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Low Cost Survivor: 1978 Buick Skyhawk


Listed as a true barn find, this Buick Skyhawk GM H-body looks to be in remarkably original condition! It’s listed here on eBay, but you’d better hurry as there isn’t much time left. Thanks to Barry D. for this great find! Bidding has been heavy with 40 bids so far, but the amount is still really low at $1,075 with no reserve as I write! Looks like a bargain to me!


Along with the Chevrolet Monza, Oldsmobile Starfire and Pontiac Sunbird, these grown up Vegas were quite stylish in their day, although they shared enough styling to be difficult to distinguish from each other. For example, apart from the center emblems, these plastic & stainless wheel covers are identical to the Monza ones. Apart from some faded paint, this car really looks nice! I know I’d avoid a repaint if at all possible–it’s only original once! Can anyone tell if this is a factory sunroof or an aftermarket one?


With only 58,716 miles and a useful hatchback as well as an automatic transmission, this could be a useful daily driver for just about anyone. Parts availability apart from trim is still pretty good and there are plenty of performance parts available if you want to upgrade it some, although I’d leave this one stock.


The interior looks great aside from some unusual discoloration on the dash. I like the traditional Buick sport steering wheel and the blue and white works for me. The seller also says the air conditioning is “ice” cold.


While the back seat looks nice, I remember them as being pretty tight for full-size folks. I can’t argue with the great condition, though.


All Skyhawks were outfitted with the Buick 231 cubic inch V6, and this one looks completely stock, including the pollution equipment (the seller included a passing pollution test as one of the pictures). Why couldn’t you buy this as a daily driver? It’s simple, relatively easy to work on and has lots of parts availability. Would you drive this survivor?


  1. Skip

    Very nice. Haven’t seen one of these in many years. Hope someone grabs it!

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  2. edh

    I’d take the iron duke over the 3.8L Buick, but I’d rather pass on the whole car. These were not very good vehicles from a time when bad was the norm.

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  3. DrinkinGasoline

    I guess I’m just gettin’ old. At 56, to view this as a survivor…wow, time surely doth march’ed on.

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  4. jeff

    most likely an aftermarket sunroof… my 78 Monza Spyder’s factory sunroof slid back on top of the roof… fun car with a 305 V8, manual trans, and 10 bolt posi rear… quick for 1978

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  5. Duane

    With a Maaco paint job, general repairs and touch-up, you will have 2K+ in a 6-cyl, auto transmission car that I think will be a hard sell over 2,500.00. With a different engine/trans. set-up it might be fun to take a chance.

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    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Why would you paint it Duane? The Maaco job would peel off in two years and look worse than what you see here. Why not just polish it and fix the issues along the way. Skip the respray and you might still come out ahead when it’s time to sell.

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      • DrinkinGasoline

        Ahhh….someone has a soft spot. :)

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  6. rdc

    Kind of nice. I would have the front plastic panel repainted by a quality shop. Replace any broken or extremely worn trim etc. These are all things I would do to just maintain a car.

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  7. Vegaman_Dan

    I’ve had a few, including this very same blue model with the weird front grill. Sunroof was a factory option. No sunshade was included.

    The Buick 231 even fire V6 is still desirable by Jeep owners. This is the engine the Chevrolet Vega was supposed to have, but the Ford Pinto was released early and GM was forced to throw in the 2.3L four cylinder before it was fully tested which resulted in the early engine failures. Imagine if they had come out with the V6 factory stock. Vega body styling, V6 performance, that would have been a popular car indeed.

    Today if I were to get one, I’d hunt for a 4.3L V6 to drop in.

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  8. Todd

    Got to drive my Step Dad’s 1979 Skyhawk at times when I turned 16. The 231 v6 4speed combination was a lot of fun first learning how to slam gears. For what it was it got up and moved pretty good. A couple of my first street races were won in this car. Good Times.

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  9. RandyS

    Best looking hub caps to ever come out of Detroit

    Like 1
  10. charlie Member

    And unlike the Vega 4 door or wagon, the body was tight on the coupe and felt solid, and with the V6 rather than the 4,it went pretty well.

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  11. VR LIVES

    My buddy got his Dad’s 1978 Chevy Monza that was his company car. It was an.ugly brownish color, base model that was as plain Jane as they come. BUT, it had a 305 V8 and a 4 speed. Best sleeper car ever, it bested Camaros , Mustangs, ‘and gave the rest a run for their money. We won enough money to buy beer and gas for quite a while. It is so fun to mess with a guys head when it comes to his car.

    Like 0

    Now this is something you drop an LS into

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    • Bill W

      Would need lots of modifications to suspension and frame. This car just can not handle the extra weight of a huge engine

      Like 0
  13. rmward194 Member

    Love the white interior. Can’t get that today. Those were the days!

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  14. Kent Pearson

    can’t get anything but beige or grey.

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  15. Duane

    Jesse: I’d only buy the car to re-sell it, and it needs paint to have exterior & interior quality match for a much easier sale. (most potential buyers would deduct for needed paint, anyway) I’ve had three nice Maaco paint jobs done by hand-picked shops , all three stayed nice !!

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  16. Ck

    Yank out the V6 drop in a small block or LS paint it satin black, with the white interior it will look sweet . Then proceed to have fun smokin the tires on the weekend ‘s. A friend of mine had a monza spider with a V8 and a 4spd these cars are verry kool .

    Like 0

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