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About 65VerdeGS

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  • Birthday 08/16/1965

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  • Location:
    Vancouver, BC


  • Biography
    I've owned my '65 Gran Sport since 1983.

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  1. Boy, am I out of date on today's cost of bumper chroming!!! Thanks everyone for relaying your experience, and for being honest enough to actually quote what it cost you for bumper plating. My rear bumper is quite presentable but has a couple of annoying flaws from when I had it done last time about a dozen years ago. I probably should have returned it to be re-done but was anxious to get the car back together because the body man who restored it had already had it for over 18 months. Considering how bloody expensive it will likely be ($1,000+ here in Canada) to have my rear bumper re-plated today, I might just have to get used to it as it is.
  2. Anyone have recent experience having their '65 rear bumper straightened and re-chromed? What would it cost, more or less, to remove a minor dent, and re-chrome the bumper? These aren't light pieces, so shipping would be expensive. I haven't located a local source for the work, but am open to using a bumper plater in BC Canada, or Washington State. Thanks.
  3. Beautiful car in a handsome colour! Well-optioned too! I'm sure you get lots of attention from astonished onlookers. Not many of these in Britain. A little suggestion - you might like to flip your battery so that the positive terminal is AWAY from the left hand fender. Lots has been posted about this on the forum. Cheers, and congratulations!
  4. The rear wheel wells on my '65 had the same problem - rust bubbles along the edge of the wheel openings and along the bottom back of the wheels. The rust had gone through the outer panel and more rust was found in the inner rear quarters too. When my bodyman restored the car he asked if I could obtain patch panels for the rear quarter panels. Of course, none were available. My guy said "Ok, no problem, I'll figure something out." He later told me that he knew something was "out" with my rear quarters. The previous owner had repaired one side that had been dented but my body guy said it seemed "fat" to him. So he dug out a layer of bondo, and used the stainless steel wheel well mouldings as a pattern to fabricate and shape the lip of each wheel well. First he cut out all the rusted areas, which included the lip of the wheel wells. Then, he welded in new metal and shaped it using the stainless moulding on each side as a pattern. I came to learn that the guy I hired was a very skilled in working with metal. He also restored the trunk floor on my car, which had rusted out due to the inevitable leaking back window. He cut out the rusty floor area then fabricated a replacement floor including the gussets, those channels that are stamped into the steel to add rigidity. This was more than I expected, and really not entirely necessary, as the trunk floor would be covered by the fabric trunk lining anyway. Note that the Riv rear quarters have and INNER and an OUTER metal panel. Yes, there's two. You could cheap out and only restore the outer panel, which is visible. But a proper job means cutting out the rust from the inner panel and welding in new metal and shaping it to do a proper restoration. Good luck with your project.
  5. Hey Kevin, What color are the mats you are trying to identify? I ask because certain colors were reproduced and others not yet. I think the most commonly reproduced color of mats is black, beige/brown, and possibly white. The black ones are a good bet to reproduce as this color 'goes' with most interior colors. Oddball colors like dark green, aqua, and red just aren't reproduced because these were not common interior colors even when the cars were new. The dark green Handi-Mats sold for full-size Buicks are not reproduced. My car has Trim Code 620 - Dark Green. One can buy repro mats in a lighter green, of a slightly different pattern, but these aren't correct for my '65 Riviera. When I bought my Riv in 1983 it only had the two front rubber mats. The driver's one had split near the gas pedal cut out. I patched it from behind with good old duct tape. Then, about 15 years ago I miraculously came across a set of dark green front mats with the rear handi-mats on eBay. These were in very good to excellent condition. Luckily mine was the winning bid at $78! I believe the original mats were made by RUBBERMAID. I'm not near my Riv to study them, but I believe this brand name is molded into the back of the mats. My original mats have numbers printed on them, but I don't know how to decipher them. I'll go take a photo or two of the back of my mats to post for all to see. Alex
  6. Ah, I figured some sharp cookie would ask this question! The upholstery shop that redid my front seats copied the old foam. I got the deluxe front seat covers from Clark's Corvair. I only redid the front seats because the back seat was and still is mint. The passenger seat was fine, but I wanted them both to look the same so I recovered both seats. That was about 12 years ago. They didn't make the seat foam then, and I'm guessing nobody is making it now? I'm not sure exactly how the trimmer copied the seat foam. But, the seats came out looking like new and were contoured like the originals would have been when new. The only difference I noticed was that they were 'plumper' making me sit higher than before. This felt strange. I sat lower before because the foam in the origiinal seats had compressed, making me sit what felt like 6 inches lower. The new foam eventually compressed over time and I got used to the higher seating position. I'd guess my seating position (where my butt is in relation to the floorboard) is now something like 2 inches higher than before.
