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Matt Harwood

1965 Buick Riviera

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*SOLD*

I would put the early Rivieras on my short list of cars that will probably be worth more in five years than they are today. They're overdue for a bounce and I'm seeing some movement in the market, particularly on the '65s with the clamshell headlights, which seem to carry a 20% premium over the other cars. This '65 is a very impressive mostly original car with just one older repaint about 20 years ago. Otherwise, it's completely untouched and in excellent condition. The dark Verde Green paint is the color it wore when it was new and the repaint was done with a correct formula so it could almost pass for original paint. The sheetmetal is laser straight and has never been wrinkled or rusty and the finish shines up quite well. There are a few signs of use here and there, but overall this is a very impressive car. Excellent chrome certainly helps and yes, the headlights work properly, no worries there.

The interior is a rather rare green deluxe cloth, and the owner's records show 156 cars so equipped in 1965. It's remarkably well-preserved with virtually zero wear on the seating surfaces and cushions that are still firm and comfortable. There's some light fading on the wood appliques on the door and center console and one little tuck of vinyl has escaped from the door pull on the driver's side, but beyond that I can't see many demerits here. Everything works, including the speed alert and AM radio. The back seat is almost like new and the trunk still carries its original mats, which while a little stained, remain in good overall condition. Peel back the mats and you'll find completely virgin steel that still shows factory primer overspray.

The 401 cubic inch "Nailhead" V8 is a torque factory and runs superbly. It starts easily, idles so smoothly you'd almost think it stalled, and it pulls with the urgency of an electric motor on the road. Everything this car does feels effortless, and with about 67,000 original miles on the clock, it's tight, responsive, and well-controlled, defying the last five decades of life. Even when it's cold throttle response is crisp and the suspension and steering have zero slop in them, making this car feel very fresh indeed. Combined with the total lack of squeaks and rattles inside, this is about as close to the new car experience as I've found in a vintage Riv. It's undercoated, so the bottom isn't detailed for show, but it comes from a warm climate and there are no signs of trouble underneath save for some surface scale on the heavy metal parts. Classic Buick Road Wheels look great and wear recent Firestone whitewall radials that look right.

I, too, remember when these were $10,000 cars, but those days are apparently gone. The asking price of $29,900 is perhaps a bit ambitious, but only for the moment, as these cars are seeing steady gains each year and I sold a similar car for $33,000 two years ago and that didn't seem crazy. Quite honestly, we all know it's always better to pay a little more for a premium car rather than saving a few bucks on one with needs that you'll only have to pay for later. With that in mind, this car starts to look a lot more appealing and I, for one, love driving it.

Thanks for looking!

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Edited by Matt Harwood
SOLD (see edit history)

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