Buick Skylark

Opinions Needed - Skylark

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Hello, new member here.  Looking for some honest opinions.  First a bit of an introduction.  I have been building and restoring classic cars all my life, so I am not a Noob.  I am not "brand" exclusive but lean toward GM and street rods.  As we know there are many opinions about the graying of the automotive classic market and I am not looking to debate that.  Having said all that - here is my predicament. 

 

I have had 3 Buicks, a 64 Skylark and 2 65's a Skylark and a Special.  My current situation is this.  I have a 65 Special convertible with many skylark parts that is a frame off restoration on a California high desert car, no rust ever and never in a accident.  I did a 5 year frame off restoration and converted it into a "resto mod" that is a very high quality job.  The paint and body was done by a good friend that is a retired body man and I would give it a 10 out of 10.  Light yellow (original color) bc/cc cut and buffed to a mirror finish.  Exterior parts were buffed or re chromed and in excellent condition.  The interior is new PUI and the top is hartz cloth with the top frame blasted and painted.  All in all the car is excellent and always draws a crowd.  The engine is a 383 Chevy roller, Edlebrock heads, ZZ4 roller cam, Hooker super comps, coated intake, HEI, etc. etc.  Now before you go all crazy on me, about not having a Buick engine let me say, the car was purchased without and engine.  I know there is that "brand" thing in play here but consider this.  Would you rather spend the weekend doing an engine swap or 5 years doing a frame off restoration ???  Car is a 4 speed muncie, with a 9 inch Moser / Strange rear end.  Tube a frames, coil overs, boxed rear control arms, polished SS exhaust, with everything done to show quality. 

 

Now for the "situation"  I built this car with the thought of never selling it and keeping it forever.  However things have changed, as a friend decided to sell off many cars in his collection, and he had one I have been after for years, a 66 Corvette.  I also have a 69 Camaro rotisserie restoration that is almost done and I have always wanted another of these, since I had a couple in high school.  Now as you can see the garage is becoming over crowded.  My first consideration was to sell the Buick to finance finishing up the other two projects, but the market / offers have been pretty weak to put it kindly.  I know I will never get back the money I spent, and realize I will probably be giving away all my labor to build the car.  I consider around $30K to be a fair price, if this were a GTO or Chevelle SS it would be a $50K car all day long, but Buick does not garner that kind of market.   Another option is selling the Camaro, as everyone and there brother seems to want one of them, and keeping the Buick.  I am seeking opinions on what you think might be a fair price for the Buick.  What say ye?

Thanks in advance.    

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Beautiful work !  Considering the time you invested into the Buick, I personally would keep the Buick and sell the Camaro. I find the Buick to be a very unique vehicle, something you just don't see everyday compared to the Camaro.

 

Good luck !

 

Steve

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well Newbie,

 

I think you have a good grasp on what you want to do and pricing as well.

 

good luck!

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I'm an old guy so take this for what it's worth. I'm also a car collector with eclectic tastes, which tend toward the unusual and hang on to my cars for a long time. My collection includes a 1967 RS Camaro, which I've owner since 1969, and two Buick Rivieras. I also had three 1965 SL's in the 70's. 

 

My first inclination would be to keep all three, and let time determine which one, if any, you feel needs to go. For three reasons the last one that I would get rid of would be the Buick. (1) It's done, and can be enjoyed right now. (2) I like unusual cars- that aren't usually seen. (3) You're not going to be satisfied what what you can get for it. however, I look at it from a positive point of view, it's more bang for the buck. 

 

The Camaro is a tough one. It's what you wanted, and you did the work to make it the way you wanted it to be, but they are everywhere, and could be replaced later. The 66 Corvette is bound to be expensive, but it too can be easily replaced.  I've been around Corvettes, off and on, for sixty years, but just not interested today. 

 

Bill

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The answer is simple.  You need a larger garage.

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Thanks Bill,

As one old guy to another, I am inclined to agree with you.  I would like to keep them all but a good friend, also older than us, once told me, "you can't love them all"  and this from a guy that had 14 old cars at that time.  🤗  I love taking the Buick to a show and there are rows of Chevelles but usually only 1 or 2 Skylarks and as I have said before, the car does draw a crowd.  As for "bang for the buck" there is nothing like a drive in the mountains in a convertible with the top down on a nice day!  I'm all in (way over my head) on the Camaro but it is a show stopper.  And I know what you mean, there sure seem to be a lot of them around, but it is an awesome car.  And the Corvette, well a good friends brother came home from Viet Nam and bought a 66 BB roadster, and we used to just sit in the garage and stare at it.  Being 16 at the time, so it has always been a bucket list car, never thought I could afford one till this one came along.

