Long Shots: 1985 Buick Skylark

So one of the things this olelongrooffan has been doing to keep myself out of trouble these days has been gathering up random images for freelance publication in some local print publications. The other day I happened upon the unloading of an old ferris wheel a local multiple go kart track theme park owning company has purchased for assembly on the grounds of one of their speed parks. This ferris wheel has been in use at the Chicago Navy Pier for the last 20 some years. The transportation of this 150 foot tall, 240 seat ride required the use of some 45 flatbed semi trucks which have been unloaded by that huge ass crane over the past week. It has been a pretty cool sight to see and I look forward to photo documenting the reassembly of this thing over the next few weeks. But wait, what is that even older ride seen just to the left in this image?

As I was focusing on the unloading of those flatbeds, this olelongrooffan is ashamed to admit I almost missed the arrival of this 31 year old Omega Skylark until it passed directly in front of me. This, despite the fact I spotted a 62 Chevy post a distance away a week or so ago while documenting a similar crane setting an underground petrol tank down south a bit.
Having said that, once I did recognize that X body for what it was, it captured the almost undivided attention of this olelongrooffan. It has previously been spotted over near my pad on Laughing Lane but it was always in motion and the opportunity to capture images of it eluded this olelongrooffan until this very day.
Yeah, the owner’s of this ride proudly display the fact they are parents of a member of the US Army on the rear bumper of this sweet old ride. And as I would suspect my fellow Hoons know, this olelongrooffan just had to take a moment or so to chat it up with the elderly ice cream eating couple situated on the front bench seat of this almost luxury offering by that company now so popular in China. I asked them how long they have owned it and they mentioned they got it in 1997 but that the car had been driven off the showroom floor of Vincel Buick by the wife’s Mom way back in 1985. “You ever heard of a one owner car?” the old man driving it asked this olelongrooffan. He was so proud of it that I didn’t even bother to clarify what a “one owner car” is. He was just a cool old guy and clearly proud of his daily driver showing 144K on the odo.
While we were chatting it up, the old dude driving it mentioned that once he could scrape together a few bucks , he was going to have the rust repaired and new paint applied to his old ride. I inquired as to whether this was his daily driver and he responded in the affirmative. “Leave it like it is,” this olelongrooffan suggested. “If you get it all gussied up, you’ll be afraid to drive it anywhere.” Both he and his better half got a chuckle out of this and he shot back, “We never thought of that. I suspect we will be leaving it as it is.”
Oh yeah, that son of theirs who is the soldier? He is a 52 year old Lt. Colonel and is based out of Fort Benning, Georgia.
Seriously, this olelongrooffan just can’t make this shit up.
I can’t wait to document the rebuilding of this old ferris wheel. This olelongrooffan only hopes a Citation is not issued as I watch this Phoenix erector set being reassembled.
Image Copyright Hooniverse 2016/longrooffan

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  1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    I get the feeling I’d like this couple. Pride in what you have, rather than a yearning for the new.
    Unfortunately the mirror opposite of what Big Industry needs out of people.

    1. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      Real Hooniverse people.
      Like the rest of us.

  2. CraigSu Avatar

    Is that an ocean liner in the background of the 4th photo? I swear that’s what those leaning chimney stacks remind me of. But you’re in Missouri…

    1. hglaber Avatar

      Every celebrity eventually ends up in Branson. Even the Titanic.

      1. Rover 1 Avatar
        Rover 1

        How on earth did this idea make sense when it was first mooted?
        Branson’s extensive, well known and long-standing connections to the Titanic and it’s only voyage?

        1. Manic_King Avatar

          Lets speculate (even if the history probably is available). One rich guy with a modest Titanic related objects collection. Maybe small place to show his collection first. Some visitors, even. Then he sold his co. and plowed his money to more vaguely Titanic related paraphernalia and in the end found some eccentric investors who financed that ship-building. Seems still kinda long shot.
          Or one could write a very dark story, full of death and intrigue, which ends with a barren land and strange museum….

          1. Rover 1 Avatar
            Rover 1

            I’d hazard a guess that the true story is a strange one.

          2. longrooffan Avatar

            Had to google the owner but it is a strange course to the ownership of the Titanic museums. Yeah there is one in Pigeon Forge TN as well.

        2. Alff Avatar

          Branson’s target market is the same age as the few survivors of the Titanic.

        3. Manic_King Avatar

          Branson also has a Pierce Arrow Theater/quartet! PA was Buffalo, NY based when alive, no idea if singers in that band have suitable surnames, or why this.

        4. mve Avatar

          To be honest, the Titanic museum/attraction/moneysuck is kinda neat. Lots of interesting information about the ship, the passengers, the technology, etc. It has absolutely nothing to do with Branson, but then casinos and strippers have absolutely nothing to do with a former small desert town in Nevada, and it worked out well for them.

  3. Chris Edler Avatar
    Chris Edler

    I love this. I’ve been lurking on this website for years and this is the post that finally lured me into creating an account. I always stop to appreciate a car that was once so commonplace and bland but by virtue of surviving a few decades is now a rare and wonderful beast. There is a clean 1979 tan Ford Futara running around my town now that always brings a smile to my face. Keep up the good work olelongrooffan

    1. longrooffan Avatar

      Welcome Chris and thanks.

      1. mve Avatar

        You snagged another reader.

    2. mve Avatar

      Next time you see it, grab some pictures and send them in! Welcome to the site.

  4. dukeisduke Avatar

    The Skylark is my favorite of the X-Body cars.

  5. NapoleonSolo Avatar

    These were not great cars, but I’ve always thought that they represented a milestone in American automotive history. All of these x-bodies are very rarely seen these days, and I hope a few get saved. Not bad looking cars (well, at least the Chevy). Every once in a while one turns up for sale with 25,000 miles on it. It’s remarkable that this one has accumulated 144,000 miles, especially if it has spent its entire life near Chicago where road salt and potholes abound.

    1. JohnComposMentis Avatar

      My elderly father’s 1984 Olds Omega X-body, with only 65,000 miles at the time, made me swear off GM cars 20 years ago (I’ve mellowed a bit on that). That car had two different mechanical issues simultaneously: a torque converter lockup that intermittently would not release when braking, meaning a shuddering, engine-stalling stop; and an also intermittent problem that would simply shut off the engine while driving. Both problems recurred after several repair attempts. My father nearly missed his brother’s funeral because of the former, and the latter left us waiting for a tow truck in a sketchy neighborhood we were driving through to avoid stalling on the expressway. After several such incidents over the course of a couple of years, I finally told him I wasn’t going to deal with his car anymore and recommended he not pour any more money into “repairs.”
      Habitually indecisive, my father was considering giving up driving at the time even though he already limited himself to daytime driving around our quiet suburban area. I convinced him that he should not let such an important decision be dictated by fear of that crappy car breaking down yet again. He finally dumped it for a 4-year-old, dead-reliable Nissan Sentra, which he drove for another year or so.