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Scotsbass

Why did you choose the Riviera?

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Hi,

I only began posting here a couple of weeks ago and have been very impressed with the warn welcome and replies I have received, so thanks to all.

Anyway, I was explaining to my wife the other day why I decided to buy a car that was only a few years younger than myself; more specifically - a 1964 Riviera - and thought it might be interesting to see where other people's love affairs began.

For me, it was in the summer of 1965 when I was 6. A friend (Duncan Murray, for those of you who like irrelevant details) had come over to play and, as was the social etiquette at the time, brought with him the latest additions to his ever expanding toy car collection. Various Dinky and Matchbox cars were produced, but I only had eyes for the Gold 1963 Riviera with the headlamps that seemed to be on all the time - it was one of the first corgis to offer "Reflect-o-matic" (or some such marketing speak) lights.

But it was more than that simple feature that stuck with me - it was all to do with the car's line and stance - its attitude. You must remember that at the time the British Car Industry was churning out what it could in the way of "gems" like the Vauxhall Viva and the Austin A35, so suddenly I was faced with something REALLY exciting. The other thing to remember that apart from possibly catching a fleeting glimpse of one in a movie, I didn't actually see one in the flesh for another 20 years. I think that, in itself, is testament to the greatness of the design; 45 years after a small boy in Scotland played with a gold toy car the desire to own and enjoy one is still there.

So, I was just wondering if other member's might want to share their "cupid's arrow" moment.

Kind regards

Keith

PS - As I finish this mail I sit at my desk and look over at the extremely battered gold toy car on top of my monitor - I think in the end I swapped Duncan Murray a blue and white Hillman Imp and a green Ford Cortina for it.....SUCKER!!!!!

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Our Riviera chose us.........

We went to the local Taco stand after work one night me wearing the shirt from the Rochester BCA Nationals that had a 65 Riviera on it.

Anyway I am walking back to my seat with a beer when a gentleman stopped me and asked if I like Buicks. As I had a 47 2 50's and a 88 wagon at the time, I replied that I did. "Well, he said, let me tell you about my Daddy's car. He bought it brand new in Midland Texas and drove it all over West Texas. He was a land man, looking for oil and water. Loved his car and never would let me or my sister drive it. When he got too old to drive, he parked in his garage on blocks. Now Daddy has passed on and it is time to sell the house. I am looking for someone who take care of the car as he could have sold it numerous times to the lowrider crowd. But he never would do that."

I told hime I din't know o anyone right then but I took his number and told

him I would come look at the car and try to give him an opinion on it.

Tw weeks later my wife and I wer going downtown to the museum on a hot August day, I suggested that we were almost to where the car was, that we should take a look at. We both agreed that we didn't need another car.

Anyway we stopped that afternoon and under a ton of crap, christmas decorations and other assorted stuff sat a Bronze Mist '64 Riviera with all te parts and pieces. Nice and straight and filthy. They had used it as a storage container / compartment.

We spent 30 minutes uncovering it and my wife looked at it and told me she wanted the car. OK..... After some negotiating the car was ours. I had no tools and no money with me so I asked where a ATM was so I could get a deposit to hold the car till Monday. As it turned out my bank was around the corner and it was still open so I was able to get all of it. 8 cans of fix a flat and a tow truck later the car was in my driveway. A week later I had the motor running. 9 months later we took it from Houston to Seattle for the Buick Nationals and recieved our archival award.

It may not be the best looker but it runs like a scalded dog and has all the options including the 4 note horns, wood wheel, deluxe interior and AM / FM radio. We have put about 10,000 miles on it in the 2 years we have had it and love it.

Here we are at the Columbia River in Oregon...

Af

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Edited by Bill Stoneberg (see edit history)

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Like most of the rest of the members on this forum, I have liked these cars all my life. First generation Rivieras have always had that going fast look, even sitting still. This car is designed like George Trosley drew most of his cars in Cartoons, just ready to leap off the page at you.

