A couple months ago, I picked up a pristine 64 Buick Skylark and have been planning, drawing and ordering parts for phase one, the most important part; wheels and stance.
I’ve always had a thing for Skylarks because as a designer they have way more style and time and money invested from the factory and they’re far less common than Chevelles and about half the price. No offense, my A-Body brothers! And we are brothers because the beauty of the GM A-Body is of course availability of parts and interchangeability.
The car was so nice when I saw it on craigslist, I only slept on it for 2 nights instead of my usual week before I went and looked at it and I struck a deal with the owner who has had it in a garage since 82 only driving it on weekends racking up 96,000 original miles! The only thing done to it other than loving care and oil changes was a repaint in the factory color about 15 years ago that’s still in good condition but while I was waiting on parts, I’ve been detailing it in and out.
The point of this car is obviously to A) Have fun!, B) Promote my design and wheel businesses, C) Go to shows and autocrosses and hone some driving skills, and D) Show people what can be done to an affordable alternative bodystyle when you search with an open mind, use some creativity and some careful parts selection. Do what you can with what you’ve got! I jones for radical over the top cars but the reality is kids, mortgage, small business and little patience so I found a car in my budget that I could drive this summer which started last Sunday so get out there!
History of this Vehicle
This car was purchased new in my hometown in October of 63 at a dealership that’s still there and resided at a home less than half a mile from my front door! I know because it came with the Protect-O-Plate still in the Owner Protection plan book that came with the car along with the Owner’s Manual! It changed hands twice by ‘82 when it ended up in the Seattle garage of the people I bought it from. Considering it’s condition and mileage, it was always garaged and very well taken care of. Speaking of the family I bought it from, one of them is here on The Hub with some very cool A-Bodies of his own. Small world, huh? I found it on craigslist, went and looked at it and struck a deal about 3 minutes before another caller came to see it. He got out of the car to see what he missed, shook his head and said “you snooze, you lose” and then congratulated me on my purchase.
Plans for this Vehicle
It will be way more than skin deep but since Summer is upon us and it doesn’t last long in the NW, I’m doing a fast and super functional facelift with a big emphasis on style and function. After a bunch of research and calls and favors, etc, I ordered up a full TVS system from Hotchkis complete with front and rear tubular control arms, BIG sway bars, Bilstien shocks and everything to make it pound corners instead of dragging the door handles around them!
Next is a set of Baer 2 piston brakes with the 2 piece rotors to get it stopped right instead of standing on the brick of a pedal and waiting for the worn out drums to haul it down safely. I actually watched an Explorer stuff a Focus into a clean 71 Charger right in front of me this week so these brakes can’t go on soon enough! To hold the corners and grab the road when i have to stop is a set of BF/Goodrich G-Force KDWs wrapped around a set of Rushforth Whiplashes with brushed centers and polished outers.
These changes are going to happen right away but long term plans include an efi motor and overdrive trans to replace the original 300” V8 with factory aluminum heads and intake and powerglide.
If you got this far, thanks for reading!
Sponsors & Special Thanks
Hotchkis, BF/Goodrich, Baer Brakes, Rushforth Wheels, Soff Seal, and a huge thanks for help and support to Jared and Howard from www.J-rodandcustom.com and my long time friend and instigator, Chris Holstrom