1972 Buick Skylark
|Successor||Buick Century (1973)|
Buick Verano (2012)
The Buick Skylark is a passenger car produced by Buick. The model was made in six production runs, during 46 years, over which the car's design varied dramatically due to changing technology, tastes and new standards implemented over the years.
|Buick Roadmaster Skylark|
1953 Buick Roadmaster Skylark
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door convertible|
|Engine||322 cu in (5.3 L) Nailhead V8|
|Wheelbase||121.5 in (3,086 mm)|
Created to mark Buick's 50th anniversary, the Roadmaster Skylark joined the Oldsmobile 98 Fiesta and Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado as top-of-the-line, limited-production specialty convertibles introduced in 1953 by General Motors to promote its design leadership. Of the three, the Skylark's run of 1,690 units proved the most successful, and an amazing sales feat considering the car's 1953 list price of slightly in excess of US$5,000 was over 50% more than the well-equipped US$3,200 Roadmaster convertible on which it was based. Nevertheless, many languished in dealer showrooms and were eventually sold at discount.
Production ran for two years. Based on the model 76R two-door Roadmaster convertible, the 1953 Skylark (designated model 76X) had identical dimensions (except height), almost identical appearance, shared its drive train, and had all its standard equipment, plus its few remaining options, including power windows, power brakes, full carpeting, and a "Selectronic" AM radio. Only A/C was not offered, unnecessary in either convertible.
Importantly, the new Skylark featured Buick's new 322 in³ (5.3 L) Nailhead V8 in place of the automaker's longstanding straight 8, and a 12 volt electrical system, both division firsts. It debuted full-cutout wheel openings, a styling cue that spread to the main 1954 Buick line. Accenting its lowered, notched beltline was a new "Sweepspear" running almost the entire length of the vehicle, a styling cue that was to appear in various forms on many Buick models over the years.
The 1953 Skylark was handmade in many respects. Only stampings for the hood, trunk lid and a portion of the convertible tub were shared with the Roadmaster and Super convertibles. All Skylark tubs were finished with various amounts of lead filler. The inner doors were made by cutting the 2-door Roadmaster's in two then welding the pieces back together at an angle to produce the rakish door dip. An overall more streamlined look was reinforced by cutting the windshield almost 3 inches (7.6 cm) shorter and lowering the side windows and convertible top frame proportionately. Seat frames and steering column were then dropped to provide proper headroom and driving position. Front leg room was 44.7 inches (114 cm). Authentic wire wheels were produced by Kelsey-Hayes, chromed everywhere except the plated and painted "Skylark" center emblem.
The Skylark returned in 1954 with radically restyled styling unique to the Buick line, which included wheel cutouts that could be painted in a contrasting color to the body's. The trunk was sloped into a semi-barrel, and tail lights moved to large chromed fins projecting atop the rear fenders.
Re-designated model 100, the car was based on the all-new shorter Century/Special series 40 chassis and not the larger series 60 Roadmaster/Super chassis, also all-new for 1954. Once again, all Skylarks were built as two-door convertibles and carried the same luxury equipment as before, but front leg room dropped 2.4 inches (6.1 cm). While smaller and lighter, the Skylark got a performance boost by retaining the big Buicks' powertrain, an evolutionary improvement of 1953's with the highest output in the division's lineup.
The 1954 Skylark once again had unique sheetmetal stampings for its elongated wheel cutouts and new semi-barrel trunk, though fabrication was done without hand labor. The hood ornament was unique, adopted the following year across the Buick product line.
Sales proved to be poor, reflecting the Skylark's continued high price coupled with a perceived step-down from the Roadmaster/Super series, slumping far enough to cause the model's cancellation at the end of the 1954 model year.
|Buick Special Skylark|
1961 Buick Special Skylark
|Assembly||South Gate Assembly South Gate, California, United States|
Wilmington, Delaware, United States
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Kansas City, Kansas, United States
Framingham, Massachusetts, United States
Flint, Michigan, United States
Linden, New Jersey, United States
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door convertible|
4-door Station wagon
|Engine||198 cu in (3.2 L) V6|
215 cu in (3.5 L) V8
|Wheelbase||112 in (2,845 mm)|
|Length||193 in (4,900 mm)|
|Width||70.2 in (1,783 mm)|
In the fall of 1960, General Motors introduced a trio of new compact cars for the 1961 model year that shared the same chassis, engines, and basic sheet metal: the Buick Special, Pontiac Tempest, and Oldsmobile F-85. The Special's styling was strongly influenced by the new corporate look shared with the larger LeSabre, Invicta, and Electra also introduced in 1961.
In the middle of the 1961 model year the Buick Special Skylark made its debut. Effectively a luxury trim level, it was based on two-door sedan (also referred to as a coupe), it featured unique Skylark emblems, taillight housings, lower-body side moldings, turbine wheel covers, and a vinyl-covered roof. 1961 Skylarks featured three Ventiports on each fender. A plush all-vinyl interior was standard, with bucket seats available as an option. Instrumentation was minimal, consisting of only a speedometer and fuel gauge.
The Skylark replaced the Special's standard aluminum block 215 cu in (3.5 L) two-barrel carburetor V8 with a higher compression ratio four-barrel version that boosted power from 155 hp (116 kW) at 4600 rpm to 185 hp (138 kW).
For the 1962 model year, the Skylark became a model in its own right. It used the previous year's basic sheet metal but was available in two new body styles: a two-door convertible coupe (shared with the Special and Special Deluxe models) and a two-door (pillarless) hardtop unique to it. Tuning of the 215-cubic-inch V8 increased power to 190 hp (140 kW) at 4800 rpm. In 1962, the Skylark Special was also the first American car to use a V6 engine in volume production; it earned Motor Trend's Car of the Year for 1962. This 198 cid Fireball was engineered down from the 215 and used many of the same design parameters, but was cast in iron. Output was 135 hp (gross) at 4600 rpm and 205 lb⋅ft (278 N⋅m) at 2400 rpm. In their test that year, Road & Track was impressed with Buick's "practical" new V6, saying it "sounds and performs exactly like the aluminum V8 in most respects."
