Long distance relationships, which require a balance of attention and time spent alone, are one of life’s bigger compromises. This was something I did not fully appreciate last year when I decided to drive four hours to Indiana to surprise my partner as he was feverishly working to complete an essay. “Surely,” I reasoned, “he can’t be as busy as he says.”
Upon arriving, it was clear I’d judged the situation improperly.
Having been ordered out of his apartment for the next twelve hours, I decided to take a trip two hours south to Louisville, Kentucky. I was lucky that it was a sunny, dry day; a perfect occasion to scope out a new city and hunt for some classic metal, like the Skylark featured here.
The Buick nameplate, mounted on the rear bumper above the license plate, distinguishes this as a 1972, as do individual bezels for each of the four headlamps. Determining what engine hauls this car around is easier, as the 250-CID Chevy six (which replaced the Buick V6 after 1967) had been discontinued by this point, and the bigger V8s were not installed on lower trim levels. Custom sedans like this now had a two-barrel, 145-hp (SAE net) 350 V8 standard, and given the car’s mid-level trim and sad condition, I’ll wager its original buyer didn’t order the 170-hp, 4-barrel carbureted version, standard on the Skylark GS. With the Special gone after 1969, this pillared sedan was one of the more basic Buicks until the “compact” Apollo was introduced for 1973.
The 1968-1972 A-body is a very well known platform, having underpinned most of GM’s muscle cars produced during that very special time. Unlike the GTO, Chevelle, 442, or even the Vista Cruiser, the sedans are given little consideration, and as Buick’s interpretations of the platform generally received the least amount of attention, the featured car’s value as a collectible is insignificant. But as one of the more basic examples of the largest domestic manufacturer’s midsize car, it says a lot about American motoring in that period.
Oldsmobile’s and Chevy’s interpretations of the A-body were the most attractive in my eyes, with the Pontiac Tempest/LeMans (1970 LeMans pictured) also rating above the Special/Skylark. That said, the Buick was also quite attractive, its boring rear-end treatment being the only real let down. Buyers of the era expected a basic family sedan to boast dynamic styling, in addition to a large V8, and even at GM’s most conservative division, sportiness and sex appeal were in. I will concede, however, that the car could do without the vinyl top seen here.
Those not loyal to GM had their choice of FoMoCo’s zaftig, formal Torino/Montego, and Chrysler’s tidy and elegant (later cheap and generic) Coronet/Satellite.
AMC’s Rebel was the only competitor with styling more youthful than the A-body’s, but that was quickly ended with a 1970 refresh, and completely undone with the introduction of 1971’s Matador.
GM’s A-body was itself all-new two years later, with ungainly styling (I don’t care for the Colonnade’s looks) and reportedly improved handling (I’ve never driven one). As far as this 1972’s handling is concerned, I would prefer to remain ignorant. This platform has miraculously avoided a place on CC’s GM Deadly Sins series, but I am doubtful any domestic sedan of the era, especially one with body-on-frame construction, heavily boosted steering and a large, all-iron V8 would handle with much precision or feel through its controls. Readers experienced with these cars are more than welcome to disabuse me of this idea, should they see fit.
My attraction to the Skylark (and all A-body sedans) is, at any rate, a result of its styling: functional, masculine and all-American. The thick window frames on this example are more appropriate to a Chevelle and, as a Buick, its mission would be better fulfilled with the optional pillarless hardtop, but both variations are fetching.
Even in its sorry condition, the sight of this car evokes a certain patriotic optimism, making it very much a product of its era (the latter is also true of its cynical successor, renamed Century) and Louisville–a vivacious city full of welcoming front porches, walkable older neighborhoods and friendly people–was the perfect place to find this most American of relics.
When I was young, we had a black ’72 Skylark 4-door hardtop with a 350 Buick 2-bbl. It is a car I still have very fond memories of to this day. It’s soft suspension didn’t make it a great handler, but I learned to powerslide with that car. It was comfortable and I always liked the styling. The 350 Buick was a torquey engine even if it lack any upper end punch. It could easily smoke the right rear tire at will though. I also remember it having horrible winter traction, even with the old fashion tractor style winter tires, and it sucked back gas as badly as a big block. But I had a lot of good memories of that old Buick and overall it was a great car.