I always loved the look of first generation Rivieras, but they were always too expensive for my meager budget. Two years ago, I was working a building project in Las Vegas and decided I needed something to tinker with out there in my free time. I decided I wanted a first generation Riviera or a boattail. I had left all my toys at home (Oklahoma City), and wanted something to work on in Vegas. One weekend when I was back home, a friend asked me to go with him to look at a 55 Chevy hardtop a friend of a friend had for sale. We headed out (always with my trailer in tow) to southern Oklahoma to look at the 55. We looked the car over for a few minutes, but we knew it wasn't the right car. Sitting in the corner of the same barn was a 63 or 64 Riviera. Half covered by a tarp and under several years of dust. So, being the car nut I am, I asked what the story on the Riviera was. It could be for sale, but he would rather sell the 55. My friend said he wasn't interested in this 55, but my friend here has been looking for a Riviera. Long story short, we took a 63 Riviera home that day instead of a 55 Chevy. Not in Las Vegas where I could work on it, but I did finally have a Riviera. I have now finished my Las Vegas project and am now back home working on a great 63 Riviera.

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In the mid 70`s, a friend had a white `63 and I had a `67 Camero. We swapped cars for a night and the rest is history. I got my first `64 in the late eighties while helping out at a co-workers moms house. I spied the Granada red beauty in the garage and that night I swapped a pile of work on the Moms house for my first Riv. Alas I was forced to sell as 2 small kids needed my attention for a few years. I always regretted selling the old girl , and always wanted another, So I was telling a co-worker about my long lost love and he told me about another co-worker who had a partially finished resto that he was looking to sell. I had just sold my `64 willys jeep and parlayed the cash into my current project... another `64 !!! Once these cars get under you skin, there's no going back

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I was 17 (1979) and had an older friend that I went fishing with. He had a somewhat sad looking 67 in gray primer, black primer, and faded original plum. It had 67k mi.

I liked driving something different than all the other kids and I had never seen one of these cars. I already owned and sold a 68 Jeepster Commando and my current car was a 70 Coupe Deville. The 67 looked cool with the hidden headlights and fast back rear and it intrigued me. A few months later he sold it to me for a sum within my budget for $275. Though I have tried a couple times, I have never been able to get away from Rivieras since.

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I had owned Buicks starting with a '50 Super hardtop, to '55 Century 4dr. ht, 59 Lesabre 2dr. ht, 60 Lesabre convert, and 60 Invicta 4dr. sedan w air. All were beautiful cars and my family cars. In 1967 the Dynaflow went out in the Invicta, and even though I'd rebuilt the Dynaflow in my '55 Century in earlier years, this was wintertime in Illinois and no time to lay under a car. I went to my local Buick dealer who I had known through past dealings on cars and parts , looking for a newer Buick, and he had a 50,000 mile, one owner '63 Silver Riviera with silver leather interior and the silver Buick 401 engine ( In '63 the Riv engines were silver instead of the regular Buick green). He offered me a lower mileage '64 Electra 4 dr. for the same money, and, having a wife and two little girls at the time, I thought about it (for about 10 minutes). I caught the Riviera bug, and bought the Riv. After that I restored a '63 that I bought with a blown 401, and a red 65,black interior, 401 that was a rust bucket when I bought it. I sold two of these three cars in a span of about ten years ( remember, these were all real nice close to mint cars. I ( foolish me) bought and rebuilt the body on a '74 Mercury Montego ( which was totalled) from the original owner (26,000 miles on it), thinking that with the low mileage it would be a good longlasting family car. I had to pull the heads and replace valves and guides at 35,000 miles and again at 90,000 miles. I'm a guy used to running Buick nailheads over 100,000 miles with no engine troubles, so I sold the Merc to a young man that worked for me, and picked up a beautiful '78 Riv with the 403 Olds engine with 125,000 miles on it. Local guys I knew thought I was crazy but I knew the original owner and had all the service records on it from new, so I bought it. The only things I replaced were tires, brakes, a carb kit, and a pick up coil in the next 125,000 miles in addition to the usual oil and grease jobs, etc. I made another mistake and bought a '82 Cadillac Coupe de Ville with 4.1 aluminum engine and the expected engine water leaks came. I sold that car to another young guy who fixed it up and then wrecked it.