In 1963, the Special's body was restyled and minor changes made to the interior, particularly to the dash and instrument cluster. The 1963 Special was available as a two-door pillared hardtop coupe, a four dour sedan, a convertible, and a station wagon. Engine choices were a standard 198 cu in (3.2 l) V6 with a twin-barrel carburetor and an optional 215 cu in (3.5 l) V8 with 155 hp (116 kW) (two-barrel) or more powerful four-barrel (190 hp (140 kW) in 1962, 200 hp (150 kW) in 1963). Transmission choices were a 'three on the tree' manual transmission, a floor shift Borg-Warner T-10 four-speed manual, or a two-speed Turbine Drive automatic. The two speed "Dual Path Turbine Drive" automatic was a Buick design and shared no common parts with the better known Chevrolet Power-Glide transmission.
Two prototypes were made for 1962, each with a unique body. One a convertible and the other a hardtop. The prototypes came directly from Buick Engineering, both had been given two 4-barrel carburetors by the engineers thus increasing the prototype's horsepower a little more than 80 hp. Of note was that they had features from the '61, '62, and the '63 production models. Some features, such as the two 4-barrel carburetors, were left out of the production-line Skylarks. The prototypes were also were two inches (51 mm) longer, and wider than the production models. Of the two prototypes, only the hardtop still exists and resides with its owner in Michigan. It is possible the convertible prototype still exists in the Sloan Museum collection.
The 1963 Skylarks used the same chassis and wheelbase as the previous 1961 and 1962 models, but adopted new sheet metal that featured boxier styling. Length was increased by five inches (130 mm) to 193 in (4,900 mm), and the 215-cubic-inch V8 generated 200 hp (150 kW) at 5,000 rpm. The 1963 Skylark was available as a two-door convertible coupe or a two-door (pillarless) hardtop coupe. The 1963 Special shared most sheet metal with the Skylark, but was available as a two-door pillared hard top, four-dour sedan, convertible, and station wagon. Engine choices included a 198 cu in (3.2 L) V6 with two-barrel carburetor, the 215 cu in (3.5 L) V8 with two-barrel or a four-barrel carburetor. Transmission choices were a "three on the tree" manual transmission, a floor-shifted Borg-Warner T-10 four-speed manual, or a two-speed automatic. The two-speed "Dual Path Turbine Drive" automatic was a Buick design and shared no common parts with the Chevrolet Power-Glide transmission. Instrument panel padding and a cigarette lighter was standard.
1964 Buick Skylark convertible
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door convertible|
Buick Gran Sport
Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Pontiac Le Mans
Pontiac Grand Prix
|Engine||225 in³ (3.7 L) V6|
250 in³ (4.1 L) Chevrolet I6
300 in³ (4.9 L) V8
340 in³ (5.6 L) V8
350 in³ (5.7 L) V8
401 in³ (6.6 L) V8
Beginning with the 1964 model year, the dressed-up compact Skylark trim level had enough sales to merit its own separate line. Along with the lower-priced Special from which it was derived, the model would move to a new 115 in (2,921 mm) wheelbase intermediate-size chassis shared with the Oldsmobile F-85, Pontiac Tempest, and new Chevrolet Chevelle. Both Buicks had a length of 203.5 in (5,169 mm).
The standard 215-cubic-inch-displacement, aluminum-block V8 engine was discontinued, and the associated tooling eventually was sold to the British manufacturer, Rover. Rover initially improved and produced the Rover V8 engine, manufacturing several additional versions for use in its sedans, Land Rover sport utility vehicles and trucks until 2006.
In its place was a new 225-cubic-inch (3,690 cm3), all-cast-iron-block V6 with a Rochester 1-barrel carburetor that generated 155 hp (116 kW) at 4400 rpm. It was almost 30 cu. in. larger than a prior, unrelated 196 cubic inches (3,210 cm3) V6 introduced for the 1962 model year. The 225 was basically a Buick 300 CID V8 engine, less two cylinders. The basic V8 option was a 300-cubic-inch, with cast-iron-block, aluminum-heads, and a Rochester 2-barrel carburetor that generated 210 hp (160 kW) at 4600 rpm. A high performance version was offered with 11:1 compression and a 4-barrel carburetor, generating 250 hp (190 kW). A long-throw, 4-speed Hurst shifter was available. For the 1965 model, cast-iron blocks and heads were used for all engines.
For the first time a four-door sedan was offered in addition to the two-door convertible, two-door sedan, and hardtop coupe. Specials and Special Deluxes only came in pillared coupe versions. All Skylarks would have higher levels of exterior and interior trim than the Special and Special Deluxe from which they were derived.The sedan would come with cloth-and-vinyl seats standard, with an all-vinyl interior optional. All-vinyl bucket seats were standard on the convertible and optional on the hardtop coupe. The Skylark Coupe had a lower, more road-hugging profile than the other models. Buick's traditional VentiPorts were integrated into the front half rub strip that ran the entire length of the vehicle, with later versions appearing vertically stacked as on the Buick Wildcat.
Inspired in no small part by the sales success of the 1964 Pontiac Tempest, LeMans, and GTO, a Gran Sport option became available in mid 1965, offered as a coupe, hardtop or convertible. The Gran Sport featured Buick’s 401-cubic-inch-V8 with a Carter 4-barrel carburetor that produced 325 hp (242 kW) at 4400 rpm, listed as 400-cubic-inch in sales literature to elude a General Motors limit of 400 cubic in intermediate-sized cars. Unique Gran Sport badging, a heavy-duty radiator, and dual exhaust were also added.
In the 1966 model year, the pillared four-door sedan was replaced by a four-door hardtop. The 1966 two-door Skylark was available with the optional 340 ci "Wildcat 375", engine which produced 260 hp (194 kW) and 365 lb⋅ft (495 N⋅m) torque with a 4-barrel Carter carb.
The four-door sedan would rejoin the lineup for the 1967 model year, making a total of five Skylark body styles. The 225 cu. in. V6 was standard on the two-door sedan, the 300-cubic-inch V8 on all other models but the four-door hardtop sedan, which came with a 340-cubic-inch-displacement V8 engine using a Rochester 2-barrel carburetor and producing 220 hp (160 kW) at 4400 rpm.
