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John_S_in_Penna

Value of nice 1985 Riviera coupe? Unusual gold color

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Here's a question for the Riviera experts:

What is the value of a typical 1985 Buick Riviera coupe

in #3 and #2 condition?  From experience, please, not from a price book,

because he's asking $9000 which seems to be above the price guides.

 

There is a '85 Riv in "gold firemist" which a man is selling.

I haven't seen the car, and the pictures he sent me

are decent, but not thorough, and not of high enough resolution.  

The car has the "Oldsmobile" gasoline engine, he says.

 (I assume that's the 307 cubic inch V-8.)

And despite its northern location, he says it is rust free.

Mileage is about 60,000, though in the last 6 years

it has only been started every 6 months and driven maybe 

a handful of miles.

 

You and I may not know enough to value this particular example,

but knowing typical #3 and #2 values will help me a lot. 

 

And does someone know what percentage of '84 and '85 Rivieras

were painted in the "gold firemist?"  I recall seeing one '85

at a dealer's back then, but I think it must not have been a 

popular color.

1985 Buick Riviera gold--Michigan (4).JPG

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)

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It might help to give an option list. Do I see a moon-roof??? Northern cars are the best IF they lived in a salt-free county.

Gorgeous car and color ;) 

Edited by PWB
typo (see edit history)

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Yes, it does have a moon-roof.

 

I'll go see the car, or have someone look at it for me,

to verify its actual condition.  But knowing true values

for #3 and #2 would help me know whether it's worth

paying a bit over book value.

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The asking price seems a bit high to me. It does look like a nice example, but I'm not sure I would rate it at that value.

 

I have seen Rivs similar to the one you mention above listed for $5 to $8K, so it may not be "that" far off? But I can't say what they are actually selling for though, sorry.

 

There was a nice 36K mile '85 recently on ebay that got bid up to $9759! It is a common White Riv, with no Moonroof, but a very nice example. I would have looked into it more if it was not on the wrong coast, CA, but I'm not sure I would have went anywhere near the bid it went to.

 

Here are a couple of pictures of that one ...

 

1616riv09.jpg

 

1616riv48.jpg

 

1616riv63.jpg

 

I thought this Riv looked very sharp! It might not be worth what the bid went up to, but an impressive car at any rate.

 

For '84 the series published in the Riview states there were 1,341, or 2.3% of Rivieras painted Gold Firemist, and it was a Riviera only color. The series ended at '84 so I can't help with '85 numbers.

 

Possibly others with more sixth generation knowledge will chime in?

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9 hours ago, Rivman said:

The asking price seems a bit high to me. It does look like a nice example, but I'm not sure I would rate it at that value.

...

For '84 the series published in the Riview states there were 1,341, or 2.3% of Rivieras painted Gold Firemist, and it was a Riviera only color. The series ended at '84 so I can't help with '85 numbers.

 

Thanks, Rivman.  I appreciate things that are

a bit different.  So while 1979-85 Rivieras are

easily found, I like this good-looking and seldom seen

gold color.  I've seen only 2 others in this color in my life.

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)

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I've always said that the buyer is the sole arbiter of what constitutes a good deal. You could agonize over prices and whether this car is "worth" $9000. Compared to what? Who decides what it's worth? If you like the car, if you'll enjoy it, if you can afford it, you are the only one who gets to decide whether it's a good deal for you. If that car looks like $9000 worth of fun to you, then why not go for it? If you feel that $9000 is too much for you to spend on a Riviera coupe, well, then there's your answer.

 

Only you know whether it's a good deal. When you get it home and you look at it with pride and feel happy that you own it, the price becomes irrelevant.

 

Too often we lose sight of this being a hobby. I know nobody wants to throw their money away but eventually we all do--very seldom do our hobby cars make money for us and most of us lose money on them. Again, if you feel that you got the happiness that you paid for with your old car and its related service/restoration/maintenance, then it's a good deal. Everything else is just static.

 

I worked out a deal with a guy on a very nice early Ford a few months ago. I got the car for a very good price and it was going to be a profitable deal for me and this was a car the guy had wanted for some time and was very excited. Somehow the guy found out what I paid and immediately canceled the deal. Why? Why was the price perfectly OK yesterday, but now that you know that I'm making some money on the car, you're suddenly not OK with the price? What is the logic?

