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67 Riv - Your comments pls


Guest weinh
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Hi folks,

this is my first post in this forum and I write from good ol' Germany.

As a matter of fact, I am infested with the Riv-Virus, especially the 66/67 design.

You might guess, Rivs here are not the most common of classic US cars.

The more I appreciate your comments on this 67 I checked out yesterday.

Here is a small collection of pictures: http://s894.photobucket.com/user/weinh/library/67BuickRiv?sort=9&page=1

Without the availability of a lift, I tried to take pictures from the undercarriage just by holding the cam under and blindly taking shots. Sorry, if some major common areas of concerns are not captured.

Otherwise, little of its american origins is known. Seller claims:

- the car is from state of Washington

- garaged entire life

- 53k miles, without any prove

- new paint in original color before shipping over to Europe beginning of this year (but today already some small bubbles on the roof - old and new paint do not harmonize?)

- interior (upholstery) new

- all sheet metal original, nothing welded

To me, the car looks very original but could have been presented better optical-wise. Especially the engine compartment and the dashboard with its bezels look kind of neglected.

Engine and tranny run really good - I was not able to notive anything strange during a 30 min test drive. The entire electric system works except the clock and the amp-meter.

Now - what do you think after reading this. What would be your perception of a fair market value with the infos I was able to share?

Highly apreciate any comment.

Thanks

Carsten

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Guest Dialtone

Hi Carsten, welcome to the forums. I wish I could be more helpful to you about the car. I would say just keep in mind the other person is "selling". Some people will say anything to try and sell a car. I myself is wondering why they claim its new paint and you say it's already bubbling. If the car is very orginal as they say. I wonder why they painted it then. When the patina looks is very in these days.

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Welcome to the forum Carsten. The undercarriage looks really clean so it must have been garaged much of its life if it came from Washington state. You mentioned the interior is "new". In the pics the interior sort of looks original but it would be odd for the trunk lining to be disintegrated but have the interior survive so well, Based on what you have described and what I can see in the pictures, in the US I'd expect that car to sell for between $4000 and $7000 but that is just my personal opinion. Appears to be a solid example inside and out. The exterior and interior color would hold back the price here in the states. No idea what the market is in Germany where supply of cars like this are very low.

I noticed the cylinder mounted to firewall to the left of the brake booster. Looks like it has hot water running through it from the heater core plumbing. Anyone know what that is?

Edited by JZRIV (see edit history)
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Guest lemmy-67

I agree with Jason's observations of the vehicle. I also do not know what the cylinder is on the firewall. The heater core may be bypassed, and needs to be changed...which is not difficult to do. I changed mine last year by myself...you can get the box off without removing the hood.

The rear exhaust and front suspension components are new. I also see new brake lines front & rear, and the shocks look fairly new. The engine compartment looks original, and there is no extreme rusting on the underside of the body or frame. The engine has been freshly painted with a rattle-can. I can still see the switch-pitch hookup on the intake manifold...which is another good sign. Interior is complete.

Like Jason said: $4k-$7k is a reasonable price for this vehicle. It should clean up very nicely. Parts for this model Riviera are still available...for the most part, and this vintage of V8 engine will accept a lot of newer parts to improve performance. If it has the big-port heads, it will run even better than some of the other 430 cid power plants.

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"I noticed the cylinder mounted to firewall to the left of the brake booster. Looks like it has

hot water running through it from the heater core plumbing. Anyone know what that is?"

Len, I guess I can understand you not recognizing this ( being in CA ), but I'd think Jason would

know ( living in the Brrr-Belt ) .... It's called a "tank heater" - there's a heating element in it for

keeping your anti-freeze warm - there's a line cord you plug into 110 vac.

I've never seen one mounted on the firewall, though. The first one I installed was on our '68 Impala

station wagon - mounted down low on the frame by the radiator and ran the cord out through the

grille. Also installed one on a '74 F100 when we we traded the S/W. When I ordered our '80 F150,

these were a factory installed option I ordered.

There are a few different installation configurations, and a couple of them include tapping ( with a

"Y" fitting ) into one of the heater hoses.

They are pretty slick in the winter time when the temp is near zero and your car is outside ... start

the vehicle and usually have heat blowing in less than ten minutes.

