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Buick Or Not? 1980 Buick Skylark Limited

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This is a 1980 Buick Skylark Limited and it’s on eBay with a current bid price of just over $600 and a Buy It Now price of $2,999. It’s located in beautiful Rutherfordton, North Carolina. There is less than a day left to jump on the Buick bandwagon!

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Some folks may say that this car isn’t a “Buick”, and I guess in the classic sense of “Buick”, maybe it isn’t. But, nobody will win an argument if they say that it isn’t literally a Buick, because it is. And, from looking at the photos it’s a nice one. Whether it’s “just a GM X-Body car” or not, it’s still probably the nicest version of any of the GM X-Body cars because.. well, because it’s a Buick.

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1980 was the first year for the way-downsized Buick Skylark which shared a ton of parts (literally) from the other X-Body cars: the Chevrolet Citation, Oldsmobile Omega, and the Pontiac Phoenix. This was also the first front-wheel-drive variation of the Skylark which actually shouldn’t have been too surprising to anyone who lived through that era, that’s the way that most cars were headed.

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There are no engine photos, unfortunately, but this car is powered by “the optional LE2 V6 115 HP starts and runs smooth”, according to the seller. This car has new tires, excellent brakes, and the steering is tight. It sure looks fantastic from the photos. The interior is very nice, but without power windows I almost join the camp that doesn’t consider this car a “Buick”! What an era when a Buick didn’t have standard power windows, but as we know, lots of cars in this era didn’t have power windows as standard equipment. That’s unheard of today. I think this would be a decent car for someone who grew up in this era to just beat around in or for a winter car, what do you think? I’m guessing that it’ll sell for around two-grand, it should be a decent car for that money, shouldn’t it be?


  1. rmward194 Member

    A no frills top of the line Limited model. No tilt wheel, cruise control or power options. At least is has the V-6!

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  2. Blueprint

    Just like K-cars, these things were compact, roomy and offered great visibility, and great winter traction. My first and only Buick was a ’78 LeSabre, a bare-bones car with no a/c and nothing powered. So for me, yeah this X-car is a Buick!

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  3. Paul

    Yes, at least it is a V-6, but hey, come on, why not save these cars. They may not appreciate in value, but who knows. The money is right and it is in great condition. I think this car should have antique plates on it and driven on Sunday afternoon drives, remember them? Have you ever driven down a street and almost broken your neck snapping it around at a passing car saying; HOLY COW that was a Citation, Omega or a Phoenix??? I haven’t seen one of those in decades. Now, is there a smile on your face? Sure is. And just as exciting to see as seeing one of your favorite cars heading down the road. It’s not about the money, appreciation or depreciation, it is about preserving automotive history, no matter what level it demands. What great money this car, oh, and yes, it is a V-6… If I had the space to ensure it was inside, I would do it. Just think about it.

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    • Scott

      I am so glad you said this! I totally agree! I owned one of these for years and drove it daily until it was 20 years old. It was super luxurious, quiet, and nice because it was small! My friend called it a “junior LeSabre” – which is completely accurate. Why would someone suggest using it as a winter car or a beater?? Way too nice for that! It should be preserved and used to go to shows in!

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  4. dirtyharry

    I was given one of these as a “company car.” I remember it well, as I hated it so much. It was a 4 banger with a 4 speed on the floor. It ran well, but apparently the shocks came off a moped, as it wallowed around just like the old larger Buicks. I routinely thrashed it, hoping it would break and I would be given a different car. No luck, it was apparently indestructible.

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  5. Kincer Dave Member

    Alot of people forget about how cars were optioned back then, some are too young to remember, and some just take it for granted because nowadays every car even base models come loaded up. Back then if you had power equipment like locks and windows it was ordered that way, hell even AC wasn’t standard and all those extras were luxury items. I miss the days when you could pick and choose your options, guess I’m old fashioned lol

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  6. Bob S

    Oh, I had that mistaken for a Cadillac. Don’t think I will be collecting 80’s GM cars . The plastic rusts.

