20 Years In Storage: 1962 Buick Skylark

In mid-1961, Buick came out with a special Special, a Skylark, and in 1962 it became a separate model. This 1962 Buick Skylark can be found here on craigslist in Chili, New York, just southwest of Rochester. The seller is asking $3,500. Thanks to Ikey H. for another nice find!

The first photo is the only semi-overall photo of the car, unfortunately. The others are portions and pieces of it and it’s hard to tell the condition from those photos. It does have some soft spots and I can’t tell if it’s been restored in the past or repainted and the seller doesn’t give any info on it, really, just saying that it has been in a garage for the last two decades and hasn’t been driven. There is no info about the condition which is unfortunate, but they give a phone number to call them for additional info.

The Buick Special in this era would be made for 1961, 1962, and 1963 and the Skylark was available starting in mid-1961. The Special was related to GM’s other offerings of the Oldsmobile F-85 and Pontiac’s Tempest and it became a separate model in 1962. The interior in this car looks pretty nice to me or, again, what we see of it. The seats are in need of some work but the dash looks beautiful, other than some pitting on the radio face.

The engine is Buick’s revolutionary aluminum 215 cubic-inch V8 and with a 4-barrel carb it had 185 hp. Hagerty is at $4,200 for a #4 fair condition 1962 Skylark so this one appears to be priced pretty fairly if the body condition checks out. Have any of you owned a 1961 to 1963 Buick Special or Skylark?


  1. Big_Fun Member

    I’ve heard horror stories about the 215 aluminum V8, but those are from the Stag owners. However, this car, driven sparingly, like most old classics are, just might be a fun ride without always having to worry too much about the reputation of that V8!
    The period colors in/out may draw a crowd at cruise night. I love the little details – the dash clock, color keyed floor mats and the wrap around tail light design. Had to laugh, the right rear hubcap is from 1980-85 Skylark, but doesn’t look out of place. I wouldn’t mind this at all…

    Like 8
    • Rick

      The Stag V8 was an entirely different engine!

      Like 11
    • Big_Fun Member

      I THINK is was offered in the Triumph Stag. Someone I know had this engine in a foreign make and hated it. Ah, the passage of time…can’t remember what I thought I did! Or something like that.

      Like 4
      • CJinSD

        The Stag engine was essentially two overhead-cam Triumph-Saab fours on a common crank. The Buick-Oldsmobile 215 V8 tooling was purchased by Rover, and used in many English cars including the Triumph TR8, Range Rover, Rover 3500, various TVRs, and the Morgan Plus 8.

        It is worth mentioning that the Stag V8 was as bad as owning a Saab 99 and a Triumph TR7 simultaneously and many an owner replaced the Stag V8 with a Buick-Olds 215 or Rover 3.5.

        Like 13
      • Ralph

        Nope, not ever never ever.

        Like 1
    • Bill Wilkman

      Triumph opted to build it’s own V8 in lieu of using the Buick V8. That decision is one of several that automotive historians say led to the failure of the Stag.

    • Tommy

      worked on these when I was a kid, friends sister had one. used to blow the spark plugs out of the heads.

    • Steve

      I actually bought the other car he had for sale next to this one. A 62 Buick Skylark convert. The car you see here is pretty solid and close to complete. That motor in it is the cast iron V-6 not the Alum. V-8. The price is fair. These cars can be brought back to life pretty easy. Shocks are not available. I ended up making my own top bracket [simple] to install Corvair shocks on the front and modified the upper area mount in the rear to install 80’s Ford Ranger Pickup shocks. Auto tranny had leak in the 2 piece convertor and a place in Ohio had seals in stock and very helpful. Found them in Hemmings.

  2. geezerglide85

    I had a ’63 Skylark with this motor and didn’t have any problems, but I didn’t have too long. Bought it in ’73 for $100, sold it a year later for $125. I heard GM sold the tooling to British Leyland and it was used in the Range Rovers. They should have kept it to use in the Cadillacs instead of the horrendous 4100. I had one of those to, but that is another long sad story.

    Like 9
  3. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    I always liked theses G.M cars, but the Olds F-85 was my favorite. The Pontiac with its weird driveline turned me off, and I just liked the grill on the Olds better than the Buick, and I’m a Buick lover. My current classic is a 64 Buick Riviera that I love dearly.
    God bless America

    Like 11
    • Dave

      My first car was a 63 Olds F85 Cutlass convertible. I traded the owner a Royce CB radio in the spring of 1974. Ran hot as Hades, sold it to a kid from Olean, NY. He said that it had the best heater he’d ever seen. It was unstoppable in the snow as well.

      Like 6
  4. CJinSD

    That right rear wheel sure looks like it came off a later X-car Skylark from the early ’80s. I like these GM compacts, but I would be worried about a 215 V8 that’s been sitting for so long. I hope it isn’t seized, and that there isn’t meaningful corrosion in the cooling passages.

    Like 4
  5. Bill Member

    My brother had a 1961 Special in this same color. Had the 215 V 8.
    Was the nicest car in the family at the time. When I got my license I took my first solo ride in that car. My brother drove it for years. Finally totaled it in Flagstaff, AZ. when he got it stuck in a giant snow bank and the snow plow came by that night and made short work of it.

    Like 7
  6. Ike Onick

    And the location is pronounced “Chi-LYE” Not “Chilly” We also have a Charlotte around here pronounced “SHAR-lot”

    Like 4
  7. ccrvtt

    My first car was a 1962 Oldsmobile F-85 Cutlass convertible in maroon metallic with a red interior, bucket seats, and console. It had at least 90 coats of Classic Car Wax.