1967 Skylarks got all the Federally-mandated safety equipment as other U.S. market passenger cars, including a dual-circuit hydraulic brake system, energy-absorbing steering column and wheel, 4-way hazard flashers, shoulder belt mounting points for outboard front passengers, softer interior surfaces and recessed controls on the instrument panel.
The Gran Sport became the Gran Sport 400 to reflect its engine. A Gran Sport 340 was added, using the 340-cubic-inch V8, available only as a two-door hardtop coupe.
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Related||Buick Sport Wagon|
Buick Gran Sport
Chevrolet El Camino
|Engine||250 cu in (4.1 L) Chevrolet I6|
350 cu in (5.7 L) V8
400 cu in (6.6 L) V8
455 cu in (7.46 L) V8
|Wheelbase||112 in (2,845 mm) 2-door coupe, hardtop and convertible|
116 in (2,946 mm) 4-door sedan and station wagon
|Length||201.9 in (5,128 mm) 2-door coupe, hardtop and convertible|
205.9 in (5,230 mm) 4-door sedan
212.6 in (5,400 mm) station wagon
|Width||76.2 in (1,935 mm) 2-door coupe, hardtop and convertible|
76.8 in (1,951 mm) 4-door sedan and station wagon
|Curb weight||3,515 lb (1,594 kg)|
The 1968 model year was one of significant change for the Buick Skylark. Although still using the same basic chassis, all of GM’s mid-sized cars adopted a policy of using two different length wheelbases. Two-door models used a shorter wheelbase of 112 in (2,845 mm), while four-door models used a longer wheelbase of 116 in (the Buick Sport Wagon and Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser used an even longer wheelbase of 121 in). All of GM's mid-sized cars received all-new sheet metal. More Federally mandated safety features improved occupant protection and accident avoidance, including side marker lights, shoulder belts (on all models built after January 1, 1968), and parking lights that illuminated with headlights.
The Buick Gran Sport, previously an option package available on the Skylark, became a separate series, starting with the 340 hp/440 lbs torque 400 c.i.d. V8 1968 GS 400, using the 2 door Skylark body and chassis. In a reshuffling of models in the lineup, the Special Deluxe replaced the previous Special. The Skylark nameplate was shuffled down a notch to replace the previous Special Deluxe. The previous Skylark was replaced by a new Skylark Custom.
The basic Skylark was available as a two-door hardtop coupe or a four-door sedan. The Skylark Custom came as a two-door convertible coupe, two-door hardtop coupe, four-door hardtop sedan, or four-door sedan.
The previous V6 was discontinued and the associated tooling was sold to Kaiser Industries, which used the V6 in its Jeep trucks and sport utility vehicles. The base engine in Buick Skylarks (and Buick Special sedans) became a 250-cubic-inch 250 cu in (4.1 L) Chevrolet I6, that produced 155 hp (116 kW) at 4200 rpm using a single-barrel Rochester carburetor.
Optional on the Skylark and standard on the Skylark Custom was a new 350-cubic-inch V8 derived from the 340, using a two-barrel Rochester carburetor that produced 230 hp (170 kW) at 4400 rpm. The Buick Special name was dropped after the 1969 model year. A locking steering column with a new, rectangular ignition key became standard on all 1969 GM cars (except Corvair), one year ahead of the Federal requirement.
For 1970, the mid-sized Buicks once again received new sheet metal and the Buick Skylark name was moved down another notch, replacing the previous entry-level Buick Special. It was available in two- and four-door sedans with the 250-cubic-inch inline-six as standard and the optional 350-cubic-inch V8 (260 horsepower at 4600 rpm). Two-door models shared their roofline with the 1970 Chevelle, distinct from that of the shared Pontiac LeMans and Oldsmobile Cutlass. The two-door sedan was unique to Buick, sharing its roofline as the hardtop but having a thick "B" pillar, with Buick's traditional "Sweepspear" feature appearing as a crease running the length of the vehicle. Chevrolet did not offer a pillared coupe for the Chevelle from 1970 to 1972; all two-doors were hardtops.
Replacing the previous Buick Skylark was the Buick Skylark 350, available as a two-door hardtop coupe or four-door sedan with the 350-cubic-inch V8 as standard equipment. This 350-cubic-inch engine was a different design than the Chevy's 350 CID engine (4.000 in × 3.48 in) the Buick design had a longer stroke and smaller bore (3.80 X 3.85 in) allowing for lower-end torque, deep-skirt block construction, higher nickel-content cast iron, 3.0 in (76 mm) crank main journals, and 6.5 in (165 mm) connecting rods, the distributor was located in front of the engine (typical of Buick), the oil pump was external and mounted in the front of the engine, the rocker arm assembly had all rocker arms mounted on a single rod and were not adjustable. The Skylark Custom continued to be available, also using the 350-cubic-inch V8 as standard equipment and still available as a two-door convertible coupe, two-door hardtop coupe, four-door hardtop sedan, and four-door sedan. Buick Gran Sport models continued to be available as a separate series. The Buick Sport Wagon name was now used on a conventional four-door station wagon that no longer featured a raised roof with glass panels over the cargo area, or a longer wheelbase, as in the past. It now used the same 116 in (2,946 mm) wheelbase as the Buick Skylark four-door sedan and the now-discontinued Buick Special four-door Station Wagon. It became, in effect, a Buick Skylark four-door station wagon in all respects but the name. .
For the 1971 model year, the base Skylark was available only with the inline-6, now only putting out 145 hp (108 kW) due to emission control devices, but in a two-door hardtop coupe body-style (in addition to the previous two- and four-door sedans). The Skylark 350 had a V8 engine that put out only 230 hp (170 kW). It was now available as a two-door sedan in addition to the previous two-door hardtop coupe and four-door sedan.
