Survivor Skyhawk: 1982 Buick Skyhawk with 14,000 Miles

For decades, General Motors would use a single chassis across nearly all of its different brands. One such example is the J platform, which featured a plethora of front-wheel-drive sedans under its umbrella during the 1980s, such as the Chevrolet Cavalier, Oldsmobile Firenza, Cadillac Cimarron, Pontiac Sunbird, and the Buick Skyhawk. Most of these entry-level 80s econoboxes aren’t on the road anymore, which makes this insanely low-mileage 1982 Buick Skyhawk that Barn Finds reader Ikey Heyman dug up here on Craigslist an interesting find, at the very least.

This Skyhawk is available in Clark, New Jersey with a clean title. The seller does not provide a lot of detail, simply stating; “Garage kept, runs and drives like new, you will like it.” With that being said, the few photos of this classed-up Cavalier tell us what we need to know.

While the tan interior isn’t extravagant by any means, it is a simple layout that is very well preserved. There are no cracks in the dash, rips in the seats, or stains anywhere.

The 6-digit odometer shows 14,739 miles, which is likely a true figure based on this Buick’s condition. Though the ad does not confirm which engine this example uses, most Skyhawk models featured a carbureted 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine that made 88 horsepower. In this case, an automatic transmission delivers the output to the front wheels.

For just $2300, this survivor-condition sedan could be yours. Do you think that’s a fair price for this time capsule, or would you rather let this Skyhawk fly away?

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Comments

  1. Dan Lippie

    I had a couple of these. It is a decent car until you need to change the starter, underneath the intake so far you can’t even touch it.

  2. CapNemo

    I wouldn’t have a problem with it. An inexpensive back and forth to work car, and would keep the miles off of my better stuff!

    17
  3. IkeyHeyman Member

    I’ve seen a lot worse for the price, believe me.

    11
  4. Ralph

    I think by late 1982 all of these were injected.

    1
    • dweezilaz

      Ralph, I think that happened in 83 with the displacement increase to 2.0 liters.

      The biggest complaints about the Js were the price and the lack of performance of the 1.8.

      Not long after introduction Olds and Buick Js were offered with the Brazilian built 1.8 OHC engine with either the same or one or two extra hp.

      Great follow up by Motor Week on the Cimarron , the 83 2.0 vs the 1.8 available via You Tube. The FI and increase in displacement and a couple more HP made a considerable difference.

      8
      • nycbjr Member

        I think the sunbird had the 1.8 too my ’89 did at least!

    • Phil L.

      Yes they were fuel injected with a single sprayer fuel injector system we built in Rochester N.Y.

      2
    • Jonathan Q Higgins

      My ‘83 was tbi.

  5. dweezilaz

    Sweet car. Very nicely trimmed.

  6. G.W.Gilmore

    No one gonna point out it’s not a cream puff if the passenger side of rear bumper is almost off and part of that side tail light is missing parts of it???

    7
  7. local_sheriff

    My very first car was a 2door J-body car. While definately not the most exciting stuff on four wheels I find the overall design highly underrated considering what else was offered in its day.
    Though I’m kinda biased here, the best-looking of all the J-bodies must be the Ascona(Cavalier) / Monza out of Europe/Brazil respectively .This Skyhawk is shockingly nice being a car few would care about today. Hopefuly it will change

    • Bhowe Member

      The imports may have had better mechanicals but looking back now its obvious that the quality of interior design and for sure materials was superior on the domestics.

      1
  8. Kenneth Carney

    14K miles?…really? More like 114K to me. If it runs and drives as good as he says it does, it would be worth going after it. First, fix the tail light to make the police and your wallet happy. Then, I’d have it driven back to Florida for use as a good first car for my neice. Bought a good low mileage ’85 Cavelier from Long
    Branch, NJ in the late ’90’s and loved it! Got 220K miles out of it before the slave cylinder for the clutch took a crap and forced me to sell it. Needs to be preserved as there aren’t a lot of them left.

    2
    • Todd Priest

      Yep because they went through all that trouble to roll it back. LOl!

      1
  9. Coventrycat

    That’s the beigeiest beige I’ve ever seen.

    11
  10. Miguel Member

    To be accurate, in 1982 the Pontiac variant was called the J2000, not the Sunbird.

    2
  11. Andrewno t A Member

    As a GM advocate these where dark days.