My current '85 -44,000 mile Riviera is a fully optioned (and I mean everything including the dealer installed Motorola moblie phone), with the 307 Olds engine. I sure miss the old '63-'65 Rivs with rear wheel drive, although even with less power under the hood, this has been a nice car that I purchased 10 years ago from the original owner with 24,500 miles on it at that time. I need to replace the rear air shocks and valve cover gaskets but overall it's been very troublefree although I don't put many miles on nowdays. Another Riv that I owned was a '65 silver, black interior with 65,000 miles on it that had been in my mother and fathers family since new. I bought it from my younger brother and later gave it and a bunch of money to a first cousin for a'71 Corvette conv. He needed the money for gigantic medical bills not covered by insurance so I made a deal ( not because I'm a Vette man, but I have a couple of cars in the 20's and had to make some room). That car is now in California

somewhere. My long post shows my love for Rivieras and Buicks in general. Good luck with your Riv!!!

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Well about 23 years ago I started dating this girl (turned out to be my wife) and she took me out to the old barn back of her house, and there sat a 64 riv with 57000 miles on it.:eek: I fell in love (with her) and the car that day. It was the family car at one time, her dad had just parked it thinking it woud be special some day. About 2 years ago the inlaws moved and did not have a place for the riv any more, so I got the car!!!! Had not been run for 20 years, but she runs now. Needs some more work and a paint job. I can not wait to show it someday soon.

Interesting thing my first car was a 1977 Buick Regal. I guess I have always been attracked to Buick. A 64 Riviera tops them all.;)

J Chase

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Up until a few years ago, I never laid eyes upon a first generation Riviera. I'm 37 years old and wasn't around when they came out unlike many here. But one day I was perusing Ebay and happened to come across this beautiful dark blue one. I looked at it and looked at and I thought to myself, that thing is bad ass and kept going back until the auction expired. Well to make a long story short, I called the dealer who listed it and made him an offer and bought it.

To tell you all the truth, I don't even recall the ROA meet that was held here in Asheville just a few months prior to buying my car. I don't even remember seeing any 1st generation Rivi's rolling around here at all. Please forgive me. :)

Here are the actual Ebay pictures of it. Who could resist it?

8.jpg picture by jimtash - Photobucket

9.jpg picture by jimtash - Photobucket

30.jpg picture by jimtash - Photobucket

And what it looks like when I took it to work a month or so ago. Yeah, I take up about 2 parking spaces if you notice. :D

0427091944jpg-1.jpg picture by jimtash - Photobucket

Edited by jimtash (see edit history)

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I'm afraid my reasons are not as historic or romantic as some of the well written previous posts, but for me a Riviera simply represents the driving and ownership experience that I was not able to enjoy when these cars were regularly seen on the road in their day.

When I became of driving age in the early 80's, the "muscle car" era had been dead for a decade. Being of modest roots, I grew up admiring the plush, air conditioned, freeway cruisers (Bonneville, Grand Prix, Delta 88, Electra 225, etc) I would see gracing the highways during family vacations. I always had an attraction to GM products, BOP in general, but always felt drawn to Buicks. I owned a couple of GM cars in my earlier years, but never could seem to land a Buick back then.

Fast forward to four or five years ago, and after much thought and consideration, decided that the time was right to reunite my appreciation of classic cars with one of my own. But what will I choose? We've all been to our share of shows and cruise nights, and seen the endless rows of "popular" classics. Make no mistake, I have an appeciation for all older cars, and the time and effort their owners put in to restore, repair, and maintain their cherished rides. I just wanted something different, something you don't see all the time. It did not take long to refocus on Buick, but which one? Well, if you want something different, and you have your heart set on Buick, it does not get more special than Riviera.

After more than a year of thinking, researching, and pondering the choices, I narrowed it down to either a second generation Riv, or a boat tail Riv. There were technical reasons for this choice, but that is somewhat irrelevant to this discussion. It would simply come down to what became available, in a condition I was happy with, and within a price range I was targeting. After looking a several candidates, I found my unmolested '68 and have never looked back.

