Sign in to follow this  
Erlyriv

1st Riv Purchase

Recommended Posts

Looking at getting 1963-1965 Riv

Subsribed to ROA, awaiting packet to access site.

Dad had a '63 Silver with Black interior, around 15 yrs ago.

Loved the look since.

Did some research on the years I'm considering.

1963- Favorite body style, Like fact of leather interior.Biggest downside, if any, is the trans. used.Is this something that should be a deal breaker?Most seem to be found with the 401 engine, not the 425. From what I can tell , not a huge noticable differance in power.

1964- Again, body style the plus for me.Switch to the newer trans., this looks like a good thing.Said to give more power to the rear wheels, less problematic?Upgrade to the 425.

No leather interior, is this any real issue with longivity?

1965- Second best body for me, I like the body inserts on the 63-64.

Back to the engine choices of 63, same trans. as 64, No leather, Worried about headlights being an issue.Yes there is a GS version, but out of my comfortable price range, so I guess this is mute . :)

Looks like more wheel, hub cap combos.I like the wire wheel look , but havent seen all the 63-64 options.

There is a 63 close, 2.5 hours for me, that looks to be a canidate.

Silver with original black leather interior . Does the leather upgrade also add the premium feature to the rest of the interior group?

Looks very clean and solid from photo's. Dealer said it was last registered in Pa.

I'm in the middle of the rust belt, about 100 miles south west of Chicago, so local cars are usually a little rough.

Oh , well long enough post, especially for my first one.

Any feedback on my thoughts, advise, etc would be great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, Welcome the ROA!! You have done the very best first step in joining the ROA. Everyone here is very friendly and wanting to help, so don't hesitate to go on first name basis here! There is a wealth of information on this site and available from the outstanding technical advisors and everyone else who contribute to our favorite hobby.

My favorite 1st gen is the '63, for many of the reason you cite. I spent probably about 15 years researching the car I wanted (while waiting for my budget to get the executive approval from the spouse)! Anyway, found the best car that I could afford, and got it from a very reputable source. I have been very happy with it. I don't have any regrets going with the Dynaflow tranny.

When you get the welcome pack from the ROA, peruse the cars that members offer for sale. You may find the one of your dreams there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like your thoughts went kind of along the lines of mine. I went with a '64 because of the '63 tranny and the '65 not having the dash look I like so much. The perfect 1st Gen Riv for me would be a '65 body with a '64 dash.

As far as real feedback, I really can't give you much. Anything I know I learned on this board and from the people here. My '64 has a 401 in it ( 30-over ) and it has quite a bit of power. Since I was born male, I of course wanted a dual-quad bigger engine, but am completely satisfied with the 401. My car isn't going to be taken to the drag strip so I don't need to be worried about being embarrassed losing to a Ford or something, and it definitely has enough OOMPH to get up and pass anything in my way if needed.

If you like the Buick "Road Wheels" ( the Rally's ), they weren't an option on the '64 Riviera, only on the Wildcat in '64. They were available on the '65s, though. I don't know how much you want to keep it perfectly stock, but keep that in mind if you like the Rallys. The optional spoke hub caps look really nice on the Rivs. I usually don't like hub caps, but if mine had the spoke ones on it, I probably wouldn't replace them with something else.

Good luck and keep us up to date. I'm sure someone will soon chime in with the answers to your questions.

-BEPNewt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum and to ROA.

In a nutshell it sounds like you definitely want to stick with a 63 or 64. I don't consider the tranny difference a major factor nor do I consider the 401/425 a major factor unless saying you have the largest CID nailhead made is important to you. I think the first year attractiveness of the 63 balances with the 64s change to the ST400 tranny so it comes down to condition.

What I do consider important is a rust free or as close as you can get to a rust free body and how well equipped the car is with options. I would pick either a 63 or 64 allowing which ever you find first that has the cleanest, straightest body/interior to weigh heavily in the decision. Of course you also want a car that has not been molested by unskilled hands.

Continue educating yourself on options, colors etc and how to read the numbers to help you define if a car has the original engine. Even if a non matching number engine is not important to you, its something you need to know up front as that can affect price.

The bottom line is you have to decide personally what factors are important to you, stay patient in your search and find what you want. I highly suggest expanding your search to other parts of the country keeping an eye towards the arid climates. Even if it costs you $900 to have a car shipped to you it could easily end up saving you many times that vs attempting rust repair.

