Sign in to follow this  
Rivdrivn

‘90s convertible

Recommended Posts

In the 1990s, a few Rivieras, Eldorados and others were sent out by the dealers for conversion to a drop top configuration. Work was done by Coach Builders Limited in High Springs, Florida. Anyone have experience owning or driving one of these?

9A5B3749-43E4-483B-A0D8-98D226F83233.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Rivdrivn said:

Anyone have experience owning or driving one of these?

 

Sorry Steve, I can't say I have any experience with them, BUT, I do think they look great!

 

Hopefully Kevin will chime in and tell you what you want/need to know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can tell that a few Lincoln MarkVIII's were converted.  I don't particularly care for them, as the "A" pillars don't look like they are reinforced any.  If you roll over, the windshield is going to collapse.  If you look underneath, you will be amazed at the amount of square box tubing used to reinforce the chassis.  Scary stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Randall states above, he hopes Kevin will chime it.  He bought one of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buick built one as well and brought  it to the ROA meet in Lake Geneva Wisconsin some years back.  It was nicely done.  It may still be in the heritage collection but not sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chiming in,

 

If you can find one for sale, buy it. They were built quite well ( no cowl shake except for VERY rough RR crossings )  The roof is insulated so they are pretty quiet on the road with the top up. The main disadvantage is the top cover is custom so if it needs a new top it will cost more the a standard convertible top ( IE no reproductions available ). Avery fun car to drive and get decent gas mileage to boot.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, gentlemen, for the feedback. Apparently only a few were made, and then only for a couple of years. This one has 36K miles and drove like a new car, so I’m adding it to the stable.

D8DEAD85-BD69-4D5F-BD0F-DEFE3E2A1924.jpeg

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Rivdrivn said:

Thanks, gentlemen, for the feedback. Apparently only a few were made, and then only for a couple of years. This one has 36K miles and drove like a new car, so I’m adding it to the stable.

D8DEAD85-BD69-4D5F-BD0F-DEFE3E2A1924.jpeg

Hoping to see this at the next ROA event.

 

Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Rivdrivn said:

Thanks, gentlemen, for the feedback. Apparently only a few were made, and then only for a couple of years. This one has 36K miles and drove like a new car, so I’m adding it to the stable.

 

 

Looks Great Steve, Congratulations!

 

4 hours ago, RivNut said:

Hoping to see this at the next ROA event.

 

Ed

 

I am guessing this would be one for the CUSTOM Class?

 

I'm thinking a change like that would "be difficult and expensive to convert back to stock."

 

Not that anyone would want to, to be sure, just sayin'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Rivman said:

I am guessing this would be one for the CUSTOM Class?

 

I'm thinking a change like that would "be difficult and expensive to convert back to stock."

 

Not that anyone would want to, to be sure, just sayin'

That would be something for debate for the judging committee.  The 82 - 85 convertibles were also conversions that started as a coupe.  I guess it would depend on whether they were sold off of a Buick show room floor, or purchased by the coversion company and sold aftermarket.  It would be hard to put Kevin's factory prototype in to a stock class and this one into a custom class.  Just a couple of pennies thrown out (my 2 cents)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, RivNut said:

That would be something for debate for the judging committee.  The 82 - 85 convertibles were also conversions that started as a coupe.  I guess it would depend on whether they were sold off of a Buick show room floor, or purchased by the coversion company and sold aftermarket.  It would be hard to put Kevin's factory prototype in to a stock class and this one into a custom class.  Just a couple of pennies thrown out (my 2 cents)

I think you are correct Ed.  The 82-85 years were sanctioned by GM and were marketed as such even though they outsourced the conversion.  They were offered with a full GM warranty.  I don't believe GM ever sanctioned the conversions on the last generation.  The one that was built at the factory in a "skunk works" operation was done so without GM's approval and it actually cost the individual his job.  The car came out great and as I mentioned above, Buick brought it to the ROA meet at Lake Geneva in 2001 along with Silver Arrow 1 and the XX Indy Pace car.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Pat Curran said:

I think you are correct Ed.  The 82-85 years were sanctioned by GM and were marketed as such even though they outsourced the conversion.  They were offered with a full GM warranty.  I don't believe GM ever sanctioned the conversions on the last generation.  The one that was built at the factory in a "skunk works" operation was done so without GM's approval and it actually cost the individual his job.  The car came out great and as I mentioned above, Buick brought it to the ROA meet at Lake Geneva in 2001 along with Silver Arrow 1 and the XX Indy Pace car.  

According to the seller who bought it from the original owner, this one was sent out for conversion by the Buick dealer in Akron Ohio and then sold as a convertible. It still has the Akron dealer’s decal on the trunk lid and original paperwork including the warranty from Coachbuilders Ltd. but unfortunately not the bill of sale or window sticker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Rivman said:

I am guessing this would be one for the CUSTOM Class?

 

I have owned my 1986 Park Avenue convertible since 2011 and have pretty much stayed away from official events with it, just drove something else, because I didn't want to be shuffled off with the custom class. I would prefer to park with its production year peers. There are no modifications beyond the convertible conversion.

 

When I read the rules I found:

 

AACA Judging Guideline 5.2. " A vehicle re-bodied by a recognized body builder during the era

contemporary with the period that the vehicle was originally manufactured. (Example: Classic cars re-bodied during the Classic era by a recognized body builder.)"
 