    The 215 was a smooth, relatively powerful engine, with a 4bbl carb and rated at 185 hp. By the time it had accumulated 48,000 miles I took it to a used car lot and the guy got in and floored it. “Yep, it’s got the blow by. I’ll give ya $250 for it.”

    The B-O-P “compacts” could be had with higher trim levels than the offerings from other manufacturers and were a very nice-sized vehicle, but that all went away in 1964.

    I’d be sorely tempted to trade my C6 for a nice example like the one I had.

    Like 5
  8. Bradshaw from Primer

    I owned two 215 engines and olds and a buick….they had diffeent con rod nuts!!! each had apparently been designed totall separately !!!!! oLds had a wedge combustion chamber, buick had a pent roof…..amazing!!! In a R&T story from the time the writer tells of selling his 356 and getting a Tempest with a 215 v8!! i never knew pontiac sold the v8 , i wonder if it had the rope drive….would seem that it would have to….in that year model.

    Like 4
    • Mountainwoodie

      I had a ’63 LeMans Convertible, rope drive and the V-8. Only downside was the slushbox with the shifter on the dash, but then I’m not partial to slushboxes.

      They are a really well balanced car. Traded it in ’99 for ….wait for it……..an early ’68 911 S soft window Targa!…which ran like a bat out of hell.

      Jeez the cars I’ve given up! Dummy!

      I like these small bodies B-O-P’s but gotta have a shifter :)

  9. Mark Epperson Member

    I had a 1962 that I had through college until I bought a 1968 Firebird 400. Great car, had a lot of pep with the V8 and the only thing I changed out was the water pump. I sold it to a family friend’s wife and she drove it for another 10 years.

    Like 1
  10. Philip Bregar

    I bought a 62 Special convertible while in high school, and it had two pistons with holes, and smoked terribly. I finall stuck a junk yard engine in it and drove it for a while with no other problems. I enjoyed the car while I had it.

    Like 2
  11. Jim mindy

    When I met my wife in 1965 she had a 1962 Buick Special Convertible. Powder blue with the same interior as the ad car except, of course, blue. We towed my MGB to Denver the following year and were married there. I recall the transmission started throwing fluid midway in the trip. Traded it for a 1965 VW Camper . I also lived in Rochester, NY when the sale car was new and can’t believe it is not painted over rust molecules.

    Like 3
  12. Terry Johnson

    The 215 Buick engine was a real jewel, but too expensive to produce for the car’s price point. As said, the Brits bought it and used it up until 2006 in various forms of development and in a variety of vehicles. It was/is a popular engine for kit cars and swapping into small lightweight vehicles. As is typical with aluminum engines, electrolysis can be an issue so proper maintenance of the cooling system was required. The 215 was also the parent of the famous GM Buick V-6 engine ( later in Jeeps) that was listed in “Ward’s 10 Best Engines of the 20th Century”. Finally in 2008 that great engine ended production.
    Not many engine designs can boast of lasting a half a century. :-) Terry J

    Like 3
  13. Del

    Wow. Nice.

    A rare find at a great price.

    Best find on here today. Lotta dogs

    Like 2
  14. Bill Wilkman

    I wanted one of these when I was a lad around 1966. Failing to fine one, I ended up buying a 1963 Ford Fairlane, a car that I loved dearly. When I was drafted into the Army in 1971, I had my brother sell it. Wish I’d just let him drive it so I could take it over after discharge.

    Like 1
  15. Marshall

    My uncle Ken bought a new teal colored four-door Buick skylark sedan in 1962. I don’t know what engine it had in it. I believe he had it until 1973. He once told me over the phone how that car was one of the best cars he ever owned, having put on 130,000 miles with “never a problem with it“. But finally, it flunked a NH state inspection. In 1974, his wife, Aunt Dot, told me that they could have spent about $500 to repair the rust. But they agreed that it would not have been worth it on such an old car. And so they traded it in on a new 1973(?) Buick Skylark. Ken and Dot were a G.I. generation couple that only bought new Buick’s.

    Like 1
  16. bigdoc

    One of the best looking Buicks IMHO.

  17. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Nice and IIIIIIDENTICAL !!!!!!

  18. Blackcatprowl

    Check to see that the motor mount hasn’t pulled out of the engine.

  19. Bigdrag

    Definitely a repaint! Overspray on the trunk seal and much of the trim.

  20. Randy

    My Grandfather gave me his V8 4 door ’62 Skylark when I was 17 (1973). Like a clueless kid, I let it go for scrap once I had “explored” the unusual engine.

  21. Christopher A. Junker

    Family friends in Irondequoit NY, north of Chili bought a ’62 Buick 215 convertible with the 4 spd. Really pretty car with lots of pep. However Rochester, and all of Monroe County were at the time, and probably still are, notorious for the excessive winter usage of road salt and the car was quickly rusted out. Chili or Charlotte non-withstanding, the subject car needs to be carefully checked throughout for road salt damage. Nice find.

  22. don

    My cousin in Scotland used to own a Rover 3500 . In the early 1980s he came over here with his parents for a vacation. He wanted to swap out the Rover intake system for a U.S style ,so we ended up scouring local junkyards and found a 4 barrel 215 in a 4 door Skylark . It was in the “to be crushed” pile ,so he didn’t pay much for the carb and intake . The only problem arose when he tried to get it through the airport security when he went home ; I guess it looked like a bomb or something to the x ray people , so there was all sorts of commotion until he explained what it was. His parents were so embarrassed !

  23. Erich

    Going to look at it tomorrow.

  24. Amy

    I bought a car just like this in sept 2021. LOVE it, everything is original it had 35,978 documented miles it looks like it just came from the dealer its so clean and prestine. My is the 215 V8 high performance 4 barrel Super fast. I love how buick made the pedals match the interior.. get little touch

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