Fast Free Spirit: 1977 Buick Skyhawk Hatchback – Sold?

by | Apr 2021 | Classifinds, Malaise Monday

May 7, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

While Chevrolet’s Monza was the best-known of GM the “H” body-based, rear-wheel-drive subcompacts produced during the late 1970s, Buick’s lesser-known version was the Skyhawk. We spotted this 1977 all red example in April 2021 on Craigslist in Paterson, North Carolina (Boone) that’s reported to be all original save for a 400 cubic inch small block Chevy V8 swap. Currently priced at $5,500, with Hagerty Insurance currently not yet publishing values for these cars,  the lone pricing benchmark found in the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the asking price falls between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $4,050 and its #2 “Very Good” appraisal of $6,600.

Buick launched the Skyhawk as its version of GM’s “H” body in the fall of 1974 as a 1975 model. Only available in the “2+2” hatchback body style, it was Buick’s new small car designed to fill the gap left by the division’s decision to phase out sales of imported Opels.  Riding on a 97-inch wheelbase, The Skyhawk and other “H” bodies were among the first vehicles to adopt the newly approved quad rectangular headlamps. The Skyhawk is a rear-wheel-drive vehicle with a live rear axle design. Produced through the 1980 model year, the lone engine offered in the first-generation Skyhawk was Buick’s venerable “Even Fire” 3.8 liter (231 cubic inch) V6 engine topped with a two-barrel carburetor generating 110 horsepower at 4000 rpm in comparison to its siblings which offered a variety of engines. While a four-speed manual transmission came standard, most buyers opted for the optional three-speed Turbo Hydramatic.

In 1976, a five-speed manual transmission became available as an option. Starting with the 1976 models, the front and rear disc rotors were of the vented type. Another new option was the Astroroof, which was a large, heavily tinted, overhead glass roof combined with a wide aluminum band that extended from one B-pillar across the roof to the opposite B-pillar. In 1977, a conventional sliding sunroof became optional and also could be ordered with the aluminum band.

Buick’s mid-seventies “Free Spirit” ad campaign is on full display in this 1976 Buick Skyhawk commercial currently available on the Osborne Tramain YouTube Channel:

A fun fact about GM’s mid-seventies vintage “H” bodies is that they were originally designed for GM’s stillborn Wankel rotary engine. Consequently, the engine compartment has room to house a small block Chevy motor. We have a feeling this hatchback is a nice little V8 sleeper that the next caretaker can add more handling goodies along with an aftermarket wheel and tire combination to suit their tastes.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“My dad has a 1977 Buick Skyhawk for sale the car has 400 SBC engine and runs great! Original car except for the engine. A quick little classic. Please call my dad
for more info.”

Show or go: what would you do with this rare V8-powered Skyhawk?  Comment below and let us know!

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