401/4-Speed: 1966 Buick Skylark GS

While it isn’t perfect, this 1966 Buick Skylark GS is a turn-key classic that can hold its head high as an original and unmolested survivor. Its V8/4-speed drivetrain combination offers the promise of winning performance, and with 89,000 miles on the clock, it should have plenty of life left in it for the next owner. Located in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, you will find this Buick listed for sale here on eBay. While the bidding has reached $25,700, this remains short of the reserve.

I would describe the Burgundy Mist paint that graces this classic’s panels as being a good 10-footer. It holds an impressive shine for original paint of this age, but it shows some checking and crazing. None of this is severe, and the car remains very presentable. If the buyer decides to leave it untouched, keeping the vehicle waxed should slow further progress and minimize the chances of corrosion developing. The panels are as straight as an arrow, and you get the impression that this vehicle has been cared for throughout its life. The seller doesn’t mention any rust issues, and there are none visible in the supplied photos. The lack of visible surface corrosion across all aspects of this Buick suggests that the underside might be clean and structurally sound. Otherwise, the trim and wheels are in excellent order, and there’s no evidence of significant flaws with the glass.

Lifting the hood of this GS reveals a drivetrain that should offer fun motoring when the gas pedal is depressed. What we find is the venerable 401ci “Nailhead” V8 that produced 325hp in its prime. The original owner also chose to equip this classic with a 4-speed manual transmission and a Posi rear end. Pointed at a ¼ mile, this Skylark should devour the distance in a flat 15 seconds. The engine presents about as well as you might expect from an unrestored classic of this age. However, this car is about more than mere appearance. The owner says that the V8 roars into life with a quick turn of the key and that it rolls down the road smoothly. The 4-speed shifts cleanly, and he states that it is guaranteed to put a smile on your face when you bury the right foot. He lists the mileage as 89,000 but doesn’t mention whether he holds evidence to verify this reading as original. However, he does have the Owner’s Manual, Service Book, and the original Build Sheet.

If the exterior of this Buick presents well, the interior is even better. The owner describes its condition as perfect, and once you examine the supplied photos, it’s hard to argue the point. The Black vinyl on the seats shows no evidence of wear or sun-rot, while the remaining upholstered surfaces are in a similar state. The carpet is close to showroom fresh, while the dash, pad, and headliner continue this consistent trend of excellence. It looks like it would be a pleasant place to while away the time, and while it isn’t loaded with luxury features, a pushbutton radio should provide entertainment on the move.

As an original and unmolested survivor, you could be sure that this 1966 Skylark GS would turn heads wherever it goes. It has one strong attribute as a classic buy, and that’s its lack of complete perfection. Owning a flawless classic car is a wonderful experience, and I’m not going to try to convince you otherwise. However, it comes with a drawback that many people don’t consider. They look fantastic in a garage or parked at a Cars & Coffee, but the thought of what damage could be inflicted by an errant stone on the journey to that Cars & Coffee can cause some owners to become stressed. If this reaches a high enough level, it can sap the enjoyment out of the experience. If the same thing happened with this car, it would be disappointing, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I also think that the bidding is probably getting close to the point where it will hit the reserve, so those two factors combine to make this a tempting proposition. Is it attractive enough that you might consider pursuing it further?

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Comments

  1. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    This is an awesome ’66 Skylark GS and the first factory four-speed I’ve seen. I think whoever buys it will continue to see the exterior paint deteriorate unless it’s meticulously attended to and kept in the dry.

    Like 11
  2. Troy s

    You won’t find pieces of artwork like this on the new car lots, actually for decades. Nice ride.

    Like 19
    • JoeNYWF64

      Forget about styling – today, you won’t even find a SINGLE! new Buick CAR anymore, let alone a 2 door, let alone choice of sedan, hardtop, convertible or wagon, let alone rear wheel drive, let alone with more than 15 colors avail outside, & more than 5 inside, let alone with at least 50 separate distinct options(meaning affordable to be BOUGHT not leased), let alone fairly priced overall. One word today – greed.
      I think Ford, Chevy & Buick all made BIG mistakes not selling retro versions of their intermediates almost a decade & a half ago!
      Still nothing! The bean counters must be sleeping.
      Only Dodge was/is smart enough to.
      Also odd Dodge & Ford had/has nothing PRICEWISE to compete with the wildly successful Corvette(even before mid engined) – they both sure have the motors.

      Like 4
      • 1-mac

        THe government is controlling the auto businees. No way would they make any rear drive cars like these at all. WE are lucky to have Corvette,Camaro,Mustang, and challenger/Charger. They will no be around long.