    1
  12. Socaljoe

    Proof that very few cars from the eighties will ever be worth collecting

    2
  13. Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

    Nice find, Kevin. You don’t see these very often. I helped my parents pick options on their a factory-ordered ’82 two-door, 2.0 with five-speed manual. Blue with luxurious gray cloth seats, sunroof, luggage rack, etc. I think it was some loaded model but I can remember the name. We picked sport suspension and bigger tires, etc. It was very nice to drive and I never saw another one like it. I could see enjoying a low-mileage one like this. Thanks for the memories!

    1
  14. grant

    Had a few Cavaliers, they honestly aren’t bad. Seller of this one seems realistic, this would make a good work beater for someone.

    2
  15. Jimmy

    Bought the wife a 85 Skyhawk for 3K in 1988. The seller was a woman who traveled for her job and it had over 90K miles but ran and looked great. It had a v6, auto, tach, tan exterior and dark brown crushed velour interior. We put another 20K on the odometer and would have put more but after moving to Florida for a year on our first day there a drunk driver rear ended us at a stoplight doing 60 mph and totaled it. It was a great car and the wife was heart broken when it was totaled.

    2
    • Jonathan Q Higgins

      Pretty sure it didn’t have a v6. The Skylark has an available 6. At least my ‘80 had one.

      • Jimmy

        Well if it wasn’t a V6 than it was a V4 because I had to replace spark plugs on both heads and the one facing the firewall was a booger to get the plugs out. I’m almost positive it was a V6 because that car was quick. Besides the spark plugs the only other mechanical maintenance I did was replace that small dog bone looking thing that had 2 rubber grommets in it and attached to the radiator support and the left cylinder head. I suppose it was to keep the motor from over torqueing.

  16. Bakyrdhero Member

    I’ve owned, driven, and ridden in many J bodies. The Buick’s always seemed like the nicest ones to me. Cavs were basic, Firenza’s were a little odd and less seen, Sunbirds tried to be a little different and sportier like Pontiac always did, but the Buick maintained simplicity, but classed it up with a little nicer trim, cleaner front and rear treatments, and possibly a little more sound deadening? Nice car and worth the asking price IMO

    3
  17. daking427

    Barn find? Where are the real barn finds? Not interested in these as a barn find. Looks like grannies garage find!

  18. Bob C.

    I had a 1984 Skyhawk coupe back in the late 80s. It had the 2.0 FI four which was okay for the time performance wise. Got very good gas mileage and it served me pretty well.

    1
  19. Stevieg Member

    I disagree with Ken Carney again on the miles. I believe it whole heartedly. But I do agree with him in that I too would buy it, fix that light & drive it or give it to a relative. My 2018 Hyundai already had a cracked rear bumper cover similar to this one by the time it had 3,700 miles. This here Buick was almost certainly purchased by someone elderly. They might have had a mishap backing up. No biggie! Nice little car.

    1
  20. Gene

    I do believe this chassis was also sold in Europe as the Opel Ascona, and the chassis and engine were developed in Germany by GM’s Euro arm at the time, Opel. Opel designed numerous contemporary GM cars that are still on the road and in some instances still being manufactured, ie, Buick Regal, Buick Cascada, 1st gen Chevrolet Cruze, the former Saturn Aura, Pontiac G8, Pontiac GTO, Cadillac Catera, Chevrolet Chevette, among others. Alas, GM sold off Opel to Peugeot not too long ago. Strange that they did this, since so many very good vehicles were designed and engineered by them.

    • local_sheriff

      You’re right; this specific chassis sold as Ascona in continental Europe and Vauxhall Cavalier on the Bristish isles. Equivalently also the basis for Chevrolet Monza in South America, Isuzu Aska in Asia and Holden Camira in Oceania.
      It was one of the many GM ‘world cars’, ie badge engineered vehicles made at plants across the globe to fit their different markets but sharing platform.

  21. Jonathan Q Higgins

    I had an ‘83 as my second car. Mine had a 5 speed and was a dog. The auto on this would make it worse. The 1.8 was awful to work on and underpowered. The car was probably a good choice for the young driver that I was however.

  22. Todd Priest

    I bought this one with 17,000 miles on it. Love the car! It’s an 87

    2
  23. theGasHole

    “Nobody’s interested” yet 32 comments.

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