Rare Sport/Rally Edition: 1976 Buick Skylark S/R

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This 1976 Buick Skylark S/R is another Nova-based GM car that pretty much flew under the radar at the time. This S/R version (S/R stands for Sports Rally) is largely original and only has 41,305 miles. While on the surface things look pretty good, there are definitely some things that bear looking into. It’s located in Douglass, Kansas and is up for sale here on eBay, where bidding is currently $1,500. 

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You can see some of the issues here, like the dull paint in spots and the missing plastic filler panels between the bumpers and body. However, the chrome looks pretty good, and the rust isn’t too bad. The seller does include some close ups of the rougher spots, which is nice.

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I’m not sure how enthusiastic I can get over this car, though–and I like orange! But with a 231 V6 for power that’s pretty strangled by emissions controls, heavy 5 mph bumpers and still a pretty decent amount of work to do to get it up to snuff, it would have to stay pretty darn close to where it is now in bidding for me to take a flyer on this car. But that’s me, you might feel differently!

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I’d like to show you more of the interior than these two closeups, but that’s pretty much all the seller has chosen to show. However, we can see the cracks in the dash and the seat that’s been damaged due to heat. I’m not sure if the seats can be repaired or not, but I’d sure want to try to tighten things up as it’s the original upholstery. I’m hoping there’s a dash cap or replacement out there somewhere, too.

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And here is that 231 V6 in all it’s emission-strangled glory. We’re told it runs well and starts easily. It does look very original under here, which is good if you try to restore this car. And ultimately, I think that’s the way I’d go–if this was a car that had special significance to me. Do any of you remember the Skylark S/R? Let us know in the comments!

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    I don’t remember the “S/R” package, Jamie, and can’t imagine why anyone else would. I guess it’s the wheels that were supposed to make potential customers rush to buy what is otherwise the World’s Dullest Car?

    I’d rather buy a Datsun B210 “Honeybee” if I was looking for a 70s-era nothingburger.

    • George

      Not so sure about that. My Honeybee rusted in half. Literally! A friend knew how to weld, and the car was held together with coat hangers until there wasn’t enough metal of any kind to weld to.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Ray, I think some of the commenters down further had some ideas on how you could make this a memorable car. Agreed–I don’t remember the package either! :-)

      • RayT Member

        Well, Jamie, you DID say something about “restoring” it — to me, a stock Skylark with the 231 and a slushbox just isn’t going to be memorable. In fact, I’d forgotten about it already until I came back to read the comments!

        I like Brute Force, so if I wanted to make it memorable, I’d go the whole SBC/manual trans. route, and beef up suspension and brakes to suit. The GN Turbo could be fun as well, though I really like the simplicity of a big, normally-aspirated V8.

        Would keep the exterior stock, as well as most of the interior (after repairs/replacements. A Road Weapon should look like Granny’s Car when parked!

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        @Ray — sounds like a plan to me!

  2. Howard A Member

    It’s a shame these never had the zing of the Nova’s, they were basically the same car, even fancier, yet they probably sold 10 Nova’s for every one of these ( or Olds or Pontiac) They were only a couple hundred dollars more than the Nova ( Olds Omega $4,164, Nova, $3,823) but the Nova had the V-8 for less. Nothing wrong with the V-6. The 231 was a great motor,,,for a V-6, that is. If you want a “Nova” type car, can’t go wrong here.

  3. EJB

    My first car was a 76 Buick Skylark. I bought it the summer of 88.The car was a tank. When I first got it the car got 16 mpg. I wound up getting 8 mpg while blowing a lot of oil out the tailpipe. I was a young kid who knew very little about cars. I will say the car never left me stranded

  4. van

    I’ll bet the 455 from the 1970 gs will bolt in
    “390” horse power 3,500 rpm?
    500 lbs torque
    Able to melt new tires in a single bound.

    • scottymac

      And didn’t I read somewhere the Buick 455 weighs about the same as a small Chebbie?

  5. Kincer Dave Member

    If it was me I’d turn this into a grand national sleeper, I’d leave the outside exactly the way it is and put grand national drivetrain underneath.

    • pbryantr

      ^^^ This is exactly what I was thinking. Since it had a V-6, the mill from the GN would work great. Nobody would ever suspect that this car had a turbo.

    • Blyndgesser

      Gen2 Trans Am suspension bits will bolt in.

  6. erikj

    I like the rarity of it. I got a ls6 454 with a b&m blower that would be fun to stuff under there.to bad its so far away

    • Greg Stegall

      Surely some must remember the same era Pontiac Ventura S/J….OK, anyone?

      • Duane Boda

        My brother had a 6 cylinder Pontiac Ventura and it was Ok

        but seriously needed the option of at least a 4 speed as it

        was just a 3 speed and always seemed to be reaching while

        in 3rd gear.

  7. van

    Lots of great ideas
    And it’s still a 76 buick
    Now a 65 Riviera maybe
    Or a 38 with twin side mounts

  8. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    According to the Accu-Form website, replacement dash caps are available. No affiliation, but I’ve used their great product on two MGs and a 65 Chevy.

    I see the trim ring in the trunk pic. Not sure why the seller wouldn’t throw that on the car to be photographed. Lazy.

  9. Poppy

    This is the V6 originally derived from the aluminum 215 V8 in 1962 by lopping off two cylinders. GM sold the tooling in the ’60s when V8s were king, but bought the tooling back from AMC when they quickly needed a decent V6 for these cars as the first gas crunch arrived. It’s an “uneven-fire” 90 degree V6. Note the V8 distributor cap with only 6 wires (grouped 4 and 2). The engine fired 4 cylinders in a row, then a pause and the remaining two, then a pause. The two skipped power pulses from the 2 “missing” cylinders created some idle roughness. Eventually GM redesigned the crank for even firing, creating the basis for the more modern, legendary 3800 V6 engines. If nothing else, this car is cool for this historically important engine.

  10. Jim

    Why put a SBC in it? The Buick 350 was a strong motor,too. I also like the GN Turbo idea.

  11. Dale

    It’s a long time ago but I bought a Skylark with a V8. It was also orange with a black vinyl top. Only guessing but think it had the 350 engine. Wouldn’t mind finding something similar under the right circumstances.

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