Other than the handfuls of modified Chevrolet Monzas sporting high performance goodies that you’ll find being carted to drag strips around North America, the actual numbers of these ‘second generation’ GM H-bodies still lingering on the streets are very few. In fact, this particular example I came across in a recent Kijiji browse is the first one I have seen in a long time, and only from the comfort of my living room. It would be have been nice to view it and shoot it in person, but the clean and original condition of this particular bird absolutely requires me to share.
The Skyhawk, as GM would note “the smallest Buick in 60 years”, was simply a badge-engineered version of the Monza, which itself was spun off GM’s infamous Chevrolet Vega subcompact that made waves in the automotive world in the early 1970s. While stories of the Vega are plentiful and almost always negative, I find that those of the later built GM H-bodies are a little more varied. Overall build quality was typical of the big three in the ’70s (ie: mediocre) and more often than not, these cars fell to the always persistent rust bug if not some kind of major mechanical malady and disappeared off the streets as quickly as other common ’70s offerings.
It has been many years since I have even seen a Skyhawk of this generation, though I will also note that all Skyhawks are a rare sight these days given the J-body successor introduced in 1982 ceased production over 25 years ago while it’s cousin, the Cavalier, successfully carried on for many years after. Growing up in Northern BC, a childhood friend was carted around in a light blue ’70s Skyhawk (I don’t remember it’s exact vintage) and I took a few rides in it myself, thankful for the fact that I was a youngster at the time and easily fit in the tight confines of that rear seat area. I recall it carrying a moderate amount of rust at the time (late 1980s) though more of my attention was focused on the road hockey game we would be playing on the street behind it, with the occasional tennis ball bouncing off it’s rear bumper or hatchback glass.
Today’s example is available to the highest bidder coming to you from an estate sale and it’s easy to conjure a life of dedicated shelter within a warm garage and very infrequent trips on the streets over it’s 40 years. 32,000 miles are advertised though it’s possible for this to be after one trip around the clock, or perhaps it’s actual original mileage. The overall condition of the typical-for-the-era green paint and bright white interior certainly demonstrate that it’s been in the possession of a loving owner for a very long time. The 231 CID (or 3.8L) Buick V6, mated to the optional 3 speed automatic, would give reasonable spunk to this subcompact even though output was only rated at 110 horses.
It would be interesting to know what the car ultimately sells for… will someone get themselves a real bargain on this 70s classic and dare to put it into regular service or will a collector come along to continue it’s life of limited use?