When researching older Specials, I learned that the Buick smallblock continued for the rest of its days to use the narrow bore spacings of the old aluminum 215. This engine had a very long stroke compared to the other GM engines of that size range. The Buick 350 was actually undersquare, with a 3.8 inch bore and a 3.85 inch stroke. This made it a very wide engine, and undoubtedly made it a real torquer, as well.
By comparison, Olds was the most oversquare with a 4.057 inch bore/3.385 inch stroke. Chevy was next (4 inch/3.48 inch) then Pontiac at 3.875/3.75.
I had a 1978 LeSabre Custom with the 350 4bbl and it was a torque dream. I drove it across Canada and no hill on the Rockies would budge it from 120 km/h. It must have been right at the torque peak at that speed but it never slowed down and the cruise control never wavered on these things, so prodigious was the low end on these things. That said, that 120 km/h, and that with HD everything, was really about as fast as you wanted to go in a car with that level of steering and brakes anyway, After said 3000 rpm, it was all just valve float.
I remember cruising with our ’72 at 75-80 MPH and it seemed to like that speed. The std suspension was a little wallowy at that speed, but it still felt more stable than a lot of cars of that era at that speed. The four drums weren’t too confidence inspriing though. Our ’76 Chevelle 350/350 had better handling and brakes.
120 km/h is like 74.5 mph and you are correct, the cars with standard suspension were wallowy at that speed. The problems was the lack of a proper air dam on the cars of the era, which caused the front end to lift off the road. Stiffer springs of course would mitigate this and make 120 km/h comfortable.
These cars handled well, the basic suspension geometry was worked out for the first Monte Carlos.
My older brother’s friend’s parents bought a new 1970 Skylark coupe, and I rode in it several times, and drove it once as the designated driver (hallucinogens, not alcohol). I was most impressed by its power train: the 350/THM 350 combo was simply the best there was at the time. Its combined smoothness and effortlessness (in normal to moderately spirited driving) was world class. The engine ran perfectly, despite being carbureted; the transitions were all seamless.
The driving experience was quite good for the times, is not a stand-out. The GM power steering was better than average, light but not dead, reasonably quick, and precise enough. The disc brakes inspired confidence.Ordering GM’s optional sport or HD suspension would have made these cars as good handling as it got for American cars in 1970.
The Colonnades added a higher level of handling sophistication in terms of its front suspension; better feel and more stability/control over rough roads and such, but their extra size and mass was a trade-off.
My grandmother owned a ’71 Skylark coupe back in the day. Drove it home new off the lot – dark green with a 2-barrel 350. Of course she always drove it in a conservative manner, but other members of the family recall that it had some serious scoot if you pushed the right pedal down.
A fairly basic ’70 sedan, white with black interior, arrived in the “back forty” junkyard last fall. It gave up its low-compression 4bbl 350 for a future G-body Regal project of mine.
But the Skylarks aren’t without their appeal. I’d gladly own a ’70-72 coupe, almost moreso than the comparable Chevelle, and right up there with a Tempest/LeMans.
Nicely optioned with a decent V8, factory sport wheels and raised white letters – that’d be just fine. No “GS” badges would be necessary.
The 68-69 design, with its big expanse of sheetmetal on the quarters and the “swoop” line down the side, just didn’t do it for me.
The 68s looked bloated and podgy especially with fender skirts.I always thought the 69 Mercury Cougar looked like a Buick in drag.Not as nice looking as the hard top or that pretty Pontiac.I’d forgotten how good looking the Rebel was also
Yep, some of those AMCs looks great with those square lines. That downsweep side body contour on the 69 Cougar is definitely from Buicksville.
