1966 BUICK Skylark Convertible - Birch Bay, WA Print
Written by Double Dragon
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 15:34

1966 BUICK Skylark Convertible - Birch Bay, WA


Writing copyright D. S. Brown, photography copyright owner of Skylark.

The Skylark name traces back to the debut of the Buick Special for the 1961 model year. The Special was a compact car based on the Corvair 'A body' platform. Chevrolet's sporty image Corvair was intended to counteract the influx of compact and often sporty foreign cars.

Over at Ford, the conventional engineering and pedestrian styling of the Falcon made them the sales winner in the domestic compact market. The compact Plymouth Valiant was too weird looking although it benefited from some terrific engineering most notably the long runners made possible on the slant 6 engine simply by tilting the angle of the cylinder banks. Rather than follow Ford's example, General Motors stayed the course and offered cutting edge and often unusual technology when the Corvair's 'A body' was adapted for use by 'B-0-P' (Buick-Oldsmobile-Pontiac).

66 buick skylark conv birch bay f

Pontiac's 'A body' Tempest used half a bank of a V8 389 to create an inline 4 cylinder engine hooked up to a rope drive that turned a rear mounted transaxle with independent rear suspension. Oldsmobile fielded an aluminum engine and turbocharging. Buick came out with a really sweet V6 engine at a time when all 6 cylinder domestic engines were inline engines. Magazine testers of the day proclaimed the Buick V6 to be nearly as smooth and powerful as a V8 while offering terrific economy of operation through cheaper tune ups and better MPG. The Buick V6 wasdestined to become the heart of the Grand National musclecars a few decades later.

The GM A bodies were stretched into 'intermediate' sizes for the 1964 model year and reverted to conventional technology. GM couldn't beat the compact foreign cars on their own territory using radical technology so it was time to get back to larger bread and butter cars.

The Skylark name had been used on Buicks briefly during the 1950s. In mid 1961 model year Buick applied the Skylark name to a jazzed up two door bucket seat version of the Special with more horsepower. By the mid 1960s many intermediate Buicks were sold as upscale Skylarks instead of entry level Specials.

This 1966 ONE OWNER Buick Skylark yellow convertible stayed with the original owner for 48 years. The Skylark appeared for sale in an advertisement placed on Craigslist in August, 2014.

Like so many of our ONE OWNER people, the owner of this car seems like a very particular person. Although the Skylark was purchased in Seattle, Washington in 1966, the family went all the way to the Buick factory in Flint, Michigan to pick up their new car. The Skylark was driven home to Edmonds, Washington (a suburb of Seattle) from Flint. That must have been a great trip to take in a new convertible.

The owner's attention to the car didn't end with a personal pick up in Flint. All maintenance services were performed on schedule and the car was kept up over its lifetime with some expensive repairs and refurbishments performed. The car was well kept enough to be collector plated at the time it was offered for sale. The owner had receipts for the work done on the car and stated that it was a ONE OWNER never smoked in car. The owner states that it has a new battery and radial tires. Note that the owner managed to find a set of whitewall radials to match the original issue bias ply tires.

The Skylark was clearly a special car to the owner and seems to have spent its whole life in the Northwest Washington area. The car was placed for sale from Birch Bay, Washington which is north of Seattle.

The Skylark came with many nice features. The photos show us a convertible with black top and black front bucket seat interior, automatic transmission, radio and full wheel covers.

66 buick skylark conv birch bay side

The odometer currently reads 292,000 miles. Buick engines enjoy a good reputation much like the Oldsmobile engines. The owner informs us that the engine has never been worked on despite its high mileage. The transmission required work twice in that time period and the 'universal' was worked on once.

The convertible top was replaced twice. The second top is described in good condition. The car was repainted around 1999 ('15 years ago'). The paint is described as,

"in good condition, although there are a few small rust spots."

The resuts of an inspection performed July 30, 2014 by Hinton Chevrolet Buick in Lyton, Washington revealed minor issues:

1) A slow leak in top hydraulic system

2) The windshield washer hoses need replacing.

This ONE OWNER Skylark was listed for sale at $8,995.00. The ad soon vanished off the internet so we speculate that the car has found a new home after 48 years as a ONE OWNER.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 March 2021 21:38 )