One family Owned 1969 Buick Skylark Survivor!

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In 1968, GM radically changed the design of their four “A” body, intermediate cars, the Chevrolet Chevelle, Pontiac Lemans, Oldsmobile Cutlass and Buick Skylark. The wheelbase was split so that two-door hardtops, coupes, and convertibles rode on a 112” spread and everything else measured in at 116”. The underside architecture really wasn’t any different than the preceding model year and in most cases, the powertrains were the same or very similar. It’s the sheet metal! There’s a big difference. While the Chevelle, Lemans, and Cutlass has similar, but distinct, styling cues, the Buick Skylark truly went its own way. And for that reason, I thought this 1969 Skylark, located in Dalton, GA and for sale here on ClassicCars for $7,300 was worth a closer look.

The 1969 version of the “Big Four” intermediates was just a touch-up of the ‘68’s freshman year. What set the Skylark apart from the others was its sweeping trunk line from the C-pillar back and its horizontal taillights which give it a subliminal tail-fin look without actually having tail fins.

In the engine room, we find Buick’s 350 CI engine, the seller doesn’t indicate which version of the 350 it is but I can detect a choke-pull off diaphragm under the air cleaner which means it’s equipped with a Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, good for 280 HP. It’s important to note that the “Big Four” all had 350 CI engines in 1969 but they were all unique to their respective divisions so this is a “Buick” 350 CI engine, not a “GM’ 350 CI engine. Transmitting power to the rear wheels is the new for 1969, Turbo-Hydramatic 350 three-speed automatic (though it could possibly be a 375B, a heavier duty, Buick designed unit).

Moving on to the interior, we find typical 50-year-old upholstery, ripped and worn in places, along with a cracked steering wheel and a headliner struggling with gravity. All correctable and certainly not a show-stopper. The seller makes no reference to the structural condition of the body, floor or frame through the images of the fenders, doors, rocker panels, and quarter panels show no sign of a problem. Being a GM “A” body of this generation, I would like to know about the floors, rust, to some degree, is typically a problem.

The seller indicates that this is a one-owner family car, always a positive attribute. The price may be a bit rich but not terribly so, and he indicates he will hear offers, so there should be some negotiating room. This Skylark presents nicely and would be a good project car, not too intensive. It would also be a good entry point into the highly collectible 1968-1972 GM “A” body family. So, is it worth a further look?

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  1. Pat

    Why are these almost all automatics?

    Like 0
    • Tripp

      That’s easy to answer. In 1969, you found manual transmissions in trucks, hi-performance cars, and budget cars. Even many “sports” cars were sold with automatics because large displacement V8s offer tons of low rev torque and don’t need to be wound out to get their punch.

      Like 12
  2. Miguel

    I would love to have a driveway filled with survivors like this one.

    I like the middle reverse light on this. Maybe saw the future of the third brake lights but only used it for the reverse light this year.

    Remember the extra brake lights on the early to mid ’70s Toronados?

    Like 5
  3. John b

    In 1975…i was born and came home from the hospital in the same color gold 1969 buick…but it was a Buick special

    Like 2
  4. Troy s

    Straight up decent looking transportation for the mature buyer, always been my impression of these Buicks, even the GS version….up until the ’70 model. Funny about the comment about automatics when it comes to Buicks in general…. comfortable, smooth riding, quiet running. A four speed doesn’t seem to fit the program here.

    Like 3
  5. TimM

    Nice car and the price doesn’t seem bad either!!!

    Like 0

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