By on July 31, 2012

It took just eight years for the Buick Skylark to go from a big, rear-drive, credibly luxurious and status-enhancing machine to front-wheel-drive compact based on the unspeakably terrible Chevy Citation. Nearly all of the X-Platform cars are gone now, but the pimposity of this first-year Buick’s whorehouse-red interior must have kept it away from The Crusher for more than three decades.
I think the Citation/Phoenix/Omega/Skylark fiasco of the first half of the 1980s did more to damage The General’s long-term fortunes than any other vehicle they have ever built, and that includes the Vega. Millions switched to imports and refused to consider buying a GM car ever again, after getting burned by an X-Platform purchase. If my memory is correct, the only reason the Citation didn’t set the all-time American record for most warranty problems in a single year was that its Phoenix sibling somehow managed to be even less reliable.
The one positive legacy of the X-Platform nightmare is the GM 60-degree pushrod V6 engine, which continues to be produced today. I don’t remember seeing this “Saver V6″ emblem back in this day, but it looks like a factory-issue piece.


Here we see Bill Shoemaker and Magic Johnson pitching the allegedly luxurious ’80 Skylark and the allegedly fuel-efficient ’80 Electra. I know which one I’d have bought!
Finding a Weird Al cassette in the dirt next to this car helped alleviate my depression about GM’s X-Platform-induced downward spiral, by reminding me of how much I enjoyed listening to Dr. Demento during the darkest years of the Malaise Era.

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57 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1980 Buick Skylark Limited...”


  • avatar
    Moparman426W

    “The whorehouse red interior.” LOL!!! That really woke me up this morning, I busted out laughing :)

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      I had a couple of black cars with red interiors, I liked them a great deal… I’d like to be able to buy cars like that again. Maybe the new Dart will have that combination. But they really were hotter than Hell in the summertime.

      • 0 avatar
        GoesLikeStink

        Black or white with red interior, red on red, white with blue, green on green, when I bought my first new car an 86 ford ranger, these were still the color choices. I went with the least horrible como they had on the lot, black with tan vinyl. I knew one reason the japanese were killing us was all of their cars and trucks had grey intirios. It went with everything, was sort of classy and you only had to stock one color.

    • 0 avatar
      jayzwhiterabbit

      Many Japanese cars also had the awful maroon interiors….my ex gf’s 1991 Camry had one.

      Another not-so-wonderful interior color of the 1980’s: navy blue.

    • 0 avatar
      Wabbit3

      Loved that description…I had a 1980 Pontiac Grand Prix LJ as my second car in 1987. LJ stood for Luxury (but, alas, not a Brougham). A later dalliance of mine had a blue SJ, which had gray five spokes with Pontiac centers and a console shifter. Infinitely cooler.
      Mine had maroon paint with a more pinkish hood and roof (I remember the code had “rose” in it somewhere), red pin stripes, half vinyl top, 14″ wire wheels, and the coup de gracias 301 4bbl. The interior was red dash with fake wood tape, red carpet, red velour bench seat, red headliner, etc. You could have committed murder inside that car in the days before CSI and no one would have ever known. I was one set of platform shoes from being ‘pimped. Timing chain gave up at 50k miles. Traded it on a GTi when I moved north and was immobile most winters. I had no idea the red was that bad at the time. Seriously, we had no taste.

  • avatar
    dwight

    GM was onto something with these roomy front drive cars. Too bad it all went bad with the quality issues that literally killed their reputation and set the tone for the rest of the 80’s and beyond.

    • 0 avatar
      mr_mike

      You are so correct. If the quality was there, instead of being costed out, these would have been a home run! Right size car at the right time. More than 30 years later, they are still trying to get their reputation back.

  • avatar
    rmmartel

    Guess we had the only good 1980 Citation ever built – and since we bought it in ’79 it was a pretty early one. The only failure I remember in five years was the electric cooling fan for the radiator and a water pump. Given what else was out there at the time it was a rather peppy car with the 2.8l six.

    Other friends had a Phoenix and a Skylark – they were happy with their X-cars as well.

    What the heck, so many will bash a company based on their sample size of n=1, I will stick-up for the X-cars based on my sample size of three.

    Wow, sure is lonely in here.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “What the heck, so many will bash a company based on their sample size of n=1, I will stick-up for the X-cars based on my sample size of three.”