Thanks for the insight.

 

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Your car looks really nice, it's probably not stock enough to interest the original guys so you limit your pool a bit, you are also selling a Special which has less interest than a Skylark and the blurring of what it really is and what you have made it into will also turn off some, your biggest issue with getting that kind of money is it is a Skylark/Special and not a GS.  So in reality you are asking 30K for a Buick Special convertible, as nice as it is, I don't see that happening.  You can buy really clean super nice Skylark convertibles easily in the low to mid teens every day of the week, here is a very nice example that is half the asking price of yours to give you some food for thought https://classiccars.com/listings/view/1128525/1965-buick-skylark-for-sale-in-dayton-ohio-45439

 

If you have not done so already, I would suggest listing it over on the BuickV8 site 

 

 

Edited by Y-JobFan (see edit history)
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I feel the old car market is getting soft and will continue to get softer as time moves forward.  Without getting into the discussion about why that is,  I think the evidence is all around us that it truly is slipping away.  So if you have decided you had enough of the Buick, you should just take the best offer you have,  and move on. 

 

We all know that for cars which are not exotic classics, we will never get our money out of them.  But it seems to me that, in general, resto moded cars do better sales price wise, than a similar car authentically restored.  And it also seems resto-moding includes a standard list of things like A/C and other driver luxuries.  I would suggest that your price has to be established in comparison to other similarly set up resto moded cars.  And you may need to weigh the price balance vs additional investment,  to score the higher dollar sale. 

 

But once priced, you also have to consider searching nation wide,  for the potential to find someone who, just like yourself, "always wanted that particular car".  Then you'll also have to weigh in the buyers costs to ship the car to wherever.   The point being;  you may have to consider if any of these activities will actually result in additional  "NET  proceeds" from the sale. 

 

I am sure a '66 Big Block Corvette is a major score.  But that is a real nice Buick you built.  I might suggest a long test drive in the Corvette, if possible, before deciding which car fits your future lifestyle better.  

 

Respectfully submitted

 

 

 

 

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Don't forget to deduct $1,000 for each year of enjoyment you got from the car. That will help.

 

If you had years where you don't think owning it was worth a thousand bucks keep it and drive it more.

 

One red flag in the post, selling a Buick to buy a Corvette? Owning a Corvette is not just a matter of possession. There is a neurochemical change that takes place. A friend of mine recently experienced it, Sold the Vette.

Bernie

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You might want to test the waters at 65GS.com. Modified 65s are welcome there. One of the members has a 65 Skylark convert very similar to yours but with an LS motor. Very nice car BTW!

 

Mark

Edited by Mark I (see edit history)
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when you walk out to your garage, which car puts a smile on your face? That is the one you keep.

 

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I agree with Y job fan.  I know you have invested a lot in it but it doesn't mean someone else will see it that way.  I love and have restored several '64 and 65 Skylarks.  My favorite was also Bamboo Cream like yours but a hardtop.  Sorry, but I don't think your expectations match reality.  

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9 hours ago, Jack Welch said:

when you walk out to your garage, which car puts a smile on your face? That is the one you keep.

 

Well said, problem is they all do 🙂

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because of the mix of powertrain brand as you have mentioned you might have a better time pushing this car on chevy forums and sites

not trying to sound cynical but over the years chevy owners are more apt to put chevy power in brand X

where buick people are much more apt to stay in their brand 

dont get me wrong it looks like you have a beautiful car but it would probably sell quicker with a big block buick,

and i have seen some beautiful other brands with chevy drivetrains

my opinion

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The 1965 Skylark GS came from the factory with a 325 HP 401.  Is the word Clone in your vocabulary? 😎

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On 8/12/2019 at 4:11 PM, RivNut said:

The 1965 Skylark GS came from the factory with a 325 HP 401.  Is the word Clone in your vocabulary? 😎

there are only 2 problems with this plan, 1, I am already under water without tearing everything apart and starting over, 2, here is one that has been for sale a couple of times with no takers, 173998454864?ul_noapp=true173998454864?ul_noapp=true  173998454864?ul_noapp=true(sorry can't paste in link) on E bay in Cali, GS 65 Conv 401 $32K.  (Same color)

Another consideration is that if I did go clone route, I would have a car that does not run or handle as good as the resto mod current build173998454864?ul_noapp=true, (apologies to purists)

thanks though.

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Herein lies the pitfall of the resto-mod.  When you substitute your taste for the designer's intent, you shrink the pool of buyers enormously irrespective of quality.  If you can find the guy who embraces your vision, you might extract yourself without too much pain.  To most others, the changes devalue the car.  Which generally means that you can anticipate a payoff that is more emotional than financial.