I have stated it many times here, but the 350/350 combo was the best powertrain GM ever made and by far the best of the era. They churned out bazillions of the to happy customers who loved their torquey smoothness and “fast” feel due to the loads of torque, like 270 lb/ft at 2500 rpm. Even when gas prices soared in the 1970’s GM sold loads of this exact powertrain. The ones after 1975 were the best.
Like Paul said, the cars drove well. They were tight and handled very well, went where you pointed them and didn’t hop up and down when you stopped like Fords did.
The blue Pontiac sedan shown is a 1970, not ’72.
1972 was a big car year in my family. My mother was shopping and a Skylark was one of the choices. However, she ended up in a Cutlass Supreme. Like a lot of people. I can’t say that I recall anything that made the Buick stand out as a higher-class car than the Cutlass. In fact, I think that the Cutlass was better looking.
If I had to guess, I would say that these Skylarks were the slowest sellers of the A body, at least from what I remember seeing around.
Also, that roofline on the sedans is just awkward. This is not a good looking car. The 4 door hardtop roofline, however, is beautiful. The hardtops maybe the best looking mid size 4 door cars of the 70s.
Sedans in any of the A-bodies were not that common, the hardtop coupes sold like hotcakes, the sedans, not so much.
These were fantastic driving cars. We had a 1970 and a 1972 Skylark in our household, both hardtop coupe 350 cars.
Agreed, Carmine, they were one of the best cars of the era and the ones with the rear sway bar were much better. I had friend whose dad had a 1975 Grande Lemans four door, which were really rare, with a 400 and HD everything. It was quite a fast car for its day and handled well.
I passed on a really clean 77 or so LeMans Luxury Sedan with the 350/350 combo, it was super clean, but it was a sedan and I really didn’t have any extra space.
Nice find, and the difference between the 350 and the 400 in daily driving is hard to notice.
Perhaps my former ’71 Chevelle sedan should get its COAL next week. Kind of an odd duck, it was.
A bit off topic, but you said Louisville was a new city to you and that it was vivacious. I haven’t been there, so I’d love to hear a bit about your experience to that new-to-you city. (I did notice bars on the windows/doors). Thanks, and thanks for sharing the story.
I agree with Buick being a great “American” make, a patriotic choice of sorts. Where I live, it was definitely one of the top choices among the Greatest generation. The emblem was even red, white, and blue 🙂 My grandfather was a Buick man and it passed to only a couple of his children and even fewer grandchildren, including myself.
I’ve always found the styling around the rear door and C pillar of these to be clumsy. It got a little better in the 1970 restyle — the upkick was removed, and the car looked less squinty.
I, too, don’t know why Buick had to offer this pillared version. The pillarless sedan was so much more attractive and befitting the Buick nameplate.
4 door pillared cars still hung in there through the hardtop era, I guess the result of some conservative buyers that still demanded the style, plus the fact that they still offered a wagon in all of the GM A-body styles that was still a pillared design too.
The Colonnades were the reverse, all of them had pillarless doors, but no hardtop roofs.
And when the rubbers inevitably pitted and tore they whistled like crazy. I think only Subaru does it now.
Subaru does not do it anymore and every Legacy I’ve been in has whistled. But it can be done properly. My partner’s Mini has no such problem. It’s a quality issue, not necessarily a design flaw.
It’s a shame Subaru took the cheap way out and fitted all their new cars with cheap looking window frames (and hideous styling), just as their popularity and profitability began to truly grow.
I think the only things you see hardtop doors on anymore are coupes like the Camaro, Challenger, CTS coupe and Mustang, and probably a few others, I’m not sure about any sedans still offering that.
My parents have been driving Legacy wagons for over 15 years, none of them have ever whistled – maybe it’s a Northern Hemisphere thing? 😉
All my Nissan Laurels have been hardtop sedans with frameless windows – and my first, a ’92, was a genuine pillarless hardtop, the ’94 and my current ’97 are pillared hardtops (like Subarus). Not one of them has whistled, and the only noise I ever got was on the ’92 where the front and rear glass squeaked a little at the seal that went between them when the window was up.