      You were lucky. My sample size is huge. I was working with GMAD for the 80X. Production numbers were everything. Got the lecture once when in the process of testing and calibration at an X assembly plant, one of my robots screwed up quite a few cars. I ran to Final with the job numbers to the guy in charge there. The response was “kid, don’t worry about it, the dealer will catch it” followed by “the lecture” on why production numbers were everything.

      Maybe your cars are from a rare moment in time when they weren’t cranking the line speed up to 80+ cars an hour. That’s usually when the really bad stuff would happen. Workers couldn’t keep up and would start screwing up and the rework guys would get overloaded – then management would just load them up and ship them without the repairs. Let the dealer catch it.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      @rmmartel:

      You’re not alone. As an addendum to my post below, my uncle owned an X-Car – can’t remember what it was, but it was yellow w/saddle tan interior. It served him well until he had to stop driving in 1991.

    • 0 avatar

      A friend of mine had an ’84 Citation II and loved it.

      But that’s the only positive I can ever recall with those cars…I’d driven a couple of them back-in-the-day they drove like they were about to fall part. Even when new.

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      Make that another good Citation. My wife bought an early 80 model. There were a few small problems repaired under warranty. After that, no problems for the next eight years and 80K miles when we finally sold it. The hatchback X cars were way ahead of the pack in room/weight ratio. With the back seat down and the hatch stowed behind the front seat, it could haul more stuff than anything else in its class.
      I had no complaints about the car although the interior was rather cheap.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      My dad bought a Citation 5-door, 4-speed and V6, in 1980. Aside from crappy paint, it was a pretty decent car. We all get lucky sometimes.

      I have to say I’ve never seen that “6-saver” emblem before, if it’s factory I don’t think they made many of them.

      • 0 avatar
        jayzwhiterabbit

        My Dad had a Citation, and reported that it was quite reliable.

        Being someone born after these cars came out, just out of curiosity what were the main reliability issues?

  • avatar
    jrhmobile

    I had four-door version of one of these little beasts in the late ’80s, with the V6, same body color with a matching bland tan interior. It was servicable and for the most part pretty reliable, but totally lacking in driving feel. Definitely built in Buick’s “little limousine” parlance of the 1980s.

    When I sold it, I followed the guy who bought it 30 miles as he disposed parked his previous car at his home. When we got there, he asked me if I was going to miss the car. I handed him the keys, looked him straight in the eyes and said: “Not at all.”

  • avatar

    I bought one of these babies for only $175 in 1993! What I thought was a great deal did not turn out so well, though.

    After driving it only 2 miles, BOOM. Engine toast. Sold it for $75, so it really only cost me only $50 per mile to drive.

  • avatar
    fintail jim

    My first new car was a 1980 Pontiac Phoenix XJ. It was silver with dark gray bumpers and lower doors. It had the carmine (Pontiac’s name for whore house red) hobnail interior. Mine had the V6 and four-speed manual. I had to special order it and wait several weeks for delivery. It was roomy (much more so than my friend’s earlier x-body 1977 Chevrolet Nova) and had pretty good performance.

    It was great for the four years I was in college then it just seemed to fall apart. The paint faded, the plastic bits in the interior faded to about 5 different shades of whore house pink, and it couldn’t keep a CV joint boot intact. The latter problem caused me to replace both CV joints within a year. That’s not something a recent college grad usually budgets for.

    When I met my future wife in college she needed a cheap car. A neighbor of my parents had just bought a 1975 Toyota Corona (20R engine, 4-speed manual) that had some body damage. He repaired the rear fender and gave the Corona a ‘decent’ garage respray. Anyway, my girlfriend/fiancee/wife bought the car for a very good price. We married the year after I graduated from college.

    Her decade-old Toyota with its vinyl seats and fading maroon paint (now mis-matched because of the body work) looked like a much better bet than the Pontiac which was half the Toyota’s age. I traded the Phoenix for a new Isuzu pickup (only thing I could afford at the time) which we easily drove for well over 100,000 miles without a problem.

    What happened to the Toyota Corona? We sold it to my in-laws for enough money to buy an Apple IIe computer which means the car suffered almost no depreciation in three years or my in-laws gave us a sweetheart deal. My wife was working on her thesis and needed a computer with a modem (remember those) for her research.

