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tickboom81

1973 Riviera boattail stage 1 authentication

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Hi Guys,

My friend has bought a 73' Riviera. It was claimed to be a Stage 1.

We know that there are a few ways to find out wether it is a Stage 1 Such as;

looking at the #VIN number (must have a W?) in it.???

Engine code XA???

Chrome Stage 1 air cleaner lid???

Any badging or other identifiers that we could look for to prove it's authenticity.

Also what is the current market value for a running vehicle of this type?

thanks a heap.

Tickboom81

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Yes VIN has W

Chrome air cleaner lid had no decals but often they were added by owners who thought the factory must have forgot to put one on or simply because they wanted to more boldly advertise the option.

The stage 1 package included a 3.23 posi rear axle.

Just make sure the engine has the XA stamp, plus the VIN stamp that matches body VIN.

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Thanks Jason,

I got this photo last night of the front grille.[ATTACH=CONFIG]301123[/ATTACH]

I has a Stage 1 decal on it.

It also has a column shift, Is this the standard option.

I looked on the Riv register and there seems to be only #1234 numbers of 1973 Riv stage 1 option built. Does this include the Boattail variety?

Cheers again

Tickboom81

Can you tell me roughly what this may be worth?

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Column shift was standard. Console shift was optional regardless if GS or Stage 1 package was ordered.

Not sure what you are asking "does this include boat tail variety"

Would need more detail info on condition and pictures to ballpark market value. Condition is a big factor. Not inexpensive to restore.

Saw a stage 1 sell for $21.5k on ebay a while back. It was a stunning condition in and out blue/black interior 43k mi car. That's probably towards the top in value. If that same Stage car also had the GS package, could have boosted it value 15-20% on a good day IMO.

Thanks Jason,

I got this photo last night of the front grille.[ATTACH=CONFIG]301123[/ATTACH]

I has a Stage 1 decal on it.

It also has a column shift, Is this the standard option.

I looked on the Riv register and there seems to be only #1234 numbers of 1973 Riv stage 1 option built. Does this include the Boattail variety?

Cheers again

Tickboom81

Can you tell me roughly what this may be worth?

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Thanks Jason

With the "Boattail variety" I wasn't sure it they made a standard coupe boot and the boattail had it's own build number registry? I think boattail was the only option for a quick google search... (buick novice..)

If you could in your opinion give me a price for what you think this riviera is worth on face value.

Please find attached some photos of the coupe. It has done a few miles over 90,000....

post-108189-143143032559_thumb.jpg

Main reason for my questions is I may have the opportunity to buy this off my mate and his isn't really into any of the cars history or renovating it. Just worth my while getting all the info before decide.

Wether it's a stage 1 or not helps etc.etc

I'm not sure of the yellow really sits well with me . haha

Thanks again

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All 71-73 Rivs are commonly referenced as a boattail. It is a nickname and was not an official name used by Buick

The pics help. Assume this car is in the US? If so was it from a dry climate or north east salt-belt climate.

Is the car currently registered and being driven or has it been sitting for many years?

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Thanks Jason

The was car is based in storage in Australia believe it or not. Previously from Salt Lake City, Utah.

Prior owner had the intention of restoration but unfortunately due ill health he had to sell and that's when my friend got it.

It runs well and drives well. Not registered at the moment in OZ...

What do you think worth the risk or too hard basket.?

Any chance of a rough guestimate on it's value?

Cheers

Simon

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Thanks Jason

The was car is based in storage in Australia believe it or not. Previously from Salt Lake City, Utah.

Prior owner had the intention of restoration but unfortunately due ill health he had to sell and that's when my friend got it.

It runs well and drives well. Not registered at the moment in OZ...

What do you think worth the risk or too hard basket.?

Any chance of a rough guestimate on it's value?

