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65 Riveria - need general opinions


Jim Milewski

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Have owned this riv since the early 70's, it has the wheels on it that it came with and the 1971 wheel caps - have purchased 1965 wheel caps, question should I install the 65 caps or leave the 71's on it, have seen both caps on 65's

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Jim,

Really nice car, makes me want to get working on mine - silver w/ black interior.  

 

I noticed something but it's really hard to tell from the pictures that you've posted.  You state that the wheels and caps came with the car.  IMHO, the wheels as well as the caps might have come from a '71.  The way to confirm my suspicions would be to lay a straight edge across the center hub of the whee (without a cap).  If the center hub is higher than the surrounding rim, the wheels are from a '71 or later. If the rim itself is higher than the center hub then the wheels are pre-1971.  There's some visual difference between the two but it's really not that noticeable.  I'm just curious if it's the camera angle or my imagination.

 

Ed

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Your observations are correct - I have four more rims identical with no register ring and the number 895 stamped , they are 1971 rims and they did come with the car, center cap is 2 inches, will still put the 65 caps on

PS why did owners remove the 65  metal gray satin rims for the black 71 rims ? personal preference

 

Jim

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I would venture to guess that when the car was first delivered, the car came with either the base wheel cover or the optional wire wheel cover and not the rally wheels.  You'll see many, many '63's and '64's around that have the rally wheels on them that were added by someone after the fact.  The rally wheel was not available on the Riviera until 1965 but is a very popular "upgrade" for many 1st and 2nd generation Rivieras that many people add.   Perhaps these 895 rims were the only ones that could be found at the time. True 1965 wheels are very hard to find, they're a one year only item.  More popular are the 802's.  They came with a 2-1/8" center hole, but '65 style caps are available for them courtesy of Mitch Romanowski through his website.  http://www.buickcenters.com/riviera.html

 

Ed

 

 

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Jim, I have seen numerous restored 65's with the wheel webbing painted a satin black instead of the correct gray finish.  Same for the recessed areas on the rocker panel moldings and the clamshells.  I suspect the satin black is easier to locate than the correct shade of gray but it can be obtained.  I think both look good on the car but..........

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Jim I have a triple black '65.  I have the correct '65 only wheels with register rings intact, and painted the webbing a semi-gloss black, - see my profile picture or photo gallery pictures for a look.  I tried it with the original correct gray color, but it just didn't look right on the black car.  So I went with black, it is personal preference, unless you are going through a 400 point Buick BCA or some other judged event like AACA and want a perfect score.  Incidentally, I do prefer the Black Caps with Silver R on the center cap.  You can get them from Mitch Romanowski for either sized center hole

 

BTW the car looks great, my dad had one that color.

 

Rock On

 

gord

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2 hours ago, RivNut said:

I would venture to guess that when the car was first delivered, the car came with either the base wheel cover or the optional wire wheel cover and not the rally wheels.  You'll see many, many '63's and '64's around that have the rally wheels on them that were added by someone after the fact.  The rally wheel was not available on the Riviera until 1965 but is a very popular "upgrade" for many 1st and 2nd generation Rivieras that many people add.   Perhaps these 895 rims were the only ones that could be found at the time. True 1965 wheels are very hard to find, they're a one year only item.  More popular are the 802's.  They came with a 2-1/8" center hole, but '65 style caps are available for them courtesy of Mitch Romanowski through his website.  http://www.buickcenters.com/riviera.html

 

Ed

 

 

As I have posted on numerous occasions on this forum, an "802" rim MAY BE a `65 rim, depends on date of manufacture.

  I was contacted a few months ago by a buyer who was going to pass on the purchase of a very, very nice set of rims which he suspected were not "real" `65 rims because they were marked with the 802 code...WRONG! I urged him to buy them because if he didnt I would. After his purchase at my urging a check of the date code indeed confirmed `65 fitment.

As I have posted several times on this forum, the code is indicative of an original drum brake application of the inside half of the rim, NOT the model year application

  Tom

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8 hours ago, Jim Milewski said:

Have owned this riv since the early 70's, it has the wheels on it that it came with and the 1971 wheel caps - have purchased 1965 wheel caps, question should I install the 65 caps or leave the 71's on it, have seen both caps on 65's

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Hi Jim,

  I prefer the black caps against the color of your car due to contrast but both versions look good. Is there any version of the Buick rally that doesnt look good? On any car? The real answer to your question is which do you like??!