    The Corona then survived my father-in-law’s less than stellar mechanical abilities AND my three teenage brothers-in-law who each had a turn at destroying it and FAILED! My in-laws lived in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas at the time. At one point around 1990 they moved north to San Antonio and my father-in-law ‘sold’ the car for $300 to a woman who had had some financial difficulties.

    To this day we joke that the Corona is still running around Tamaulipas, Mexico and is being kept on the road by a 12 year old with some mechanical aptitude, a Crescent wrench, and a screwdriver.

    The Corona got the nickname “The Roach” because of it’s browish-red color and the fact that it seemed indestructable.

    The Phoenix probably hit the crusher before the ink was dry on my wife’s diploma. :-)

  • avatar
    Omnifan

    I remember the clock on my 1980 Skylark. When I removed the old analog clock to replace it with a digital one, I noticed a sticker on the analog clock with an address to get it repaired. What quality!

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Ahhh…the X-Cars.

    My “love” for GM and Chevy in particular took a serious hit with the death of the pillarless hardtop, regardless how much better the Colonnades were than the competition – to me, at least – kind of like being betrayed, idealistically.

    The second blow was the onset of the mid-sized, post-Colonnade sedans with back door sealed windows.

    The nail in the coffin and what ended up with my “hate” for GM were these – the X-Cars.

    Right-sized? Perhaps, but even realizing what the OEMs had to do to change the way cars were designed and built – these were disastrous, especially at first, which opened the floodgates to the Japanese OEMs, and justifiably so.

    It took me until 2004 to regain a guarded faith in GM again.

    I do know that not all of the X-Cars were bad, especially the later models, but the dirty deed was done and coming back has been an extraordinarily difficult road and the journey isn’t over yet…

    For me, the sooner this bad memory of an automotive-exercise has been erased and all these have come back as Apple-I-anything, the happier I will be – and I’m not an Apple Kool-Aid drinker even tho’ wifey bought us an I-Pod touch so we can use the little “AUX” input thingy on our new Impala!

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @Zackman….. The “AUX” thingy is just the icing on the cake. Its that V6 that even Jack B raved about……sweet.

      Oh yeah, and the chrome handles. Love it, great choice.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        Hey, Mikey, thanks for the shout-out!

        Yeah, we decided to pull the trigger on a new, last of the B-Bodies for several reasons, one is price, of course, as we got a real sweet deal we couldn’t refuse. The other? I like them…

        One day soon I’m going to open this baby up and see what she’ll do on the highway.

        Ours is Ashen Gray w/ebony interior and I had it pin-striped, but I also applied Impala emblems to the front doors, below the rub strip. The car stands out from all others, that’s for sure!

        If this car is half as good as our old 2004, I’ll be very happy!

      • 0 avatar
        jayzwhiterabbit

        We’ve got an ’06 Impala with 186,000 miles. No problems so far. The interior has cheap plastics, but still looks new. No noticeable wear on the fabric seats, either. 3.5 V6….I would love to drive the ’12 with the new motor & tranny! We’re waiting for the new body style to come out. Good luck!

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      Congrats! Did you get the front bech seat? It seems like something that makes the vehicle unique.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        Nope, buckets all the way and with a console that’s actually narrow by today’s custom, so it doesn’t cramp your knees.

        My 2004 had the split front bench seat. I loved that, too.

  • avatar
    KalapanaBlack

    In what car is the 60 degree pushrod V6 still being installed? I believe it has been completely supplanted by the 3.0/3.6 “high feature” family.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Coming from the rusty Upper Midwest, I’m continually amazed at the quality of the cars found in the Denver junkyards.

    This car really stands out, as it looks to me that this was driven until very recently. For a thirty-year old car, it’s amazingly (to me) clean and complete.

    It makes me wonder if Grandma recently passed, and no one wanted to deal with her old car.

    • 0 avatar

      I know! I have thought more than once before that I should buy a car hauler, and start a business bringing relatively intact gems (not this car model mind you) up to Michigan for resale.

      1. Bring southern junkyard cars to Michigan
      2. ??????
      3. Profit

  • avatar
    happycamper

    I owned a 84 skylark, 4spd, 4 cylinder. Parents bought it used and was handed down to me. Top speed was 78 mph, it would run out of steam in 3rd gear and 4th gear was too tall for it to go any faster.

    Best memory was keeping the thing from spinning out. Touch the brakes, and the car would go sideways at random times…usually on wet or snowy roads. Didn’t matter if it was going straight or taking a corner, always be prepared for the spinout!

