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Buffalowed Bill

Ist Gen Riviera values

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Are the values that I'm seeing here for 1963-65 Rivieras representative of their current market value? An earlier thread highlighted a decent 1965 GS  that was purported to be original, but wasn't, that sold for $42 K. Then the talk was of another GS that sold for $120K, doubling its pre-auction estimate. The selling price for the first car,  and the $60K pre-auction for the second, seems to me to be 40% over what I would have expected. Are we looking at anomalies? If these are not anomalies, are these prices reflective of just 1965 GS's? Have all 1963-65 seen the same bump up in value? 

 

I realize that these cars have always been popular, but these cars have been saved in high numbers. They right car has always seemed to be available if a buyer was willing to wait. If these values are truly indicative of the market, it means that these cars are really bucking the trend of a soft collector car market. How do you experts look at the prospects for the Riviera? Is it too early to factor in the affect of the CV?

 

Bill

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Auction prices are usually a bit inflated, particularly if 2 people want the same car which ultimately will create the anamoly.  Prices have definitely gone up in the past few years though.  Personally, I always felt that vintage Riviera's were undervalued for a long time.

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It still costs more to decently restore one than to buy a nice one, so that says to me prices are OK. But I don't see things going up, that's for sure.

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Posted (edited)

As for 65's.... very nice correct GS's are easy to find.......very nice correct non GS cars are rarer than hen's teeth. It took

me years of looking to find mine and I haven't seen another as nice for sale since 2013. There are nice ones around but they don't

go up for sale unless the owner passes away. I see nice ones at the national Riviera meet but they are not for sale. Also nice highly modified 65's

are easy to find for sale. The current market price for non GS nice cars is about 35K, and 60K for nice GS cars. The 120K price at the auction involved

two rich guys egging each other on to see who could overspend the most amount of dough. These prices are for nice cars, not perfect

correct frame-off restored cars. Those cars are so rare with early Rivieras that they can bring huge wampum. The 120K auction

car was nice but nothing close to a perfect frame-off car of which only a few exist.

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

2020 OldCarsPrice Guide

4 condition   7800

3                     17550

2                      27300

1                       39000

 

The key word is guide. I use it, "Nice" "Very Nice" all very subjective. I have never seen a #1 Riv. Just because its a fresh resto does not make it a #1.

 

65 GS #3   17780

#2               27650

#1               39500

 

Again, a price GUIDE.  I use it, not religiously, but it gives me an idea as to how much I'm overpaying or "what a great deal I got".

In the 60k range there's a lot more collectible cars to look at. In the 10,000-15,000 range they're the best bang for my buck out there. Maybe I'm just lucky, but nice ones tend to land in my lap...

 

Steve 9236

 

 

Edited by gungeey
typo (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

Thanks to the owners who have responded. In my opinion true perspective can only be enhanced by responses by people who are active in a particular market. These Rivieras are very much appreciated, but they are not rare cars, so unless something monumental takes place to change their perceived value, their values should be easy to chart. It's easy to chart a cars' value when the market is stagnant, or moving downward, but it's much harder to recognize when a few high dollar cars are anomalies, rather then a signal of an emerging trend.

 

I'm an old car collector. In a previous thread on this form, I had the dubious distinction of being the oldest responder. I have honestly never paid much attention to the values on my collection, or individual cars, for that matter. I only bought cars that I like, but I like all the cars that I have bought, so I usually don't part with them. It's become recently obvious that I'm going to have to take a more active approach to my cars' value, for both insurance and inheritance purposes.

 

In my collection I have a 1963 and a 1965 Riviera. The 63 is original base car with an original leather interior. The car has a forty yo repaint which is just OK. It is what it is and that's all that it is. I would guess at a value as a low three. I don't need to spend too much time on this car because of comparables.

 

It's the 65 that has me stumped. I bought the car three years ago. It was in an estate, that I had fallen into, and to which I had the inside track. It's a good story, but I won't bore you with the details, but suffice to say that I wasn't expecting what I found. Pardon the hyperbole, but I was humbled to be in it's presence. Not just because of the car, but also because of the story of the owner, and his love and dedication towards the car.The car was all original and turned out to have 22K miles on it. In the glove box was a notebook containing information regarding every trip he made, every gallon of gas that he put in, and every bit of maintenance that he had done to it. The car had been sitting for twenty years, so there were a so many unknowns regarding it's operation. Regardless I knew that the car was going to be coming home with me.

 

I'm not good with pictures, and I know that an appraisal is in order, but on a whim I thought that I would ask the form about trending values, and how my car might fit. Any questions or comments welcomed. 

