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First Question on Possible Purchase


Guest Jhuff8181

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Guest Jhuff8181

I've found what I'm told is a 1965 Riviera GS / Super Wildcat. He says it has a 425 CID "Super Wildcat" motor with 2 four barrel carbs and a "Rally Pac" gauge package. The engine casting number is 1364704, the cylinder head cast number is 1196914 and the last 8 VIN stamped on engine block is 5H927866. What should these numbers mean to me? I guess my other question for you guys (and gals) is in running condition with minimal rust and a good interior what should I expect to pay for this car? I hope I've given you enough information. I am trying to come up with a price before driving three hours to see it. Thanks, John

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Do a search here and you'll find out what to look for with a true GS Rivi. 2x4's are a start, but other differences are the exhaust size, the rear diff, the trans code, of course emblems. If it doesn't have the GS emblems, it could still be legit as a few 425 2x4's were built as non-GS.

Price is in the eye of the beholder. Depending on what it needs. You are probably over $10k as minimally described. I've seen basket cases for $6-7k.

Good luck with the search. There are several people here with more detailed GS knowledge. See if you can get in touch with one of those so you can bounce images/questions off on them.

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There's been a lot previously discussed on identifying a Gran Sport. The first thing you need to realize is that the Gran Sport was an option, not a model. There are no specific VIN numbers for Gran Sports. That being said, it is very easy to clone one. There's a really good article on the Riviera Owners Website www.rivowners.org on how to ID a true Grans Sport. The Gran Sport option did include the Super Wildcat engine. Two four barrel carburetors topped with a chromed dual snorkle air cleaner. That A9 option also included a distributor that was timed at 12* BTDC instead of 2-1/2*; there should be a metal ring tag around the distributor with a unique part number. The Gran Sport option also included the Super Tubine (TH400) transmission with a certain code. That trans had a special valve body that allowed for firmer shifts and higher shift points. The rear axle had a 3.42 positraction rear end.

Casting numbers mean nothing; the same numbers were used from 59 - 66 on lots of parts. You need to be looking for stamped numbers on the horizontal machined surface of the block behind the water crossover pipe. To be a true A9 Super Wildcat engine you need to see the stamped letters LX. L for 1965, X for the A9 engine on the passenger's side of the engine. On the same surface on the drivier's side of the engine, you need to find the engine serial code. That code number should match the vehicles VIN; if it doesn't it's not a numbers matching car. Someone could have found a wrecked Gran Sport and taken the engine/trans and all of the emblems from the wreck and added them to a base car.

There never was a "rally gauge package." The instrument panel on a Gran Sport is no different than any other '65 Riviera. The only difference between a Gran Sport dash and the dash of a regular '65 Riviera is the Gran Sport emblem on the glove box.

If the car is not equipped with the Forumla Five rally wheels (optional) then is should have a unique wheel cover. Those covers are stainless steel with a two bar knock-off.

To do a detailed study of this car, you'll need to get the build date off the Fisher Body plate - on the firewall above the brake booster. Then compare the build date to the placement and size of the Gran Sport badges on the trunck and fender. This can all be done by doing an archive search on this forum or by reading the Gran Sport article on the ROA's website.

This should get you started. Once you've ID'd it as a true Gran Sport or a clone, then you'll need to ascertain what other things to look for on any 1st generation Riviera that could give you trouble; rust, etc.

Hope this helps some; at least it's somewhere to start.

Ed

PS - I typed my reply before I saw the picture. A couple of things. One, that stripe down the side is not orginal. Two, and it's hard to tell from the size and resolution of the picture, the vinyl top looks brown. Vinyl tops were only available in black. Also, even though the color is attractive, I don't think brown was an available color for '65. Get a really good closeup shot of the Fisher Body plate and you call tell what color the car was originally painted. It could be Sierra Mist, but from the picture it's hard to tell. Any way to post some detailed pictures of the Data plate and the interior, as well as closeups of the top?

Edited by RivNut
Added the PS (see edit history)
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From the other pictures in the ebay ad, I can see why it's been for sale for a while. In my experience, you need to do a 4X or 5X on the rust that visible. Definitely not factory gauges, paint, or vinyl top. I could be the Sierra Mist paint, but without seeing it next to a true color chip, it could be that it's just close.

Of interest as well, the horn bar for the wood wheel is broken off on both sides. The warping of the package tray might be an indication that the rear window channel is rusted out; probably that's why the trunk is rusty as well. Before spending anywhere close to the asking price, I'd want to go over it personally or have someone who is qualified do it for you.

Depending on where you live, you need to consider that this car is not air conditioned.

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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I guess my other question for you guys (and gals) is in running condition with minimal rust and a good interior what should I expect to pay for this car? I hope I've given you enough information. I am trying to come up with a price before driving three hours to see it. Thanks, John

Careful on the minimal rust assumption. Very difficult to suggest a price without seeing the car and knowing your skill level for DIYS repairs but since you asked, I will go on what I read in the description as well as reading between the lines and airing on the side of caution. Its almost always for certain rust will be worse than expected or indicated. That car looks molested to me and there will likely be many issues that need corrected. I'd say $5000 and thats only if you are skilled at rust repair or have deep pockets to pay someone. Legit 65 Riv GS's are hot when they come up for sale. The car could have serious issues vs asking price or it would have been snapped up by someone long before this. Maybe another $1000 or so if a 65 Riv GS is your dream car and you are looking for a good challenge. The best thing it has going for it is its numbers matching. If you pursue it check the carb numbers, transmission tag, and rear axle to make sure they are numbers matching as well.

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Guest Jhuff8181

Thank you everyone for the info. This is what makes discussion boards like this so valuable. Decided to stay away from ths one.

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