1979 Buick Skyhawk 'ROAD HAWK'
1979 Buick Skyhawk 'ROAD HAWK'
     I won this Roadhawk on ebay on November 16, 2003 for the price of $1,255.00.  The car is a rust-free Arizona car with clear Title and is  complete with all the Roadhawk parts intact and in excellent shape (except the front air dam which can still be used as a mold for a replacement).  A fellow H-Body owner, Doug Butler who happens to live just outside Phoenix, where the car was located, was kind enough to make 2 seperate trips to check out the car for me to make sure it was everything the seller said it was in the auction.  His appraisal was confirmation that this car was rust-free and was in excellent shape.  Aside from the badly faded paint, everything was present and looks fantastic, including the interior and engine bay.

     4S07A97417756 is powered with the standard Buick 3.8L 231ci V6 engine and a Turbo-Hydramatic 350 automatic transmission.  It runs strong and shifts well.  The only concern is it tends to stall when idling which can be easliy explained due to bad gas in the tank (the car has been sitting for quite some time) and a clogged fuel filter.  
     I flew to Phoenix with my future wife Michelle in mid-November, staying with Doug a couple nights, while we tried to get the car roadworthy.  Doug and I spent 2 full days trying to find the vacuum leak that the car seeme dto have but to no avail.  We did everything short of a full engine rebuild and still couldn't get the car to idle well enough to stay running in gear.  The only option was to advance the timing and increase the idle speed to almost 2,000 RPM so when the car was put in gear, it would drop to 900 without stalling immediately.  I ended up not taking the chance by driving the car home (didn't want to risk the long drive with my girlfriend in the passenger seat - I would have if I was alone though - stuborn Canuck), instead I rented a U-Haul truck and dolly and towed the car as far as Chicago.  
     We tried to make a side trip to Grand Canyon, Arizona, but wouldn't you know it, we woke up and found a couple inches of snow and zero visibility so our tour was cancelled, no Grand Canyon to be seen this trip.
     Stopped in Denver Colorado to visit with my brother and his wife for a couple nights then off to Chicago to stay with my other brother, his wife and my little nephew.  We took the car to a shop that my brother trusted and after discovering a torn EGR valve (I only tested that it worked - dummy) and a bad carb that needed a rebuild.  We got the car running much better by blocking the EGR totally and kept the timing advanced and idle increased.  I took the U-Haul back and decided to make a run for home from Chicago (much more familiar terrain and contacts from Chicago to Toronto).  I replaced 2 tires (dry rot) in Chicago and we were ready to roll.  

     Well, we got the car home safely, with no border hassles and the Road Hawk is safely tucked away in our Quonset hut.  The Road Hawk ran surprisingly well, loved to speed and was smooth and fun to drive.  Might have to check the starter's wiring as it had a bit of attitude but started up (eventually) everytime.  Overall I'm thoroughly impressed with this rare little gem a bonus was finding the original build sheet taped to the back of the driver's side door panel, Thanks to the GM employee who decided to tape it to the panel and not just throw it under a seat or the carpetting.
     I have since gutted the interior, all the Roadhawk quarter panels, front air dam and rear spoiler for cleaning and future reassembly.  I'll leave all this stuff off and get the car repainted, re-pinstriped and re-decalled and re-assemble the interior afterwards.  Hopefully I can find good 'Oyster' interior plastic pieces as mine are pretty much dried up and rotted away.  A little dissapointing but with an Arizona car, it's hardly surprising.  Well, looking for anything remotely Oyster that is in good shape is near impossible.  Fortunately I have found a company that can reproduce the exact colour in a spray can so I can repaint a set of decent panels, regardless of the colour.  
     I've gone ahead and stripped everything off the car now (glass, front and rear facias, etc.) and it sits as nothing but a shell, patiently awaiting paint.  It could be a while but it sits well protected in my Quonset hut so it isn't going anywhere.  Eventually when I can justify the expence, it will see a new coat of paint.  Hope that day comes soon.
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