Blue Plate: 1972 Buick Skylark Sportwagon

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I’m sorry that station wagons have pretty much gone the way of the passenger pigeon, at least in the U.S. I learned to drive on one and have driven many over the years. And it seems like you can get more “stuff” in a station wagon than a current model CUV. Nevertheless, station wagons do remain popular with the old car set and there is definitely collectability to certain models. That being the case, let’s take a look at a 1972 Buick Skylark wagon, located in Costa Mesa, California and available here on eBay for a current bid of $6,100, reserve not yet met. Thanks to local_sheriff for this tip!

In ’72, the Buick Skylark wagon shared the same basic Fisher Body greenhouse and architectural structure as did its corporate cousins, the Chevrolet Chevelle, Pontiac LeMans and Oldsmobile Cutlass versions. Regardless of marque, all were placed on the same 116″ wheelbase chassis and from ’69 forward, had the same two-way tailgate, opening down like a traditional gate or out like a door. The overall package created an airy, forward, attractive non-typical station wagon presence.

This particular example is finished in what appears to be Emerald Mist Metallic and it has a nice luster to it. The body of this Sport Wagon is like new, no evidence of dings, dents, crashes or rust. The trim and brightwork are all present too and look like new (though the “t” in the above-pictured badge looks like it has rear-ended the “r”). This is a lifelong California car so that certainly helps explain its excellent condition, but still, I wonder how one can keep a car looking this strong for 48 years. Finishing off the exterior are Buick “Sport” wheels which do wonders for the most mundane Buick model. BFG Radial T/A tires with their white letters, a matter of individual discretion, are worn well on this wagon.

The interior’s condition is an extension of the exterior’s presentation, it’s white and appears untouched. There’s no word specifically referencing the interior but it wouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that it has undergone some (or a lot) of refurbishment, especially considering this Skylark’s 135K miles. Even the way-back looks unscathed, quite a trick for a station wagon, at least anyone that I ever owned. Actually, the Buick Skylark sales brochure for ’72 references white interior availability in Madrid-grain vinyl, but not for a Sportwagon model so this interior may not be original unless it is considered “Sandlewood” which was available in the wagon. Whatever, it looks fabulous. Finally, this Buick is equipped with power windows, power rear window and air-conditioning but apparently the A/C compressor is on the fritz.

Motivating all of this Buick excellence is a 350 CI, V8 engine that was originally rated at 150 net HP. The seller indicates that the engine has freshly rebuilt cylinder heads and a carburetor, along with a Magnaflow dual exhaust system so the power output should be a bit enhanced; he further adds, “runs smooth.” Gear changing is handled by a Turbo-Hydramatic, three-speed, automatic transmission.

This is an absolutely sharp-looking wagon and it is in over the top condition, especially considering its mileage. It has been parked/stored well! As with the interior, it wouldn’t be a surprise to learn that this wagon has had some noteworthy cosmetic work bestowed upon its exterior. Station wagons are a little harder to figure on value, at least compared to their hardtop versions. There are two days to go with this auction and it’s hard to say where the reserve has been set, but it will be worth watching. While the cylinder head work is a benefit, the basic short-block has a lot of miles on it – something to consider depending upon how a new owner intends to use this wagon. I’m beyond needing a station wagon these days, but if I were interested, I’d give this one a close look. It could be worth it, don’t you think?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Nice wagon.
    God bless America

    Like 5

    Not a Sport Wagon, those used the same roof as Vista cruisers, this is a standard wagon, still nice though…

    Like 1
    • CCFisher

      Starting in 1970, SportWagons used the 116″ wheelbase and body of the standard GM midsized wagons.

      Like 1
    • GS owner

      You’re wrong,, it is a Sport Wagon,, however 1969 was the last year they had the windows in the roof,, the 1970, 71 & 72’s did not have the roof windows.

      Like 0
  3. CCFisher

    Nice find!

    It’s horrible nitpicking, I know, but the “Sheldon Cooper” in me just can’t let it go:

    Midsize GM wagons moved to the 116″ wheelbase in 1968, except Vista Cruiser and SportWagon, which rode a 121″ span. The dual-action tailgate came along for 1969, but it was not standard across the entire GM midsize wagon line. Starting in 1970, SportWagon was demoted to the standard 116″ wheelbase. It lost some pizazz in the process.

    Like 0
  4. stillrunners

    Where’s Bruce ?

    Like 0
  5. Dougie

    I always liked these wheels.