 

Do you see what I'm getting at? The only one whose opinion on price matters is YOU and whether you feel that you got what you paid for. Even if you pay twice "book" value, if you're happy then it's a good deal.

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2 hours ago, Rivman said:

 

 

"For '84 the series published in the Riview states there were 1,341, or 2.3% of Rivieras painted Gold Firemist, and it was a Riviera only color. The series ended at '84 so I can't help with '85 numbers.

 

Possibly others with more sixth generation knowledge will chime in?"

2.3% on a Riv' only color WITH Moon Roof?  :wub:

Worth every Penny if in excellent condition. Just my humble middle class opinion. I'd say you found a rare gem.

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Matt, I'm with you on this. It is a hobby, hobbies don't come cheap and what you pay to enjoy your hobby is your call and your call only. Sure we don't wish to be stung, but if it is the right combination and you think it is right .......

 

Hear too many stories of " I wish I had bought that, wish I had done that" , we only get one shot at this life, it is not a dress rehearsal.

 

The price you pay is soon forgotten if it gives you the enjoyment, pleasure and satisfaction of owning that one. Looks stunning in that combination and shape and ..... It's only money, and you can't take it with you!

 

There endeth the lesson.

 

 

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I think one of the most important factors for this car will be the paint condition and that can only be determined by in-person inspection. I'm no expert on this generation but I have seen enough low mileage garage kept cars that had significant amount of crazing and degradation of paint. Seems like the lighter non metallic colors age better than some others.

Since John S in Penna favors this more rare color, if its original paint and not in need of a repaint, that is a big plus. If paint condition is not good the value would drop significantly.

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I appreciate everyone's encouraging and realistic

comments.  Opinions of worth and production numbers

are especially helpful. One problem is that the car is

WAY up north, in the remote wilds above Wisconsin.

They're having a snowstorm this week.

Even in AACA's extensive 60,000-member roster,

I haven't found any members who live close,

who might look at the car.

 

So the flight up there would be $500;

enclosed car transport back to Penna. $1000 or more.

Sure I love cars, but for every car I don't get,

there will be many, many more available.

There's another car (a '74 Eldorado in an unusual color)

for sale only 2 hours from me that is equally interesting.

I wish I could own them all.

 

I once told a well-off car collector, who had an

8-figure income (well above $10,000,000 a year)

about a car for sale.  His first question to me was,

"What's he asking for it?" (!)  

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)

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The first question should always be "How much is it?" That's saves a Last Dance With Mary Jane in a whole lot of cases. For those still in the job market, the first question of how much does it pay woks equally well.

 

In today's market anything under $10,000 that is presentable enough to take to a cruise night is probably a decent deal. You can keep the good ones for 10 years with only minor expenses and it is around $1,000 a year averaged out. Like Matt stated, the guy with the cash in his pocket sets the price.

 

Be aware that choosing a car from appeal and research can be a bit like picking out a mail order bride. That car is not a lightweight and has a 307 engine, big by today's standards but does have a 27 speed transmission. They are a bit stodgy. A friend of mine drove one down to Hershey from western New York a few years back. We were talking at the show and I asked him how it was in the hills on RT15, not so good. I'm thinking about that long incline coming into Allentown from the north. Those are flatlanders like me in Wisconsin. They wouldn't know. Even I asked about that specific model when I got the opportunity.

 

Style-wise they are great. Something fun, if you get a chance, is to get out of the Riviera and sit in a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow or Bentley T. The Brit one came out in 1966, the Buick in 1979. You can do it with an Eldorado as well.

 

I would strongly recommend driving one a pretty good distance before committing.

Bernie

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6 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

That car is not a lightweight and has a 307 engine...  They are a bit stodgy....

I would strongly recommend driving one a pretty good distance before committing.

 

I've driven one.  When I was growing up,

my parents had an Electra with the 307.

You're right, Bernie.  Its modest power worked in normal

circumstances, but trying to pass on 2-lane roads required 

a lot of distance.

 

Today's Toyota Priuses are likely much faster!

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)

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Is the appeal of the color because you like the color or because it's rare?  If you like the color, that's one thing, but remember: rare and ugly is still ugly.

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I don't buy cars rare and ugly;   I think the gold firemist paint looks great!

Konga Man, most of the Buick buyers in 1985 must have agreed

with you, because gold paint wasn't chosen very often!

 

Too bad the seller doesn't think it's ugly and offer it at a cheaper price.