At 320,000km (just rolled over) my current pillared hardtop ’97’s seals are wearing a little but still no whistles. I guess it was Built Nissan Tough! 🙂
I think all of the 68-72 GM A-Body sedans look like afterthoughts in that they look like they were designed to be 2-door cars that have an extra pair of doors grafted in, which is pretty much what they are. I think Chrysler got it right with the 1971 Satellite/Coronet sedans that are actually good-looking cars in their own right.
There is a very noticeable difference in driving a 1972 GM A-Body and a 1973 model; the Colonnades were designed for radial tires and many of them came with factory rear sway bars.
That all being said, I love musclecars but its nice to see a 60s/70s sedan still on the road that hasn’t become a parts donor. Hopefully that’s not that Buick’s fate but it looks like its on its way
I really like the Coronet/Satellite from 66-70. The 71-78 versions looked good initially, but very a bit too clean, almost featureless. That said, I understand and agree with your defense of their ultra-smooth look.
I agree about the 71 chryslers, I just wish they made a woody wagon with the loop bumper from the satellite.
Sorry, the 2 door bumper (GTX/Road Runner)
Once again, I claim minority status; these cars were ugly, they looked effeminate and ungainly, with the Buick receiving the worst styling. And the Colonnade was a major improvement IMO looks-wise.
I’m no great fan of these cars either, and the four-door versions are just awkward. With a lot of GM cars of this era, one gets the distinct impression the two-doors were designed first and the other body styles were afterthoughts.
Style-wise, I’m much more partial to the previous two iterations. A pity one couldn’t get the 350/TH350 powertrain and the Colonnade’s improved suspension and brakes on the considerably handsomer 1964–65 or 1966–67 cars (which handled their four-door versions with much more aplomb).
The 2 door hardtops were the primary focus, that’s what really was the mover on these, Chevelle, LeMans, Cutlass and Skylark, all sold tons of hardtop coupe variants, it was a different time, when a family of 4 could make do with a midsize hardtop coupe, not a 3 row crossover……
I think they intentionally tried to make the sedan version of these look more like coupes, a predictor of todays “4 door coupe” trend.
In the late 60s/early 70s era, of any given GM car line, I found the 4 door second generation Corvair amongst the rarest of any sedan versions offered. As common as the coupes were, I hardly ever recall seeing Corvair sedans, in my youth.
People likely saw the Corvair was much better looking as a coupe, and as you said, it could still accommodate a small family. No question, the four door hardtop Corvair looked awkward in comparison.
Really? I always thought the 2nd gen Corvair was one of the better looking sedans from the time.
It was because the coupe was so original and beautiful, I felt they needed to do more to uniquely distinguish the 4 door. It was like a bastardized two door. It looked like an owner customized coupe, to my eyes. Plus the rarity of them, created an oddball quality to them for me. Similar to say, the two tone paint package offered on the second generation Monte Carlo. Something I could never get used to.
I feel like they almost have a four-door coupe look. So while I understand the complaints about the styling, the C-pillar and back door on the 4-door sedans are why I like the car. The look is very casual and youthful, in my opinion.
Seeing the photo of this Skylark, refreshed a distant television memory from my childhood. I recall 70s sitcom ‘Welcome Back Kotter’ having an A-body very close to this one, in the closing credits. I found the clip online, and as it turns out, It was a similarly colored Olds Cutlass… “What?” “Where?” “Why?” as Barbarino would say.
The Sweathog Dream Machine was a brougham…
Good grief! Say it ain’t so!
Is that what I think it is? A Grand Prix that’s been pimped out with a targa top, Camaro-esque grille, oversized headlights (and raised “tunnels” in the hood to accommodate them), goofy lenses, sidepipes, and the obvious suspension modifications?
I never watched Welcome Back Kotter, so I can’t really tell much more than I can see here. But still… geeeeeezzzzz! That thing’s strange!