    Like 6

    Why is it almost everyone of these I see the front bumper is pushed in in the middle pointy part, this one is pristine…

    Like 0
  7. local_sheriff

    CC is correct; from ’70 onwards there wasn’t more ‘sportwagon’ about the Sportwagon other than the name, it was a trim package only on the regular WB. I didn’t know it either until I spotted this one. The Vista kept the stretched and glassed original concept though. Buick would reintroduce their fullsize wagon that year being gone by ’65, so the ‘true’ 120inch WB Sportwagon was probably deleted to make life easier for the new model.

    I’m pretty sure many enthusiasts, me included, find it sad that the features that make a Sportwagon sparkle are gone on this model. However, we also know how popular unmolested longroofs are nowadays and I’d definately be among the bidders if I didn’t have a wagon already – if its IRL condition is like presented here I wouldn’t be surprised should someone be tempted to push the BIN button

    Like 2
  8. racer417

    Despite the owner’s listing, these were never called Skylarks.

    Like 0
    • Pete Phillips

      Well, they are based on the Skylark series intermediate cars from Buick–same dash, same engines, same wheelbase, same front clip–so I don’t think it is misleading to describe them that way.

      Like 1
  9. PatrickM

    Bidding at $8,100.00. It oughtta go soon. I really like these things. I agree with all the comments about wagons being a dying breed. Mu wallets says I can’t justify the price…and the parking around here is miserable. So…

    Like 0
  10. Gray Wolf

    On the contrary, the popularity of the wagons has gone up! You see more of these being pulled out and put up for sale. Most of them have been stripped of parts to fix their 2-door models, or made into chicken coupes.

    Like 1
  11. GCS

    That interior shot of the back blew my mind. That’s cleaner than my wife’s present 2010 SUV. Nice…

    Like 1
  12. dyno dan

    then please explain to me why station wagons
    are going for 5 figures? way out of reach for the
    average guy. when did they become “collectable”?
    I would love to have a 72 ford country squire, but
    i’d need to take out a second mortgage to do it. prices have become
    mind numbing. stay safe everyone!

    Like 2
    • Gray Wolf

      I have a ‘66 Impala bid block s/w and the offers are really high and I am not selling! It’s crazy!

      Like 0
    • local_sheriff

      Dan; longroofs have been collectible for quite some years now. Car guys realized they’d become rare – not due to low prod #s, but because until the early ’00s nobody cared about them! I’m old enough to rember wagons were only considered PARTS DONORS for ‘verts and coupes!

      Had the average American consumer taken properly care of their cars there should be (at least!) a vintage wagon for all gearheads – it’s just they didn’t and they were scrapped like any other appliance when some expensive repair became inevitable or simply for being old. Then add in the nostalgy factor and also that retro is high fashion these days. You can stuff in your entire family, in-laws, Fido or whatever and still attend cruise-ins with a car that’s now more rare than its muscle car siblings!

      You can still locate decently priced wagons if you’re good at sniffing around, patient, flexible to location/condition/equipment and know when to strike a deal. Keep in mind that wagon specific items can be hard to come by

      Like 1
      • Gray Wolf

        It amazes me on how many ladies stop me , wave, toot their horns at ‘66 Impala s/w! At the local car shows they all stop and check her out! Love it!!

        Like 1
  13. Gray Wolf

    Dump, don’t give up, they are still out their! You are just seeing the big money getters!

    Like 0
  14. Gray Wolf

    Dyno, don’t give up, they are still out their! You are just seeing the big money getters!

    Like 0
  15. dyno dan

    thanks sheriff and wolf. guess i’ll keep saving my pennies and bottles and cans.
    stay safe!

    Like 1
  16. Johnny Cuda

    I had a 70 Chevy Concours wagon from 1976 through 1984 – high school and college and even married life. I loved it. Painted the grille black and put an SS emblem on it. Had Chevelle SS wheels. Loved the car, but the windshiled and the back side windows leaked. Just couldn’t get them sealed. Eventually I was using a hockey puck for a body mount. Scrapped the car, but my brother still has the 307 with Turbo 350 trans in his garage!

    Like 0
  17. Dougie

    I like station wagons. One plus, and one minus. The plus – they literally were the vision that has led us to SUV’s, crossovers, etc. The most prolific platform in automotive history! I didn’t google it so production may not be as high as pickups, but pickups are only popular to guys with small…oh never mind. I do have a ‘64, ‘65 and ‘66 C-10. Those don’t count from the machismo thing, do they?
    The minus – they we’re always designed as an afterthought. I owned 11 Volvo wagons. What I loved, in case you’re not aware, is Volvo always designed the wagon first. No wonder they’re so great.

    Like 0
  18. Gray Wolf

    Classic p/u are awesome and new stuff also! Cars and coffee with all the Lambos, Porches and what draws a crowd, vintage wagons, trucks etc. For some reason the ladies love the old wagons!! JUST SAYIN!!

    Like 0

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