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  7. Rando

    ” I think this would be a decent car for someone who grew up in this era to just beat around in” – I grew up in that era, I guess. I was 14 when this was new and it wasn’t exciting then. I see no reason to own it, BUT I do agree with Paul that it is a nice example from that era and someone should preserve it as part of automotive history and it isn’t rusted away like so many others of that era. I do remember when AC was an option, much less power windows/locks.

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  8. jaymes

    I always thought the parking lights were on the wrong side of the headlamps

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    • Kincer Dave Member

      Yeah I agree on that, they were later moved to the other side of the headlights but not sure what year but they looked better once they did it.

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    These were the cars that were to epitomize the death spiral of GM. The once proud nameplates that were about to be given a facelift that would render them unrecognizable had begun. Grill assemblies, turn signals, and badging were all.that was left to set them apart. Badges?…..we don’t need no stinkin badges…Nice steering wheel condom. That, represents what the 80’s were about to bring to automotive design.

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  10. Brian

    I would think that a real car guy would buy this in a heartbeat. And then have it crushed.

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  11. David Wilk Member

    My grandfather owned five cars in his long lifetime (he died at 96 years of age, still driving, though that was really scary). Sadly, his last car was one of these Buick Skylarks. When he died it was offered to me for free – like a lot of old man cars, it had really low miles. I turned it down. That is all you need to know about what I think of these GM X-cars.

    (My grandfather’s earlier cars were a lot nicer – three Cadillacs and of all things, a Humber.)

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  12. Ken Nelson Member

    The X cars – best thing about them was the hatch versions – could haul a ton of stuff! And the cloth upholstery has to be the toughest fabric I’ve ever seen – my two sons couldn’t hurt it a bit – wore like iron.
    Worst thing was the tendency to do donuts due to badly balanced rear brakes! Happened to my ex one fall day on wet, twisty, wooded road in W. Bloomfield, Mi. – We’d just gotten the car, she braked in a slight curve, car ended up between two trees which would’ve totaled it. Luckily she was ok. I took car back to same spot a couple hrs after her episode, touched brakes, & YUP! There she went, but was ready for it & caught it. We’d had the rear brakes changed, I took it back home in put in new OEMs as the shop had used aftermkt ones, & I figured the difference in linings was the culprit – seemed to work. Forgot to mention, just before this, she was driving the car somewhere and lost the brakes in a parking lot. I went there, found the corner shop which had replaced the rears with the bad shoes had also failed to seat the big snap ring GM’s cheapo cost accountants had used to hold the rear cyls in place, and one side had popped off, letting the cylinder go cockeyed in the drum and blow out the piston! What idiots, and what a cheap ass design! Made sure it snapped into its groove, & all was sort of well…..don’t think I’ve seen that cheap trick since –

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  13. Skip

    Nice little car regardless of which body they used. I personally like the smaller size. My parents had a ’61 Buick Special which was a small car and I loved driving it; but my mom liked bigger cars so we only had it a year or so, and it was back to a big Chrysler for her.

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  14. Christopher

    The only reason I would be interested in it is a good friend had one exactly like it. My grandparents had an ’83 in gray with wine interior. By 83 most of the bugs were gone from the X cars.

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  15. Jim J

    Hey I don’t know, but I have a tilt steering column for it. Right color and everything, including the shift lever with the cruise switch. It installs in about a hour.

    $100 bucks plus freight!

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  16. Roselandpete

    Not a bad little car but when I think of what Skylarks were like in the 60’s.

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  17. Charles

    I had one (a 1980) like it in the late 1980s that was blue with a blue vinyl roof and an L4 engine. I liked the design and the roominess. Unfortunately it required excessive maintenance (especially brakes) and despite a lot of room under the hood it was difficult to get to anything. For example it had all the hoses and tubes ran in between the engine and the radiator making access horrible. It also had braces from both strut towers to the frame the radiator was attached to blocking access even further. Not a lot of fond memories here.

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  18. Jeff s.

    In 1980, Mom bought a 1980 model after a snowy test drive too her uphill, passing a Jeep that could not make the same hill. I drove it on some trips through WV, and that little 4-cyl would wind up tight, but never failed. Comfy on two long distance trips to SC and FL. have been looking for one for a while. Sorry to have missed it.

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