These cars are not inexpensive to restore....what is huh? Find the best condition car you can possibly afford. A common mistake people make is buying a car that needs work because it is cheap but then they find out cost to fix those things can be many times more than what you'd pay if you bought a car that didn't need the repairs.

Don't be afraid to ask questions and post pics and details of any car you are considering. The ability some guys on the forum have to spot problems just by looking at pics is nothing short of amazing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys, I value the feedback.

I'll most likley be going to the 63-64 model, unless I find something I really like in a 65.

I'm hoping on being retired the end of next year, so I should have some extra free time in the years to come to dedicate my self to the project. I agree on finding a good condition car.

I wish I could of got the one my father had, it would have qualified.

Mainly wanting something solid, complete,and mechanically sound.Would like to be able to have a driver, that may need some tweaking down the road.

No rust buckets, missing engine, torn up interior.

I want to stay away from the cloth seats. Is there any major advantage to leather vs vinyl?

Seems leather would were better. Does it have increased longevity?

The nicest thing I've found within driving distance looks very promising.

I'll see if I can get the pics from the website.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In your first post you were asking about wheel cover options. In the pictures that are posted, the wheel covers shown are the base wheel covers. The first upgrade is the wire cover you mentioned. The top of the line cover for both the 63 and 64 is the cast aluminum cover that is a two piece unit. The cast aluminum part literally bolts to the wheel. The stainless knock-off spinner fits in to the cast cover.

The vinyl in those early cars is a very good quality vinyl. Having owned 63s and '64s, I don't think that I can say that one last longer than the other. All of that will depend on use, storage, and care. You could get the custom interior (wood grain, full length arm rest, rear seat door handle, et al) and not order leather. In '63, the consoles of both interiors was covered with a black pebble grain vinyl. In '64, the standard interior came with the black vinyl, but the custom interior came with the wood grain.

The '64 ST400 (Buick's name for GM's TH400) was a one year only transmission. It doesn't have the variable pitch torque converter found on the '65 - '67, and it even though it is a three speed TH400, there's only a D and L detent on the shifter. Regardless, it can be manually run through all three gears.

For cruising around town, I actually like the '63s Dynaflow; absolutely effortless. The only drawback to the Dynaflow is that qualified mechanics who can work on them are becoming scarce.

I concur with what everyone else has said about the differences between the 401 and the 425. There's nothing different except the size of the bore. However, I've seen quite a few 401s that have been bored 0.060" over but a maximum of 0.030" is usually considered the max overbore for a 425. Their cylinder walls are more likely to have core shift and you can get really close to a water jacket is you try to bore it too far over. Out of 40,000 63 Rivieras, only 2,601 came with the 425.

Also, you'll want to consider where you live. Even though this car has the leather seats, it's not air conditioned. I can't tell for sure, but it doesn't appear to have a tilt wheel either. Those are pretty common options for a '63.

Ed

PS - the snorkle on the air breather should go between the power steering pump and the vacuum canister. ;) There's a tab on the air cleaner and a raised part on the carb that need to be aligned.

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the wheel cover I remember had the spinner, and were 2 piece.Are these reproduced or are they difficult to find? I'm guessing originals are a little scarce.I live in central Illinois.Air would be helpful. I guess that is the one of the biggest downfalls with this car.It is said to have tilt.I know my father had his Dynaflow serviced locally, but I don't think that business is still there.This is the best choice I could find so far. It is in the 11-12k range. Everything else is 5k + or-. Down cars need lots of work and up are similar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The cast aluminum covers are rare and hard to find. Expensive when you can find a good set. Studs get broken, pot holes bend aluminum - you try to bend it back it breaks- tire jockeys don't know how to take them off, and they're pretty hard to keep really clean. The 63's are natural cast color; the 64's are painted between the fins. The center caps on the spinners are often cracked because that's the easiest place to hit them to reinstall them. The nice the center cap in the spinner is that it's the same cap that's found in the base cover. There's what seems to be a nice set on eBay right now for what I think is a good price. They actually look like 63 covers with 64 centers.

63 64 Buick Riviera Super Deluxe Turbine Wheel Covers - eBay (item 250789910274 end time Mar-27-11 19:30:00 PDT)

Experience has taught me that it may be more expensive in the beginning to buy a car that's been restored or is a quality original. If you buy a fixer upper, 1) you'll spend a lot of money chasing questionable parts, and 2) it will be a long time before you actually get to drive it and enjoy it. I think most guys will agree that it's 2X $$$ when you try to calculate a restoration. Take you time, find what you really want, and go from there. When you get your ROA stuff, you'll be able to look over the Riview's classifieds and you'll get the log-in info for the website classifieds. Lots of these cars will have been owned by and ROA member and you will be able to get a really good idea of what you're buying.