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2 minutes ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

I don't buy cars rare and ugly;   I think the gold firemist paint looks great!

Konga Man, most of the Buick buyers in 1985 must have agreed

with you, because gold paint wasn't chosen very often!

 

Too bad the seller doesn't think it's ugly and offer it at a cheaper price.

Maybe he does; there's no way to know.  If you were selling, would you discount the price if you think it's ugly or raise the price because you know it's rare?

 

FWIW, I didn't say I thought it was ugly, but much of the discussion seemed to center on rarity rather than appeal.

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On 11/17/2016 at 5:13 PM, John_S_in_Penna said:

Here's a question for the Riviera experts:

What is the value of a typical 1985 Buick Riviera coupe

in #3 and #2 condition?  From experience, please, not from a price book,

because he's asking $9000 which seems to be above the price guides.

 

There is a '85 Riv in "gold firemist" which a man is selling.

I haven't seen the car, and the pictures he sent me

are decent, but not thorough, and not of high enough resolution.  

The car has the "Oldsmobile" gasoline engine, he says.

 (I assume that's the 307 cubic inch V-8.)

And despite its northern location, he says it is rust free.

Mileage is about 60,000, though in the last 6 years

it has only been started every 6 months and driven maybe 

a handful of miles.

 

You and I may not know enough to value this particular example,

but knowing typical #3 and #2 values will help me a lot. 

 

And does someone know what percentage of '84 and '85 Rivieras

were painted in the "gold firemist?"  I recall seeing one '85

at a dealer's back then, but I think it must not have been a 

popular color.

1985 Buick Riviera gold--Michigan (4).JPG

John,

  I`m pretty familiar with this generation as I have owned a nice `82 T-Type with low miles, a very, very nice `85 W-15 with 22K original miles (the best W-15 car I have seen) and currently own/drive as a regular car a 40K mile `84.

  Jason`s advice re paint is good as these cars will show deterioration in the horizontal surfaces even with excellent care. My `82 had been repainted, my W-15 car was showing very slight deterioration in spite of being impeccably kept and I had to have my priceless body man strip and repaint the hood, trunk and roof on my garage kept `84.

  Bumper fillers are also an item to be wary about. Repros are available but quality is questionable so can be a nightmare. I was fortunate in that I had an excellent bodyman do the fillers on my `84 with great attention to detail. Thanks Carl !!

    The headliner is another weak point and will be somewhat costly if done thoroughly including rear sail panels and visors.

  In a 20 to 40K mile car you can count on refreshing same mechanically. The original shocks are weak, valve covers gaskets leak, idler arm, air shocks, etc.....

  So, to answer your question, much more info is needed re the above items to start. If you add the items above done professionally the cost is more than 50% of the asking price. If this was a $75K car these items would not make or break the deal but under 10K these are costs which will dramatically affect "worth". Make sense?

  Just thinking while typing this seems to be considerable mileage considering MANY very low mileage examples are constantly on the market and, considering the mileage, the price seems on the high end. But again, the details will need to be considered to make a definitive determination. Obviously the color is very desirable to you so that has worth also. Good luck!

  Tom Mooney

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28 minutes ago, 1965rivgs said:

If you add the items above done professionally the cost is more than 50% of the asking price. If this was a $75K car these items would not make or break the deal but under 10K these are costs which will dramatically affect "worth". Make sense?

My real job involves restoration in a different field, and I have this conversation with folks every day.  The costs for parts and service are largely independent of the project (e.g tires cost the same on a Chevy and a Cadillac).  Which means that if your project comes with a $10,000 to-do list, it might be to your advantage to make sure that it won't be worth only $8,000 when you're done.

Edited by KongaMan (see edit history)

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Just my opinion - gold is an elemental / earth shade that has appeal thru the ages. And its appropriate on a Riviera.

It will surpass all trends. It fits well on this machine. Most (people) had an attraction to the color at one point - changed opinion later. Like most colors we attach a personal history. Go with the elements man! Au ROCKS!

 

 

 

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59 minutes ago, PWB said:

Just my opinion - gold is an elemental / earth shade that has appeal thru the ages. And its appropriate on a Riviera.

It will surpass all trends. It fits well on this machine. Most (people) had an attraction to the color at one point - changed opinion later. Like most colors we attach a personal history. Go with the elements man! Au ROCKS!