Yup, I remember these kits, as well as lots of promotional items sold using the show’s brand. Including action figures, lunch pails and trading cards.
If you look online at the link below, someone has actually made quite an amazing junkyard scene diorama using this Grand Prix model kit and the four ‘Sweathog’ figures that came with it. It is actually very well done with the simulated rust, assorted parts and murals added…
Wow, I’ve never seen a model kit associated with Welcome Back Kotter, was there one for Mr. Kotter?
I imagine it would have been a rusty, beat VW Beetle with a “McGovern ’72” bumper sticker
I think the Grand Prix was the only model offered, that was associated with the show. As the series was driven by John Travolta and the Sweathogs besides. They could have offered a small collectors set. Including the Beetle you mentioned for Mr. Kotter and a metallic brown ’72 LTD coupe with a Mr. Woodman figure.
TV show merchandising was HUGE in the 70s. Seemed every show, had products in stores. I had one of The Waltons die cast pickups, that were offered at the time…
I forgot about Mr.Woodman! The brown LTD coupe would suit him well, or nice 69 LeSabre coupe. There was some odd co-branding on toys at the time, I had a Start Wars custom van, which was a 70’s Dodge van toy with a huge Star Wars themed mural on the side, it was cool, but hardly related to the movie.
Mr Woodman eventually became a drug informant for the Regan Administration, and turned in all of the Sweathogs. The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration paid for his ’81 Electra Park Avenue.
I had that Stars Wars van as well. I recall Hot Wheels used a generic step van for many themes. I had both the Incredible Hulk version and the US Postal Service version. I guess David Banner would use the step van to change back into a new set of street clothes, after his originals got torn to shreds during his metamorphosis.
I didn’t care for the styling of the 4-door A-bodies of this era, though the coupes were okay. I actually preferred the Collonades. My dad had a ’77 Century 4-door with the 350-2 barrel, and it was always great to drive. It handled quite well, especially after he installed heavy-duty shocks and springs in the rear for towing. It cornered flat at higher-than-legal speeds with nary a problem, as my much younger self noted ;).
One thing that always bothered me about GM’s badge engineering (and a way to make this car a GM deadly sin) is that they managed to take very look alike cars and make them so different that they shared only glass and roof. That’s a silly way to spend money, and it took until the late 90s for them to fully break the habit. If you’re going to make the tooling to use different door skins, fenders, hoods, and trunk lids, at least make the car look different. It’s like they were trying to engineer the profit out of the car whilst still making them look alike.
I’ve never seem to have had difficulty distinguishing a Chevelle from a Skylark. They do not look alike unless viewed from a non-car-person’s eyes. You obviously have never seen the dashes of these vehicles because all four flavors vary wildly.
Oh, and the ’70-’72 Skylark and Chevelle shared the same trunklid: clever if you ask me. The late 90’s is when GM stuff started looking the same…Peel the stick-on emblems off a late 90’s Cutlass & Malibu & tell me which one is which.
It’s not that you can’t tell them apart, it’s just that when the overall shape of the car, roof, and windows is the same, the other differences don’t matter as much. They did have different dashboards, engines, and some even had different transmissions. They needed to share less visible pieces and differentiate things like the window openings.grilles and taillight treatments.
In 1972 Buick had only 2 engines (350 and 455) each with 2 levels of tuning….350 2bbl, 350 4bbl, 455 4bbl and 455 4bbl, stage 1
These came with 3 transmissions, THM 350, THM 375B and THM 400.
And they still sold over 500,000 per year…amazing
And made a bucket load of money because they only had two engines.
Most GM divisions only had 2 or maybe 3 engines? Off the top of my head, Cadillac had 1, the 472 and 500 were the same thing, Oldsmobile had the 350 and the 455 and Pontiac had the 350, 400 and 455.
Chevrolet had the Vega 2300, the Stovebolt, Big and Small Blocks, so they had quite a few for the era.
