Southwest Survivor! 1971 Buick Skylark

Too bad this Buick is a Skylark model instead of a Special model then it could be referred to as a, “Not so Special, Special”. It’s a 1971 Skylark and appears to be a nice, ordinary, typical GM intermediate, two-door hardtop survivor from the ’70s. It is located in Santa Fe, New Mexico and available here on eBay with a current bid of $1,905, reserve not met yet, or a BIN price of $5,500. Thanks to local_sheriff for the tip.

The Buick Skylark has appeared in several different generations with this one being considered a Gen 2, manufactured between 1968 and 1972. It was based on GM’s intermediate “A” platform shared with the Chevrolet Chevelle, Pontiac LeMans and Oldsmobile Cutlass. While these four brands shared frames, suspensions, transmissions (mostly) and differentials (mostly, Chevrolet was still an outlier) they went their separate ways with power. All four divisions had 350 CI V8 engines but other than being internal combustion motors and having the same displacement, they were individually unique to each division. This Skylark has the standard 350 CI, two-barrel carburetor fed engine, generating 230 gross HP. It’s not the stuff of legend but it is a very durable and reliable engine. There’s not much of a description regarding the car’s operation or it’s over all condition for that matter, but the seller does claim that the motor “runs smooth” and the transmission, which is a Turbo-Hydramatic 350 is “solid”.

There is one image of the interior and it’s not very revealing but from what can be seen, the blue vinyl bench seat interior appears to be in good nick. The typical GM nylon loop carpet looks a bit faded but that’s to be expected. The body and interior are claimed to be in “good condition” and the few pictures that are available would bear this out. The dark blue lacquer finish still has a shine and the black vinyl roof covering looks intact and not faded or tattered. I’m not certain of this Buick’s provenance but being a New Mexico car, if it in fact is, would explain its advertised sound condition. The seller states that he doesn’t have, “the time or energy to keep working on this car” but I don’t know what specifically he’s been working on as it looks pretty much untouched. Perhaps he means maintenance.

By my count, I have come up with 99,005 Buick Skylark two-door hardtops manufactured in 1971, and that includes the GS model. Speaking of the GS, this one clearly isn’t. If it were it would be rare, only 8,268 GS coupes produced in ’71, and valuable. No, this is just an ordinary 1 of 99,005 similar Buicks made in a single year. Maybe what’s so special about this Buick is that it isn’t really very special at all. And that being the case, it would have been really helpful to the seller’s cause to have included more and better images to show this Skylark off a bit. Nevertheless,  it is a survivor, a nice-looking car and appears to be in nice condition. I think it would make a really nice all-around driver, how about you?


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  1. Bakyrdhero

    That 350 is bullet proof and has plenty of power for cruising. A dual exhaust makes these sound awesome also. There appears to be some upkeep under the hood. Master cyl, breather hose, valve covers painted..basic backyard stuff. The nose looks straight. I wonder how the radiator core support is holding up. They rot badly under the battery tray, but rebuild kits are available. I’d probably let drive this as is, it’s screaming for poverty caps though. Possibly some bad mojo around the sail panel also, but maybe just the picture. These are great cars.

    Like 7
  2. Tom Member

    Great car to “get into the hobby” with. Seemingly solid. 71 was a decent year for HP. 2 BBL carb easily upgraded. I am a GM fan and Buicks and Pontiacs were always a “nicer” version of what Chevy had to offer (not a knock, just truth). Power steering, power brakes and AC are all very nice options. Good color. Looks like decent paint. I personally would go to a set of rally wheels or Crager SS period correct 5 spoke wheels. Maybe move to buckets, console and a maybe a 4 speed. Great car to start a project/clone with.

    My concern is the reserve is “Barrett Jackson want money”. If the car is a solid as it seems there IS a lot of value in that alone BUT not sure what the price should be on this one. Less than 10K in my opinion. Bench seat on the column car now that is a V8. IF there are rust issues around the vinyl top that WILL change everything.

