Junkyard Find: 1985 Buick Skyhawk Wagon

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1985 buick skyhawk wagon

The Buick Skyhawk started out as a badge-engineered upscale version of the wretched Chevy Monza, took 1981 off, then returned as a front-wheel-drive J-body in 1982. This car is largely forgotten today, and the station wagon version manages to be even more forgotten. Still, a few remain, and this ’85 hung on for nearly 30 years before washing up in The Crusher’s waiting room.

Put a little Skyhawk in your life!

This one is about as used up as it gets.

No, this isn’t an Iron Duke, nor is it the Opel pushrod four used in the Chevette. This is the overhead-cam 1.8 liter version of the GM 122 engine, which produced a not-so-zippy 84 horsepower in 1985.

However, the 5-speed vampired fewer horses than the slushbox.

GM used five-digit odometers well into the 1990s, so we can’t tell whether this car did 35,000 miles, 135,000 miles, or 735,000 miles. My money is on the second guess.

Overhead cams and fuel injection were still semi-futuristic in 1985, at least for Detroit. Bragging rights for Skyhawk drivers!

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2 of 101 comments
  • MyerShift MyerShift on Aug 15, 2018

    The colour of this wagon is the same as my '87 Skyhawk Custom Coupe that was my first car: Rosewood Pearl. Faded to a brownish colour by the time I got it from my grandmother. 2.0L OHV I4, 4-speed manual, no power steering, no a/c, no rear defrost, manual steering, covered headlamps. Rear quarter windown flipped out partway. It did have cruise and an AM/FM stereo radio with blue-green display and no clock. I loved that car. Durable, simple, averaged an honest 37mpg. I loved that car!

  • Chris_Halkides Chris_Halkides on Feb 07, 2019

    My 1985 Buick Skyhawk wagon is still running. Great car.

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