Having owned this car for a couple of years now, I have grown to appreciate even more the quality, workmanship, and engineering that went into these cars. It is still somewhat unbelievable to me that a 41 year old car can drive solidly down the road with the same stlye, grace, and presence that it did back in the day. This car rides and drives better than my previous '70s cars did when they were 10 - 15 years old. I may not have been old enough to appreciate these cars when they were commonly seen on the road, but I get to experence it now everytime I have it out of the garage.

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My Mom & Dad used to spend a couple of weeks in Florida. Dad's aunt & uncle lived there and offered them their 65 Riv to drive while in Florida. Dad loved that car. It was the nicest car he ever drove. When his uncle died, his aunt called to say she knew how much Dad liked the Riv and said if you want the car, it's yours. That was 1977. Dad and I flew to Florida & drove the car home to Windsor, Ontario. I was 19. When it was my turn to drive, it was pretty special. My Dad is gone now and every drive is special. It had 43,000 miles on it when we brought it home. It has 64,000 now. Dad drove it only on special occasions and only between May and October (as I do). It is as solid as can be. Dad treated it well. So, it has great sentimental value as well as it is a great car. Great lines, classy, smooth and powerful. What's not to like!

Edited by whalerman03 (see edit history)

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as far as i remember i really "felt" that this was the only car for my age (born 1965) that had the looks & performance. :-D

unfortunately we employees here at Delphi Germany Wuppertal just got told a few minutes ago that 30% of us will be fired (which means 255 people) ... it is also raining ... and feelings towards the rivi are currently quite dull :-(.

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Just loved the look of the 63-65's in particular from day one. I had a 63 back in the 80's that I sold and I wanted another one ever since. You very rarely see them for sale where I am and as luck would have it about a year ago a 64 came up at the same time my wife was out of town :D

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it was another craigs list find 964 buick riviera you wouldnt believe what i traded for it a 1975 monte carlo both there cars were in good condition too couldnt believe it till i got home and parked it . this is why i chose it best trade ive ever heard of.... well update i now have taken the unoriginal 455 motor out and having built a 350 30 over put in due to me wanting this as my main car :) like to hear some of yalls thoughts

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Edited by donhess64rivi
added update (see edit history)

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A fellow in the antique car club had a brand-new '65 Grand Sport that he let me (then a teenager) drive, and I was quite impressed. Then my Dad bought a brand-new '66, in beige with the white bucket seat interior and center console. I was a senior in high school, and that was my all-time favorite car. He gave it to me after I returned from Vietnam, and I drove it through my college years. Finally, it was totally worn out, and dented up from being hit by others, and I couldn't afford to fix it, so I got rid of it (gave it away). A decision I always regretted. In recent years I wanted a duplicate of that car and started looking. It only took me 10 years to find one -- finally. And only after I had initially given up and bought a non-duplicate purple Riv with the bench seat. I now need to sell the latter car.

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When I was a kid I lived about ten miles outside NYC. On our block lived a guy who, in hindsight, had to be "connected". He wore black suits, sunglasses all the time and drove a 63 Riviera. It was silver with a black interior. About 4PM each afternoon, while all the kids were out playing in the streets, he'd come slowly cruising down the block. All the "regular joe" dad's on my block walked home around 6:30 after taking the train from the city. They also typically drove a dowdy station wagon on weekends. This guy would casually drive down the block mid afternoon in his cool car. He'd park, get out and usually take a swing with a stickball bat or throw a pass with a football with us kids while balancing a cigarette, then disappear into his home. All the kids would crowd around the parked Riviera, trying to get a look inside without leaving any finger or nose prints on the window. The dash, the console, those individual rear seats...it was so cool. The look, the smell and even the ticking sound of the cooling motor all struck in my mind. Today, I'm restoring my own 63...and it's going to be silver outside, black inside and cool all over. PRL

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I can't exactly say when I first saw a Riviera, but I was a child maybe around 5-7 years old (born 1965). Dad worked at Buick in Flint, and took me to employee car shows in the '70s and '80s. What fun! Ever since, I have really loved the 63-65 style. It has just enough chrome (not too much like a '58 Buick, or nothing like today's plastic cars). My absolute favorite is the '63. I know that the designers had a lot of trouble with the headlights and tried many combinations until they finalized the 4 lights on the grill. Sure, Bill Mitchell really wanted the '63 to have hidden lights like they finally got in '65, but I believe that the exposed lights are the best. The lights add character and give you something to look at. The body is a timeless design and still looks good today. I bought the '95 when it came out. I had #73 off the line, and was the neatest car I've ever driven.

