The Skyhawk was Buick’s first and only sub-compact model. Introduced in 1975, it shared its H-body platform with the Chevrolet Monza, Oldsmobile Starfire, and Pontiac Sunbird. The only body style was a 3-door hatch. Cloth, vinyl, and leather seating were all possibilities when you ordered one. Presumable because of its Buick-heritage, it was offered only with Buick’s own 231 CID 2bbl V6. Backing this engine was a standard 4-speed manual transmission or an optional 3-speed automatic. The basic Skyhawk was a well equipped car, especially considering its size. A special ‘value’ model called the Skyhawk S was offered halfway through the 1975 model year. The ‘S’ omitted the rear sway bar, clock, tachmometer, and accent stripes, to name a few.
For 1976, a 5-speed manual trans became on option. For 1977, the model received a new egg-crate type grille. A ‘Night Hawk’ version was available this year (see separate section).
The car was refreshed for 1979, losing 2 of its headlamps, and getting a new grille. A ‘Road Hawk’ edition was available based this generation (see separate section). A ‘Designers Accent Edition’ was offered starting 1979. This was a special two tone red over black, or yellow over black paint package. The end of the line was 1980, atleast for a couple years, that is.
For 1982, the Skyhawk re-emerged. This time it was a front wheel drive J-body similar to the Chevrolet Cavalier. Initial body styles were sedan or coupe. Skyhawk Limited was the top level trim. The base engine was a 1.8L 2bbl I4 rated at 88hp. Added for an option later in the model year was a 2.0L 2bbl I4 which produced 90hp. Also added later was a 1.8L SOHC TBI I4 from GM/Brazil. Horsepower was less at 80, but it was higher revving and had increased fuel mileage due to the overhead cam and fuel injection. Transmissions were a choice of 4-speed manual or 3-speed automatic.
A station wagon version arrived for 1983. Also added was a 5-speed manual transaxle to replace the 4-speed. The 1.8L 2bbl I4 was no longer offered this year, with the 2.0 becoming the base engine. It was also the first year of the Skyhawk T-type which was a blackout and handling package. The 1.8L SOHC TBI I4 was condsidered the top engine, so it was standard in the T-type.The Skyhawk went though 1989, but we’ll cuttoff this story at 1983.