    Like 3
    • Steve R

      I wouldn’t call $5,500 BIN option “Barrett Jackson money”.

      Steve R

      Like 14
    • Little_Cars

      The sail panel on the driver’s side does look like it was worked before the repaint. The location of that Buick badge on the vinyl top is telling us something too. It should be located lower and closer to the quarter window. I’m thinking there may be some evil under the vinyl. Duct tape on one of the breather hoses leading out of the valve cover.

      Like 4
  3. Mike

    Covers plate with finger, but you can see the front plate on the dash.


    Like 8
  4. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Looks like a nice car for the money to me. $5,500 doesn’t get you a lot these days so if this is as solid as it seems to be, I’d say it’s a good deal. You guys living in the Southwest may have to look hard to find any rust on an older car while for those of us in the Northeast, we have to look hard for solid metal. A rust-free car is generally an easier car to restore, rust repair can eat up a lot of your hard-earned dollars.

    I wouldn’t mind having this one; it looks fairly clean and apparently it’s a turn-key driver. 230hp is enough get up and go for a daily driver but if you want more, there are a ton of options available to get more power out of a GM 350. If this car was located in New England, I’d bet it would sell pretty quickly. Hell, I’d probably buy it.

    Like 6
  5. Rhett

    Neat car –
    It’s a base skylark, not a Skylark 350 (although it DOES have a 350) or a Skylark Custom. It has a 70 front bumper on it, which can ironically be sold for the price of two 71 front bumpers. Straight panels, clean interior, good colors, probably a fairly solid roof under that vinyl given the geography. 5500.00 is all the money, but to the guy who needs a light(ish) solid chassis for a high zoot 455/470 or GS clone, this is the right car. Or even if they just want a stylish cruiser, that 350-2bbl WILL spin the tire on an open diff from a 10 MPH roll..

    Like 6
  6. Little_Cars

    Rhett, good catch on the front bumper. Is that grille surround something home grown? That grille reveal along with the lack of ornamentation besides the Skylark script got me wondering.

    Like 1
  7. Jeff K

    70 was the pinnacle year for this car

    Like 2
    • Garry Ford

      70 was the pinnacle year for most cars.

      Like 3
  8. BigBlocksRock

    Had the 72 version of this car in the early 80’s
    Triple green (ughh). Put over170k on the clock & the only thing that ever failed was the trans modulator. Great car. One of Buicks best efforts IMO.
    $5500 might be all in on this one but still not a bad looking 48+ yr old.

    Like 4
  9. Bakyrdhero

    70 had more power, but 71 had a nicer looking grill and rear bumper IMO

    Like 2
  10. TimM

    The buy of the week if you ask me!! Perfect entry level car to drive and enjoy!!!

    Like 2
  11. Harold Thompson

    …looking for a steering wheel and horn button like that :-) ANYONE?

    Like 1
  12. Mitch Ross Member

    The GS may have had low production numbers, but I wonder if there are more of them now than Skylarks

  13. Stevieg

    Something doesn’t look right to me either around the grill. It is the correct grill, but something doesn’t seem to fit & I can’t put my finger on what it is.
    As a small child, a close family friend who lived on our block had purchased a 1971 Skylark Sport sedan (4 door hardtop). They bought it new & kept it well into the 1980’s. It had the same wheel covers, silver with a black vinyl top & black bench seat interior. I remember it having a different steering wheel.
    I always liked that car. I wish I could find one like it.
    Theirs was surprisingly solid for a Wisconsin car, in fact I don’t recall there being much rot on it at all, even when they sold it. What I do remember is they sold it for the princely sum of $250.00 to a local used car lot, shortly before I started driving. I had the money in the bank, too! I was pretty bummed about it.

    • Bakyrdhero

      The grill is correct as is the Skylark by Buick badge. The headlight bezels are all chrome. The bezels on my 71 were painted to match the body with only the inner ring surrounding the glass headlight chrome. I had a few sets of bezels and all were painted that way. I also had a different steering wheel with wood grain, but mine was a Skylark Custom.

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