surfgeek

Need some advice on a 72 Riviera

Recommended Posts

I'm looking to buy a boat tail riviera, my preference being 72, 71, 73, in that order.  Anyways, this 72 came up for sale:  https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ank/cto/d/1972-buick-riviera-455-v8-low/6600461037.html.  I called the number and got emailed some better pictures, I posted them here:  https://flic.kr/s/aHsmkwKkgS.  Based on what I'm seeing so far, there are some dings and scratches here and there, the weather stripping seems like it's not in great shape, and I think I see some rust bubbles forming in the rear quarter panel when I zoom in.  The person I spoke to over the phone said the car has 34K miles, but no paperwork to back it up so far (I'm thinking 134K).  He also said he thought the car came from California but the VIN says it was built in Flint, Michigan (letter H on the VIN). I'm trying to get him to send me some pictures of the engine bay and the underside; I'll share those if/when I get them.  He also mentioned the car has no factory A/C, which sucks because I live in Florida but I could live with it if everything else was right.  Based on what I'm seeing so far I'm thinking this is a condition 3 car but maybe I'm being too harsh.  According to Hagerty a number 3 car is worth about $13K but they were originally asking $21K, and last I checked it and it had dropped to $19.5K.  Can ya'll out there with a keen eye look through the pictures and let me know what you think?  Any red flags?  Also, does anyone have any experience buying a car from out of state.  For the right car, I would be willing to fly out to inspect the car and make the deal, but what about arranging for shipping?  How does the money transfer work in that case?  Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.     

Edited by surfgeek (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For $20K, you should not have to do anything like what you've stated.  Look at what other boat tails have been posted in the thread about "Need opinions about a 73" and look at what is available for $12K and a few dollars more.  The sellers have 1) over stated the condition of the car, and 2) are asking about double what it's actually worth.  Have you seen a picture of the front seats without the pillows on them? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Always best to do in person transaction with cash and proper documents, but you can hire a company  for transfers. I have purchased sight unseen from Canada and transferred money without solid assurances...but thats dicey and not recommended. 

 

Your extra pictures link is not working for me.

 

If there is no documentation for the low miles, then thats less money. Of course the actual in person condition is the main thing. You can ask why they say it is so low miles. Condition alone is not going to cut it (unless extraordinary) 

 

If that is Emerald Mist paint color than it is the most common factory produced color that year at about 4700.

 

Price range on the vehicle would be about $9.5K-$16K. If you REALLY like it...then paying $13.5K would be my top.

 

Sweet Ride. thumbs up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, RivNut said:

Have you seen a picture of the front seats without the pillows on them?

I have not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

22 minutes ago, Chimera said:

Always best to do in person transaction with cash and proper documents, but you can hire a company  for transfers. I have purchased sight unseen from Canada and transferred money without solid assurances...but thats dicey and not recommended. 

 

Your extra pictures link is not working for me.

 

If there is no documentation for the low miles, then thats less money. Of course the actual in person condition is the main thing. You can ask why they say it is so low miles. Condition alone is not going to cut it (unless extraordinary) 

 

If that is Emerald Mist paint color than it is the most common factory produced color that year at about 4700.

 

Price range on the vehicle would be about $9.5K-$16K. If you REALLY like it...then paying $13.5K would be my top.

 

Sweet Ride. thumbs up.

Thanks for the feedback Ed and Gabriel.  It's good to know I wasn't way off base.  Emerald Mist was my best guess for the color too.  I was hoping someone would have some insight on the quality of the paint job.  You can see it a lot better in the high res pictures.  Not sure why the link is not working, I just tried it and it seemed to work for me. Gabriel, by "companies that do the transfers," do you mean just shipping, or something else in addition to that?     

Edited by surfgeek (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, like a middle man.

 

I sold a 67 Riviera to a lady in German and she hired West Coast Shipping. WCS, after getting payment from the buyer, offered to meet at a bank and with vehicle inspection to receive cash or a bank check. I required a direct wire transfer for protection and they eventually agreed to that with permission from the buyer. I am sure these types of transaction could also have potential scam risks, so know the parties you are working with. 

 

https://www.wcshipping.com

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If car was originally sold in CA and spent much of its life there that may lessen concerns of rust issues. The 72s were all built in Flint. I don't see anything in the CL add pics that indicates it couldn't be 34k. Would need to see a lot more pics. Pictures can hide paint defects easily. Can't put a value on the car until we learn more about it.

Keep in mind when it comes to Riviera's Haggerty or any other price guide is very general. Riv value can vary wildly depending on color combo, options, condition, etc. 

 

Having said that if I lived in FL I would hold out for an A/C car. Also note the add claims leather interior. They did not offer leather. Its vinyl. Many people make this mistake. I once bought a 67 off the original owner and he had put 120k on it and swore on a stack of bibles it had leather seats! I didn't bother trying to convince him otherwise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, JZRIV said:

Having said that if I lived in FL I would hold out for an A/C car. 

How difficult is it to install an aftermarket system?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, surfgeek said:

How difficult is it to install an aftermarket system?

