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1958 Buicks from Canada


wildcat70

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Recently I ran across a 58 Buick that was assembled in Canada. It has a door tag to that affect. Is this something rare or fake? I am not the all knowing one when it comes to Buicks, but I thought they were all made out of Flint.

Can someone help me out?

Marty

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There were '57 Buicks built in Canada, so I assume the same is true for '58. I even have a Canadian "1957 Buick Maintenance Manual" which is similar to the US "Chassis Service Manual". Here is a link giving some info about '57 Canadian built cars, probably similar for '58:

http://www.teambuick.com/reference/years/57/57_vin.html

It also shows all of the codes for the US assembly plants:

CODE/ASSEMBLY PLANT

1 Flint, MI

2 South Gate, CA

3 Linden, NJ

4 Kansas City, KS

5 Wilmington, DE

6 Atlanta, GA

7 Framingham, MA

8 Arlington, TX

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Guest imported_Thriller

Buicks were assembled in Canada starting in 1908 when they were sold as McLaughlins, then McLaughlin-Buick after GM of Canada was formed in the late teens. After the second world war, they were simply called Buicks.

I have never come across a Canadian built Buick that wasn't assembled in Oshawa, but there were GM of Canada plants in Regina and Walkerville (I think on the last one). I do not know whether any current Buicks are being assembled in Canada or not.

Pre-war cars are somewhat more unique with McLaughlin of McLaughlin-Buick badging that was different than the American Buicks. When production was initially for the Canadian (and Commonwealth) markets, production was considerably lower. Of course, more recently, with plants specializing in a line or platform of vehicles, vehicles are now produced for a specific market (e.g. North America). The market here is too small with about 1/10th of the American market to support Canadian-only production (although there are sometimes slight differences as Canadian regulations differ - daytime running lights were required here earlier than in the USA for instance).

In the 50s the car won't be substantially different. The names of the paint colours will be different than those of American cars, but as far as I know, they are the same formula. You can contact CM of Canada vintage services and for a fee they will decode your VIN and data plate and likely get you to the province where it was originally sold. Much of the specific information may not be available for that year, but they will often send a package of information such as option price lists, depending on what they have available.

Now, Canadian Pontiacs were very different from American cars. For many years, they had their own model names and were built on Chevrolet chassis with Chevrolet engines (for example, I know of a '67 Pontiac Parisienne convertible that was originally a 283 Turboglide car). They tried to keep styling similar, but with different chassis lengths, there was some adaptation. Buicks were never treated to this sort of manufacturing to my knowledge.

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For value, when you say Riviera, do you mean 2 door hardtop, 4 door hardtop, or hardtop station wagon, and what series, Special, Century, Super, Roadmaster. The Riviera was available in them all. Riviera simply meant hardtop up until '63 when it was introduced as its own model.

As for value of being Canadian, I think something like that is in the eye of the collector. My car is a 4 door, to most guys that is nothing more than a parts car. But I passed up many nice 2 doors when looking for my car because to me a 4 door has more value because I like to take my friends cruising with me and I find that more fun in a 4 door. My car is also factory Seminole Red and Oxford white two tone, which makes it more "valuable" too me. A Canadian car might be more valuable to someone from Canada or someone who collects foreign/export cars.

Now if there is something unique about a foreign/export car, then it may have more value to a collector. For example, I think some of the '63-'65 Riviera's exported to Europe had 200 km/h speedometers and that makes them more interesting to collectors. For '57 the U.S. version of the Special was only available with a Carter or Stromberg 2bbl carb and the Century/Super/Roadmaster came with either a 4bbl Carter or Rochester. The same was true for Canadian cars, except you could get the 4 bbl Carter on the Special. Now that's interesting to me and it might make such a car more valuable to a collector.

Post a few more details about the car and I'm sure someone can give a range for the value.

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Guest DaveCorbin

Dear Sean:

There were 14,163 Buicks built in Canada for the 1958 model year. I don't have a breakdown by series or type for them.

Regards, Dave Corbin

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Guest DaveCorbin

Dear Derek:

FYI, so far as I know, Walkerville is the engine plant of GM of Canada and opened about 1922.

I am aware of Marquettes that were assembled in Regina in 1930. There's one in the museum in Oshawa, Ontario.

Regards, Dave Corbin

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Guest imported_Thriller

NADA knows nada.

All of the price guides are filled with errors. In Buick parlance, until the Riviera became a separate model, Riviera referred to hardtops (let's not confuse the issue with the "Rivieras" before hardtops like my '52 Roadmaster).