1972 was the last model year for the mid-sized Buick Skylark. During this model year many pollution controls were added to the engines, Compression was lowered, engines had to accept leaded and unleaded gas, and spark timing was retarded (no vacuum advance in lower gears) while driving in lower gears to reduce emissions. For 1972, the base Buick Skylark used the 350-cubic-inch V8 with the 2-barrel Rochester carburetor (now putting out 145 horsepower) as standard equipment. A new federally mandated system to calculate power was put into effect that year, and the actual engine performance was probably comparable but slightly lower because of pollution controls in the 1972 model year to the 230 hp (172 kW) that was listed for the previous year. The Skylark 350 now used a version of the same V8 engine as the base Skylark, but with a 4-barrel Rochester carburetor that generated 180 hp (134 kW).
Skylark Customs were available with the same 350-cubic-inch V8 engines available in the basic Skylark and the Skylark 350. The Custom had an upgraded interior and dash with some extra chrome. Convertibles only came in the Skylark Customs and the Skylark 350s.
For the 1973 model year, the Buick Gran Sports, Skylarks, and Sport Wagons would all be replaced by the new mid-sized Buick Century. Since Centurys were available with Gran Sport trim, the Gran Sport name was once again reduced to being an option package.
|Also called||Buick Apollo|
|Assembly||Van Nuys, California|
Willow Run, MI
Tehran, Iran (1976–87)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupe|
|Engine||231 in³ (3.8 L) V6|
260 in³ (4.3 L) V8
301 in³ (5.0 L) V8
305 in³ (5.0 L) V8
350 in³ (5.7 L) V8
350 in³ (5.7 L) V8
In the middle of the 1973 model year, Buick returned to the compact market with the Buick Apollo, using General Motors’ X-body platform, based on the Chevrolet Nova. When the car was extensively restyled for the 1975 model year, the two-door hatchback sedan (coupe) and two-door sedan (coupe) were rechristened “Skylark”, while the four-door sedan remained "Apollo". As this generation Skylark was "downsized", the next larger coupe and sedan to take the market position that the Skylark formerly occupied was the all-new Buick Regal.
Two-door hatchback and two-door sedan models were available as the base Skylark or as the more upscale, European-inspired Skylark S/R ("Sports/Rallye"). Four-door sedans were available as the base Apollo or the more upscale Apollo S/R. In addition, there was a very plain, lower-priced Skylark "S" available only as a two-door sedan with minimal interior and exterior trim. "VentiPorts" reappeared integrated into the front half of the rub strip that ran the length of the vehicle, which had disappeared from Skylarks in 1968.
The standard engine for the Buick Skylarks was Buick’s own 231-cubic-inch (3.8 L) V6 engine with a 2-barrel carburetor creating 110 hp (82 kW) at 4000 rpm. Buick purchased back the tooling for the engine from American Motors, which acquired them when the company purchased the Kaiser Jeep division from Kaiser Industries. The Apollo used Chevrolet's 250-cubic-inch (4.1 L) inline 6-cylinder engine.
Optional engines included the Oldsmobile 260-cubic-inch (4.3 L) V8 with a two-barrel carburetor producing 110 hp (82 kW) at 4,000 rpm, and the Buick 350-cubic-inch (5.7 L) V8 with either a 2- or 4-barrel carburetor. In 1976, the 5.7 L V8 engines produced 140 hp (100 kW) at 3,200 rpm with the 2-barrel carburetor, and 155 hp (116 kW) at 3,400 rpm with the 4-barrel carburetor.
Beginning with the 1976 model year, the four-door sedans used the Skylark and Skylark S/R names instead of the previous Apollo badge, and came with the 3.8 L V6 engine as standard.
The 260-cubic-inch (4.3 L) V8 was discontinued after the 1976 model year. For the 1977 model year, it was replaced by a pair of V8 engines.
Available as an option in 1977 was a 301-cubic-inch (4.9 L) V8 with a 2-barrel carburetor, which produced 135 hp (101 kW) at 4000 rpm (supplied by Pontiac). Also available was a 305-cubic-inch (5.0 L) V8 with a 2-barrel carburetor, which produced 145 hp (108 kW) at 3800 rpm (supplied by Chevrolet). The Buick-built 5.7 L V8 was still available, but only with the 4-barrel carburetor.
Beginning with the 1978 model year, Chevrolet's 5.7 L (350-cubic-inch) V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, which produced 170 hp (130 kW) at 3,800 rpm, also was available. Also in that year, the Skylark Custom replaced the Skylark S/R as the most luxurious variant. The 1978s also received some very light cosmetic changes to the corner lights and grille.
The 1979 model year saw the discontinuance of the Skylark Custom two-door hatchback coupe (the base V6 produced 10 hp (7.5 kW) more than 1978's version). The 1979 model year was short because, midway through it, the all-new 1980 models were introduced early.
Buick Skylarks were assembled in Iran (4-door models only) from 1977 to 1981 and again from 1986 to 1988 under the brand name of "Buick Iran". The first generations were known as B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, from 1977 until 1981 and the second and last generation was known as the B2 and B3 from 1986 until 1988. The later models were made after GM released the kits and parts to Iran following the GM's debt to Iran General Motors. These cars were equipped with a 5.7L engine (SB 350 Chevrolet, L engine, 4BBL), and were fully equipped (power door locks, power window, power steering, automatic transmission, a/c, vinyl top). The Cadillac Seville and Chevrolet Nova were manufactured in Iran during the same period. A total of 40,000 GM cars were produced between 1977 and 1987 in Iran. It appears that these models were basically the same as those built in the U.S. from 1975 to 1979 (Islamic Revolution). It is said that in 1978, the Iranian Chevrolet Nova and Buick Skylark cars had order backlogs of 13 months.
GM Iran changed its name to Pars Khodro (meaning "Pars Automobile" in Iranian; 'Pars' being the ancient, original name of Persia) after 1979. The production continued from 1979 to 1987 on a part-time basis. Since the spare parts and the assembly-line equipment were not used between 1979 and 1986.
GM ceased the production of all vehicles in Iran in 1987.
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupe|
|Layout||Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive|
The 1980–1985 Skylark was Buick's badge engineered version of GM's new X-body architecture, shared with the Chevrolet Citation, Pontiac Phoenix, and Oldsmobile Omega and would bear some resemblance to the larger G-body mid-size cars. GM's X-body would also become the basis for GM's A-body mid-size cars that would be introduced as 1982 models. The new Skylark was introduced in the spring of 1979 as an early 1980 model featuring front-wheel drive, MacPherson strut front suspension and transversely mounted engine. The new optional 60 degree 2.8 L V6 engine was developed specifically for the X-cars. This platform became the basis for nearly all following GM front wheel drive vehicles, but like the other X-body cars was plagued by numerous reports of a tendency to lock the rear wheels upon braking, causing it to lose control and crash.