Cheers

Simon

Simon,

Since the car is not in the US, I have no basis to gauge value. I can estimate only on value within the USA and you will need to make the adjustment for Australia. Based on talking with other Riviera owners outside the USA, obtaining parts is an expensive and challenging proposition. Reasons are many. Shipping cost is the obvious one. Since there isn't much reproduced for these cars used parts must be sourced and that is getting more difficult even for us over here. When it comes to used parts, variations in a sellers perception of condition and proper application vs the buyer can result is disappointment after a long wait for a part to arrive. Its not uncommon even between US based sellers and buyers. Typically only the large salvage yard used suppliers are willing to pack and ship overseas so sources are even more limited. The average guy here in the states with a parts car in the backyard typically don't want the hassle of foreign shipping. Problems can arise even with new replacement parts that are available. Unfortunately us Buick enthusiasts do not share the same ease and efficiency of obtaining parts as do owners of Mustangs, GTO's or Camaro's. Since shipping is so expensive the ramifications are even worse when an incorrect or poor condition part does arrive. You are pretty much stuck with it.

I only stated this because while buying a car that needs a lot of work within the states has its challenges, those challenges can increase exponentially with an ocean between parts sources and the car.

Having said all that.....if this car has a solid body, runs well, and chrome is in decent usable condition. I'd estimate a US value between $5500 and $8000. The color combination and not having bucket seat floor shift will hold it back a little. Lets say someone is a Riviera nut, loved 73s and had a dream of owning a Stage 1 car, I'm sure they'd pay more than $8k because they aren't easy to find......and probably a lot more if they lived in the outback and didn't have to have it shipped!!!

Please note I am not an expert on values and I base my assessment on what I see similar cars actually sell for (not asking prices) and what attributes are important to me personally and this may not be consistent with other interested parties. Hopefully other opinions will be posted

The Riviera Owners Association does have an active membership group in Australia and I'm sure some of those folks could better advise and guide you if you get the car and become a member or vice versa.

Let us know how it works out

Edited by JZRIV (see edit history)

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post-86320-143143039894_thumb.jpgHi There, Good Score on a Stage 1. The W in the VIN and the XA on the Block are the only ways to tell with the Car itself. Make sure the VIN is stamped on the Block which is hard to get at behind the Bracket but you must. The VIN on the Trans should also match and have a Stage 1 Badge on the Grill. Only came with Chrome Air Cleaner with the Embossed Stage 1 Decal. Any other Chrome is add on. Column Shifter is common and has no bearing on the Stage Option. My Stage 1 has a Standard 60/40 Column Interior but it also has no GS Option. IMO a pure Stage 1 with no GS is an even rarer find. The Car was ordered that way. Documentation is the the best Bonus you could have but is rare nowadays.Good Luck if you can find the Build Sheet. My Car was completely apart and I couldn't find it. Luckily I have other Docs. Value? They are pretty rare but condition and authenticity will be the decider. Wait for the right buyer. Stage 1 Cars I feel will become highly prized as time goes on. I have my Stage 1 because I was lucky and always loved and had a Boattail over the years. The Boattail Registry is the best place for info on these Cars .Happy to answer any questions. Good Luck

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Tder1 mentioned the chrome air cleaner lid came with a stage 1 decal in 1973. Does anyone know this for a fact? We have reference material on the ROA website that says it did not come with decal so if that's not correct, we need to change it.

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post-86320-143143045105_thumb.jpgYes JZRIV, would like to know for sure, I'm afraid the only way to know for sure is for someone from the Production Line or Salesman to chime in at this point after after 40 years. 99% sure because of where my 1 Owner car came from, was unmolested and it was on the Air Lid so I am assuming it came that way. There are two different Decals and mine is the Premium Embossed. Also trying to find the Axle Code. I know it's there but is there some question as to what it was? I'm putting it back on the lift and having another look for it. Does anyone know for sure? I didn't scour the Axle when it was out and I should have, my mistake. Still working to become a Stage 1 Expert :-)

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Edited by Tder1
Pics (see edit history)

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I know for certain the 71/72 Rivs GS that came standard with the high performance engine did not have the decal.....but those cars were never advertised as Stage 1. Since the 73 was it seems logical it would have got the decal. Furthermore, both Stage 1s shown in this post have the decal and I looked up pics of the 43kmi blue ebay stage 1 and it had the decal also. So far the evidence indicates it belongs.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Buick-Riviera-2-Door-1973-buick-boattail-riveria-rare-vin-w-stage-1-455-43-k-miles-amazing-original-/121546450302?forcerrptr=true&hash=item1c4cbba57e&item=121546450302&pt=US_Cars_Trucks

According to the shop manual the axle code is stamped on the passenger side tube a few inches from the differential housing and towards the front side and up a little. Stage 1 should have an RC stamp for the 3.23. There will also be a date code. Let us know if you find it.