If you look at the NADA 1958 Buick page, you will note that when they refer to Special and Special Riviera, there is no crossover of models. Other than the Estate Wagons as hardtops, they just list the hardtops under the ModelName Riviera. It's just the way they break it out.

Of course, non-Buickers who don't know the distinction will often advertise one for sale as a Riviera without the actual model designation, so you don't know what series it is.

I located the GM Canada Vintage Vehicle Services information. Within Canada, the number is toll free at 888-467-6853. Outside Canada, the numbers are 905-440-7636 or 905-440-7619. Fax is 905-440-7644. Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. I think it is like $50 Canadian (so about $40 for those south of the border) to get a report. They will completely decode the serial number and data plate as provided and send you a nice package of information. ** I am not affiliated with the service at all, but a satisfied customer.

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Thriller, Thanks for the info. Yes, the seller is listing it as a Riv, so I want to be sure that it is what it is. Please Buick experts, help !!! Tell me what to look for !!

Please !!!!! I sure don't want to pay the price of a Riv if it is not !!!!

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Back in the '50s Buick (and GM) had a gimmick name for everything: Panoramic windshield, Deep Cradled chassis, Safety Power Steering, Air Poise suspension, etc. For Buick the term Riviera is simply their gimmick name for hardtop, there is no difference between the two: all hardtops are Riviera’s and all Riviera’s are hardtops. Oldsmobile and Pontiac did the same thing. For '50s cars (before they became separate models in the '60s) you can remember it this way:

If you go on Holiday, you might go to Catalina or the Riviera.

Holiday = Oldsmobile hardtop

Catalina = Pontiac hardtop

Riviera = Buick hardtop

The phrase "de Ville" means village or town in French, so if you want to add Cadillac, you can modify it to be:

If you go on Holiday you may stay in de Ville or go to Catalina or the Riviera.

Holiday = Oldsmobile hardtop

de Ville = Cadillac hardtop

Catalina = Pontiac hardtop

Riviera = Buick hardtop

Edited by sean1997 (see edit history)
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For 1958 a 2 door Special Riviera (hardtop) would be model 58-46R, style number 58-4437, often just called model 46R and style number 4437. Other Riviera models for 1958:

Model, Style #, Description

43, 4439, Special 4-door hardtop (I own a '57 version)

46R, 4437, Special 2-door hardtop

49D, 4482, Special Estate Wagon hardtop (often called a Caballero)

63, 4639, Century 4-door hardtop

66R, 4637, Century 2-door hardtop

69, 4682, Century Estate Wagon hardtop (often called a Caballero)

53, 4539, Super 4-door hardtop

56R, 4537, Super 2-door hardtop

75, 4739X, Roadmaster 4-door hardtop

75R, 4737X, Roadmaster 2-door hardtop

750, 4839X, Limited 4-door hardtop

755, 4837X, Limited 2-door hardtop

The data plate located on the firewall will contain all of the information you need to figure out what model of car it is. Get that info and then check out this link:

http://www.teambuick.com/reference/years/58.shtml

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I got very interested in the Riv model as NADA lists is way more expensive that just the hardtop version. I can clearly see the difference in the 4 door models, but could find no other reference in the 2 door version. Did they get an additional piece of trim? Was the Riv, the model that got the double hooded side mirrors?

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There is no difference between a Riviera and a hardtop, NONE. No extra trim, no optional anything, it is simply a gimmick word to mean hardtop. NADA lists it as more expensive because they don't know anything about Buicks and non-Buick people often refer to a 2-door hardtop as a Riviera. The 2-door hardtop it the most popular body style and therefore the most expensive. Of course a 2 door hardtop Roadmaster is more valuable than a 2 door hardtop Special. So using the term Riviera to refer to any 2 door hardtop is misleading and only done by people who don't understand the difference. If you roll the front and rear side windows down and there is no post between them, the car is a hardtop. If there is a post then it is not a hardtop. Common terminology for cars with a post is "sedan".

2 door hardtop = coupe (common) = 2 door Riviera (Buick)

2 door post = sedan (common) = 2 door Sedan (Buick)

4 door hardtop = sedan (common) = 4 door Riviera (Buick)

4 door post = sedan (common) = 4 door Sedan (Buick)

I think what Derek is refering to is that Buick also used the term "Riviera" to describe a particular trim package. It's confusing, but the progression of the term is like this:

1. 1949 Buick introduces its first 2-door hardtop and calls it a Riviera, model 49-76R.