  It is such a LUXURY at this point to have a choice. Back in the day, original `65 caps were very, very hard to find in acceptable condition. Now, they are at the other end of an email, and probably as nice as the original NOS. Of course, back in the day one could walk into the Buick dealer and order as many NOS `66-`70 or `71 and up caps one wanted...and we did!

  Tom Mooney

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Tom,

 

Does that mean an 802 coded rim can have either the 2" or the 2-1/8" center hole diameter?  

 

Also, could an 802 rim work for a '70 model Electra convertible with drum/drum brakes?  I have a set of 802's that a guy here in town wants to put on his Electra but he's unsure if they'd look correct.  He now has the 895 code wheels on it and he knows that they don't look quite right, with a Buick Motor Division silver cap..  What center cap would a '70 Electra use?

 

Thanks,

Ed

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3 hours ago, RivNut said:

Tom,

 

Does that mean an 802 coded rim can have either the 2" or the 2-1/8" center hole diameter?  

 

Also, could an 802 rim work for a '70 model Electra convertible with drum/drum brakes?  I have a set of 802's that a guy here in town wants to put on his Electra but he's unsure if they'd look correct.  He now has the 895 code wheels on it and he knows that they don't look quite right, with a Buick Motor Division silver cap..  What center cap would a '70 Electra use?

 

Thanks,

Ed

Yes, the 802 code is for the INSIDE half of the rim. The outside or face of the rim can be a 2" (`65) or 2-1/8th"  (`66 - `67-1/2) center hole.

Yes, the 802 rim is a drum brake rim so will work, and is preferred over the 895 rim due to fitment/offset related fitment issues, on a drum/drum `70 car. The correct center cap for a `70 Electra is the fluted cone with the tri colored tri shield center.

  Tom

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It's your car.  You obviously feel the 65 caps belong there so put them on.   If you like the 70 style leave them. You know why they are there.  Too many people make their car fit what other people like,make your car yours.  It's nice to see an owner who knows about his car.  You can answer he question of why the 70s caps are there. Most people wouldn't even notice 

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15 hours ago, 1965rivgs said:

Hi Jim,

  The real answer to your question is which do you like??!

  Tom Mooney

 

23 hours ago, JZRIV said:

That's a beautiful car you have there Jim

I agree with these comments, your preference, and beautiful Riv!

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Fellow Riv owners - I thought my concerns were over when I order four black center caps 2"  - WELL guess what only one fits, hence I dug deeper and will never assume anything - the other three on the car are 2 1/8 ctr caps and the center hub is below the rim edge, then I checked the spare and the center hub is 2" and the hub is below the rim edge and the webbing is metal gray. My next observation is the only rim without a register ring is the 2" center hub with the hub being higher than the rim, the other three have a register rings that are flat stock, and the spare has a register ring that is 90 degree stock - sooooo I guess I have one rim that is 895, three others either 802 or 853 and a spare that is ?? - Thanks for letting me vent, so now I have to order 2 1/8 center caps - restoration is never easy, I am soo glad they turned my riv down for the Sept concourse in Lake George, but it will be there in the parking lot and on the upside they accepted my entry for my 1923 Buick Opera Coupe model 48 - cant wait for good weather, now I need a fourth rim

 

Jim 

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5 hours ago, Jim Milewski said:

Fellow Riv owners - I thought my concerns were over when I order four black center caps 2"  - WELL guess what only one fits, hence I dug deeper and will never assume anything - the other three on the car are 2 1/8 ctr caps and the center hub is below the rim edge, then I checked the spare and the center hub is 2" and the hub is below the rim edge and the webbing is metal gray. My next observation is the only rim without a register ring is the 2" center hub with the hub being higher than the rim, the other three have a register rings that are flat stock, and the spare has a register ring that is 90 degree stock - sooooo I guess I have one rim that is 895, three others either 802 or 853 and a spare that is ?? - Thanks for letting me vent, so now I have to order 2 1/8 center caps - restoration is never easy, I am soo glad they turned my riv down for the Sept concourse in Lake George, but it will be there in the parking lot and on the upside they accepted my entry for my 1923 Buick Opera Coupe model 48 - cant wait for good weather, now I need a fourth rim

 

Jim 

Jim,

  Sounds like your spare is an original `65 rim but I hesitate to be sure without more info. Does it have a register ring? Are you sure the center web is painted a dark charcoal and not a color which is more toward silver?

You really should look into exactly which rims you currently have because although the center holes of 3 of the rims are 2-1/8th there are differences in the contour of the face of the 802 and 853 rims and therefore their appearance.