  7. Looks like a '63/64 Rif front end grafted onto a 1959 or 60 Corvette!
  8. Hey Tom - how did you tell from the photo that these were 67 up Road Wheels? Just by looking at the diameter of the valve stem? The wheel pictured looks generally similar to the ones on my '65, which I believe to be the originals... Maybe I better get out and confirm this.... The wheel in the photo has the correct '65 center cap. But that could be adapted. I thought the early wheels had a smaller/larger center hole, but that isn't visible with the center cap in place. Another difference is the depth of the wheel 'dish' (shallower on disc brake wheels) but that wouldn't be easy to confirm from a photo, would it?
  9. God knows if my Riv Gran Sport had its original exhaust system when I bought it in 1983. I replaced the whole she-bang soon after I bought the car, at Speedy Muffler King In the next 10 years I went through about 7 mufflers, all replaced under their lifetime warranty. They got tired of seeing me. Then, the last time I went in for the regular muffler replacement they turned me down, saying the muffler was discontinued, and I'd have to adapt the system to use an F-Body (Camaro/FIrebird) muffler at extra cost. I protested to the Speedy zone manager, arguing why should I have to pay extra because THEY decided to discontinue the Riv muffler, and that this was a breach of their vaulted lifetime warranty. They sent me a cheque for $350 to get rid of me. I later bought a complete G.S. patterned exhaust system from Waldron's. It's been on the car for about 12 years. Their system didn't come with resonators, so i found a couple of NOS ones on eBAY. The system fit well with only minor tweaking needed. I did not drill any drain holes in the muffler. and haven't had any sign of muffler rot yet. I drive my Riv 3-5 times a month, year round weather permitting. I think the key to long muffler life is to always run the car long enough each time to fully dry out the muffler, which I do. That leaves minimal condensation in the system, which is cause of the muffler rust through.
  10. I've always found my '65 to be comfortable for long trips. We've driven it from Vancouver, BC to California at least 3 times with many trips to Seattle and Portland, Oregon. My car has the deluxe interior. I'm 6 foot tall, about 180 lbs. Of course, one seating position/seat will be comfortable for some, but not others. I. like many, suffer from low-back pain and the Riv's seat suits me fine without inducing added discomfort, even after several hours of driving. Curiously, I find the passenger seat less comfortable to sit in for long periods. Perhaps this is because it's rake is fixed, unlike the driver's seat which has a 4-way power adjuster. Also, the passenger seat doesn't go back as far on its tracks as does the driver's side, which is kind of strange as there certainly appears to be enough room for it to slide back further. Anyone else notice this? I had some difficulty adjusting to the higher seating position when I replaced the seat foam when I recovered the seat. The new foam made me sit rather higher than before, and it took me some time to adjust to that. In time the foam compressed and I got used to it.
  11. Anyone have pictures of the Clark's parcel shelf to share? My parcel shelf was re-covered in dark green vinyl years ago when I was running a pair of 6 x 9 speakers on the rear deck. I've restored and reinstalled the original AM/FM radio, and replaced the speakers in the dash and between the rear seats, so those 6 x 9's have to go. I bought a rear defroster from Dick Sweeney and wish to install that in a new parcel shelf. So, my questions: Does the Clark's parcel shelf come in different interior colors, or do I have to paint it to match? My car has the dark green deluxe interior, Trim Code 620. How much tweaking is needed to install the Clark's parcel shelf? Does it come with the cut out(s) for the defroster? Or, is is marked as to where to make the cut? Thanks for your advice and feedback.
