Buick, but even then, you have so much unneeded overlap and redundancy that it is wasteful. Having GM dealerships, you can sell cars, trucks, and SUVs of varying degrees of luxury or sportiness, with different model names signifying what that one offers, and use the saved brand marketing to either efficiently market the entire line or design and build better product.
How many people still care if the badge says Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac or GMC, rather focusing on what the vehicle contains. What luxuries does it possess? What does it lack? What engine is in it, versus what could be in it instead? When a loaded Impala is about the same car as a Cadillac XTS, and a Yukon and an Escalade are more similar than not, why spend money on branding when it does not really do much for the bottom line? FCA has about accomplished just that. Most stores are Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram dealerships, with some even carrying Fiat. The other Fiat dealers are Studios, combined to sell Alfa Romeos and maybe Maserati. And it works for the CDJR dealers. Streamline it to GM, make all dealers GM dealers, and make Ford squirm about keeping Lincoln separate.
Sounds great in theory, and it’s why Plymouth got dumped. No point selling Plymouth and Dodge under the same roof. Before that, you had Chrysler-Plymouth and Dodge with their trucks.
In practice, especially back then, when you had more than half the market, letting the divisions operate quasi-independently yielded some significant differences between a Skylark and a Chevelle. Of course, the full-size cars had completely different chassis in addition to everything else until 1971 at least when the differences began to fade.
When GM discontinued Oldsmobile in 2004, they never really replaced the 200,000-plus volume that went with it, despite Olds’ product line yielding nothing distinctive.
Combining all their brands under one roof basically rendered Chrysler irrelevant, and could do the same for Buick, or even Cadillac. Based on Chrysler’s experience, I’m not so sure it’s a good idea.
I have a 1961 put a 1968 v8 in it it rumbles
Buick fan nice car
These have the most occluded looking tail lights on any car I can readily think of. They seem to be almost as big an afterthought as the tail lights on a ’65 Impala, although the Impala’s were much more conspicuous.
An old married couple, Mr. and Mrs. Margaret Cotton, in the town where I grew up had a Buick of this vintage. It also had Curved Bumper Syndrome. Incidentally, nobody knew Mr. Cotton’s name as Margaret did the talking for both of them.
My grandma & grandpa had a matched set of these. Replaced a 1960 LeSabre and a 1956 Bel Air convertible. Grandma remarked something about playing the meek little old lady but then racing kids when the light turned green. They were pretty speedy with the 350 and THM.
I never especially cared for the 68-69 Skylarks, true the curved rear bumper looked like it had backed into a telephone pole and the “s” curve on the side reminded me too much of the ’58 Buicks will all the chrome festooned on them.
At the time, and still now, I thought the Chevy and Olds A Bodies were best-in-class, even world class, styling. Less a fan of the Pontiac, but the novelty of the Endura bumper and of course the mere existence of the GTO, made it OK. But the ‘68 and ‘69 Buick was pretty bad, and to me still is. And then Buick repeated this with the 1992 N Body refresh.
I liked the 1970-1972 Skylarks better from a styling point. They just seemed less fussy and cleaner styled. If you got the Gran Sport version it could be both luxurious and sporty. I almost bought a 68 Skylark asa first car but didn’t. My father had a couple of 65 Buick Specials which weren’t bad cars. They were more square and I like them better than these. Much better visibility.
Seems like the ’68-’69 GM intermediates were the last time the divisions had real autonomy in their vehicles’ styling. Yeah, the Skylark didn’t look so great with its big side swoops and weird, concave curved rear bumper, but no one was going to mistake it for another GM division car, either.
That all changed for 1970. The Skylark, while looking much better than the previous model (and selling much better, too), also looked a whole lot more like the other division’s intermediates.
So, while the ’68-’69 Skylark gets grief for some odd styling cues, at least it was different.
I’ll go on the record stating that the 1968-69 Buick Skylark coupes are my guilty pleasure (but no vinyl roof please and skip the skirts).
Of course, the rear bumper is the poster child for why 5 mph bumpers were mandated not too many years afterward.
Echoing rudiger, the 68-69 GM coupes were very different in terms of looks, not just the front and rear ends, but the C-pillars/rear side windows, side creasing, and wheel openings. Commonization in 1970 spelled the end of such distinctiveness (but would become far worse in the 80s).
It’s my guilty pleasure too. There’s a ’69 2 dr hardtop in my garage. It’s just had it’s toupee refreshed, and it’s got all its teeth. The original 350 and TH 350 light up the tyres well enough too. I’ve seen precisely two ‘ 68s and two other ‘ 69s. They’re a rare car in Aus. I get nothing but positive comments on mine, and I’m vain enough to enjoy them.
It certainly has a badass vibe. I was really curious about what might be under the hood, but no such luck. If cars were people… I don’t think I’d mess with this dude.
This is something I very rarely say about any vehicle but I think the station wagons were the most stylish of the lot.
One thing would have improved the looks. Larger rear wheel openings. In autumn of 67, dad went to the Buick Pontiac dealer to trade his 65 Bonneville, Came home with a 68 Skylark 2 dr hardtop as a take it home for the night deal (he knew the dealer and salesman well, had been buying form them since 59) It was a warm gold with black vinyl top and interior. Dad was simply not impressed. Mom either, I made note of the bloated rear fender look. Dad decided it was too small. and “not right” next day he went to the dealer and came back with a new 68 2 door Bonneville brougham. Deal done.
“Bloated?” I prefer ‘voluptuous’. That said, the slightly more open wheel wells of the ’69s are my preference
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