It's not that difficult but a lot depends on how original you want to keep the car and what installing an aftermarket system might do to its value.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, surfgeek said:

How difficult is it to install an aftermarket system?

Unless you can DIYS figure $2500 give or take. Units themselves run around $1100. Riviera's aren't popular enough for the aftermarket companies to make a custom package so typically one has to be adapted which means more labor. Keep in mind a Riv is a BIG car and add the boattail with a greenhouse-like rear window and top it off with a black interior and you have a lot of heat load that perhaps many of the aftermarket units may not be able to deal with especially in a hot climate with high humidity. The factory system was designed to take all that into account and keep its occupants cool.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The more practical solution is to start with a car with factory AC.

 

IMHO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something I learned some time ago was don't buy with your heart, but with your head.  Your love at first sight will soon fade after you've tried to fix those few short comings. The right car will come around eventually. Just be patient. You'll spend twice as much and invest so much more time trying to get the car you want by buying the first thing that catches your eye than you will by waiting and spending a little more.  Drive it, don't work on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good advice.

 

That is, don't talk yourself into buying a car.  Buy the one you can't talk yourself out of.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, darn. I guess I'll keep looking.  Thanks for the advice everybody. Hopefully I will recognize it when the "right one" comes along.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris, that looks like a very nice car.  Why couldn't it be a 72? ? I like the 73's just fine, but I'm afraid if I buy one I'll regret it every time I see a nice 72.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Chimera said:

Why 72? 

 

Well, I think the design lost a little bit of its purity with the revised front end for 73. One of things I like the most about the 71-72 cars is the rake of the front grill and how the whole car seems be leaning forward and moving even while standing still. It's just... striking, uncompromising and yes, totally impractical.    As far 71 vs 72, these two are really close and I could go for either one. If I had to pick one I would go with the 72 because I prefer the egg crate grill over the horizontal bars and I'm not a huge fan of the trunk vents.  I'm also a sucker for the optional front bumper guards, and I believe those were only available in 72.  That's not to take anything away from the 73 car.  It's a still a striking car in its own right, and in a way a more mature and refined interpretation of the same design.  For instance I think the rear bumper treatment on 73's is quite handsome, and in some ways I prefer it to the 71-72.  So if I had my pick I would go for a 72, closely followed by a 71.  There is a bit more distance to the 73, but if the right one came along then who knows?  Hopefully that answers your question. 

 

On a separate topic, why does there seem to be many more 73 models available for sale vs 71's and 72's, especially considering they were produced in similar numbers?  Can somebody answer that one?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, surfgeek said:

 

 

On a separate topic, why does there seem to be many more 73 models available for sale vs 71's and 72's, especially considering they were produced in similar numbers?  Can somebody answer that one?

 

Because the people who own the 71's and 72's also prefer them to the 73's, and don't want to sell them.  :>)

  • Like 2
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, surfgeek said:

 

Well, I think the design lost a little bit of its purity with the revised front end for 73. One of things I like the most about the 71-72 cars is the rake of the front grill and how the whole car seems be leaning forward and moving even while standing still. It's just... striking, uncompromising and yes, totally impractical.    As far 71 vs 72, these two are really close and I could go for either one. If I had to pick one I would go with the 72 because I prefer the egg crate grill over the horizontal bars and I'm not a huge fan of the trunk vents.  I'm also a sucker for the optional front bumper guards, and I believe those were only available in 72.  That's not to take anything away from the 73 car.  It's a still a striking car in its own right, and in a way a more mature and refined interpretation of the same design.  For instance I think the rear bumper treatment on 73's is quite handsome, and in some ways I prefer it to the 71-72.  So if I had my pick I would go for a 72, closely followed by a 71.  There is a bit more distance to the 73, but if the right one came along then who knows?  Hopefully that answers your question. 

 

On a separate topic, why does there seem to be many more 73 models available for sale vs 71's and 72's, especially considering they were produced in similar numbers?  Can somebody answer that one?

Hmm, well 73 is a slightly more recent year so statistically slightly less chance of going into rust or junk yard, yet I don't think that is it. Maybe people with 71-72 cherish and hold on to them more?

 

Yeah, the one thing about the 71 grill is that its PLASTIC! Bad call on that one. Anyway, thank you for the taste reasoning. Personally I REALLY like the trunk vents on a 71. It just makes it look like a damn rocket ship or something like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Chimera said:

Yeah, the one thing about the 71 grill is that its PLASTIC!

Wow. I did not realize this. Mind. Blown. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds to me like you need to hold-out for a 72.  I was similarly looking for a '67 and at the time finding nothing, so I widened my search to include '66, though I really wanted the 430 over the 425.  I also wanted factory A/C so that my wife would be comfortable on longer trips.  Again, I looked at some non-A/C cars and was tempted...  In the end, I found my '67 with A/C at the right price -- and in Riviera Gold, which was a 'want' that I had figured would be impossible, given my other criteria.  So, be patient -- the right car is out there; I would delay 'widening the search aperture' unless time is of the essence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now