1982 BUICK SKYLARK, LIMITED EDITION

OUR 5-YEAR ODYSSEY SEARCHING FOR A DAILY DRIVER, part 2

The Honda was a dependable ride, but I still preferred the V-6 Buick Century.

While searching eBay within a 50-mile radius, I just typed in "Buick" and forgot to add "Century." An '82 Skylark came up that was about to finish its auction with no bids. The seller claimed that it had only been driven 24,000 miles and because it is very similar to the Century and had the V-6 engine, I bid in the last minute and got it for only $2,200!

I went to pick up the car with some reservations, but the car was all that the seller claimed it to be - and more! He even had the original window sticker. Check out these photos!





















































In April, 1982, a 54-year-old lady in Queens, NY bought a new Buick Skylark at Martin's Buick dealership. The new price for a standard 1982 Skylark was $8,079, but this lady bought $2,700 worth of extras, bringing the total price to $10,720!

The car was delivered with power windows, tinted glass, carpet savers, protective body moldings, door edge guards, front & rear bumper guards, rear window defogger, air conditioning, sport mirrors, 2.8 liter V-6 engine, automatic transmission, tilt steering column, locking wire wheel covers, radial white wall tires, quartz clock, Delco AM-FM radio, copper metallic paint and burgundy velour interior. The bumpers were of heavy polished aluminum that will never rust!

Few production cars of the era could compete with the beauty of this Buick! When you drove it, heads turned and when it was parked, people peered inside to admire the upholstery. Most refused to believe that this car was already 30 years old!

HISTORY OF THIS SKYLARK
According to CarFax, the car was registered in Elmhurst (Queens), NY for the first 22 years of its life. When it was re-titled in Brick, NJ on July 14, 2004, it had accumulated only 7,756 miles! That is an average of 352 miles per year, but it probably sat in a garage for most of that time.

I did some detective work on Google and discovered that the original owner had a son in Brick Township, NJ. I am guessing that ownership passed to him. He drove the car for five years, but added only 8,718 miles (1,743 miles per year). He sold the car June 15, 2009 with 16,474 miles on it.

The third owner used the car as a daily driver, accumulating 8,203 miles in 9 months. I bought the car on eBay March 11, 2011 with 24,677 miles on the odometer. I only drove the car about 1,700 miles in 7 months. I hated to take it out in rainy weather -- and we had lots of that in 2011!

CONDITION
The body and undercarriage were absolutely free of rust. The car was undercoated when new and always garaged. The original metallic paint shone and the interior was in showroom condition. The original radio, clock, power windows, lights and other features worked perfectly. The car ran and shifted like it should.

Rubber parts deteriorate even when not used, so belts, hoses and wiper blades had been replaced. The air conditioner had been retrofitted to SAE J1661. I installed a new water pump when it developed a leaky seal. The rubber protective boot on the left front half axle was damaged so I bought a complete new half axle.

This Skylark qualified for classic car tags and insurance -- about $100 per year and no inspection necessary, but I really didn't need two collector cars! I sold the Skylark for a profit before winter set in. That car was not going to see any salt on my watch!

I finally bought a Buick Century with the coveted 3.8 liter engine!