The Skylark was available in two- or four-door sedan bodystyles, and in base, Sport, or Limited trims. The standard 2.5 L Iron Duke 4 used a 2-barrel Rochester carburetor and produced 90 hp (67 kW) at 4000 rpm. The optional 2.8 L V6 also used a 2-barrel Rochester carburetor and produced 115 hp (86 kW) at 4800 rpm. A four-speed manual overdrive transaxle was standard with a three-speed automatic transaxle as an option.
For the 1982 model year, the base 2.5 L engine received fuel injection. The optional 2.8 L V6 was joined by a more powerful high-output version that produced 135 hp (101 kW) at 5400 rpm. Also for the 1982 model year, the Skylark received a mild facelift in the form of a new grille (the front parking lamps moved from outside the headlights to inside). In model year 1983, the base Skylark became the Skylark Custom. The Sport model was replaced by the T-Type, which was available only as a two-door coupe and came with the high-output version of the 2.8 L V6 engine as standard equipment.
In 1985, the last year of production, the X-body Skylark was available only as a four-door sedan in Custom or Limited trim, as the two-door coupe was replaced by Buick's new Somerset Regal coupe, built on GM's new N-body platform, shared with Pontiac's revived Grand Am and the new Oldsmobile Calais. For 1985 the grille was again redesigned, as was the rear. The taillights were wider and the license plate was moved down to the bumper, while a "Buick" plate appeared where the taillights had been.
|Also called||Buick Somerset|
|Assembly||United States: Lansing, Michigan (Lansing Car Assembly)|
|Body and chassis|
|Layout||Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive|
|Wheelbase||103.4 in (2,626 mm)|
|Length||180.0 in (4,572 mm)|
|Height||52.2 in (1,326 mm)|
For the 1985 model year, the two-door Skylark coupe was replaced by the Somerset Regal, built on the Oldsmobile-developed N-body platform. The "Somerset" name had previously been used as a trim package on the Regal. This generation of compact Buicks featured a more upscale and aerodynamic design than its predecessor, incorporating the long-hood/short-deck look popular at the time. The Pontiac-produced Iron Duke engine continued from the Skylark, but an Isuzu-sourced five-speed manual transmission replaced the four-speed as standard equipment. A new 3.0 L (181 cu in) multi-port fuel injected Buick V6, generating 125 hp (93 kW) at 4900 rpm, replaced the Chevrolet-designed 2.8 L V6 and was paired only with a three-speed automatic transmission. The Somerset featured an all-digital instrument cluster.
For 1986, the Skylark sedan was shifted to the N platform and redesigned to match its coupe stablemate, which dropped the "Regal" suffix from its same. It remained available in either Custom or Limited trim levels, and gained the powertrain options from the Somerset but retained conventional analog gauges.
Beginning with the 1987 model year, the four-door Skylark was available as a sporty T-Type model. In mid-model year, 1987 Skylark models had door-mounted automatic seat belts.
For 1988 models, the Somerset name was dropped and Buick's two-door N-body compact would share the Skylark nameplate with its four-door counterparts. In 1988, the Somerset name was discontinued, and all models were called Skylark. A new engine option for 1988 models was the fuel-injected, Oldsmobile-designed 2.3 L DOHC Quad-4 4-cylinder engine that produced 150 hp (110 kW) at 5200 rpm. An S/E package for Custom models replaced the previous T-Type trim. On 1989 models, a fuel-injected 3.3 L V6 (160 hp at 5200 rpm) replaced the previous 3.0 L V6, which was also Buick-built. A new LE package become available on four-door sedans that featured a vinyl roof that covered part of the rear side windows. The three-speed automatic transaxle became standard for 1989. For 1990, a new base Skylark was added, moving the Custom model up to replace the Limited. The S/E package was replaced by a new Gran Sport two-door sedan, reviving a name that had not been connected with the Skylark for many years. The LE ("Luxury Edition") sedan would become a full-fledged model.
The 1991 Skylark was a continuation of the 1990 lineup, with virtually no change made to the outward appearance of the car. There were minor mechanical changes made to the Skylark's optional 3.3 L V6 power plant, including a one piece rear main bearing seal to replace the rope type previously used, and a redesigned camshaft flange.
|Assembly||United States: Lansing, Michigan (Lansing Car Assembly)|
|Body and chassis|
|Layout||Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive|
|Wheelbase||103.4 in (2,626 mm)|
Radical new wedge-shaped styling appeared in 1992, with a sharply pointed grille reminiscent of 1930s Buick Special. The Skylark's new aerodynamic body had a low 0.319 coefficient of drag, compared to 0.374 for the previous version. The pointed grille appearance was used during the mid-1960s on all Buick products.
It was initially offered in two- and four-door body styles and in base and Gran Sport versions. The base engine was the 2.3 L Quad OHC, which produced 120 hp (89 kW) at 5200 rpm. The optional 3.3 L V6 (standard on the GS) produced 160 hp (120 kW) at 5200 rpm. All Skylarks came with the three-speed automatic transaxle.
For the 1993 model year, the base model was replaced by Custom and Limited trims. For 1994, a new 3.1 L V6 (160 hp (120 kW) at 5200 rpm) replaced the previous 3.3 L V6 as standard on the GS and optional on the others. The Limited coupe was dropped for 1994, but returned for 1995.
Mechanical changes for the 1995 model year included the upgrading of the standard 2.3 L Quad 4 engine from a SOHC design to a DOHC design, increasing power to 150 hp (110 kW) at 6000 rpm. The three-speed automatic transaxle continued to be standard with the base 4-cylinder engine, but a new four-speed automatic (electronically controlled 4T60-E) was optional with the 4-cylinder engine and standard with the V6.
