The Buick Skylark had six production runs in one form or another, spanning a total of 46 years – that’s quite some production numbers. The last of the Skylark’s (without badging as another model or designation) was in 1972.
It was the usual recipe of muscle car back in the 70’s – large (ish) V8, bad handling, long hood and vinyl.
1972 Buick Skylark GS Design
Usual early 70’s American muscle; long and low. Line up a dozen classic muscle cars and you’d think that one designer had been responsible for them all. But this was before aero packages, dynamics and streamlined design. There was never a great urge for top speed, more how quickly it could get to 60 from a stoplight Grand Prix – handling was never a strong point – you really didn’t want to find yourself the wrong side of 80 MPH without clean underwear.
The face of the Buick gave it quite an aggressive look; twin headlamps and sculpted hood all gave the impression of menacing, even if the motor couldn’t quite live up to it that promise.
1972 Buick Skylark GS Interior
Similar to the styling, think of any classic muscle and throw in some chrome, wood, vinyl and bucket seats and you get the idea.
While that sounds a little harsh, we would guess that unless you’re a real gearhead, you could sit in a GTO, Skylark, Mustang and the like without actually being able to tell the difference (apart from the badging).
1972 Buick Skylark GS Specs
Available as a 2-door hardtop coupe and a 4-door sedan, the Skylark came with a reasonable list of equipment fitted as standard. There were plenty of options for upgrades as well, including air conditioning and full electric packs.
1972 Buick Skylark GS Performance
Fitted as standard was a 350 cid (5.7 liter) V8 with a double barrel Rochester carburetor, however, thanks to ever tightening emission control, power was dismal.
The powers that be wanted better emissions, Buick complied by reducing the compression ratio, retarding the ignition timing and removing the ignition vacuum advance on the lower gears. This meant that the massive 5.7 liter made a huge … 145 BHP.
The actual engine performance wouldn’t have been that bad without the strangling regulations; it made 230 BHP before the legislators got their hands on it.
1972 Buick Skylark GS Collectability and price
The 1972 Skylark was the last of them, so despite the lowly performance, they are quite collectible. Average prices are in the region of $20,000 but we’ve seen them as high as $50,000 for a full resto version. Parts are still plentiful and for those of you that want the look but would like a little more go, there are plenty of performance upgrades available.