13K Miles! 1978 Buick Skylark Sport Coupe

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There is so much to like about this 1978 Buick Skylark, not the least of which is that eye-popping color, and in case you haven’t noticed by now, that wicked huge padded landau vinyl roof, which was an option on this 1978 Buick Skylark Sport Coupe. The seller has this sunshiney example posted here on craigslist in Enid, Oklahoma and they’re asking $12,500 for it. Thanks to the eye-popping and sunshiney Pat L. for sending in this tip!

In case you were wondering, Buick didn’t mess around with color names, they just called them, well, by their name. This color isn’t Sunshine Peekaboo or Lemon Merangue, it’s just literally “Yellow” and the vinyl top is called, believe it or not, “Black”. Not Anthracite or Midnight or Rollin Coal or anything fancy, just black. Zzzzz, come on, Buick! I really like it though and, yes, I also really like that black padded landau top. I grew up in the era of vinyl tops and I like the look. I know that it’s popular to pile up on them now, hopefully not literally. The seller says that this car has just 12,986 miles on it and has been in storage until a year ago, but we don’t know how long it was in storage. It has “new tires, new battery, new ignition plug wires rotor cap, spark plugs, new fuel lines vacuums lines”, and new shocks.

Buick came back to the smaller car market in 1973 when the Apollo debuted, based on the X-body as with the Chevy Nova, Olds Omega, and Pontiac Ventura. Then in 1975, it was redesigned and renamed the Skylark. They came in four-door sedans, two-door hatchbacks, and two-door coupes as you see here. This one is badged as a Sport Coupe. You can see that the bumper filler material at the rear bumper is basically gone in the photo above and this detailed photo here. A quick internet search didn’t turn up replacement rear bumper filler material but maybe one of you would know how to find replacement parts. It’s a shame because the rest of this car looks almost like new.

Speaking of that, the interior looks outstanding, I don’t see any real flaws anywhere inside. The seats all look perfect and although we don’t see any underside photos or photos of the trunk, I would bet that the seller would send any interested parties extra photos.

The worst part of most craigslist ads is that for some unknown reason, sellers usually don’t take the 0.04 seconds to pop the hood and give us a photo of the engine. Why is that? Anyone? This one has the standard engine, Buick’s 231 cubic-inch/3.8L V6 which had 105 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque. A 305 V8 with 135 hp was optional. If a person can find that rear bumper filler material, this could be a jewel. Any thoughts on this ultra-low-mile Skylark?

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  1. Ed H

    The 231 V6, yuck!

    Like 7
    • Tony Primo

      That engine is very popular with Grand National owners.

      Like 6
      • Will Fox

        Completely different engine in the Grand National. The early 231 V6 was a different block and heads, and no turbo.

        Like 1
      • Bick Banter

        The version in this car should be the even fire version. But I would confirm as the early odd fire ones were terrible. Either way, it won’t be fast, so comparing it to a Grand National is laughable.

        Like 5
      • Don Page Jr.

        Bick Banter Yes it is even fire. Buick changed to it in 1977.

        Like 0
      • Don Page Jr.

        Will Fox When Buick bought back the rights from Jeep in 1974, they increased the bore to 3.800″. Using this bore size, it could share pistons and other parts from their 350 V8 with the V6. This engine retained the original designs “odd-fire” design. Buick did make minor changes to both the block and heads, but it wasn’t a completely different block and heads.

        Like 1
  2. Moparman MoparmanMember

    Buckets and a console! Such a shame about the instrument panel’s lack of “gages” though, and the missing filler components. This one has great potential for someone! GLWTS!! :-)

    Like 6
  3. Big Len

    All the driving pleasure of a shopping cart.

    Like 12
  4. Don Page Jr.

    If it wasn’t for the landau roof, this Buick would really look sporty. Although the V6 isn’t a screamer, it’s 200 pounds less than the V8. I’d be willing to bet the filler panel is the same as a Nova. The ad didn’t mention it, but if you look at the HVAC controls and vents in the dash, my guess is it has AC. If it could be bought for 8 to 9K, it would an inexpensive, reliable cruiser that would draw attention at any car show or cruise-in.

    Like 10
    • Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

      That’s a very good point about the Nova bumper filler panels, Don, thanks for mentioning that.