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the ROA.

Lots of good info given to you here. My advice is get a good car. As far as the 63-64-65 question, they are all so similar, buy the car that you fall in love with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of things about the 63 are different from all other Rivieras. The trunk emblem say B U I CK in block letters. The hood ornament and the wheel cover emblems are Buick Tri-Shields. The only things on the 63 that says Riviera are on the front fenders and the glove box.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I want to stay away from the cloth seats. Is there any major advantage to leather vs vinyl?

Seems leather would were better. Does it have increased longevity?

The nicest thing I've found within driving distance looks very promising.

I'll see if I can get the pics from the website.

I've seen a ton of original vinyl interiors in very nice condition in 60s Rivieras. I don't think leather has any advantage for longevity. How the car was/is stored and taken care of has by far the biggest impact on longevity. Either one will dry out and crack if left for years in the sun.

Make sure you check the passenger compartment floors and trunk floor. Usually picking up the carpeting and sound deadener from the interior is too invasive of an inspection so you have to get underneath with a sharp object like a screwdriver or ice pick and try to poke up through in various locations. A PA car surely isn't any better than one from anywhere else when it comes to rust. I would be very skeptical on how much rust repair was done. If it was garage kept and not run much in the winter it may not be that bad. Get them to take some pics for you of the under side.

$11-12k for that car seems high. It looks decent in the pics but I have seen nearly pristine 63/64s advertised for that. But if you aren't willing to expand your search area you can't afford to be as picky. Looks like the car is at some sort of repair shop. Did they do work to it or is the car in the condition they received it in. You don't have to answer here. Those are just questions I'd ask.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep in mind the Dynaflow can be expensive to rebuild...if you can find a qualified individual.

Looks like a pretty nice original car from the pics of the exterior but the first area I check on an early Riv is the undercarriage, floor boards, trunk floor, rear body mounts and the forward lower section of the rear wheel houses. I dont mind a little body work as long as I am starting with a solid car.

No power windows might be a serious consideration, especially without AC. The drivers front fender is kinked over the wheelhouse, usually from the front bumper taking a heavy tap. On the plus side this car appears to have a very nice original trunk lining. Hard to find and indicates a well kept car, almost certainly garaged.

You`ll be putting a new set of tires on this car, probably within a few days, after it starts changing lanes unexpectedly due to the bias ply tires.

A nice set of optional wheelcovers would seriously bring up the appearance of this car!

Good luck and welcome to the ROA!

Tom Mooney

P.S. Always wanted to stop at Country Classics but I always seem to be pressed for time when driving past...cool place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't know if I could post pic's with any vendor names, so they got edited out.

1965rivgs, you most be somewhat local, or travel alot.

Spent 16 weeks north of there at exit 89, in 1986.Didn't know if they were there then.

Don't know much about them.

It's still a 2.5 hour drive for me, but the other cars so far look to be out of state.

Wouldn't mind driving there if I could drive what I want back. :)

The car that they have came to them that way, I think. I'm always leary of cars that had a recent repaint. Don't know if this is the case with this one.I wish I knew more about the business.

Open to search options other than google.I know once I get the ROA packet there may be some more sources available.

I do like the wire covers I posted above. Are these easy to source?Any repo's available?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The wire cover you pictured was the same for many years on the Riviera and other Buicks. What will be the harder part to find will be the silver/black tri-shield centers. Just keep an eye out for them; they turn up on eBay often enough if you're not in a huge hurry. If you're not going for a 400 point BCA judging, no one should comment on an R in the center of the cap rather than the tri-shield. The people's choice award at the most recent ROA event went to a '64. It had real wire wheels on it - definitely not OE, but everyone thought they looked good and voted the award.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Take a look at all of the gaps between body panels. Are they even, or say, with the hood or trunk lid, is one side wider than the other. It looks like the hood doesn't fit quite right. I agree that the price seems very high for the quality of the car.

As a retired used car salesman, let me give you another piece of advice: PATIENCE PAYS. Don't let your emotions rule your reason. The easiest thing to do is pay too much for a bad car. The right car for you is out there: The latest Riview had seven 63's, eleven 64's and ten 65's listed for sale.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have looked at a couple cars there and I'm amazed that the guy even moved it outside for you. he's usually pretty high - I believe that those cars are there on consignment.