Skylark received a facelift for the 1996 model year in the form of a more conventional-looking grille. The previous 2.3 L I4 was replaced by a new 2.4 L DOHC I4 that produced 150 hp (110 kW) at 6000 rpm. The previous three-speed automatic transaxle was discontinued and the four-speed automatic became standard on all Skylarks. An on-board diagnostic system (OBD II) was standard. Buick offered an "Olympic Gold" edition of the 1996 Skylark to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Olympic Games. It featured gold USA/5-ring badging on the fenders, gold "Skylark" badges, gold-accented wheel covers, and gold accent trim.
There were only minor changes to the lineup for the 1997 model year, which was the last year that it would be available to the public in showrooms. A single-model 1998 Skylark sedan was produced for fleet-only sales, mostly to auto rental companies. Most of these 1998 models, the last year that Buick used the Skylark name, were eventually resold to the general public as used cars. After the Skylark's discontinuation, Buick did not produce another compact car until the 2012 Buick Verano.
Production ended on December 4, 1997.
The Skylark production line in Lansing was retooled to build the 2000–2003 Chevrolet Malibu.
|1992–1994||2.3 L Oldsmobile L40 I4|
|1995||2.3 L Oldsmobile LD2 I4|
|1996–1998||2.4 L Oldsmobile LD9 I4|
|1992–1993||3.3 L Buick LG7 V6|
|1994–1998||3.1 L Chevrolet L82 V6|
The Bolero was a concept car showcased by Buick in 1990. It was displayed at the Detroit Auto Show in January 1990 and the Chicago Auto Show in February 1990. It formed some of the basis for the 1992 Buick Skylark.The Bolero possesses a 3.3 liter V6 engine. The rear deck was slightly higher than the hood, making for a more aerodynamic design. Fiber optics were utilized throughout the car. A built-in cooler was also included in the rear shelf, dual cup holders for the front and rear passengers, and portable headsets behind the front seats.
The car has a 107-inch (270 cm) wheelbase with an overall length of 190 in (480 cm), is 53 in (130 cm) high and 70.5 in (179 cm) wide. Its engine produces 206 horsepower at 5200 RPM.Buick Estate
The Buick Estate was a line of full-sized station wagons manufactured by the Buick division of General Motors. As its premier luxury division, Cadillac, didn't offer a station wagon, the Estate was GM's most expensive and most fully equipped entry in the market.Buick Skyhawk
Not to be confused with Buick Skylark.The Buick Skyhawk is an automobile produced by Buick in two generations for the 1975 through 1989 model years.
The first generation (1975-1980) were two-door hatchbacks using the subcompact, rear-wheel drive H-body platform, a badge engineered entry-level version of the Chevrolet Monza, which was based on the Chevrolet Vega.
The second generation (1982-1989) models were built on the compact, front-wheel drive J-car platform that was available in four body styles: two-door sedan and hatchback, as well as four-door sedan and station wagon — manufactured alongside its rebadged variants, the Chevrolet Cavalier, Cadillac Cimarron, Oldsmobile Firenza, and Pontiac J2000/2000/Sunbird at GM's South Gate Assembly and Janesville Assembly plants.Buick Sport Wagon
The Buick Sport Wagon was a mid-size station wagon built by Buick and a corporate sister of the Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser. Featuring a raised roof and skylights over the cargo and second seat area, this model was an extended wheelbase version of the Buick Skylark station wagon. Buick Sport Wagons were built in three generations, spanning 1964–67, 1968–69, and 1970–72. During this time period, this was the only luxury level station wagon offered under the Buick model line. The last generation did not receive the skylights.Buick V8 engine
The Buick V8 is a family of V8 engines produced by the Buick division of General Motors between 1953 and 1981. The first version replaced the Buick straight-eight. Displacements vary from 215 cu in (3.5 L) (for the division's unique all-aluminum early 1960s engine) to 455 cu in (7.5 L) for its last big block in 1976. All are naturally aspirated OHV pushrod engines, except for an optional turbocharged version of the short-lived 215 used in the 1962-63 Oldsmobile Cutlass.
There were six displacements of the "nailhead" in two generations between 1953 and 1966, varying from 264 cu in (4.3 L) to 425 cu in (7.0 L); three displacements of standard cast iron small blocks between 1964 and 1981, and 300 cu in (4.9 L) and 350 cu in (5.7 L); one of the 215 cu in (3.5 L) aluminum blocks (1961-1963); and three big blocks between 1967 and 1976 and 400 cu in (6.6 L) and 455 cu in (7.5 L).
Some of these Buick V8s, such as the 350, 400, and 455, had the same displacements as those from other GM divisions, but were otherwise entirely different engines.Buick Verano
The Buick Verano is a front engine, front-wheel drive layout, four-door, five passenger, entry-level luxury compact car manufactured by General Motors for its Buick brand at the Orion Assembly plant in Orion Township, Michigan, and in China by GM's Joint Venture with SAIC Motor, SAIC-GM (also called Shanghai GM). The Verano debuted at the North American International Auto Show on January 10, 2011, during a preview of Buick's then upcoming 2012 model. It is the first compact marketed by Buick in the United States since the 1998 Buick Skylark. Verano is Spanish for summer.The Verano—along with the Buick Excelle GT, which was developed for the Chinese market and produced in China and the European Opel Astra / UK Vauxhall Astra sedan, which was presented at the 2012 Moscow International Automobile Salon—shares General Motors' Delta II platform with the Chevrolet Cruze and the corresponding MPV models, Chevrolet Orlando and Opel/Vauxhall Zafira Tourer.Chevrolet Citation
The Chevrolet Citation is a range of compact cars that was produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors for a single generation, from the 1980 to 1985 model years. Developed as the replacement for the Chevrolet Nova, the Citation was the first Chevrolet sold with front-wheel drive. Chevrolet offered three body styles: a three- and five-door hatchback, alongside a two-door notchback coupe.The introduction of the Chevrolet Citation marked the drastic downsizing of GM's 2nd generation X-platform, almost reducing its exterior footprint to dimensions of the '71–'80 H-platform (sub)compacts. While the Citation replaced the long-running Chevrolet Nova, it shared the X-platform with the Pontiac Phoenix – sharing the hatchback bodies of the Citation – as well as the Buick Skylark and Oldsmobile Omega, which were given their own sedan bodywork. The Citation notchback coupé body was unique to Chevrolet.
