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Beater of the Day: 1989 Buick Skyhawk

What better way to start off this week's salute to beaters than to bring you a rusted and busted 1989 Buick Skyhawk?

With just a few ticks over 119k on the clock, Flickr member Circax inherited this particular J-body from his grandfather and although it looks worse for the wear, it still manages to provide him a means of navigating his daily slog. Equipped with a 2-liter four that in its heyday was producing around 100 HP, this old biddy still has some spunk, although its maladies are both obvious and numerous.

We took the liberty of posting Circax's own trials and tribulations after the jump, but a few highlights include his use of krazy glue to mend the wires for the cruise control and his application of thumbtacks to keep the roof's headliner in place.

We love it, so we posted a few more pics after the jump, along with directions on how to submit your own ride to our Flickr account. Bring the beaters people. We want more.

From the man himself:

1989 Buick Skyhawk. 2.0L I4 engine with 3-speed automatic transmission. There are just over 119,000 miles on the clock. This was the last year that Buick produced the Skyhawks.

Replaced (since I've had it): Muffler & sections of exhaust pipe (rusted to pieces), spark plugs/wires, alternator, vacuum hoses, rearview mirror, water pump, a ton of brake parts.

Fixed: Climate control control panel (with three pieces of cassette tape case plastic & krazy glue), cruise control controller (krazy-glued the wires back on (too difficult to solder), plugged vacuum reservoir back in).

Broken: A/C doesn't blow cold, radio doesn't make any sound on the right channel, tape player, interior ceiling cloth is falling in, "SERVICE ENGINE SOON" light comes on intermittently (probably a failing exhaust system sensor). Leaks oil & a little bit of transmission fluid & power steering fluid. EGR valve seems stuck. The car never tracks straight.

Probably to be broken soon: brake lines & fuel lines are badly rusted.
*** Truer words were never spoken... A brake line failed (in a parking lot, thankfully). I had the car towed to a brake shop and in a bout of stupidity allowed the guys to replace far more than was necessary (my wallet is feeling light). And there are still rusty lines down below.

Got this for free from my grandfather, my first car. Since then, the doors have rusted terribly, and in an attempt to remove some of this rust, I ended up just creating conditions for more rust to form. Now there are some patches of rusty primer on the right side, and holes through the rusted sheetmetal. The clearcoat has completely disintegrated on the rear left of the vehicle (from the passenger door, back), now making it look as if two different colors of white were used.

Almost siezed the engine once, running without coolant for a few miles (uphill). Managed 110MPH once. Averages 30MPG:

All that being said, I really enjoy the design of this car, and have always had a soft spot for 1980's automotive styles (go ahead and laugh).

The interior of my 1989 Buick Skyhawk. Cloth upholstry, which is ragged. The ceiling is "caving in", held aloft only by thumbtacks. No power windows or locks. And the stereo doesn't play tapes any longer nor does it produce sound on the right side. Speedometer is noisy. The climate control selector still doesn't shunt air to the right vents (defroster doesn't activate the defroster vents - thank goodness for the little money tray lid, which flips up and causes air blowing from the center vents to be directed towards the windshield).

How to submit to RR of the Day:
Create a
Flickr account if you don't already have one. Search for and join the group called 'Autoblog RR of the Day'. Upload up to three photos of your ride to your own account at a size no larger than 450 pixels wide if possible and include as much information about it and yourself as possible. Even if your ride is sweet, it will not be chosen if there's not a lot of info accompanying it. Click on each photo and just above the picture it will say "Send to group". Click that and select the Autoblog group. You're done, that's it!

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