Welcome, wagon.

I’ve been wanting a wagon for quite a while, and even though it’s not the ideal time for me to pick up another [old/project] vehicle, I threw caution to the wind as usual and got one anyway! Introducing the 1986 Buick Skyhawk wagon! I really wanted something that was ready to go and needed little to no work initially. Apparently all that went out the window, but let me try to justify myself anyway. I saw the car posted for sale online and decided that despite the 1.5 hour trip, I’d check it out. The second I saw rust patches all over the doors, I knew the price was way high. Had I not just driven an hour and a half to see it, I probably would have written it off at first sight and went home, but then I figured I’d look it over since I was there. Underside: actually really clean, engine: pretty clean and runs great, strut towers: no rust to be found, behind back bumper: solid, rust spots on door: crusty, but actually still solid, wheel wells: rust free, lights: functional, heat: functional, well ok you get the picture. Everything actually worked, and it was more solid that it looked at first. The worst parts are some ugly spots on the doors, passenger rear door is a bit caved in on the bottom, and the rockers need some patching (but are actually in better shape than the two door’s which I fixed up not long ago.) So I stood around and thought about it for a while … to my detriment I was standing in front of it and I think what really happened is the four eye front end started to wear me down … it’s just hard to say no to a good looking four eye. I decided that if he’d take half of what he was asking I wouldn’t mind busting out the welder and getting it back into at least inspectable shape for now, then maybe a little more cosmetic work when it warms up; or maybe I’ll even get ambitious and do it sooner, who knows. Needless to say, he did and here we are.

The other thing I like about it of course is that it’s (yet another) J body, so the parts interchangeability factor will make it a lot more economical to keep up. The SOHC 1.8L is the predecessor to the 2.0L, so it’s extremely similar. In other countries they refer to them both as the big block, which I always find funny. The 2.0 is just a bored and stroked version of the 1.8, and you could actually bore the 1.8 block to 86mm like the 2.0 and convert it if you really wanted to. Anyway, the idea is for it to be a comfortable family and whatever-else hauler and probably mostly a backup vehicle if one of the other two birds need some work or whatever. I’m planning on spending the day tomorrow conquering some rust and doing some welding on it, and I’m already loving the room of the wagon, as I have the hatch filled up with 4 toolboxes, a big box full of parts and junk, and a fresh welding tank with room to spare.

skyhawk front

I really love the front end. A lot.

skyhawk ok side

This is the more-ok looking side at the moment.

1.8 cam

The 1.8 cam cover isn't baffled below the filler like it is on the 2.0s which is actually kinda nice. It shows that it's nice and clean in there and the cam is in good shape!

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