 

Bill

 

 

Edited by Buffalowed Bill (see edit history)
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I am planning to put about $15,000 combined parts and personal sweat equity labor into my '64 between now and Fall. I expect that to increase the sale value, if I needed one, by at least $6,000.

 

Since I enjoy doing the work I will continue my annual $1,000 joy of ownership value deduction, as I have for the past 42 years. MY math works pretty good.

Bernie

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Bill, would love to hear more about & see some pics of that 65. 

 

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Posted (edited)

There are many variables when it comes to valuing Rivieras. We could probably say that about most old car models but the Rivs seem to be affected more than average by certain factors.....which is my personal observation over the years. Color combination and options is probably one of the biggest factors that can make huge difference in real world value. Next is paint condition. Quality repaints and mental anguish of sending a car to "Paint Prison" have become terribly expensive but even more so for Rivieras because of the complexity in trim removal, big Buicks have typically have more detailed areas covered in paint than do say a Camaro not to mention large real estate to be prepped and painted. This has triggered a trend to accept original paint cars as-is despite their flaws. Original paint in excellent condition can significantly increase value even over a nice repaint but as the defects increase, it can rapidly go the other way. How a car is advertised and marketed can also make a difference. For example compare a locally advertised car vs a car that has exposure on ebay or Hemmings opening it to worldwide buyers. Bigger market - better chance of finding that one buyer who is looking for exactly what you have and will pay more.

 

I have found watching completed autions on Ebay can be a decent indicator if you watch it over time and accumulate data as well record the more important factors that affect price. In doing this you will also see many cars that never sold. In my opinion most appraisers don't follow Rivs enough to know what factors make a difference so they can get you in the ballpark but sometimes can miss reality by a large margin. I think most here would agree if that infamous $120k 65 GS Gooding and Company auction car was sold on Craiglsist, Bring-a-Trailer or ebay it probably would have sold for 1/2 that. 

The big auctions like Mecum and Barrett Jackson can be an indicator of whats trending, but using that alone as a specific price guide will be inaccurate due to the nature of those events. In some cases those auctions are merely entertainment for the more wealthy and sometimes buyers and sellers don't fret if they pay too much when buying or lose too much when selling. They like the excitment of the venue and experience.

 

If there is any way you could get good pictures inside and out as well as details of what has been done to the car the folks here can probably get you closer than any appraiser will to a realistic value that will suffice for your needs.

Edited by JZRIV (see edit history)
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If you guys are talking classic car values, you might want to take a look at this chart on BaT:

 

https://bringatrailer.com/buick/riviera/

 

I think BaT is a much better indicator of values than auctions which might have anomalies and/or extreme examples (i.e. like extremely nice examples or heavily customized ones).  Most of the ones on BaT tend to be in good to great condition, so they don't reflect the mistreated examples you might find on Craigslist or eBay.  Looking at that chart, the sweet spot is between $10k to low $30k.  There are a few that have sold for a lot more than that, but I consider those outliers.

 

image.thumb.png.4a2eaefe74f737ae272464be45b9c183.png

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JZRIV indicates that paint color and condition are are important to a car's value. So what colors seem to be most valued in the 1st gen Rivieras? How about original paint? 

 

Thanks HAZDAZ for the Bat auction results. Interesting information, but I don't see anything really comparable to my 65. I'm just trying to be honest when I say, I just don't see any unrestored, all original cars like mine.

 

I can see an easy $50K going into a complete restoration, but returns would be a crap shoot at best. Has anyone found one of the classic car insurers willing to accept and agreed value of $60K?

 

Not trying to be mean spirited, but I have seldom been impressed by the certified appraisers that I've used. By the time we're finished the process, both ended up asking me what I think my cars are worth. It's like going to the DMV to pay for titling a car like my 1937 Studebaker President coupe and watch to girl dig out the "Old Car Value Guide." Here we go again! The fact is that whether or not I particularly care about my cars' values, I usually have a pretty intuitive understanding of what they are worth. I'm confused by the Riviera numbers, that I've seen-they're all over the board.  

 

Bill

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Prices are all over the board. I think even your location plays a part. I see prices in the Midwest much more reasonable than what you would see a private seller in California or Washington (where I am) willing to take.

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13 hours ago, Buffalowed Bill said:

 Has anyone found one of the classic car insurers willing to accept and agreed value of $60K?

Bill

Check with Hagerty, I have been told they are the very accommodating when it comes to higher agreed values.

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13 hours ago, Buffalowed Bill said:

 Has anyone found one of the classic car insurers willing to accept and agreed value of $60K?