Ed

Edited by Ed Pentico
corect speling (see edit history)
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Ed,

Thanks for clearing that up. That thought did cross my mind but I could not see any wires entering the unit. Here in a Brrr-belt I've used/seen several types of block heaters on equipment over the years. Oil Dipstick, inline rad hose, magnetic stick-on and freeze plug hole but ain't never seen a tank style using the heater hose circuit in these parts! This one definitely looks period correct.

post-50687-143142694032_thumb.jpg

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Thanks a lot for your comments!

Honestly, I am really surprised regarding the $4k to 7k statements. I thought that a mostly original car in this good condition could bring in (read: is worth) some more money ... Just wondering, what would, let's say, a $14k to 17k car need to have compared to the one described above?

PS Current asking price is close to 20k Euro, which at present translates into $26k (of course after shipment across the pond, after all custom fees and taxes and after at least 2 people made some money on the car, but still...). Maybe I should start importing US cars into Germany...

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Thanks a lot for your comments!

Honestly, I am really surprised regarding the $4k to 7k statements. I thought that a mostly original car in this good condition could bring in (read: is worth) some more money ... Just wondering, what would, let's say, a $14k to 17k car need to have compared to the one described above?

PS Current asking price is close to 20k Euro, which at present translates into $26k (of course after shipment across the pond, after all custom fees and taxes and after at least 2 people made some money on the car, but still...). Maybe I should start importing US cars into Germany...

Whenever experts of a certain model are asked prices on a forum such as this somehow the cars in question are always worth less than reality dictates. I know

this is the case on the Pontiac forum when somebody wants to know what a GTO is worth. Forum members look at the car in question as how cheap would the car need to be for me to drag it home and justify it to the wife when I own 4 of that model already! I've been heavily involved in buying and selling and restoring collector cars for 30 years so I'll weigh in on this one. I think all the people who have answered so far are concerned about the bubbles in the paint you describe....that could mean major body work and that is

expensive. Also the car's color combination is not the best, which affects value. Everyone on the forum doesn't know what the mechanical problems may be so they are assuming the worst, which is probably a smart thing to do. As far as reality.....4K is a parts car price so let's not even go there. Anybody wants to sell me that car for 4 K I'll buy it right now so I can flip it . I say 7K is the bottom end.....if you want more than that I need to eyeball the thing in person and drive it to figure out exactly what it needs and does not need. Parts for these cars are unobtanium so if it has a lot of needs that could be a problem. The paint bubbles are a giant question mark that concerns me. If

the car doesn't need a complete repaint only spot repairs and it drives great like a 50,000 mile car should and engine trans and rear end are sound (no major repairs needed)

and the interior is extremely nice, which it might be but I can't tell from these faraway pictures, then it could be worth a lot more than 7K but 26K I think is out of

the question on this one, even considering the cost of shipping.

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)
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If you have looked at the car, taken pictures, and then written to the forum for advice this is probably not the car for you.

The best car to buy is the "Love At First Sight" one. When your stomach gets in a knot and you immediatelt fear someone else will buy the car if you walk away. When it is just a little more than money than you had and you are trying to figure where the rest will come from. No objective thoughts will be in your mind, just a driving desire to have that car.

If you are not feeling that what now, what are you going to do when the car that really rings the bell comes along and you are committed to this one?

Around 20 years ago I bought a 1928 Smith Motor Compressor. It was a Model A Ford based air compressor an old farmer had in his barn. One look and I really liked it, bought it, and brought it home:

10-040001.JPG

A couple of months after I bought it a friend stopped by with the Ford Model A magazine. He said it had a picture of a compressor like mine. It was the same one in the farmer's barn. A person had written in wondering if it was a good buy. Too late.

If it was me looking at the Riviera and I wasn't having heart palpitations, I would move on.

Bernie

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Hey Carsten,

we are neighbors! My license plate starts with HD as well. I do not want to be impolite to the many helpful folks on this board, hence I stick to English, but if you are interested, we can switch to German in a private conversation. Regarding the actual car: IMHO too many uncertainties to justify the premium price on this one. Do not let the re-done interior distract you from the basics. Even though the undercarriage looks pretty solid, the engine bay does not tell the story of a loved 55k miles garage-kept car to me. For example: what's with the wrapping film that seems to seal the vacuum line of the brake booster?