      Like 4
      • Moparman MoparmanMember

        Just idly checking, a complete set of “Nova” rear bumper fillers (L/R/Center) will run about $325 from Classic
        Industries. :-)

        Like 2
  5. Bob C.

    A buddy of mine had one of these. They weren’t bad cars for the time. Much better than the next generation IMO.

    Like 1
  6. Bick Banter

    Bought a 1979 Omega for $80 back in 1991. It actually ran, but was rusty. In today’s market that would probably sell for 6 grand, at least.

    Like 3
  7. John C.

    I had one of these back in the day, ran like a champ, nice simple car to work on. They all seemed to have a problem with that filler panel above the rear bumper though.

    Like 1

    Given the name, quality of the vehicle & actual age ; 8,000 to 9,000 would be more in line with this product.

    Like 2
  9. SJMST

    My parents bought a new 1976 Chevy Nova which is a twin to this.
    Utterly joyless driving experience. Still, except for the growth like black wart over the rear windows, it’s a great looking find.

    Like 0
  10. Lance Platt

    Pros: Beautiful eye catching yellow color.
    Built on perfect size Nova body.
    Bucket seat interior looks sporty.
    Mileage is low if documented.
    Something different for a car show.

    Cons: No mention of air conditioning.
    Lacks the 5.0 V-8 option.
    No underhood photos.
    Suspicious of rear bumper collision.

    Like 0
    • Jack M.

      You can stuff anything in this engine compartment from a turbocharged V-6 to a 455 Buick. I have even seen one with a 500 cubic inch Cadillac engine that looked like it came from the factory that way.

      Like 4
  11. Abi

    Instead of the FB title,
    This 13k-mile Skylark is nice but is it $12,500 nice?
    How about
    This $12,500 Skylark is nice, but is it 113k miles nice?
    I’m a real skeptic with sellers of 5 digit odometer cars saying low miles are original instead of rollover. Why there is no carpet mat on the drivers side, but that said the carpet looks worn between the seat and the sill, and around and to the left of the gas pedal. I’d sure like to see a closer view of the pedal area. Even 113k would be consider ‘low’ miles but lets call a spade a spade.

    Like 3
  12. John C.

    So I just e mailed the Buick owner and he says YES it does have A/C and he just added 2 pics of the motor to the CL ad.

    Like 3
    • Abi

      After seeing the engine pics I’m even more suspicious. How does a car that looks that good on the outside have a 12k engine that looks that dirty?

      Like 0
  13. Bick Banter

    Also make sure it doesn’t crab. People above a certain age will remember these X cars dogtracking down the street on a fairly common basis. I used to think it was frame damage but I’ve subsequently been told that it’s actually a problem with the bushings in the leaf springs

    Like 3
  14. Stan

    Beware it may have the economy minded rear gears like 2.27 or 2.45 ratio or something for improved mileage

    Like 0
    • Jack M.

      If you are going to pick that picky, there’s not much chance that you are going to be driving a 1978 Buick Skylark Sport Coupe. Just change the rear gears to something that you prefer, after you buy the car.

      Like 3
  15. RKS

    That color is what most guys I know would call piss yellow.

    Like 1
  16. normadesmond

    “. . . that wicked huge padded landau vinyl roof . . .”

    I didn’t know you were from Boston!

    Like 2
  17. Brad460Member

    Everyone has to be a smart aleck. The padded vinyl tops might be mocked now but can you tell me even one styling or trim “feature” on current vehicles that displays any type of uniqueness or style. Hell I’m a lifelong car guy and nowadays you cant tell one round blob from the next. With that said I’d opt for a skylark sport coupe padded vinyl roof and all over the new junk.

    Like 8
  18. John C.

    There you go, get the bumper fillers, do a nice tuneup/clean up on the engine, see what else minor that it may need, and you have a decent car, won’t have to worry about other cars not seeing you in traffic with that color.

    Like 1
  19. bone

    Buick did have a name for the paint – Its “Bright Yellow”

    Like 0
  20. Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

    Listing update, this one is now listed at $9,800.

    Like 0
  21. Night Heron

    When at one time all the Switches were on the Dash and the Headlight Dimmer Switch was on the floor and you clicked it with your left foot

    Like 0

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