Hess & Eisenhardt, Carcraft, ASC, Coach Builders, and Suncoast were all period coachbuilders of the era.Although the example is Classic era, it is an example and should be applicable forward.
Bernie
Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

 

I have owned my 1986 Park Avenue convertible since 2011 and have pretty much stayed away from official events with it, just drove something else, because I didn't want to be shuffled off with the custom class. I would prefer to park with its production year peers. There are no modifications beyond the convertible conversion.

 

When I read the rules I found:

 

AACA Judging Guideline 5.2. " A vehicle re-bodied by a recognized body builder during the era

contemporary with the period that the vehicle was originally manufactured. (Example: Classic cars re-bodied during the Classic era by a recognized body builder.)"
 
Hess & Eisenhardt, Carcraft, ASC, Coach Builders, and Suncoast were all period coachbuilders of the era.Although the example is Classic era, it is an example and should be applicable forward.
Bernie

 

I was quoting the Riviera Owners Association "Car Show Guidelines" more than any of the other automobile clubs "Judging Guidelines."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Rivman said:

 

I was quoting the Riviera Owners Association "Car Show Guidelines" more than any of the other automobile clubs "Judging Guidelines."

If Steve ever brings it to a show, he'll be the one to determine where it goes.  If I were him, I'd want it in the "convertible" class.  Or ask that all of the other convertibles be put into the modified class.  Same scenerio for both - coupes converted to convertibles.

 

There are a lot of Rivieras that show up at ROA event that are in the stock class that should be in a modified class.  Look at all of the 63 and 64 years that show up with the Road Wheel on them.  The Road Wheel was  not available on a RIviera until 1965.  How many cars actually show up with the proper T3 headlights.  Cars are displayed with carpeted trunks,  and the list goes on.  As long as it's left up to the individual to classify his car and peer judging is in effect, there will be a lot of cars misrepresented. So let Steve decide where he wants to place it.

 

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, RivNut said:

If Steve ever brings it to a show, he'll be the one to determine where it goes.  If I were him, I'd want it in the "convertible" class.  Or ask that all of the other convertibles be put into the modified class.  Same scenerio for both - coupes converted to convertibles.

 

There are a lot of Rivieras that show up at ROA event that are in the stock class that should be in a modified class.  Look at all of the 63 and 64 years that show up with the Road Wheel on them.  The Road Wheel was  not available on a RIviera until 1965.  How many cars actually show up with the proper T3 headlights.  Cars are displayed with carpeted trunks,  and the list goes on.  As long as it's left up to the individual to classify his car and peer judging is in effect, there will be a lot of cars misrepresented. So let Steve decide where he wants to place it.

 

Ed

 

I know this conversation does not belong here, but I’ll reply one more time anyway.

 

Everything you say is all fine and good in theory, and yes, there are a lot of Rivieras misrepresented at ROA meets, that’s for sure. But, I guess only someone that is concerned with EVERY tiny detail, and, their main goal is to win an award, would complain?

 

It is supposed to be a “fun” day at the show at an ROA meet, however, when one-member requests his car to be in the “Original” class, and another member complains, very loud complaints from what I understand, so the first member is moved to the “modified” class to appease the complaining member.

 

Does what you say above mean the member that requested to be in a certain class stays there, and the complaining member is told to just stop complaining? OR, does this “judging committee” you mention, not sure exactly who that might be, put the car where the complaining member feels it “should” be, and then the member that asked for a certain class is the unhappy member?

 

I guess requesting a certain class would be great in a perfect world, however, even in the ROA, there are complainers, that just can’t leave things alone and let everyone have a good time and enjoy themselves.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Requesting" a class is part of the ROA registration form.  It asks you what class your car fits in.  It's up to you to declare it.  If you don't know the "rules" for each class, you do as you please and there's usually no one to tell you differently.  The person sitting at the registration desk ask you what you have and writes your class on the form.  When I mentioned a 'judging committe" I guess that's just wishful thinking.  I'm not asking for professional judges.  I understand the fun in peer judging but you have to admit that it does have some drawbacks.  I know of at least two "Best in Class" Rivieras that have been modified.  One of the cars I'm thinking of has scored 395 points in BCA judging.  But the owner enters it as stock and that's how it's judged.

 

So when/if Steve decides to bring his newest acquistion to an ROA meet and checks off convertible on his registratin form, then he should be allowed to enter the car as he sees fits.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I had the car at Harrisburg, I asked to be put in the convertible class but Ray said I needed to be in the custom class.  The Buick Club of America has a "S" class which is for cars that look like Buick could have built but didn't. This class is mostly for Hearses and Ambulances, this is the class the 96 goes when it gets judged.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, rivgs said:

This class is mostly for Hearses and Ambulances

That is what I found out and just didn't want to get my little car squeezed in between a couple of those big hearses. I figure some sort of continuity with production cars is more fitting. It just seemed way out in left field.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am a big fan of custom bodied cars........mostly from the '20's and '30's when there were lots of companies doing custom work.

Sometime it is difficult to find the correct class for newer cars.   I like that the BCA created a class for custom cars that were done by a company......not just a one off modified.

I also think it gives the custom bodied car a better chance of getting the recognition it deserves if it is not in a stock class.

It is nice if the custom bodied cars could be shown next to a stock bodied car,  but you cannot satisfy everyone.  

I have seen Kevin's car and I would not hesitate to put one in my garage.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this