Genuine Patina! 1965 Buick Skyroof Sportwagon

The station wagons keep rollin’ at Barn Finds and today’s discovery is a cool Buick Custom Sportwagon, from 1965, with the desirable “Skyroof” option. This was the first year for the tinted roof panels that provide some sunlight for an otherwise darkened interior backseat and cargo (or third seat) area and it’s an identifying trait for both Buick and Oldsmobile’s Vista Cruiser. This Buick wagon is located in Derby, Kansas and is available, here on craigslist for $5,800. Thanks to Pat L. for this tip!

Well if patina is your thing, this Buick has it in spades and it’s not faked. It’s safe to say that this Sportwagon is an outside car and the Kansas sun has worked it over pretty well. From what can be seen, and in spite of the flat and faded red finish, the body is straight with no evidence of rust or crash damage. All of the trim is present and the chromed bumpers still show well, though the rear one appears to have suffered a slight knock in the middle – it’s bent upwards but it is unlikely that it interferes with the tailgate’s operation. All four corners of this wagon are supported by American Racing Torque-Thrust wheels. They make the worst-looking imaginable vehicle appear like something special!

Motivation is provided by a 250 gross HP, 300 CI “Wildcat 355” V8 engine (the 355 is a reference to the torque rating). The seller states, “Under the hood, it has a deep throaty dual-exhaust 300 engine that was rebuilt about 4-5 years ago. 4bbl Carter AFB with rebuilt 2-speed super turbine trans. Brakes, wheel cylinders, and hoses replaced 4-5 years ago. Factory-equipped a/c (no belt, never tried it), power steering, and power brakes. Radiator replaced 4-5 years ago” The mileage is recorded as 97K, no indication if it’s genuine. As mentioned by the seller, the transmission employed is a two-speed Super Turbine 300 automatic – not to be confused with a Chevrolet Powerglide. They’re both two-speed units but that’s about where the similarities end. Note the comment about the A/C compressor/belt, it’s hard to believe that it’s going to be operational; if it were, it would be belted up.

Inside is a little shaky looking and there is only one image (unless you include the one of the open glove compartment!?) The seatback of the front seat is covered with some sort of blanket/seat cover and looking at the backrest of the rear seat, it’s not hard to imagine why. The rear side panel, driver’s side wayback, looks rough too, but the image isn’t conclusive. As for the rest of the interior, an inquiry would have to be made. Based on the lower exterior body panel condition, I’ll go out on a limb and assume that the floors are sound.

The best thing about this Buick Sportwagon is its size, it’s small enough to be maneuverable and space-conscious but large enough to be accommodating. There are lots of directions one could go with this Buick, including leaving it as is. If this wagon were yours, which way would you go?

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Comments

  1. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    This Buick looks like a sound basis for restoration and it looks like all the “born with” parts are there. New paint and a good bit of interior work should have this wagon looking its best again. Under the hood looks good and the rebuilt engine and trans should give the new owner years of trouble-free use. The price seems fair for what you’d be getting, too. Some better pictures of the interior would have been nice but perhaps the seller would be willing to provide more to an interested buyer.

    Like 3
  2. Bruce71Camino

    I love it when the seller has no idea if the air works. I never bothered to put a 15 dollar belt on it, so who knows? It probably works great.

    Like 5
  3. Steve R

    Nice looking wagon.

    There is no need to restore it, that just adds to the cost, making it unaffordable to many, and will all but guarantee that it will only be used for shows afterwards. I’ve been keeping my eye out for a GM wagon from the mid-60’s to early-70’s in similar condition. I’d buff the paint, fix the interior, swap in a TH350, disc brakes up front, and install a 70-82 Z28 or Trans Am front sway bar and an OE rear as well as boxed control arms. At that point I’d drive the snot out of it, taking it to swapmeets on parts runs as well as a part time driver.

    Steve R

    Like 9
    • Blyndgesser

      Sounds good to me.

      Like 1
  4. JoeNYWF64

    Note the indentations on the sidewall of the walmart douglas tire …
    http://images.craigslist.org/00r0r_bJs7bXCr2rwz_0co0gw_1200x900.jpg
    I got the same on my sears guardsmans 195 75 14s – has nothing to do with age of tire – the indentations appeared soon after they were mounted!
    You would NEVER see such indendations on even dirt cheap high profile tires – back in the day – which has me scratchin my head.
    Should not be an issue tho – mine are 10 yrs old – but the douglases have OTHER issues – read the MANY MANY 1 star reviews on these tires on walmart website.

    Like 2
    • Skorzeny

      Michelin, Continental, Yokohama and maybe General if I need to go cheap. Pretty much nothing else. Stay away from nearly everything else. My 2 cents. Douglas? Hahahaha…

      Like 3
      • JoeNYWF64

        I had steel belt tread separation on 6 yr old Continentals with not much mileage on them. I saw other Continentals on a pile at a gas station that separated into 2 pieces where the sidewalls meets the tread. I seen bad reviews on almost every make of tire bought within the last few years – most common … tires wearing out way too soon, followed by steel belts becoming visible, & separation, & bubbles in the sidewall, & even blowouts.

  5. Car Nut Tacoma

    Awesome looking car. I don’t mind patina as long as it’s only on the surface and does not penetrate through the metal. Another thing I’d insist on is its driveability. If you can start it up and you can drive it safely to your destination, perfect!

  6. martinsane

    Would love this one.

  7. Gary Rhodes

    Restore the interior, 4 wheel disks, LS with a auto, another wheel /tire combo.

  8. Billyray

    I learned how to drive on one of these when it was brand new! I’ll never forget how great it drove. It was my moms car. Everyone would comment how it felt nothing like a wagon, it was so smooth, quiet, and powerful. About 10 years later, by then it was my dd, the rear axle locked up and I junked it. But what a car when new! I should also mention that it was never properly maintained, and was driven through many Ohio winters.

    Like 3
  9. Keith

    Love these. Had the same year but am Olds Vista Cruiser. Had a blast with it and also Torque Thrusts on it. These are bigger than you think. The design hides the size. It’s not a land yacht but definitely not a compact!

  10. Kevin

    I like it a lot,love seeing cars that are hardly seen anymore, restoration too costly, so would just clean it up,especially the interior, get that a/c working, and enjoy it.

  11. ChiTownJeff

    If it was my car, I would fix the interior, get the A/C working, install disk brakes, and respray in the original color. I’m no fan of patina. The car would look really sharp with a new paint job.

  12. Steven Madole

    Is their any chance of trades I have a 1953 Buick special strait 8. I have 12,000 in it will trade strait across

  13. Jan shelton

    i bought this ! runs great, not as bad bodywise as I thought . will re-do interior, tune it up , polish , drive and repeat ! thanks to the owner for delivering more than he promised

    Like 2
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Jan:

      Fantastic, glad to hear it!

      When you get some new pictures, send them in and we’ll do an update to the story.

      Thx,

      JO

  14. Kevin

    Good for you Jan,hope you enjoy it for years to come.

  15. jan shelton

    had one years ago , plan on keeping this one “patina” and all ! Going slow on this , drive train first , then interior , drives great now , just want it to be reliable , for years to come .

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