Oh and I am glad we are getting along, Carmine 🙂
What I left out of that post, until it was too late to change was “except for Chevrolet”, which had a bunch of different motors, 4’s 6’s, 307, 350, 400, 400BB, etc etc etc……
I’m glad too.
From roughly 1961 to 1979 or so, with some exceptions, GM was really on its game. In 1965, for example, they were the go to car for all my relatives in Canada. Well made, as reliable as anything else, and generally drove well. I always thought the smaller stuff like the Chevelle and Nova had the best overall engineering.The cars looked, handled and drove well.
Now, we may not agree with after 1980, but I do think GM is doing a lot better today, not class leading, but the cars go on the road for decent prices for their class as well as good equipment and quality, too. The reliability of the Cruze, for example, is as good as anything else.
Being a child of the sixties, I was around many of this generation of A bodies. My parents had a ’68 Vista Cruiser, a family friend had a ’69 LeMans, another family friend had a ’69 Vista Cruiser, an uncle had a ’68 LeMans, my best buddies parents had a ’69 Malibu and a ’70 LeMans. There were fewer Buick’s where I grew up because the local dealer was very conservative and did not work very hard at selling cars. However, later I did own a ’70 Skylark Custom coupe with buckets and console, factory road wheels, red with a white top and interior. It drove well, and was a looker to boot. I think the GM cars had the best combination of handling and ride of any of that era’s intermediates. The Ford’s rode better, the Chrysler products handled better, and the AMC’s did neither as well.
I think the traditional sedan (4 and 2 door) carried on because they were tighter and more secure, as in harder to break in to. And that is why we have returned to them for the most part. Less issues with wind noise, better rollover protection, etc.
If you look at the first ad photo, I had a ’68 in the identical brown and cream shown there. It rode well, handled decently, was very quiet and had good power. Unfortunately in my case, the oil pump went sour and the repair work was poor, so I got rid of it for that reason. It was a little sour note among all the symphony of the Buicks I have owned.
A couple of thoughts on this car.
It is not quite a low line as the article indicates. The Skylark Custom was the top trim for any four door A body Buick. Equipped with a few options, obviously a vinyl top, likely AC, and power steering and brakes, this was about as high end as intermediate cars got in 1972. The only higher trim was GS, which was reserved for 2 door hardtops and convertibles.
The main reason the framed window sedans remained was that they simply sold better than the hardtops in mid-size lines. Keep in mind gas was still cheap, and buyers that wanted higher end four doors simply bought full size cars in this era. “A” body sedans were mostly for your Aunt Mildred and she preferred her Buick in basic trim.
Here is your ’72 production in rounded numbers:
Skylark 4 dr Sedan: 42,000
Skylark Custom 4 dr Sedan: 10,000
Skylark Custom 4 dr hdtop: 13,000
Compare the full-size family Buicks:
LeSabre 4 dr Sedan: 30,000
LeSabre 4 dr hdtp: 15,000
LeSabre Custom 4 dr Sedan: 35,000
LeSabre Custom 4 dr hdtp: 51,000
Centurion 4 dr hdtop: 19,592
The Electra series offered no sedans and accounted for another 125,000 4 door hardtops.
Summary: Luxury buyers wanted their cars big, and the more you were willing to spend on a car, the more likely you were to spring the extra bucks for a full size and for the hardtop body style.
Ford tried 4 door hardtops in their Torino and Montego mid-size lines for two years only in 1969 and 1970 and they totally flopped. Chrysler never bothered.
I thought that, for 1972, the Skylark 350 was the top trim level, and the Skylark Custom was more basic, replacing the Skylark.
Not according to this.
I’ve often tried to decipher the difference between the Skylark 350 and the Skylark Custom, they almost seem the same, I’ve never seen a Skylark 350 sedan though, so I think the Skylark 350’s were all coupes, I know the one we had was.
The guide I have lumps Skylark 350 production with the base Skylark, so all the trims are accounted for in my numbers above.
There was a ’72 Skylark 350 4-door sedan that lived two doors down from my parent’s house when I was growing up. Light green outside, dark green inside, driven (rarely) by a little old lady.