  12. Good info Winston! Who was the dealer you bought your Alma A6 compressor from? Can you share the approximate price? Thanks,
  13. Hi Alan, No need to be afraid of owning a '63-''65 Riviera. I bought my '65 over 30 years ago on a 'lark' because I was smitten by the clean, almost custom look of the car and those unique clamshell hidden headlights! Until then I was a Chevy man and knew nothing about Buicks. I'd never heard of a nailhead engine. But am I glad I bought my Riviera! It was my daily driver for ten years. I bought it with 112,000 miles on it, still wearing its original paint, engine and trans never out of the car. I put another 100,000 miles on it in those 10 years and it NEVER let me down, ever! Oh, it did go through 4 water pumps, and I later learned that I was over-tightening the belt causing premature failure of the pump bearing. The only persistent problem, other than fuel thirst (heh, heh - it needs premium gas, and I'd be lucky to pull down 12 mpg driving around town) was that it would go through mufflers like crazy. Speedy Muffler King paid me $350 just to get out of their "lifetime warranty" because they had to put 7-8 mufflers on it in as many years. Their mufflers were junk basically. I used their cash payout to buy a complete Waldron's system and haven't had to replace any part of the exhaust system since. Rivieras were well built cars. The first gen cars are solid, and have very few vices. Oh, time takes its toll and your biggest enemy is RUST. Not that these cars are that bad in this regard. This will depending on where it lived most of its life. My car always lived in the Pacific Northwest. It had the usual rust at the bottom corners of the back window. Yes, the water dripped into the trunk and started rotting out the floor. I had this all repaired, along with some rust that was starting along the rear rocker panels, behind the wheels. Other than that, nothing else in the way of body rot on my car. But, I would imagine rust would be a greater concern for a car from say Chicago, or other snowy/icy place. Salt isn't kind to steel. Having said this, it does snow here, and I would regularly drive my Riviera up to Whistler to go skiing. That was another thing - these cars handle very well in the snow. As long as I was careful to avoid needless wheelspin I would pass even front wheel drive cars on hills as long as I was careful. I'd suggest looking for a '64 or '65 because these have the Super Turbine 400 transmission (ST400) The '63 used the Dynaflow, which is not as flexible and is more difficult to repair ($$). The ST400 in '64 was unique in that you couldn't select Low on the transmission console. It had other small differences from the later ST400's. The '65 is the one to get as it has the variable pitch torque converter feature which noticeably improves response - it's almost like having an extra gear, making it more flexible. You can feel the difference when you tip into the accelerator. The ST400 was developed by Buick and was later adopted by all other GM divisions under the name Turbo Hydramatic 400 or "Turbo 400". This transmission is tough, almost unbreakable, and was used in all heavy-duty and high-performance GM cars. A derivative of this transmission is still used today in GM trucks. Mechanically, the first gen Rivieras are otherwise unremarkable - parts are available and not hard to get, or overly expensive. The nailhead engine was used until 1966 and was very strong and reliable, ideally suited to power the Riviera due to its exceptional torque production. Torque is what makes driving a street car fun, and Rivs have it in spades. As others have advised - always buy the best example you can afford. Buying a beat-up example is poor economy. You'll spend way more restoring it than you could hope to get out of it when time comes to sell. I'm not worried about that, as I ain't selling! And yes, you'll get lots of attention, as these cars appeal to a surprisingly wide audience. It would be worth your while to ask one of the forum members that lives close to you to inspect a prospective purchase before you take the plunge. It would be money well spent to pay someone to check the car over. That could save you a lot of dollars and grief later. Hope this helps,
  14. Hi Tom, Thanks so much for researching this unexpectedly complex area of 1st Gen restoration. You've earned your "ROA Technical Advisor of the Year" award with this one post! I''ll PM you shortly. Cheers,
  15. Got it! So I take it the only thing I'd be missing is the plastic piece(s) that are attached to the two metal trim brackets?? Anyone have a photo or illustration showing these power seat plastic trim pieces, and how they are attached to the brackets under the seat? Thanks,