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Lurch77

The Riv in the Garage (first pictures)

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I recently introduced myself and told you about an old Riviera buried in a garage. I didn't have any pictures then. And the car is still in the garage, and still buried. But I did sneak in and get a couple snapshots of what you can see. Which leads me to a few questions.

The current owner says it is a '63. I thought by the color that it was a '64. But the tail lights are certainly those of a '63. So what's up with the yellow paint? As far as I am aware it was not a color option for the '63 model year. The car must have been repainted. Do you think the original color is that which can be seen in the scuffs, especially on the right quarter panel?

The left quarter panel appears to be the trouble spot for this car's body work. The dents have been filled with bondo, but there is solid metal beneath the bondo. There is a dent on the top of the quarter panel, too. And the fender well lip is rotted through. The right side quarter panel has none of this and appears quite solid, as does the rest of the car that can be seen.

Eventually I will pull the car from the garage and I'll get a good solid look at it from all angles. It's hard to make any conclusions from these pictures, I get that completely. But I am curious, for you guys that have been around cars finds like this, what are your first impressions and thoughts based on the little you can see in these pictures? This will be the first in depth project car for me, should I choose to take it on.

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Edited by Lurch77 (see edit history)

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First impression - WOW! - lots of work. Second impression - it's free and you can't beat that anyway, any day.

It's also identifiable by the B U I C K across the trunk. A '64 would have the Riviera script on the right corner of the trunk lid.

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I'm excited to see that all of the emblems and trim appears to be there. The body has a lot of surface rust that can be dealt with fairly easy by me, at least to keep it from getting worse. But that quarter panel has me nervous. I'm not a body man, and I can only speculate how many dollar signs a body shop owner will have in his eyes if I take it to him. I'm still not set on taking this on. It will depend on the condition of the rest of it. But you're certainly right, I can't beat the price tag. If I decide it isn't worth it, I'm out nothing but a little of my time. At at the very least there are a lot of parts on it that would be valuable to other Riviera owners. I can't help but think the conditions the car is sitting in make it look worse than it is, too.

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By looking at the lower right corner of the rear window, I can almost assure you that there's a rust problem in that corner on the body. IF that's the case, then water has gone into the trunk area and there's probably a rust problem right underneath the corner of the window. Once you get the car out, and everything off of it and out of it, get back with us and we can tell you what / where to look for. Remember, there are very few reproduction parts made for these cars.

Ed

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If it were me I`d put a chain on the bumper hitch and drag it out. If you put a few scrapes in it, it wont matter. You cant evaluate what you cant see, but considering you are in Wisconsin, brace yourself for the worst and hope you are pleasantly surprised. If the garage has gone thru the typical midwest cycles of condensation and moisture from the floor the car may be good for only parts. But if there was some air flow/circulation it could still be OK.

When I look at a first gen Riv the first area I inspect is the undercarriage. I would strongly suggest you start your evaluation there. Good luck, keep us posted,

Tom Mooney

Edited by 1965rivgs (see edit history)

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Heh. You can see how much air circulation there was around the car. None.

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if you want to get into doing a little metal work, what i can see doesn't seem like it would be all that hard to fabricate. Since you are starting at the "free" side of things you might think about buying/renting/finding a mig welder and developing your metal fab skillset. he rust we can see would not take long to fix. Fairly flat spots without compound curves. As to painting it after that...well any paint is better than rust. Car craft did a car with flat black rustoleum for 100 bucks i think.

Hey, it was free...now how much money do you want to spend and how far do you want to go i guess are the questions to ask.

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Thanks for all the replies so far. As said it will depend on the mechanicals and chassis conditions on where I go with it. I'm not looking to do a restoration. Just have a cool old car. But it would need to be safe and reliable by the time I'm done. If the frame is rotting through, for example, that's a deal breaker. I'm fairly capable with a wrench in my hand. I maintain and repair our higher mileage daily drivers, and I work on my old motorcycles all the time. And since the car is free it might be a good "learner" project car if anything.

Again, worst case scenario is I'm out no money, and guys like you all have another source for parts for you cars.

Speaking of welding, I have some basic training from when I did my apprenticeship (I'm a steamfitter service technician), and I've been wanting to get a welder at home. The garage is already wired for one. I just haven't been able to justify one in the past. Especially in my wife's eyes since I keep bring home motorcycles.

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...well any paint is better than rust. Car craft did a car with flat black rustoleum for 100 bucks i think.

Here's a YouTube video of a Rustoleum paint job using a high density roller. Cheap and fun and it may get you motivated.

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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Sounds like you had more experience than i did starting. Frames are tough as hell for the most part. I had water damage from leaky or non-existent window seals causing water to pool inside mine before i got it. So floorpans, trunk patches,and more than likely welding strips on the window sills in the future. I'm digging it though. I had to replace part of the frame under the front floorpans, but only half the size of my palm in both cases, and it still took longer to cut and fit then it did to weld. Now they are good as new, or as close as i can get it.

Nothing spells victory(although temporary) over time more than cutting rust out and replacing it with new metal. For some reason I get a giggle out of it. Probably because i can't replace my knees and ankles the same way, but i can get a car back to good shape....or at least that is the theory. Well, now you have a justification for a welder. Think of all the crap you can make. And yea, a lot of what i have made is crap, but some of it has been pretty useful. A few guys i see on youtube have made a job out of it making everything from farm truck bumpers to gym equipment out of scraps and such.

Good luck with your new project and i hope you get to drive it.

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As our certain illustrious member LOL has said in the past if you have the Money, the Time, and the Know How go for it! Good Luck.

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