GN Turbo Power! 500 HP 1977 Buick Skyhawk

General Motor’s swoopy H-Body began life as the Chevrolet Vega and filled the need for a small and sporty rear-wheel drive coupe or hatchback for folks who wanted something fun yet easy on gas. This 1977 Buick Skyhawk makes itself relevant today with significant upgrades, primarily its modified Buick Regal Grand National or “GN” turbocharged engine. Listed for auction here on eBay, this Kingman, Arizona hot rod is no cobbled-together clunker. This well-executed ride will dispatch just about any car made today that doesn’t have the word “Demon” in its name.

I’ll take this Skyhawk over a Vega any day. The wheels and tires and stance may not be Chip Foose perfect, but they modernize the car and help it fend off the turbo’s tail-kicking torque. I logged over 200,000 miles in an H Body Skyhawk, a ’76 with 3.8L V6 and a Borg-Warner five-speed. I seriously considered rebuilding it with go-fast parts from Kenne-Bell Buick, but ultimately replaced it with the 1989 Mustang LX 5.0 that’s my daily driver some 29 years later.

The seller describes this as a new interior in the original houndstooth pattern. What’s more ’70s than houndstooth? My Skyhawk featured a similar two-tone interior with black dash and carpets and white panels and seats, albeit without the snazzy houndstooth pattern. I found the vague power steering and fade-prone brakes to be limiting factors in this chassis but, to be fair, I never pursued appropriate countermeasures.

A GN Turbo engine in an H body is not completely crazy; many of these cars came with the non-turbo version of the GN’s 3.8L (231 cid) V6. This one is far from stock with 2500 miles on an engine freshened with forged pistons, performance camshaft, 60 lb injectors, and a TurboTweek chip all combining to make 22 lbs of boost and “approximately” 500 HP. Personally I’d have to surrender my wrenches if I owned a car like this more than a month without having it dyno’d. Note the apparently functional AC compressor and upgraded radiator, no doubt mandated by the car’s Arizona zip code. Considering this H-Body Skyhawk is far from stock, what would you say the “H” stands for?

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  1. ed the welder

    The ” H” stands for ” Hell yeah ! “

    Like 21
  2. Michael

    H = Holy S**T! Hold-on!
    This has to be the baddest Skyhawk on the planet.

    Like 16
  3. Billy1

    Wow!!. I don’t need this car, but I sure want it!! Probably good for a 10 sec. quarter.

  4. SAW


    Like 14
  5. mallthus mallthus

    H stands for “hilarious”. Seriously this car is the sort of act of love that’ll never recoup the investment but it’s awesome all the same. These Vega/Monza cars, as well as the T platform cars (Chevette/Acadia/Kadett/Gemini/Impulse), are, in my opinion, really under appreciated. They’re fairly lightweight, RWD, and have very, very tuneable suspensions.

    Like 10
    • Hot rod Todd

      lol if you only knew.

      Like 1
  6. Doyler

    Is this also an Opel Manta?

    • Derek

      No, it’s a bit bigger. It may be the same shell as the Monza/Royale, though… D.

      Like 3
      • Concinnity

        For those unfamiliar with it, this is an Opel Monza, the UK version = Vauxhall Royale Coupe, ’78-’82 then a facelift took it through to ’86. Essentilly a big coupe version of the VB Opel platform that Holden in Australia used for the first Commodore.
        And here is a list of all the shared parts….
        …. Nil. There are absolutely zero shared parts at all.

        Like 1
  7. SlantSixSwinger

    I got the warm and fuzzys from this one… Reminds me of my old Chevy Monza but has different taillights and power. The current $15,000 bid is way more than I could/would pay for it though.

    Like 6
  8. Vegaman_Dan

    Always liked the body style, but the Buick egg crate grill was the least favorite option for me. Combine this with a Sunbird and I’m there.

    Like 4
    • dweezilaz

      Oh yeah.

      I love the Sunbird coupe best, Vegaman.

      Funny, I never really liked these when they were new. I think I resented the same car different badge attitude towards them by GM.

      Now, every time one comes up on BF, I immediately click on it.

      Like 2
  9. KO


    Like 2
  10. Craig Walker

    Great concept, Nothing like a manta, closest in size would be opel monza/Royale coupe, but nothing shared.

    Like 2
  11. J Paul Member

    A thought I have never had before today:

    “I really, really dig a Buick Skyhawk”

    Goes to show how important the right plan and execution is in modifying a car. Props to the owner/lunatic who thought of this!

    Like 10
  12. Michael A. Jones

    I would love to buy this car

  13. boxdin

    Same daily driver for 29 years? That must be some kind of record.

    Like 6
  14. Coventrycat

    Liking that one a lot.

    Like 2
  15. Daved

    This is bad-azz!!! Can you imagine the fun you’d have with this???

    Like 2
  16. Todd

    It’s my step dads lol

  17. Brian Ach

    It takes more than a chip to get 500hp out of a 3.8 GN motor….

    Never mind it has a 6152 turbo, enough said

    Still this looks like odd fun.

    Like 2
  18. Poncho

    That would have been a cool set up for my 1980 Monza notchback. Not crazy about the hatchback design.

  19. Rob M.

    Me likey!

  20. Todd Priest

    Right up my alley!!!

  21. buickguy

    If its still for sale please contact me

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