Just out of curiosity: what color is your car? ;)

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Well, the last one was GOLD!  :lol:

IMG_0654.jpg

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Thanks EmTee. Whats new on Goldie?

 My swapped car may be viewed on my profile. Its got gold nuggets. At least the wifes' Caddy is gold. ;)

 

 

After.JPG

Edited by PWB (see edit history)

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I guess I am a Riviera expert just from long term association. In my whole life the best cars I have owned were cars other people told me I paid too much for. Looking back, those people spent a lot of time chiseling and trying to get a deal. I tended to spend a lot of my time getting more money.

 

If you have the asking price and want it, just buy it. I can't really think of regrets I have from things I did. Things I didn't do are the ones that haunt me now. And some include cars I didn't buy.

 

Oh, those guys that told me I paid too much; I see a couple in the diner. They drink a glass of water because $1.95 is outrageous for them to pay for coffee.

Bernie

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I have owned a few gold cars and they have been hard to sell. However, when the time comes, they eventually sell and its won't be like you own a fleet of them.

Personally I feel this is a $5k car. Maybe 6k max. Why? 

1. Color. Maybe if that retro 70s Buyer comes along they will step

up but most people don't like gold. Maybe you are that 70s guy. I like gold but I make sure I buy them right because everything I own eventually I sell to recycle the $ and keep my hobby going. Never selling my Rivy. Owned since '81.

2. Location. This car is not in a convenient location. Unless he markets correctly,  he won't have many bites. His price will go down as time passes.  Good buying season now with the holidays approaching. Cash talks. 

3.  And this is my biggest reason for my 5k desk appraisal. Miles. They are too high for the price. Yes it's low mileage Overall and for its  age but it's not "ultra low" and that is the kind of price he is asking. Mileage in the 70k range still seems fresh but when it turns to 80k then it's an old car. Not really but perception is reality for many. This car is not allow a lot of use without affecting its value dramatically. But if this car had 30

or 40 k,  its owner could put on 10 or 20k miles and not take too big Of a hit when it sells. 

 

This is is only a financial perspective. All comments about buying what you like, and not letting price get into the way or not being a cheapskate   Because it could cost you more in the end are all wise words. However, Mechanically a car of this age and mileage could have a lot of needed repairs and still appear to be fine.  Get a pre purchase inspection if you decide to buy. 

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On 11/17/2016 at 10:37 PM, Rivman said:

...For '84 the series published in the Riview states there were 1,341, or 2.3% of Rivieras painted Gold Firemist, and it was a Riviera only color. The series ended at '84 so I can't help with '85 numbers.

Possibly others with more sixth generation knowledge will chime in?

 

The 1984 color production figures were interesting.

(Can you list the breakdown of all colors here?

That would be fascinating.)

There seem to be a lot of white Rivs and red Rivs.

 

Does anyone have the 1985 color production figures?

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On ‎11‎/‎18‎/‎2016 at 1:04 PM, 60FlatTop said:

The first question should always be "How much is it?" That's saves a Last Dance With Mary Jane in a whole lot of cases. For those still in the job market, the first question of how much does it pay woks equally well.

 

In today's market anything under $10,000 that is presentable enough to take to a cruise night is probably a decent deal. You can keep the good ones for 10 years with only minor expenses and it is around $1,000 a year averaged out. Like Matt stated, the guy with the cash in his pocket sets the price.

 

Be aware that choosing a car from appeal and research can be a bit like picking out a mail order bride. That car is not a lightweight and has a 307 engine, big by today's standards but does have a 27 speed transmission. They are a bit stodgy. A friend of mine drove one down to Hershey from western New York a few years back. We were talking at the show and I asked him how it was in the hills on RT15, not so good. I'm thinking about that long incline coming into Allentown from the north. Those are flatlanders like me in Wisconsin. They wouldn't know. Even I asked about that specific model when I got the opportunity.

 

Style-wise they are great. Something fun, if you get a chance, is to get out of the Riviera and sit in a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow or Bentley T. The Brit one came out in 1966, the Buick in 1979. You can do it with an Eldorado as well.

 

I would strongly recommend driving one a pretty good distance before committing.

Bernie

Ditto, the 80's were tough on hill climbers. I bought a new '87 Chevy S-10 V6 in the San Jaquin Valley. When I had to go over the grape vine I realized too

late the mistake I made. The Greyhounds were passing me! :wacko: 

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