When I bought my '69 in the states in 2010, it pretty much looked (and presumably drove) like "your" '67 with the exception of the vinyl which was in bad shape. I had luck, the car is solid, no rust issues, motor and transmission in good shape, suspension okay and all bells and whistles work. Now, the car is completely torn apart for a full restoration. One thing came to another until I came to the conclusion to take care of them all. The difference was that I got my car for a fifth of the price that the '67 is supposed to cost so there is some budget left to get rid of all uncertainties.

I agree with Seafoam (sorry, do not know your real name). If you already have doubts - that one is not the car for you for that kind of money. Too much of a gamble and to many issues that are already obvious.

Maybe it would be worthwhile shopping for the right car in the states. I have quite some experience with importing US cars and making them road-legal - not professionally but maybe I could be of some help to you.

All the best,

Alexander

P.S. Did you check the tires on the Riv? E-Prüfzeichen should be included in the 19.000€.

post-78774-143142694284_thumb.jpg

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Thanks to all for your feedback, you definitively made some good points.

My conclusion: The car is probably offered for too much money and searching/buying directly in the US should bring me "more" car for the available budget.

While I indeed have some heart palpitation it is not enough to completely switch of my brain (at least I try not to)...

There were basically three things why I considered a purchase nevertheless: The mostly original condition, the bright interior (which I really like) and the convenient situation to be able to buy directly in Germany.

Well, then I take the less convenient route... :)

Cheers

Carsten

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I just checked the Euro exchange rate. It is 1.32 in your favor. You should do very well. Fall Hershey and Carlisle are coming up as well as a good sale in Atlantic City in February.

At this time of year in the northern states winter is coming so buyers are more motivated than sellers. Many chose to drive their cars all summer are planning to sell in the fall. Instead of the spring sale when a buyer gets excited about where they will go, they are now somewhat deflated wondering where to store. That is common and can be a big part of your strategy.

Atlantic City usually has a few good deals. I have been going to that event since 1974. A lot of the cars appear to be from collections and dealers who need to raise operating funds in the off season. I have always seen good deals there.

Remember, it is very rare to go car shopping and not fall in love. Pick a time when everyone else is home keeping warm. Say to yourself "I am a car buyer, I have money, I am a predator."

Bernie

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Guest lemmy-67

Interesting on the block heater....I've only seen the freeze-plug variety in vehicles. Since any frozen coolant would do the most damage in the engine, it makes sense to me to have a heater in that vicinity.

I love Rivieras of this generation, but I agree that $26k is too much for it. My 67 was in rough shape, with deteriorated interior, some body damage, and a blown head gasket...and I ended up paying $2300 for it in 1994. I believe you should be able to find a similar Riviera in the USA for under $10k, and ship it back to Germany for less money. The only thing which may warrant a premium on the asking price is if the engine has the big-port heads and very VERY low mileage.

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Guest lemmy-67

Hi Ed,

I lived half of my life in upstate NY. I know a lot about how cold it gets during the winter months, especially in Ontario. About 15 years ago, I had rented a new Grand Prix which had one of those heated freeze plugs for the engine...I was there just after the Ice Storm. ;)

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Washington state can be a very good place to find good original cars. The fact is that all of western Washington and Oregon have some distinct advantages over some other parts of the country. Since the climate is mild with little of the blistering heat or bitter cold, with relatively low summer humidity, things like rubber parts, interiors and paint hold up like few other places, anywhere in the world can match. Since there is little snow traditionally there has been little use of salt on the roads in winter. I may sound more like a travel agent but I'm trying to explain what I think that you are looking at. This car, however, looks more like an eastern Washington car. Much of eastern Wash. and Oregon live in the rain shadow of the Cascade mountains where it is hotter and dryer in the summer and colder and have more snow in the winter, with much more sun. In fact much of the eastern part of the two states contain the "Great Oregon Desert" which, in places, get as little as about three inches of rainfall a year. The block heater, repaint and new interior makes me think that the car is from eastern Washington. Many good cars come from that part of the state but even with a garage kept car the challenges are different and that car has many of those earmarks of the previous owner's attempts at dealing with those challenges.

At the risk of getting in trouble with some of my friends east of the continental divide, I will go out on a limb and say, try to limit your search to the western US. Your chances of finding a car with unwanted negative surprises is much better. When you find a car that interests you, search out someone familiar with the marque who also knows the special problems that the area's climate can create to look at the car for you. Your potential investment is too great to take a chance of getting the wrong car.

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