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      Happy camper,

      NOW you tell me that wisdom, my moms 86 monte carlo did the same thing and in 1991 it spun me into a guard rail on I95 in CT , if I only had your advice than things may have been different….

    • 0 avatar
      Dingleberrypiez

      I have two friends who had ’84 skylark 4 cylinders as their first cars. One of them got in a high speed police pursuit attempting to evade his second DUI. I remember these had a digital speedo, he said it “pinned” at 85 during the pursuit! Maybe a few horses escaped from your 78 mph skylark…

      I also remember the stereo controls were located on a weird stock sticking out from the transmission hump, just a box sort of floating there not connected to the center console or dash or anything.

  • avatar

    Those not around back when these abominations hit the highway may have a difficult time understanding the vitriol they merited.

    It’s kind of like finding out as an adult, that your favorite uncle as a kid was actually a closet pedophile who collected corpses in the basement.

    Central to this comment is the fact that GM held fully half the market from the 50’s thru the 70’s, and many who bought GM, trusted GM. (Not to say that there weren’t such devotees of Ford/Chrysler/AMC too…but they and the imports were fighting over the remaining 50% of the market) It wasn’t so much about “the deal”…there was no cash on the hood in those days.

    GM’s greatest hits of the 50’s and 60’s had built up such trust in the marque, that even their missteps – even the Vega – could be forgiven by most. After all, the Chevy II/Grand Prix/Skylark etc. you had in 1964, or 1968, or 1971 was a reliable car, wasn’t it?

    Although that equity was squandered throughout the 70’s, the corporation produced enough greatest hits to keep customers believing. The downsized B/C bodies in 1977 and the A-bodies in ’78 were the reward for those who kept buying GM thru that decade…assuming you didn’t buy the 267 V8 with the metric tranny.

    There was always a “but”…an asterisk in those days.

    The much-hyped X-Bodies were the last straw for many, especially if your previous ownership experiences included a Vega (millions bought them) or full-size ’71-’76 that rotted to bits in three years.

    If Citation was the “first Chevy of the 80’s” as the ads proclaimed in the spring of 1979…were all the others that followed going to be total POS’s too?

    It’s as if Toyota or Honda infiltrated the manufacturing processes. In fact if they had, the result couldn’t have been any better for them.

    Our family friend Chris is an all-too-typical story: Bought a new X-Car in 1985…it fell apart in 18 months. The dealership laughed…Chris has bought Honda ever since.

    How did a global industrial titan collapse into bankruptcy?

    X marks the turning point. Go back and re-read the comments above mine…had these cars been properly executed, GM would have a lot more market share today, and may have not gone bankrupt.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      My goodness, Budda-boom, you said it better than I, and dead-on, too.

      It is impossible for any who weren’t around back then to fathom the effect these X-things did to at least two generations of drivers – me, a card-carrying Baby-Boomer (age 61) and our parents, who, as a group, were nearing retirement.

      Shame on you, GM.

      I’m stopping now – old emotions are bubbling up once again…

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Very well said. These cars debuted in the spring of 1979, just as news of gas shortages and price spikes in California hit the airwaves. The second gas shortage would quickly spread to the rest of the nation. I remember reading about riots at a suburban Philadelphia gas station in the summer of 1979.

      The X-cars, with their roomy interiors, compact dimensions, sprightly performance and decent fuel economy were the answer to this problem. They were the right car at the right time – a Honda Accord made in America, and with American styling cues and convenience features. Even better, they could be serviced at your local Chevrolet/Pontiac/Buick/Odsmobile dealer. (In 1979, Honda dealers were still largely limited to the bigger cities.) Of course, X-car owners would soon be visiting those dealerships quite often…

      GM’s leadership looked like geniuses for getting these cars to the market at just the right time. Initially, the X-cars sold as fast as GM could make them. Then news of serious quality problems began to crop up, along with numerous recalls, and finally complaints over rear brakes that locked prematurely. Sales collapsed within three years, and by the time they left the market in the mid-1980s, no one missed them.

      In retrospect, domestic loyalists would have been better off buying an “old school” Ford Fairmont or Mercury Zephyr, or, amazingly enough, a REALLY old-school AMC Concord.

      Not since the 1957 “Forward Look” Chryslers had a new car line initially soared so high, and then collapsed so quickly, while, in the process, effectively ruining the parent company’s reputation.

