Author: Brian Moody
You can easily kill an entire afternoon browsing Classics on Autotrader. I know -- I've done it a handful of times. One thing I find interesting is that the same kind of sensibility I had in high school and college has stuck with me as an adult. Each time I start looking at old cars, I gravitate toward the Buick Skylark, Oldsmobile F-85 and Pontiac Catalina. A few Mercurys and Chryslers come up occasionally, but the things I've never really spent time on are Camaros, Mustangs, 'Cudas and Chevelles.
Buick and Oldsmobile models are like the automotive equivalent of the water polo team: Cool in their own way but not really popular in the high-school quarterback sense.
I know I'm totally alone in my preference for these midsize GM cars. If you search the keyword "Skylark" (the 1964-65 models are my favorite) you get about 150 results of cars for sale. Some are rough and in the $1,500 range; a few are really nice and have an asking price of closer to $30,000.
Search by the keyword "Chevelle" and you get about 2,700 results. Of course, there were more Chevelles originally sold. It just goes to show that scarcity doesn't always mean a high price. And the prices for Chevelles are much higher: You might find a 6-cylinder, 4-door Chevelle in the $7,000-$10,000 range, but $23,000 seems like the starting price for a decent model, and the asking prices only go up from there: Prices from $30,000 to $60,000 are common.
Sure, you can find some pricey Skylark GS models from the late '60s and early '70s, but that doesn't really negate the point -- those Chevelles and Camaros are popular. And popular means expensive. Hagerty says an excellent-condition '64-67 Buick Skylark should be worth about $14,000.
For me, the real bargains are those '64 to '70 Skylarks. Same goes for mid-1960s Olds Cutlass F85s. Those GM intermediate coupes are really good-looking, even today. Look for one with a small V8 and you'll get that '60's V8 sound. For 1964, a 225-cubic-inch V6 was standard, but many cars from that period had an optional 300-cubic-inch V8 that was good for 210 hp. A more powerful version of that same engine was an option, and it made 250 hp. By '67, that 300-cubic-inch V8 would be standard on almost all Skylark models.
Published Mar 16th, 2017