  3. Matt

    Absolutely beautiful car. Great lines then that still look amazing today. My grandfather owned a ‘67, V8 auto red/black vinyl top black interior. They sold it to my older brother who put mags on it and jacked it up with air shocks…oh well, it was the early ‘80’s. Buick, “Going Fast with Class”.

    Like 7
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    Bought our ’66 off the dealer lot with our ’65 Corvair as trade. Wife said she wanted an AC with wheels so our black vinyl top over silver grey 2 door full trim filled the bill. Great car, quick and comfortable, and and one of the best looking on the road. Nice car here.

    Like 12
  5. A.G.

    This a very attractive car. The new owner should tend to the corrosion at the doors’ trailing lower corner. It’s not very bad especially for a 55 year old car but it can only get worse. Other than that and maybe a drivetrain rebuild/recondition this car is just about perfect as it sits.

    Like 8
  6. Chris M.

    Really nice car and I’m guessing rare with the 4 gear.

    Like 9
  7. Chris M.

    Really nice car and I’m guessing rare with a 4 gear.

    Like 1
  8. Tim961

    If I remember correctly, The 445 on the air cleaner was the torque number?

    Like 8
    • LarryS Member

      Yes. If believe that this was the only year that the 401 nailhead was painted red in the GS instead of the traditional Buick green. Beautiful car. Like it almost as much as the ’65 – still in love with the wall-to-wall taillights of the ’65 GS.

      Like 5
    • Troy s

      Correct.
      401- 445 advertised torque
      425-465 ” “””, although not allowed in the Skylark.

      Like 1
      • LarryS Member

        I think at that point in time GM was enforcing a prohibition on engines with greater than 400 cubic inches in midsize cars. I guess Buick got a special dispensation for that 1 cubic inch.

        Like 2
  9. Cav427

    Question to the more educated on this matter, how do the valves hold up on unleaded fuel?

    Like 2
    • DBW31

      If you have concerns, just add 4oz. of Marvel Mystery Oil to every tank of gas, and you’ll be fine.

      Like 3
  10. bobhess bobhess Member

    Cav427. Probably not too good but putting hardened valve seats in is a pretty simple operation for engine builders.

    Like 5
  11. Steve Weiman

    Now THATS a wonderful original car! All business light 4 speed car. The high watermark as the last and best hot rod nailhead Buick……..

    Like 7
  12. CCFisher

    I feel like half of the ’66-67 Skylark GSs were this color.

    Like 1
    • Paul T.

      Mine was a blue/green metallic with matching interior. Fast car and great highway cruiser.

      Like 1
  13. George Mattar

    Valve seat wear is total BS. In the 90s, leaded gas was long gone. I drove my 65 Impala at turnpike speeds a minimum of 60 miles per day for work. At 150,000 miles it sustained a broken piston ring and was using way too much oil due to leaks and the dreaded Chevy rubber valve stems turning to concrete. During the rebuild, the machine shop found little if any valve seat recession. This Buick is beautiful and simple. When GM ruled the world. Today, build total junk.

    Like 3
    • Cav427

      Actually then wear may be premature, but no where near a major problem on a running older car. Makes me less hesitant to get one from this time period.

    • Cav427

      Should have said that premature wear means valve job around 100K Miles, not 150 or more. And I do agree, think there was a lot more care put into older vehicles (Pre 1970’s) since it was a bit more than a car, it was an an individuals expression of self.

      Like 2
  14. jnard90 jnard90 Member

    Outstanding vehicle. Love the high performance Buicks. And a 4 speed! Perfect.

    Like 1
  15. Utes

    Final nailhead year……..sad.

    Like 1
  16. Joe Scorca

    My first car was a ’66 Skylark GS, though a pillar coupe. Black w white vinyl top and a 4 speed. Mine had bucket seats, w a console. The factory tach was at the front end of the console. You had to take your eyes off the road to see the tach. Go figure. Those were the days!

    Like 1
  17. Rick Rubis

    I had a yellow ’66 GS 4 spd with black vinyl top when I got out of the Army back in 1966 when I went looking for that car again what I ended up with is aa ’67 GS400 Champagne Mist 4 spd with Black Vinyl Top that I still have and enjoy today. I bought my ’66 because no one in town had one and now when I go to car cruises I am still usually the only one there with one.

    Like 3
  18. Cattoo Cattoo Member

    My ‘66 Skylark was $400 back in ‘84-‘85 when I got it. At the time I didn’t know about the Gran Sport option but soon learned of it. Missing the 400 and 4sp it still had the 340 gm made with the 2sp power slide transmission. Was a great car and miss it often. I love the red this GS wears.

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