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My Grandfather's 1968 Riviera


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#1 jprrbo

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 11:19 AM

My Grandfather bought this 1968 Riviera new from Palmer Buick in Oak Park Illinois in March of 1968. He traded his 1964 4 door leSabre in on it. I have his hand written notes from last minute negotiations between Palmer and another Buick dealer. I remember well my Grandfather and Grandmother visiting us in the summer of 1968 with this car and taking my brothers and me for a ride in it. My Grandmother passed away in August of 1972, and my Grandfather was distraught. He followed her in late September and my father inherited it. My father sold it to me when I turned 17 in 1975 and bought a brand spanking new Ford Pinto. I'm sure he was thinking about gas milage; 1) He'd get much better gas milage and 2) I wouldn't be traveling the countryside as much trying to feed the Riviera.

In 1975/76 my friends all had Mustangs, Chevelles, Camaros, Cutlasses; and I had a Buick Riviera. I never intended to keep it long term, but months turned into years, turned into decades, and the Buick grew on me. Luckily my dreams of cutting t-tops in it (the rage in the late '70s) never materialized before I matured (and t-tops faded).

These photos were taken in summer of '06. I took my driver's license test in this car, drove it to highschool, took my wife-to-be on our first date in it, honeymoon, brought our newborn home from the hospital in it. I have my Grandfather's original paperwork for it. My Grandmother's sunglasses and hairbrush are still in the glove box. <!-- google_ad_section_end -->

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#2 1963 Riviera

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 11:59 AM

NICE STORY
BEAUTIFUL CAR....MY 2ND FAVOURITE RIVI..

#3 Rivieraman

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 12:04 PM

Awesome car!
Nathaniel Olivo
(ROA 11296)
1984 Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe (Fred)
1984 Oldsmobile Toronado Caliente
1984 Riviera Red (Rita) Sold
1985 Riviera T Type (Jake)
1985 Riviera T Type Parts Car
1985 Riviera Dr Gray Firemist (Phyllis)
1985 Riviera Black (Bertha)
1989 Riviera Diamond White (sold)
1989 Riviera Sapphire Blue (sold)
1998 Riviera Champaign Beige (sold)
1999 Riviera Midnight Blue Pearl (Teresa)

#4 Lasse

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 03:50 PM

A very nice story, thank you for sharing it. Us "newbie" Riviera-guys can only tilt our hats in awe.
ROA #13370
From Tampere, Finland

1963 Riviera - White inside out, "The Big Princess"

#5 Rob J

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 04:42 PM

Very cool story, thanks for sharing.

Is the car in original condition, or has it been restored? It looks to be in fabulous shape.
ROA Member #13099

Link to Picture Album of Project Rivy 401 http://photobucket.com/65Rivy

1965 Riviera 401, AC, Deluxe Interior (Currently undergoing a frame off nut and bolt restoration)
1987 Buick Grand National (All original, and only 16k miles)

#6 bepnewt

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 05:27 PM

Thanks for sharing. That's a gorgeous machine.

-BEPNewt
Brian E. Parker
ROA# 13180

1964 Arctic White Buick Riviera
1989 Wineberry Honda Shadow VT1100c (lent out)
2004 Ford Thunderbird Premium (sold)
2008 Silver Kawasaki Concours 14 (sold)
2010 Black Ford Escape Limited
2011 Silver Mercury Mariner Premier

#7 lrlforfun

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 02:48 AM

OK JP: It is nice to have a "Family Heirloom". One thing you mentioned was the "T-Top" conversion. In this anal old car world people really forget that the T-Tops were a period thing and even though you did not convert your car, it's just as nostalgic as any other thing, correct or incorrect! Mitch

#8 BIGRIV

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 02:50 AM

Wow, she's a beauty!!
Michael Gauthier
Somerville, MA
ROA# 13383

- 1967 Buick Riviera

- 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme

- 1996 Buick Riviera

#9 jprrbo

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 11:30 AM

I've attached some additional document images. The notes on trading the 1968 for a 1970 Riviera lead me to believe that my Grandfather was disenchanted with this car, I believe due to vacuum headlight issues as they were inoperable when my father inherited the car. My father didn't care much for the car either, as he was a cars-are-just-appliances type of a guy. Then I get it, and I don't like it initially either. The poor car had to grow on me.

Rob J - The car was repainted in the winter of '91-'92. Many of the bright pieces have been re-chromed. I had the front seats reupholstered and the carpet replaced.

Irlforfun - I mean no disrespect to T-Tops. They are awesome on period Trans Ams, Grand Prixs, Camaros, Corvettes, Cutlasses, etc. So I should not have added the "(and t-tops faded)" to the sentence. It would have just plain been wrong to do that to this car and, if I had followed through, I am sure the quality of my conversion would have lead to the demise of the car.

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#10 68RIVGS

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 07:31 PM

Nice story, and a nice car, but I'm sorta partial to those '68's !! :D
It's also good to see you are keeping it in good original condition - maybe someday you can pass it on to someone in your family !!
Randy Hunter, ROA #155 - Charter member
'68 Riviera GS (clone)

#11 bepnewt

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 08:57 PM

Nice story, and a nice car, but I'm sorta partial to those '68's !! :D
It's also good to see you are keeping it in good original condition - maybe someday you can pass it on to someone in your family !!


I'm volunteering to be the long-lost younger brother...

-BEPNewt
Brian E. Parker
ROA# 13180

1964 Arctic White Buick Riviera
1989 Wineberry Honda Shadow VT1100c (lent out)
2004 Ford Thunderbird Premium (sold)
2008 Silver Kawasaki Concours 14 (sold)
2010 Black Ford Escape Limited
2011 Silver Mercury Mariner Premier

#12 Graig Muller

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 09:37 AM

Nice car!!! Great heart-warming story! Keep it in the family! Don't sell it! That is what is what I am doing with my grandparents 1978 Buick Riviera LXXV. I wish I still had there '68 Riv as well! They sold it when I was only 7 years old. I didn't have a say in the matter, but at least I have the '78!

#13 John_Maine

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 10:57 PM

Beautiful car, beautiful story. I have my grandfather's railroad pocket watch that I had restored a couple of years ago. What really adds to it is the hand written note in the case that he purchased the watch in 1908 at Krock's Jewelry store on K St. in San Francisco and that the gold chain with it was a wedding gift from my grandmother in December 1913. That note is as valuable to me as the watch.
John_Maine
BCA #35851




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