It's been a long time since I was here, apparently so long that all of my previous posts are gone.
I've owned several J-bodies, almost exclusively 1st gens over the years, but had a hiatus of about 15 years without a J-body.
I started with a 1984 Cavalier Hatchback, then moved onto a 1984 Sunbird hatchback, followed by a 1985 Buick Skyhawk coupe that was my last J-body for a long time and it went away in 2002. The Skyhawk was the only one to be a V6 to my knowledge. When I first got it it was a 2.0L OHV and automatic, but I then swapped it to a V6 and 5-speed, among a bunch of other things I did to it. There was also a RWD conversion project started on an '87 Sunbird GT, that for various reasons wasn't completed, along with a few parts cars.
Recently however I was sent an ad to another 1st gen J-body, this time a 1987 Buick Skyhawk hatchback. I wasn't looking for one, and was trying to keep my eye out for a Firenza hatchback, but those are even harder to find. Anyway the price was too good on this car and it looked too good in the pictures. I asked for more pictures, and it was impossible to walk away from. At one point the previous owner even decided to keep it, before his wife changed his mind. So after 1200 kms and 15 hours of driving I was the new owner of this red Skyhawk hatchback. The original owner owned it from 1988 to 2011 kept meticulous records of it. In the record book there is EVERY fuel fill up between the aforementioned dates, milage, how much he paid per liter, how many liters, running gallons total, etc along with records of any maintenance . The interim owners didn't keep this practice up though.
The floor is solid, the car is very clean and according to the log book was rarely driven in the winter.
I have some plans for it, but it's mostly going to stay stock-ish. Mostly add the things it could have come with from the factory, except for the wheels, lowering and stereo that I'm going to put on/in. I want to change the interior to a T-Type-ish interior, add the turbo bits, along with some options, like power windows and delay wipers. It's a pretty bare bones car, with only a couple options.
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Just keep it oem stock! Upgrading some items might help for your choice,but will not increase the value by any means.You cannot find 1st gens like years ago even in the junkyards as I have done that for a long while.Just my take and yeah I did upgrade my radio and speakers years ago but they fit and leaving as is.My car is completely stock other wise.I am totally oem or and or stock as finding parts is a ***** in simple terms.
Honestly, I don't care about resale value, on any of my cars.
I buy them and repair/modify them for me, if I ever sell a car and someone doesn't like something I've done, they can change it. For me, it's about my tastes, and what I want to do with my cars. Most of the time I never plan to sell them.
Just as a reference, I have a 1973 Datsun 240Z that has a very unique engine swap, an engine that most people in the world consider to be junk, along with some other unique modifications and will be getting more. Most people won't like them for their own car, but that's not why I am making the modifications that I am, I'm making them for me. The engine in question is a 60 degree V6, an LX9 with a turbo to be exact currently, and I'm building an LZ9 to go in it's place.
Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate completely original cars too, but for reasons other than monetary value. I appreciate them as a snap shot of a time period and to appreciate how that car was built back when. I mean I'd LOVE to own a completely original 240Z in addition to my modified one, but again, it has nothing to do with resale value there, just like the original car for it's simplicity and charm.
In reality, most of the changes I want to make to the Skyhawk are what it COULD have come with from the factory, and any others will be mostly bolt on/in that could be changed back very easily (like the springs and wheels), so unless anyone buying this down the road was a stickler for having the right parts for what the SPID list says it has, it will be more desirable with the convenience features added.
But again, I'm not looking at resale value, because I'm not planning to sell it. I know this post probably reads kinda dick-ish, but that's not my intention, just putting my thoughts out there, hard to read the correct inflection sometimes.
thanks for the welcome backs. Any work on this car will probably take a while, due to other higher priority projects. The Skyhawk is about 3 to 5 years early for my planned purchases, so it will get worked on when I can fit it between other other projects. lol
Welcome back to the forum!!
Beautiful Car to bring you back to share with us!! YOU are one lucky and VERY talented/knowledgeable fellow!!
I agree with your way of thinking - any reason these days to keep one of these rare machines away from the crusher is a darn good one! I Love originality - nothing draws me at a car show like an original flathead under the hood....Hahaa. Still - Variety is the spice of life if everything was all bone stock there wouldn't be any personal inspiration, no creative exploration. So I enjoy everyone's special treasure they take the time to share with us on here. I am always learning something along the way....
At least you have the hard part behind you now - just finding one of these becomes an epic in itself. Now all you need is time and of course money to make it what you want. Enjoy your sweet Buick my friend!! Look forward to you sharing your journey with us!!
I also make my changes to the car the way I want the car to be--nothing wrong with that.
Welcome back to the first gen site! How could you NOT buy a first gen that has 5 speed in it. I have both an auto and a 5 speed and the stick is just so much more fun to drive.
Nice color! Keep us posted on your progress.
Looks great! Hard to find hatches.
It should have 96hp of fury though, by the way
Good philosophy, mod away.
86 Skyhawk wagon 1.8SOHC • 93 Sunbird two door 2.0SOHC • 93 Sunbird four door 2.0SOHC
Very nice, I've never seen a hatch with the flip up headlights. I too joined like 17 years ago, and My 87 Firenza S hatch finally succumbed to the New England fate of most J bodies, fatal cancer. I missed that car, it had the vin code 1 ohv motor and ran strong. But it got too bad, and had to get rid of it. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was perusing Ebay, and to my surprise, there was 1 first gen Cavalier listed for sale. An '83 convertible. needless to say, I couldn't resist. Other than brand new exhaust,(left over from the hatch), it is getting treated to a beautifully restored set of 15x7 Fiero GT wheels, with P255/60 15s on the back, withP235/60 15s on the front. I have the back ones on right now, and as soon as the last one comes in, I'll post some pics. Nice Hawk!
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I was wondering if there's any what to tell what number of the 627 built it is?
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