When I was little, I wanted a green one. A few months ago, I was looking through ebay and found a '63 silver one for sale, at a decent price that I could afford. Several weeks after I bought, I noticed a couple small areas where there was green paint. Looking that the trim code (JJ), I realized that I had bought green Rivi I've always wanted, though it just looks silver right now. :)

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OK Riviera People: It really was no accident that I was attracted to the 63 Riviera. As a 6th grader my Father took a friend and myself to the annual new car show held at the West Orange Armory. There was a new Riviera there and seeing that was all I needed to get things going.

My parents had ho-hum cars ( Chevrolet and Plymouth 4 door cars with black tires, little hubcaps and no personality until they purchased a new 1960 Lesabre 2 dr. ht, Titian red. Wow! That car really appealed to me and it was a Buick. When I saw that Riviera it was like a dream come true. A Buick..........that looked like that. I was under some kind of spell. I also was under a similar spell with the 63 Corvette.

My first Riviera was a 63 in 1970. It was pretty much a horrible experience which I won't get into but I straightened things out when I purchased my next 63 Riviera in November 1973. It was donated to the local High School's auto shop when the motor had locked up. I had remembered that a friend's neighbor had a pretty rough 63 laying in her driveway. My brain went into overload and I purchased both cars and made one good one out of the pair (black with custom white leather, pw, a/c, Turbines). While I was making my deal on the 63 parts car my friend told me about a 65 that was available. It was sitting on a car lot that sold the worst looking cars I had ever seen.

It was against all odds. There were gas lines for days and their asking price was a whopping $850. It had 119K, ran lousy, it was a filthy, dirty 9 year old big old car. The car lot guy suckered me right in. Hook, line and sinker. I gave him the dough and it was mine. Anyway, I got it home and began to detail it. The planets must have been in the correct position. This car was a 19,000 mile mint original. The custom saddle interior was like new, the original black paint looked beautiful, mint trunk with the original triple white wall spare never used. Even the chrome on the air cleaner was like new!. I had a set of wire caps for it and that was it. I sold it shortly afterwards. Why? I will never know.

My thing for the 63, 64 and 65 Riviera has never left me. Since then I have owned several examples. A friend asked me if I knew why I liked the 60 Buick, the 63, 64, and 65 Riviera as well as the 63-67 Corvette. I really didn't have an answer. He then told me that those models were all out of the William Mitchell styling studio and a piece of my life's puzzle had been found.

Today I own the exact, identical twin twin to the one I got during the energy crisis of 1973 and it's been with me since 1976.

Mitch

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It's the second most sexiest car ever built. Is that reason enough? :)

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It's the second most sexiest car ever built. Is that reason enough? :)

Lamar, Why am I not surprised you rate them second :).........but I have to agree with you.......the 55's just have the edge don't they;)

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55's may have an edge but the '54 Roadmaster Riviera takes the prize as "The Sexiest Car Ever Built". At least in MrEarl's book ;)

(good one Brian, you got me on that one)

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I guess way off this track, but I bought my 92 cuz I just think this is what the evolution dictated. I am just happy I did. For a while I did own a 66 which I wish I could get back.

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In 65 I saw the Riviera and I had to have one of those cars ! It was so ahead of its time there was no question - I had to own one - I found the one that fit my budget ( wife didnt agree ) and I was hooked on Riv-Mania ! I have owned 22 of these jewels over the years - 63-65 ONLY .

When I bought my first Riv I was a new cop on the beat and earning 500 bucks a month - I really coulnt afford the car but that didnt stop me ! LOL

Here is my first Riv 1965

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Dick-Love the photo you attached to this thread. Wide brand/size tries are fitted on your 65? Especially curious about the whitewall thickness? Thx PRL

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