      • 0 avatar
        silverkris

        I guess we got lucky. In 1980 we were about to buy a new car and were considering the new GM X-cars, being a largely GM family up that that point. Well, one of my uncles (who had a ’78 Regal) dissuaded us from getting one of them new X’s, instead, we got a Century sedan. Yep, the A-body with the fixed rear windows. Well, it was pretty reasonably reliable and lasted for a long time. I’d hate to think what we would have gone through if we got one of the new X-cars now.

    • 0 avatar
      Geekcarlover

      You hit on it first. The Vega could be explained as a one off mistake. New technology/engine style, who’s long term real world use wasn’t fully understood when released. By the early ’80s and with the twin fiascos of the X cars and Oldsmobile diesel (I’ve owned both), GM was showing a very bad pattern.

    • 0 avatar
      jonnyq

      My turning point was the ’76 Cutlass w/gutless 260 v8 I owned in high school. Before that I had a ’66 Impala w/409 but had the money my senior year to buy new w/parents’ help – big mistake. Friend in HS father owned a ’61 Ferrari GT250 (which I helped on the engine rebuild) and a ’74 Pantera which was the first car I experienced 120mph+. Those experiences started my love for autos not American. Also was into motorcycles and had a Yamaha RD350 and used to ride a friend’s Kawasaki 750 triple so I knew a bit about acceleration.

      After college, my ’85 Supra was smashed up pretty bad and I was given an ’83 A body Celebrity as a long term loaner. I was thinking of getting married at the time and was working at an IT shop in Pittsburgh. Commuting, and sitting in traffic in that Celebrity, about as bad as an X body, and thinking about my future being a tied down, suburban husband, prompted me to end the engagement, move to the left coast and buy a Porsche.

      That didn’t work out so great and I moved back to middle America but I never did marry and don’t drive uninteresting cars: current summer ride is a NSX, but I wonder if my Supra was never hit and I got hitched how life would be now?

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Friend of mine was a proud owner of a new Citation. Two years later his debate was pay it off before trade-in or just take a beating on payoff. He traded it on an Accord. He’s bought a Chevy truck or two since then but his cars have always been Hondas.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Why no photos of the dash, I think that was the best part of the whole freaking car! Mine was not as bad as it could have been, had a decent ride and comfort, but it would overheat cause the relay that was supposed to activate the cooling fans, failed constantly, finally could not trust the car to go anywhere with it.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    “Absolutley no torquesteer!”, “Corners like a BMW!”, said the press with their obvious ringer Citation.

    The X-Body did serve a good cause in that Volvo used a Citation to test the engine and transmission for the upcoming Volvo 850.

    Is it me or were the Citations badge-buddies look more cheaply built?

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Well I think this car proves a point. Even a miserable X-body can last almost forever with proper care and sleeping in a garage at night.

    I can’t believe how well the interior materials have held up. This looks like the stereo typical little old lady who drove it once a week – for 30 years – cars.

    That was one of Weird Al’s best albums – “Checks In the Mail” one of his best original songs ever.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I think people who idolize GM cars of the 50s and 60s have rose-colored glasses. They were not great cars, and maybe (or maybe not) they were better than the competition. I remember my father being astounded at his friend who could get 100k out of a Chevy. They generally fell to crap around 60k. It’s just that everyone else got better at making cars, and GM never bothered to.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      About 100,000 miles was the limit for virtually any 1950s and 1960s car – foreign or domestic.

      And, in those days, moving up the GM brand ladder generally did get you a better car. It was not uncommon for people to get very good service out of Oldsmobiles, Buicks and Cadillacs in those years. For many people, if the Chevrolet wasn’t that great, the answer was to buy a Pontiac, Oldsmobile or Buick, as there were still some substantial differences in drivetrains and build quality between Chevrolet and the “upper” divisions.

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      Any modern car is going to be better built than any car from 50-60 years ago, we all know that. But, there was a period there in the middle (say 70s/80s) where GM really took a downward spiral. Back in the 1950s; 100,000 miles was practically the end of the world for any car. This was the time period where a full tune-up was still considered normal maintenance and engine rebuilds were a common job for any corner mechanic to handle. At 70,000 miles, even a Mercedes would be pretty well considered a wheezing old beater back then.