 

I have my '65 GS insured for $60,000 through State Farm who insures my everyday cars and my home. I increased the value a few years back when prices seemed on the rise and State Farm did not question it. I know I could never sell my car for that much but I believe I would have to PAY that much to find a replacement that is as nice.

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4 hours ago, JZRIV said:

Check with Hagerty, I have been told they are the very accommodating when it comes to higher agreed values.

 

They are.

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the first generation are of course the most collectible, with the 65 GS, the top of the barrel. However these cars have always, and continue, to be undervalued.  Such a high quality build way beyond the olds, chevy, ford, chrysler, and pontiac equivalents.  Yet the cheaply built muscle cars "fetch" crazy money in comparison

 

Good comment about it costing more to restore a car than for what a good one can be purchased.

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1 hour ago, dr914 said:

Good comment about it costing more to restore a car than for what a good one can be purchased.

 

There are two good things about buying the finished car. The cost to do things and the price one gets at the time of sale has consistently been about 4 to 1. Spend $4,000 on paint or an engine job and the seller can add about $1,000 to the selling price of the car. The first time I did that calculation I was still in High School and I saw a guy do that with a '51 Ford Victoria, Once the rule got stuck in my head it applied to most instances over the years.

The second benefit of buying a finished car is seeing the quality of the finished job. A pending restoration has a whole lot of unfulfilled promises that may not materialize. I have never done a complete restoration. There are too many varying skills required to get "everything" the way I want it. My preference is to continue doing a lot of "component restoration" on a basically good car. Spend 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of the restored car that drives and looks fair and just peck away at it.

The $1,000 to $2,000 starter hulks are just too expensive.

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All you need for a quality Chevelle, Camaro, or Mustang is a VIN tag.  Everything else is reproduced. For $17,000, Dynacorn will sell you a new1970 Chevelle body.🤔

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Just going to push back a bit on Rivs being undervalued. Undervalued against what, a limited produced muscle car, I don't think that is even a fair comparison. A more fair comparison would be, in my estimation, personal luxury cars from the other manufacturers-Ford Thunderbird, Cadillac DeVille, or the Chrysler 300. I think that if someone were being honest they would have to admit that the Riviera is more then holding it's own, value wise, with cars against which it was competing, when they were new.

 

Probably ten to fifteen times as many Rivieras were saved then it's contemporary competition. In this overall stagnant old car market, and in spite of the fact that there is an ample selection, the Rivieras' market value continues to trend upward. 

 

As for restoration costs-no one but the wealthy, who don't dwell on cost, or restorers of high end exotics, can be comfortable with, or hope to recoup the cost of a points restoration. Rivieras are no different, but my guess is their owner would come closer then most. 

 

Bill

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Correct, the Riviera is doing quite well against its competitors when new. They all went through their own depreciation cycle, but Riviera had long term first owners. By the time the first owner sold one it was already noted as a collector car.

 

The Lincoln Continental Mark I, Studebaker Avanti, and the first generation Riviera are alone in that early recognition and shallow depreciation cycle. Other example can be sighted, but they don't have the wide acceptance.

 

Bernie

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I actually believe that the Riviera was a much higher quality and a lot more sporty car than the Thunderbird of the era, and since there was nothing else in the class at the time (personal luxury car) I would then have to compare it to a higher quality more luxurious muscle car.  So I compare to Olds Cutlass, Pontiac GTO, Chevy Chevelle, Dodge Charger, etc.  Those are cheap muscle cars but in 64 65 were some competition to the Riviera.  The avante was a one off limited production, the cadillac in 64 65 a passenger car, as well as the lincoln.

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On 3/22/2020 at 6:35 PM, Buffalowed Bill said:

Has anyone found one of the classic car insurers willing to accept and agreed value of $60K?

 

As others have said, hagerty won't even question it. 

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26 minutes ago, Hazdaz said:

As others have said, hagerty won't even question it. 

 

All it does is cost a little bit more money.

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A friend of mine had his significant Rolls-Royce standard insurance supplemented with a value policy through Lloyds of London in the 1990's. If I was working in the highest end of the Riviera I would look into that.

 

Kind of like Obamacare for your basic and leave the legs to Lloyds.... Eh, Marlena.

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36 minutes ago, J3Studio said:

 

All it does is cost a little bit more money.

All insurance is great until a claim is made. Not all policies, or even stated value policies are created equal. And in the case of a total loss, most are the same. The issue comes up when it is not a total loss, or you are under insured and the repair costs more than the stated value, but you want to repair the car. Check with owners who have had to make claims before picking an insurance carrier.

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