  To elaborate, although you have 3 rims which have a 2 -1/8th center hole, some may be drum brake wheels (802  `66 to`67-1/2) and others may be disc brake wheels (853  `67-1/2 to `70). The 2-1/8th center cap retainers will fit each version but the valve stems of the 802 wheels are larger than the 853`s. More importantly, the web area of the 802 rims is smooth as it transitions into the lug nut area but the 853 rims have a very distinct "step" in this area which is very noticeable and may leave you wanting to eventually match the rims. The "step" is sometimes very difficult to pick up in pics depending on light conditions and camera angles.

  If you post individual pics of each of the wheels and list the center cap hole dimension we may be able to sort out exactly what you have currently.

  Tom Mooney

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Pic's of my spare with a 2" center hub diameter and a register ring that is 90 degree stock and a pic of one of my three rims with a 2 1/8 center hub diameter and a register ring that is flat stock - both have the center hub below the rim - brakes are drum type

1st pic is my spare inside, 2nd is my spare outside, 3rd is inside view and 4th is outside view of my three other rims

 

jim

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On January 23, 2017 at 9:31 AM, Jim Milewski said:

Have owned this riv since the early 70's, it has the wheels on it that it came with and the 1971 wheel caps - have purchased 1965 wheel caps, question should I install the 65 caps or leave the 71's on it, have seen both caps on 65's

DSCN1279.JPG

DSCN1280.JPG

 

Beautiful Riviera Jim! Nice barn too!

great thread and responses, you's guys knows your stuff?

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On 1/26/2017 at 11:43 AM, Jim Milewski said:

Pic's of my spare with a 2" center hub diameter and a register ring that is 90 degree stock and a pic of one of my three rims with a 2 1/8 center hub diameter and a register ring that is flat stock - both have the center hub below the rim - brakes are drum type

1st pic is my spare inside, 2nd is my spare outside, 3rd is inside view and 4th is outside view of my three other rims

 

jim

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Hi Jim,

  I was hoping you would feature one wheel per post until we sorted out all of your wheels to reduce potential confusion but we can start with these photos.

The first 2 pics which you describe as your spare are a `65 wheel, appears to have been manufactured in approximately January of `65. The register ring is correct, the valve stem is the correct large stem and the contour of the web as it progresses into the lug nut area is smooth. The contour on the backside of the wheel is also the correct drum brake profile.

The 3rd and 4th pics are a disc brake style wheel from `67-1/2 thru `70, probably a late `67 version. The register ring/cone IS NOT factory, or is the first of its type I have come across in 40 years. The factory register ring should look just like your `65 wheel. Notice the smaller valve stem, the backside has the disc brake profile and the web, again as it progresses into the lug nut area on the face of the wheel has a very pronounced "step" in it. The step is VERY apparent, depending on light conditions, when an original `65 wheel and this wheel are placed next to one another. To the informed enthusiast, the look of the wheel is very different. If your priority is toward originality this point might prove significant?

I would suggest posting pics of your other wheels at this point and not make the assumption they are the same as the 2nd wheel pictured above. Not trying to "preach", just trying to share some accumulated knowledge. Hope this helps,

  Tom Mooney

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50 minutes ago, RivNut said:

Tom,

 

Some of these wheels have an X stamped into the face of the center cap hub.  Which wheels were stamped with the X  ?

 

Thanks, Ed 

Hi Ed,

  I am not seeing an X on either wheel? Unless you have viewed pics which are not posted? The first wheel looks like it could have an X but I think that is just a spot of dirt. This is consistent with Jim`s stating the 2 inch `65 center cap fit this wheel. A wheel with a stamped X would have a 2-1/8th center hole which would make a very, very sloppy fit of the center cap. I`m assuming Jim would have picked this up as he described his later wheels, which would also have a 2-1/8th center hole, as not having the proper center cap fit.

  Jim, is there an X stamped in either of the wheels in your LAST post?

  Tom Mooney

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13 minutes ago, 1965rivgs said:

Hi Ed,

  I am not seeing an X on either wheel? Unless you have viewed pics which are not posted? The first wheel looks like it could have an X but I think that is just a spot of dirt. This is consistent with Jim`s stating the 2 inch `65 center cap fit this wheel. A wheel with a stamped X would have a 2-1/8th center hole which would make a very, very sloppy fit of the center cap. I`m assuming Jim would have picked this up as he described his later wheels, which would also have a 2-1/8th center hole, as not having the proper center cap fit.

  Jim, is there an X stamped in either of the wheels in your LAST post?

  Tom Mooney

I didn't see one either, I was just curious as to what your information is about any wheels that have been stamped with an X.