      Due to changes in metals science, construction techniques, materials, consumer expectations, government regulations, etc. etc. its pretty useless to compare cars from different decades for passing judgement. Its really an apples and oranges sort of thing.

      What you have to do is judge cars by their own peer group from the time they were new, and against other cars from the 1950s, GM’s products were undeniably class-leading, against other cars from the 1980s, they simply were not.

  • avatar
    dejal1

    Rented one of these on a trip from Mass. to Montreal to see the F1 race and back in 80 or 81. The thing was a rattletrap + chintzy but wasn’t too bad on the highway. I wasn’t impressed with seat material, so I’m surprised the seats look as good as they do. The car did a pretty good job of eating up the miles.

    The rental was also used as a future purchase test drive. The Saab 99 leaked oil out of every orifice and the previous year on the same trip, I ended up having to toss in 3 quarts of oil near Montpelier VT because the oil light came on. It was full when I left. A year later I still wanted to go to the race and the Saab was not to be trusted. The Buick looked decent enough, so I thought I’d kill 2 birds with one stone. While better than the Saab turd, the Buick didn’t feel like it would go the distance.

    I test drove an Accord and never looked back.

    GM was so close in getting it right. The specs always met the mark, but the execution always left something to be desired.

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    Sorry folks, I have a real soft spot for these cars. My first car was a 1985 Skylark Custom sedan, gray with charcoal interior. It was my parents first new car and I got it in 1991. Did it have problems? Sure. But seeing how it survived being hit once in the front and twice in the rear and was never hurt, combined with the solid thunk of the doors, even right up till the time I finally found it in a junkyard in Florida in 1998, told me that it wasn’t all that bad.

    I do wish they had sweated the details more in the beginning. Oh what might have been…

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    “Saver 6″? Is that like Chrysler’s “Lean Burn”? A normal engine, but forced to breath through a cocktail straw.

  • avatar
    ranwhenparked

    For a car that was so shoddily built new, this example seems remarkably well preserved – the interior looks almost showroom new. As early as the mid 1980s, there was no shortage of X-cars running around in much worse shape.

    Also, based on the level of dismantling done on the dash, it appears that someone has actually bought some parts off it – which means there is at least one X-body Skylark still running around on the roads, and more remarkably, it has an owner that actually cares to keep it that way.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    As hooptie dreams dash through my head.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    We sold a boatload of these cars at our dealership all through the 90’s. We would look for mainly 1983-85 Citation II’s, Skylarks and Omegas. The Pontiacs were hard to find and much more elusive. The 2.8 was peppy and economical and the Tech 4’s always seemed to run good for us. Most of the cars we sold needed the usual brakes, tires, the occasional half shaft or sensor but were otherwise no better or worse than the Fords, Chrylsers, Nissans etc that we also sold at that time for coming back with issues.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Somehow I have X Skylark firmly etched in my mind in light metallic blue. Seemed Bob Barker was always opening the curtains on blue with pinstripe tires and chromed wheel rings..

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    Ick.

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    Given that the regular production Skylark started out as a compact, it made a lot of sense for it to go back to its roots as part of GM’s weight loss program.

    It’s just a shame that had to be in the form of an X-Body.

  • avatar
    corvair66

    I understand the automotive history surrounding the X cars, I wonder if a lot of the problems were worse for the 4 cylinders. I had two Buick Skylarks, a 1980 Limited coupe 2.8 V6 much like this one but without the Landau roof and with a 4 speed stick. I liked that car and had very few problems with it . I ended up junking it in 1990 with 134,000 miles on it not because the car was done, but because it needed a new clutch, it had a cracked windshield and a bad battery… all fixable things, but the combined cost for the repairs and the car’s value in the marketplace rendered the repairs non-viable…. and I wasn’t at a time in my life when preseving it seemed like the thing to do.

    I also had a 1981 v6, four door with an automatic. Pretty boring car, but also didn’t have any major problems with it either. Didn’t like the auto trans though as it frequently overshot 2nd gear into first when you were trying to pass, forcing you to take your foot off the gas to have it drop back into second gear. By then, you lost all your momentum and had to slink back behind the car you wanted to pass in the first place.

  • avatar
    jayzwhiterabbit

    My Dad ran a Chevy service department in the early ’80s during the X-car fiasco. He told me it was way overhyped. He actually owned 2 Citations and they were good cars. I know other people who had X cars that were fine. So it wasn’t all of them.


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