I hope it works out for you, but I would suggest having anything you drive off of that lot looked over very well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 63 & up wires are not nearly as difficult to clean as the 79-85's. I've found that the best tool for cleaning the stainless is a pad of #0000 steel wool. Clean them as well as you can with the available cleaners then polish them with the steel wool. I hate to disagree with Silver Arrow but these covers are not the kind where the spokes overlap each other. There are two sizes of spokes; each horse shoe shaped and they lie separately from each other. You can encounter problems if for some reason the spokes have been damaged. If this is the case, then there is only one way for them to fit together. One difference between years, that you won't notice from the outside, is that some of the spinners are held on with three attaching screws and some are held on with four attaching screws. While you have the spokes off, you can clean up and repaint the backing behind the spokes.

To get the grime and grit from between the layers of the wheel, buy your wife a box of chocolates or some flowers, then put the covers in her dishwasher.

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I implied more than I actually said. I'm not trying to rain on parades but I think this is information that people are looking for when they post these sorts of questions, so here's the long version:

the fact that these cars are consigned makes me believe/theorize/fantasize that somewhere there's an owner that has tried to sell this car previously, unsuccessfully. I'm sure there are plenty of reasons that a car is not sold successfully by a private owner, so I won't guess about this one. I also believe that somewhere, there's an ad for this car by the owner with a lesser price listed, and I think that with some research you can find it.

I was interested in a particular car at this dealership. it's about an hour away from me so I went to look at it. It was in a huge storage building, bumper to bumper packed with cars. I asked the guy to start it for me so I could hear it.

"You gonna buy it?". not without seeing it.

he started it up and it sounded fine. I then asked to drive it. "you'll have to make an appointment".

that's fine. there's plenty of work involved in getting this car out so I set up an appointment. I then go to my bank to get the money and take the day off the next day, as did my wife. we show up for our appointment and they look at me like my face is on fire. "You gonna buy it?"

not without driving it.

"we can't take it out right now, you'll have to make an appointment. do you have money?"

I explain that i've already taken the day off of work and driven the hour to show up for my appointment, and that it's not going to happen again.

I open the door and go to sit in it, he yells and points at a sign that says something to the effect of "DO NOT STEP ON THE FLOORBOARDS" but I do anyway and am welcomed by a nice, spongy landing spot for my feet. at this point we both walked away from each other.

If you look around you'll see the signs that request money for looking at the cars. is it a museum or a car lot?

I hope this helps, and as always, your mileage may vary. best wishes to you on this or any other purchase that you decide on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jonly,

Thanks for the info.Maybe a place to stay away from.I know the car has been there over a year.It may have been listed somewhere before that.I'm all for the patience thing.Only problem I've had in the past , is find a prospect, call and the car has been sold.This is from internet searches, so the info could be a little dated.I'll check out the ROA list and check those out.The one listed on the non-new classified list in my area, was sold.I think I'd feel better getting honest info from a member.Is there a price range for the wire wheel covers? Did some searching and haven't seen any. Might be looking in the wrong places.

Everyone one here has been very helpful, makes me feel proud to have joined the ROA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Based on what you are looking for I would go for a 64. Easier to work on , big engine - better transmission and on and on . No Air and No Power Windows would turn me off big time . The 63 you are looking at is a Plain Jane car . I have found that folks that buy Rivs look for Options for the most part inc. Cruise / Tilt Wheel / AM/Fm / Air and so on . Forget any car with rust problems - no need to put up with that - there are plenty of nice cars around . You may pay a little more up front but you wont have to pour $$$$ into something that will never be right . Take your time and ask questions . Remember , the fun is in the CHASE ! Good Luck , Dick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like the car I posted is a no go. Seems to be overpriced and the business seems to have a less than stellar rep. We'll see that else pops up.

Agreed it need more options anyway. At least air for sure, not to mention some bells and whistles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good advice here, with one item to repeat. BUY THE BEST CAR YOU CAN AFFORD. It will be less of a headache and cost later on. Also, my experience has been that classic car warehouses and dealers cars are very high and sometimes their prices seem arbitrary. They get these prices by offering financing and the shopping convenience. As mentioned the hunt is half the fun. Also, people often are willing to pay more from a dealer because they think the vehicle has been checked out and in better condition than a private party. Often it is quite the opposite. A guy I know recently bought a '64 Riv and had to tell me about it. He bragged how he talked the dealer from 18k to 12k. I did not see the car, but it sounds like he got a car worth about 7k. He has enough money to burn and can afford to do things backwards. You are doing things right by asking questions first before buying.

Edited by Paul K. (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this