 

When I referred to "these" wheels I didn't mean the ones pictured.  Bad grammar on my end.

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Thank you both for your expertise and info, it helps a great dea,  not quite sure where to look for an "x" but will, will take pics of the other two wheels and post, am going to replace all the stems as they are getting checked, when I do I will check numbers on the rims - expect pics in a few days - Thanks again

PS what is your opinion about the reg ring - doesn't appear to have been cut and it appears to be factory added - but I am by no means an expert in welding

 

 

Jim

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Many of these wheels have a date code stamped into the backside of one of the 5 inserts. I can see the code in one pic but not good enough to read it. You will see a large letter with number inside it. Letter is month, number is year.

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If the codes are similar to build date codes, then A - E would be weeks 1 - 5 and the number 1 - 12 would be the month Jan. - Dec.  I don't think they'd use letters for months; there'd be no way to differentiate January, June, and July. 

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1 hour ago, Jim Milewski said:

Gotta love this forum - everyone is very helpful and knowledgeable - letters are "D" with a zero and my spare is "A" with a five - assuming D is December and 1970? and A is April and 1965?

Refer to my reply after posting the first set of pics. Your first wheel is January of `65. I wasnt more definitive about my interpretation as it was very difficult to read the number within the letter but the features of the wheel are wholly consistent with a `65 wheel.

  Tom

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22 minutes ago, RivNut said:

If the codes are similar to build date codes, then A - E would be weeks 1 - 5 and the number 1 - 12 would be the month Jan. - Dec.  I don't think they'd use letters for months; there'd be no way to differentiate January, June, and July. 

Ed,

  "A" is first month, "B" is second month, etc....

  Tom

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2 hours ago, Jim Milewski said:

Gotta love this forum - everyone is very helpful and knowledgeable - letters are "D" with a zero and my spare is "A" with a five - assuming D is December and 1970? and A is April and 1965?

Both appear to be disc brake style wheels, 853`2 which were manufactured from 67-1/2 thru  `70. Can you see the difference in appearance in terms of the "step" in the lug nut area of the face of these wheels as compared to the first wheel you posted which is the correct `65 wheel?? Both of the above wheels have the "step" which, depending on the angle of light, will stand out prominently..

This has been a good exercise and I hope it clears things up for you, Jim, or others who may be confused regarding the differences in different generations of the wheels produced over the years. Keep in mind there are "hybrids" of the different style wheels discussed here and it is not out of the question when examining the wheels one may find a blend of these characteristics which do not exactly fit these basic guidelines.

  Tom Mooney

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2 hours ago, Jim Milewski said:

Gotta love this forum - everyone is very helpful and knowledgeable - letters are "D" with a zero and my spare is "A" with a five - assuming D is December and 1970? and A is April and 1965?

 

D with 0 is April 1970. Tom clarified the other as Jan 65.

 

While we are on the subject: The date codes referenced are for the hub or center portion of wheel. There will also be a date code on the rim visible when the tire is removed as these were originally manufactured from two separate pieces welded together with no visible seam on the face of wheel. It is my opinion this manufacturing method made them a high end quality wheel vs the A-body rally wheels that had a continuous visible seam between the center hub and rim. Thanks to the seamless faces, our big Buick wheels can be re-chromed by specialists. The seam on the A-body wheels severely complicates the re-chroming process. Probably one reason A-body wheels are reproduced. 

 

Tom's excellent observation of hybrids won't be found in any of the past road wheel ID charts on the internet or ROA Riview articles which many people reference and use as gospel. As long as I remember, there has been confusion by many Buick enthusiasts over application of these wheels despite several reference articles that have been published identifying the major differences during evolution . These hybrids will likely continue to create misunderstandings for years to come.

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"While we are on the subject: The date codes referenced are for the hub or center portion of wheel. There will also be a date code on the rim visible when the tire is removed as these were originally manufactured from two separate pieces welded together with no visible seam on the face of wheel."

 

  These stamped date codes are often several months apart. Obviously, the later date code is the more accurate in determining when the wheel was released for service.

On later disc brake style deep offset wheels, Motorwheel started stamping the date codes on the inside outer edge of the backside of the rim...so the date is visible with tire installed. I would surprised to find that Jim`s `70 wheel does not have this later date code location.

 

  Tom

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Gentleman - Many thanks with all the info, and yes I can see the "step" difference, it is pronounced when you know what to look for, am going to put new valve stems on so I will be looking at the inner stampings, the only mystery is the register ring - will post dates after I break them down

 

Jim

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