In an extended initial model year, Chevrolet sold over 800,000 units of the 1980 Citation, making it both one of the most successful product launches in General Motors history, but also the best-selling car in the United States in 1980 overall.Alongside a standard trim level, Chevrolet offered the Citation X-11, offering performance-oriented upgrades. For 1982, the Chevrolet Celebrity was introduced to complement the line-up with mid-size sedan and station wagon variants of the Citation.
After a significant decrease in sales following its launch, the Citation was discontinued after the 1985 model year. For 1987, Chevrolet replaced the Citation with the Chevrolet Beretta two-door coupe and Chevrolet Corsica four-door sedan/five-door hatchback. In total, 1,642,587 Citations were manufactured during its production run.GM A platform
The General Motors A platform (commonly called A-body) was an automobile platform, and was GM's original, and oldest, platform used by all early GM products, beginning with the Chevrolet Superior. From this platform, all North American platforms B, C, and D were developed.
Starting in 1936 through 1958, GM used four different designations for various bodyshells/platforms with the A-body for Chevrolet, most Pontiacs, and the Oldsmobile Series F and Series 60. The A-body was temporarily suspended in 1958 until it was reintroduced in 1964.
For the 1959 model year, the previous A and B bodies were built on the new B Body that lasted until 1996.
The A-body designation was resurrected in 1964 for a new series of intermediate-sized cars including the Chevrolet Chevelle, Pontiac Tempest, Oldsmobile Cutlass and Buick Skylark. These later A-bodies underwent a switch in drive layout from rear wheel drive to front wheel drive in 1982. The switch in drive layout spawned the G-body. In 1997, every A-body car line was cancelled, but new nameplates on the GM W platform have taken their place.
1923–1958 GM A platform (RWD) - Chevrolet, Oakland, most Pontiacs, 1936 Oldsmobile Series F and Series 60
1964–1981 GM A platform (RWD) - Chevelle, Malibu, Monte Carlo, Tempest, LeMans, GTO, Grand Am, Grand Prix, Cutlass, Skylark, Century and Regal
1982–1996 GM A platform (FWD) - Celebrity, 6000, Cutlass Ciera, CenturyGM B platform
The GM B platform (also known as GM B body), was General Motors' full-size rear-wheel drive automobile platform from 1926-1996. It was closely related to the original rear-wheel drive GM C and GM D platforms, and was used for convertibles, hardtops, coupés, sedans, and station wagons.
At approximately 12,960,000 across four marques not counting 1966 full-size Chevrolet station wagons (production of 1966 full-size Chevrolet station wagons is unknown but a good guess is about 150,000) the 1965-70 GM B platform is the fourth best selling automobile platform in history after the Volkswagen Beetle, Ford Model T and the Lada Riva.Originally, the B platform was used for Buick and Oldsmobile products, with the first GM A platform for Chevrolet and Oakland, and the above GM C and D platforms devoted to Cadillac.
The B platform was used for the Pontiac Streamliner Torpedo and Streamliner, the Oldsmobile Series L, Series 70 and Series 88, the Buick Special and Century, the LaSalle Series 50 and the Cadillac Series 60, Series 61 and Series 63. The B platform became GM's base model platform in 1958, when all existing Chevrolet products were upgraded to the B platform.
For the 1959 model year, the previous A and B bodies were built on the new B platform that lasted until 1996. The A platform designation would be resurrected by GM in 1964 for a new series of intermediate-sized cars including the Chevrolet Chevelle, Pontiac Tempest, Oldsmobile Cutlass and Buick Skylark.GM N platform
The General Motors N platform (commonly called the N-body or N car) was a front-wheel drive compact automotive platform produced from 1985 to 2005. The GM N platform was based on the GM J-Body and replaced the GM X platform.GM X platform (1962)
The rear-wheel drive X-body underpinned the Chevrolet Nova and similar cars of the 1960s and 1970s. It was also the basis for the Cadillac Seville's K platform and many components were shared with the contemporary F platform. Entry level badge engineered luxury coupes and sedans offered in the 1970s by Buick, Pontiac, and Oldsmobile appeared around the same time as the competing Ford Granada and Plymouth Volare.
Chevrolet Chevy II (1962–1967)
Chevrolet Nova (1968–1979)
Buick Apollo (1973–1974; 1975 sedan only)
Buick Skylark (1975 coupe only; 1976–1979)
Oldsmobile Omega (1973–1979)
Pontiac Ventura (1971–1977)
Pontiac Phoenix (1977–1979)
Acadian (1962–1971)Model year 1968–1974 GM X-bodies positioned the steering linkage behind the steering gear ("rear steer"—also shared with the 1967–1969 F platform), whereas 1975–1979 models had the steering linkage forward of the steering gear ("front steer"—shared with the second generation (1970–1981) F platform including the 1973–1977 A platform and 1977–1996 B platform (control arms, steering knuckle assembly except steering linkage and front sway bar).
In the early 1970s, it was noticed that the first letter of each X-body model name (Nova, Omega, Ventura, Apollo) spelled out "NOVA", the cheapest model of the quartet.GM X platform (1980)
The General Motors second generation, front-wheel drive X-platform was used for compact cars from 1980 to 1985. After front-wheel drive cars had become somewhat mainstream in the North American market, first through foreign imports, and then by American badged but wholly or partially foreign developed cars – for instance the Ford Fiesta and Dodge Omni – GM's 2nd gen X-bodies were the first all-American developed front-wheel drive cars introduced for high-volume, mainstream sales, and initially saw great sales success. They posed an alternative to imported front-wheel drive compacts.Vehicles using the X-body included:
1980–1985 Buick Skylark
1980–1985 Chevrolet Citation
1980–1984 Oldsmobile Omega
1980–1984 Pontiac PhoenixThe X platform was replaced by the L-body and N-body platforms, which were derived from the J-body platform.General Motors 60° V6 engine
The General Motors 60° V6 engine family is a series of 60° V6 engines which were produced for both longitudinal and transverse applications. All of these engines are 12-valve cam-in-block or overhead valve engines, except for the LQ1; which uses 24 valves driven by dual overhead cams, instead. These engines vary in displacement between 2.5 and 3.4 litres (2,490 and 3,350 cc) and have a cast-iron block and either cast-iron or aluminum heads. Production of these engines began in 1980 and ended in 2005 in the U.S., with production continued in China until 2010. This engine family was the basis for the GM High Value engine family. Some refer to these engines as X engines due to first usage in the X-body cars.