2. 1950-1954 Riviera = Super and Roadmasters 4-door post styles with various combinations of longer wheelbase and extra-posh interiors. Riviera models include models 50-52, 50-72, 50-72R, 50-79R, 51-52, 51-72R, 52-52, 52-72R, 53-52, 52-79R, 53-72R, 53-79R, 54-52, and 54-72R.

3. 1950-1954 Riviera = 2-door cars with a hardtop. Riviera models include models 50-56R, 50-75R, 50-76R, 51-45R, 51-56R, 51-76MR, 51-76R, 52-45R, 52-56R, 52-76R, 53-45R, 53-56R, 53-76R, 54-46R, 54-66R, 54-56R, and 54-76RX.

4. 1955-1958 Riviera = a car with a hardtop roof (often called a hardtop convertible), can be either a 2-door or a 4-door (4-door hardtop introduced in 1955). Riviera models include models 55-43, 55-46R, 55-63D, 55-66R, 55-56R, 55-76R, 56-43, 56-46R, 56-63, 56-63D, 56-66R, 56-53, 56-56R, 56-73, 56-76R, 57-43, 57-46R, 57-49D, 57-63, 57-66R, 57-69, 57-53, 57-56R, 57-76R, 57-73A, 57-76A, 57-75, 57-75R, 58-43, 58-46R, 58-49D, 58-63, 58-66R, 58-69, 58-53, 58-56R, 58-75, 58-75R, 58-750, and 58-755.

5. 1959-1962 Riviera = 4-door hardtop model 4829 only.

6. 1963, Riviera becomes its own model available only as a 2-door hardtop.

Look at this link:

http://www.teambuick.com/reference/years/58/58_body.html

it shows both the style and the model. Model 46R is also style 4437, a 2-door Special Riviera (hartop). The first two digits are the year: 58-46R and 58-4437 are the same car, Buick just used both the model and style numbers.

Edited by sean1997 (see edit history)
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Also, just another note about the term Riviera. Like I said, for '55-'58 there is no difference between a Riviera and another car expect that the Riviera's have a hardtop. That means you will not find the term "Riviera" anywhere on the car until 1963 when it became its own model. From 1949-1958 the term "Riviera" was only used in model listings and marketing literature. If you are looking for the word "Riviera" on the car you won't find it, but Buick people know that if it is a hardtop that makes it a Riviera.

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Guest imported_Thriller

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: sean1997</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I think what Derek is refering to is that Buick also used the term "Riviera" to describe a particular trim package. It's confusing, but the progression of the term is like this:

1. 1949 Buick introduces its first 2-door hardtop and calls it a Riviera.

2. '50-'51, Riviera = trim package on 4 door post cars

3. '50-'54, Riviera = hardtop on 2 door cars

3. '55-'58, Riviera = a car with a hardtop roof (often called a hardtop convertible), can be either 2 door or 4 door.

4. 1963, Riviera becomes its own model available only as a 2 door hardtop. </div></div>

I guess I never should have mentioned anything. In 1952, Supers and Roadmasters did not have 4 door hardtops. The sales literature identifies them as four door Riviera sedans. There is no special trim package...it is just a curve ball in the marketing to also call a sedan a Riviera. I'm not sure whether or not that continued for other years or not - I think it was a one year only thing.

Another reference for 1958 Buick information is at Buicks.net.

Sorry if I caused any confusion.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Thriller</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I guess I never should have mentioned anything. In 1952, Supers and Roadmasters did not have 4 door hardtops. The sales literature identifies them as four door Riviera sedans. There is no special trim package...it is just a curve ball in the marketing to also call a sedan a Riviera. I'm not sure whether or not that continued for other years or not - I think it was a one year only thing.

Another reference for 1958 Buick information is at Buicks.net.

Sorry if I caused any confusion.

</div></div>

After checking what Derek said, it does look like this applies to '50-'54 Supers and Roadmasters. However in '50 at least, the Riviera 4-door post sedans did indeed have special interior trim and a longer wheelbase than the stanadard 4-door post Touring sedans. The Riviera's 4 door post styles continued to have a longer wheelbase through '53 than the standard Super/Roadmaster. In '54 the wheelbase for all Supers and Roadmasters was the same. In '55 the first 4 door hardtop was introduced. No. 2 above should probably read something like:

2. '50-'54, Riviera = Super and Roadmasters 4 door post styles with various combinations of longer wheelbase and extra-posh interiors

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