 

More specifically, if a genuine GS has no takers at $32K, it's hard to see how what many would consider to be a (sorry to be so blunt) lesser car would garner anything close to that.

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Don't get too interested in other people's opinions.  Look at everything else in another person's life and see if you can handle other decisions of theirs as well.  You've done fine so far - believe in yourself.

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12 hours ago, KongaMan said:

Herein lies the pitfall of the resto-mod.  When you substitute your taste for the designer's intent, you shrink the pool of buyers enormously irrespective of quality.  If you can find the guy who embraces your vision, you might extract yourself without too much pain.  To most others, the changes devalue the car.  Which generally means that you can anticipate a payoff that is more emotional than financial.

 

More specifically, if a genuine GS has no takers at $32K, it's hard to see how what many would consider to be a (sorry to be so blunt) lesser car would garner anything close to that.

 

That has been my take on modifications in general. Assessing originality is well documented for almost any car and a guideline to it's preserved value. Making custom changes may please the owner, but not add value to a future owner. Even something as simple as window tinting. I have purchased two cars with custom tint applications and removed the tint within a couple of days. One owner saw the clear windows and asked me "Do you know how much that tint cost me?!". He was almost crying.

 

And I have even cut the roofs off cars to make a convertible. I couldn't believe it when I sold one of those. OR when the guy I sold it to sold it to someone else!

Bernie

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4 hours ago, kgreen said:

Don't get too interested in other people's opinions.  Look at everything else in another person's life and see if you can handle other decisions of theirs as well.  You've done fine so far - believe in yourself.

Thanks for the positive words.  I am still contemplating the situation but let me just say this.

Thanks, to all who have responded, no offense taken, and not looking to start an argument or looking for pity.

 

1.  Many other makes and models of cars, restomods and pro touring are far out selling, for big bucks, the restorations.  Many people are no longer interested in a concurs restoration to sit around and stare at, but rather want a car they can enjoy and drive with modern conveniences.  You only have to check out the TV auctions for Mecum and BJ to see this, especially in early corvettes.  6 digit sale prices for pro, resto mods, vs 50 to 60K for restorations.  I know this is not a pro touring car, but adding 5 speed, sound system, and A/C would be close.  I know, not everyone's cup of tea, but just sayin, check it out.

2.  If I were to sell this car for say, $25K (I have $35K in it not counting my labor) this would be the situation.  Let's say $15K for paint job and top and rechroming bumpers and trim, and $10K for engine, trans, and rear end. (conservative figures)  That's $25K!  That means selling the car to someone, throwing $10K to buy it, supplying all the other parts like suspension, radiator, interior, etc, etc, AND building the car for them for free.  that's a pretty hard one to swallow.  I know, you never get your money back, it only becomes a matter of how much you are willing to lose in the situation.  

Still not sure of the direction to take, but thanks again for the responses.

Respectfully 

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Sounds like you know what you want - you asked for opinions and got opinions from other Buick owners some collectors of near 50 years.  Buick's are Buick's, the Buick market has never been quite the same as "other makes" as you try to make a comparison.  I gave you a link from a gorgeous Skylark convertible that IS a Skylark and better equipped as a direct comparison of what you are up against.   You do realize that half the cars for sale the owners have far more in them than they can ever get out of them?  It is easy to sit back and try to rationalize why your car is worth X amount of dollars because you put this into it and that into it, but unfortunately cars are not like houses where if you put in a new bathroom it generally increases the value by X amount of dollars.  

 

Your work on the car looks great and there is no doubt it's a great car but as you can see by the comments, you have pigeon holed the car into a select group of people that may be interested.  

 

No sense asking for opinions  when you are going to point out why you disagree with them

 

Edited by Y-JobFan (see edit history)

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3 hours ago, Buick Skylark said:

Many people are no longer interested in a concurs restoration to sit around and stare at, but rather want a car they can enjoy and drive with modern conveniences.

That's a false dichotomy.  You can get a 64 Riviera (an extremely drivable car) with factory power windows, AC, cruise control, plenty of power, and haul-it-down brakes.  You can add a passable sound system with a RedRad, or go even further off the deep end with destroying the character of the car. Don't know what other "modern conveniences" you might be referring to -- but a 4-speed tranny is a step backwards to a lot of folks.  And let's be frank: chrome under the hood, new wheels, etc. are neither performance enhancements nor conveniences.  And that's OK  -- but the value of the car is not determined by what you put into it, but by what you can get out of it.  If you're really thinking that it's a $30,000 car based on what you see from various auctions, then go where the big fish are and throw your bait in the water.

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