Looks like you did a major resto on the 73! Beautiful.

Edited by JZRIV (see edit history)

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Thanks, for that. I thought I saw in the TONS of Documentation I have there was ?? after the Axle Info but that was only one of the Books I have. Believe me, I have them all including the Assembly Manual.

If I know it's RC I'll look. Has to be there I'm sure. I had a buddy clean and Paint the Rear so I didn't pay enough attention. But I need to know

Finished Engine

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Thanks Jason and Tder1.

Your feedback and comments have been great.

Unfortunately I am unable to view the car prior to placing a offering.

An odd photo from the odometer is saying that is 9800 miles. I was told.it was 98000 miles.

Is it possible.l to wind the odo back? 9800 seems really low to be realistic.

I have severe FOMO:

fear of missing out.

As well as FOFU:

fear of f**k**g up.

Thanks guys.

Simon.

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If it says 9800 that's most likely 109,800 miles. I would not turn back the speedometer aside from the obvious. I assume that's illegal in Oz. Only 11k miles difference from 98,000 you thought it was. That would be a non issue to me.

Buying any car sight unseen is a risk. Especially with just a handful of low resolution pictures and a seller that doesn't know much about the cars condition in detail. Obviously the amount of money involved will dictate how much risk as well.

So you confirmed the engine VIN matches the Body VIN??

Edited by JZRIV (see edit history)

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Hi Jason.

It wasn't that I wanted to wind the odo back I was thinking that this may have happened hence the low miles on the clock rather than going over it and starting again.

I can confirm nothing.

This is his VIN # 4Y87W3H549731

but it seems a number short.?

I am unable to gain any more information and or see the car.

Time to let it go I think..

Cheers

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Hi Simon,

Oh OK - Very common to be rolled over the 100k mile mark. The VIN looks correct. Has same number of characters as my 73. Definitely an original Stage 1 car with the W in the VIN. Matching the engine VIN would insure it has the original engine. Curious, is the asking price in the ballpark?

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He wants around 10k. ??

I said Id give him 8 like you suggested.

Has advertised locally for 12k drive away.

If I get it I'll send you a photo over the Easter weekend.

just need somewhere to park it for a month or 2.

Thanks again Jason

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Simon - I sent you a private message through this site with my email

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Agreed, Has to be rollover on the millage. I wouldn't worry about that. The Number is right but sight unseen is always risky. Bought an Arizona Rustfree Boattail off Bay and the pics looked great. When it showed up the Car was a mess. No Rust though. I like the 8K for a Stage 1 as long he can confirm the Engine Vin. Behind the A.C. Bracket and the XA Driver side, back of motor below Head. At the very least the XA Stamp is easy to get at under the Hood of the Car. The chances of having an XA Block with the wrong VIN should be slim. Good Luck !

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Edited by Tder1 (see edit history)

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Hi Tder1/Jasonpost-108189-143143082131_thumb.png

I have finally got some more photos.

We are struggling to find the #vin. De we need to clean futher as it is stamped?

Am I looking in the right location?

We have found the had casting with the number 455 and a casting number and a number 3 top of pic?

I think I have found the XA stamp with pic supplied?? can you confirm.

Anyone else feel free to comment.

Cheers

Simon

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Congrats! Thats a Stage1 Motor there. Those are the correct Stamps. Be careful with those, don't apply too much paint if any at all. The VIN is on the passenger side front of motor near the Head. It is a PITA to see sometimes the A.C. Bracket is in the way but it's there. I have so much Factory Documentation I cant find the Pic right now. I'll Keep looking, when I find it i'll post it for you.

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Yes - just checked the manual and confirmed in 73 VIN is on pass side like Tder1 said so that explains why you aren't seeing it. Chances are the VIN will match

Thanks for following up on this thread and keep us posted

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