This engine is in no way related to the GMC V6 engine that was designed for commercial vehicle usage.Iron Duke engine
The Iron Duke Pontiac engine VIN code A (also called the 2500, 151, Pontiac 2.5, and Tech IV, though the decal on the air filter assemblies actually reads "4 Tech") is a 2.5 L (150.8 cu in) I4 piston engine. All Iron Dukes were built by Pontiac beginning in 1977 and ending in 1993. After this time, the GM 2.2 L OHV 4-cylinder replaced it across the entire lineup of vehicles that offered it. This engine is not to be confused with the Chevrolet 153. Early Iron Dukes had a Chevrolet V8 bellhousing (also shared with its third generation inline six) instead of the Buick-Oldsmobile-Pontiac bellhousing bolt pattern until the early 1980s when the later versions were installed in FWD applications where the 2.8L bellhousing bolt pattern was phased in. Cylinder head design had the intake manifold mounted on the passenger side, and the exhaust manifold on the driver side.Oldsmobile Achieva
The Oldsmobile Achieva is a front-wheel drive compact sedan and coupe that was introduced by Oldsmobile for the 1992 model year. The Achieva was based on the GM N-body platform, which it also shared with its siblings the Pontiac Grand Am and Buick Skylark. The Achieva replaced the GM N-body Cutlass Calais after the Calais' final 1991 model year, and ended production after the 1998 model year.Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais
The Oldsmobile Calais, renamed the Cutlass Calais for 1988, and briefly available in 1987 as the limited edition GMO Quad 4, is a compact car that was produced by Oldsmobile from 1985 through 1991. In part, it was intended to replace the Omega in Oldsmobile's lineup. It shared the GM N platform with the Pontiac Grand Am and the Buick Skylark/Buick Somerset and was replaced by the Oldsmobile Achieva in 1992. During this time, Oldsmobile also produced two other Oldsmobile Cutlass models, the Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera and Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, each on its own platform. The 1985 Calais, named for Calais, France, was chosen to be the Indianapolis 500 Pace car that year; it was driven by actor James Garner.
The first production model (VIN 1G3NT27UXFM200001), was a white Calais Supreme two-door with a gray velour interior. Equipped with an automatic transmission and the 92 horsepower, 151 CID pushrod four-cylinder engine (also known as GM's "Iron Duke" Tech-IV), this particular model was outfitted with nearly every available option, including wire wheel covers. While this front-wheel drive car is maintained by the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum in Lansing, Michigan, it is just one of the more than 700 vehicles that make up the GM Heritage Collection of historically significant vehicles that date back to the early 1900s. The Calais Supreme was auctioned in April, 2009, and sold for $6,820.
In 1987, the Quad 4 engine was developed and became available in a special limited edition of the Calais called the "GMO Quad 4". Early television ads touting the new engine's abilities showed video of the Calais GMO Quad 4 racing around city streets (the submodel was dropped, however the Quad 4 engine continued to be available for several years afterward). Another, later special Cutlass Calais model was the 1990 to 1991 Quad-442. It used a high-output version of the four-cylinder coupled to a 5-speed manual transmission. This same High Output version was also available in the top-of-the-line Cutlass Calais International Series.
The International Series was available as both a 2-door or a 4-door and featured exclusive options for the Calais range including lower front and rear facias, lower rocker extensions, and quad-tipped sport exhaust. Changes inside include thickly bolstered sport seats which feature driver-side power controls and were available in cloth with leather accents or full leather. The International Series came standard with power locks and windows with driver's side auto-down, a multifunction Driver Information Center in the center console, full gauges, cruise control, and the uplevel FE3 sport suspension. The standard engine for the International was the new-for-1990 Quad 4 H.O. although the normal Quad 4 L.O. and automatic transmission where an option. Optional equipment on the International series included keyless entry and a Delco CD player.
Previously, the Cutlass Calais nameplate was used on top-line versions of the Cutlass Supreme coupé (differing from the Supreme only in minor trim details) from 1978 to 1984. There was also a Cadillac Calais model, sold from 1965 to 1976.
The last Cutlass Calais rolled off the assembly line on April 26, 1991.Oldsmobile Omega
The Oldsmobile Omega is a compact car that was manufactured and sold from 1973 through 1984 by Oldsmobile. The name omega was used to imply the last, the end, or the ultimate limit of a set, in contrast to alpha, the first letter of the Greek alphabet. There were three generations of Omegas, all being badge-engineered Chevrolet models, and each of the three using one of two GM X platform architectures:
1973–1979 - rear-wheel-drive, related to the Chevrolet Nova.
1980–1984 - front-wheel-drive, related to the Chevrolet Citation.Van Nuys Assembly
Van Nuys Assembly was a General Motors automobile factory in Van Nuys, California. The plant opened in 1947 producing Chevrolet Advance Design trucks. Later it would produce several different models including Chevrolet full-size (Caprice, Impala, etc.), Chevrolet Corvair, Chevrolet Greenbrier, Chevrolet Chevelle, Chevrolet Nova/Buick Apollo/Oldsmobile Omega/Pontiac Ventura, and Chevrolet Camaro/Pontiac Firebird. It also produced the Chevrolet Monte Carlo and the Buick Skylark. The plant was closed in 1992 when Camaro/Firebird production moved to Sainte-Thérèse Assembly in Quebec due to air quality remediation efforts.
The site was razed in 1998. A retail and industrial complex, known as The Plant, resulted on the 68-acre (28 ha) site, as well as Station 81 of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The retail portion totals 365,000 square feet (33,900 m2) and is home to 35 retail stores and restaurants. A 16-screen movie theater honors the site history with an automotive theme décor. GM continues to operate a car-testing facility on 27 acres (11 ha) next to The Plant.