My father’s mother was big into Skylarks. She had a ’67 4-door hardtop (can’t recall it but have seen a few pics and know it was light gold with a black top) and a ’70 Custom 4-door hardtop (dark brown), which I very vaguely remember. They were nice and she liked them, basically good cars for a grandma. I remember her Century 4-door sedans much better–she had a ’73 Luxus in Willow Green and then a ’76 Custom in dark blue with a white top and white interior. Again, remember them as being nice, comfortable and dependable. I know my grandmother liked them because they were smaller than the fullsize Buicks of the era and she found them easier to drive.
I stand corrected. Where did you locate this?
I forget where now. It could have been one of those brochure sites but it now resides on my hard drive along with almost 139000 other items, and we’ll backed up too, by the by.
I agree the two-doors of this era had way better proportions than the four-doors. I’m surprised nobody has mentioned that the two-doors sat on a 112″ wheelbase while the four-doors had 116″ (the G-body Monte Carlo used the 116″ frame, while the Grand Prix had 118″, using the two-door greenhouse length with the added wheelbase grafted onto the front clip). Pretty clearly the two-doors were designed first, with the four-door versions adapted to the longer wheelbase because they had to.
Speaking of the 1968-72 Special/Skylark (the Special was dropped after 1969), I spotted this clip showing a car chase where a Buick A-body going after a 1971-73 Mustang in a movie titled “Strange Shadows in an Empty Room” alias “Blazing Magnum”, parts of the car chase scene footage was re-used for a Geigo commercial titled “Do dogs chase cats?” and it was filmed in Montreal. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-mGNk9lLuE
I’ve seen it and the sound effects just grate on me, they are 4 cylinder/Euro car sounds. Somebody needs to redub the sounds.
Another thing I forgot to mention about the top 2 pictures is, when I first glanced at them I assumed them to be taken at least 15 years ago , I can’t believe they were taken this year. The newest vehicle is that mid 90s Suburban, with the old F-150, the G-body behind the Buick, the B-body across the street. Is this a particularly “un-well-off” area, or are times really that tough in some places?
They are older pics. I can tell by the image quality as well. They are either shot on film and scanned, or older digital camera technology.
Maybe they were instagrammed. It’s a brown looking suburb, though.
That is Kentucky and Tennessee for you. Between lack of safety inspections, no emissions testing, a lower average income, a climate that is nicer to vehicles, and other factors means that vehicles last longer in those states.
Kentucky and Tennessee are full of vehicles from the last 40-50 years in various states of decay including numerous models that are rare in other parts of the country or just rare in general. If Paul runs out of vehicles in Oregon he could move there.
We have a ’72 Skylark 350 2-door hardtop that has been in the family since grandma bought it new in El Paso. It has the 4bbl engine, vinyl bucket seats and wire wheel covers (that have always made noise). The brochure page posted above implies that bucket seats include a console shifter for the automatic. Not so, it must have been a separate option.
I didn’t care much for the A-body Skylarks but later when the Skylark name replaced Apollo Buick had the most attractive X-body. It was so handsome that GM applied the same basic styling to the FWD Buick X-car. It must have been special because the Citation did not get Nova styling.
What happened to that guy with the 300,000 mile X-body Skylark who was going to post about his car?
I’m a couple days late (work, mutter, mutter) but I just enjoyed reading this over lunch. An interesting write up; it certainly is a car that doesn’t get much attention (let alone love!). I think your article has rectified that to a small degree Perry!
Classic vehicle. One of my dad’s favorites that we have worked on.
I used to have 2 of these 4d sedans both were blue one was a hard top and the other was a rag top,loved them both and my daughters loved going for rides as well,I am in search of a 72 like the pic I have attached but am having a hard time locating one?
A most excellent piece, Perry. Wrapping up your essay with final shot of the rear quarter panel, it strikes me just what an artful font was used on that “Skylark” emblem. I like how it was combined with the different font on that “CUSTOM” badge.