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1958 Buick Roadmaster 75 Riviera - Laurel Mist - "Complete/Original" - AZ - Not Mine - 9/30 Price Reduced


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For sale on Craigslist and Facebook: 1958 Buick Roadmaster 75 Riviera 4-door Hardtop in Phoenix, AZ  -  $13,950  -  (602) 316-16 three four 

 

Link to Craigslist ad ($13,950): https://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/cto/d/phoenix-1958-buick-roadmaster-75-riviera/7205310590.html

 

Link to Facebook ad ($14,250):  https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/355034975891596/

 

9/13 Link to relisted Ebay Auction:  https://www.ebay.com/itm/233712881896?/1958BuickRoadmaster/Relisted9.13.

 

Seller's Description:

1958 Buick Roadmaster 75 Riviera 4-door Hardtop

  • Driven 119,000 miles
  • Automatic transmission
  • Exterior color: Laurel Mist · Interior color: Silver
  • Good condition

Recently this Buick Roadmaster 75 Riviera 4 door hardtop was removed from long term storage and cleaned up. Manufactured in Kansas City MO, the car left the factory in Laurel-Mist-Metallic with Silver-Grey cloth & leather seats. Complete and original un-restored Nebraska example. Loaded with power windows, power seats, signal seeking radio with power antenna, etc. Mostly original paint with exception of repaint on passenger’s fender. Very straight and there are no signs of any major body damage or repair. Original interior in decent condition with good door panels, headliner and seats. Car had been stored since 1978 and shows 119,xxx miles but no documentation. Glass is good with the exception of the windshield, which has cracks. Rust issues at both rear doors jambs. Cab floors, trunk floor, center of rockers are in great shape. Chrome and stainless trim are in driver’s quality shape, and all pieces are there. Engine starts, runs and seems to be sound, but it is not running on all cylinders. The car will move around under its own power, enough to drive it within a commercial yard, but it is not roadworthy at this time. The transmission engages in all gears but has not been road tested. Brakes are not functional and will need to be rebuilt from sitting. Decided to sell the car as it is, since we have other projects on the way. It is an excellent project and a worthwhile one at that. A great candidate for restoration, rehab for a original driver or for different kind of rat rod. Reasonable offers might be considered

 

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Edited by 6T-FinSeeker
update status & price (see edit history)
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One of Buick's most beloved 50's combinations.  Would like to own, but I'm not providing the seller an escape route.  One of my good friends in the BCA had one and I remember all of the fixes he had to do.   Not a Limited, but pretty close. 

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4 hours ago, B Jake Moran said:

One of my good friends in the BCA had one and I remember all of the fixes he had to do.  

 

Jake, can you educate your fellow car fans--

do you know the problems typical of 1958 Buicks?

 

I know the transmissions in the larger-series cars

were problematic in 1958.  And Buicks certainly had fallen

far from their 1955 peak by the late 1950's, so 

maybe the buyers of that era knew something I don't.

 

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I echo John S. in Pa's comment. Some of us are focused on older cars and I for one do not know zip about postwar cars especially the modern features like power everything, huge quantities of wires and hoses etc.

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I'm not a Buick guy but I do know postwar cars with lots of options.  

The biggest problem in making them ALL operate, is old lubrication!! 

 

Nobody would ever expect a 60 year old engine would even turn over with the original oil in it. Everybody knows that oils & lubes lose their lighter molecules and what remains is thick and heavy and sticky. More like peanut butter than lubrication. You have to change oil and clean the pan before you ever expect the motor to operate. 

 

Well, all four window regulators and the seat regulator and the heater/AC cables are all ATTEMPTING to operate in this environment. Typical seller: "The Power Windows move, but are slow. Must need new motors".

 

NO, the window mechanisms need complete removal from each door. Washed and cleaned of ALL lube, freed up at all the pivots including the rollers and their tracks. The motors themselves have a type of 'gearbox' (varies by manufacture) that must be cleaned and lubed. The motors are rarely bad. The brushes are rarely worn. Sometimes the armature is stuck from lack of use but they typically free up easily. (might require pulling the end plate) You must do this for ALL FOUR DOORS and the Seat regulator. 

 

But they are also electrical! So all the switches need to be removed and opened up and cleaned. In the 1950s these things were typically NOT sealed so thankfully it is possible to bend a tab, push a clip in order to open the switch to clean the contacts and lubricate the motion parts. 

 

The HVAC doors are nearly always cable operated. Cables that are stuck n their sheave. To free them up you remove each one then clean away the light rust at the end that was in the under hood area. Straighten the bends where they were forced to move, then squirt a lube (WD-40 or ATF) the entire length of the cable. The moving cable is wrapped in a twisted sheave which allows the oil into the inner wire. Then you pull it back & forth until it is freed up and moving easily. Each dash lever also needs to be lubed and operated until free (sometimes they are pot metal which was snapped when trying to force a stuck cable. Check the HVAC doors for freedom of movement and reinstall the cable. All this is a bunch of "crawling under the dash" type of work. (never easy but at least you removed the front seat to fix it's regulator) 

 

This particular car had factory A/C but the compressor and brackets are missing. They are big and heavy and block the plugs and wires during a tune up so they were commonly removed about when the car had it's 6-10th birthday. Yeah, good luck finding the replacements. . . . .

 

The engine should be pretty bullet proof and the rear ends are durable, but I too have heard that 1958 Buicks have a new for 58 Dynaflow that is better replaced by another year. (again not a Buick expert) 

 

The door panels are molded, hot stamped and basically cannot be replicated in an upholstery shop. If you want mint ones, SMS or Just Dashes can typically make them but open your wallet wide. Same for the padded dash. (this one looks OK, but since its a desert car don't touch it or it will crack very easily) 

 

I wont mention the cost of rechroming a car like this, BUT just removing and replacing all the trim (repaint time) is not a job for a first timer. Reattaching the trim will bring tears to your eyes in pure frustration.

 

Getting the moldings might be difficult, but it is NOTHING like trying to find the CLIPS that hold them on! (and at least 1/4 to 1/2 of them will not be reusable)  Hours and hours searching and sometimes big money to get them.

My 1959 Lincoln rocker panel molding clips, reproduced from just one shop were $8 each and as I remember there were between 12-15 of them! But I had spent a month going to body shop supply places and was at an impasse. 

 

Yeah, neat car, stylish car, but if you expect everything to function, you will have lot of work ahead of you. 

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Back in the early 80s I bought this 1958 Buick Century Caballero wagon from the local original owners and used it as a daily driver for a couple of years. The man who owned it was a local plumber and used it as part of his business and for occasional hauling. I know for a fact the car had 160K miles on it when I got it (a friend of the family's told me it might have been 260K as much as he drove it). It had PS & PB and some other typical options but no AC or power windows and everything worked to my recollection. This wagon was in excellent shape mechanically and ran like a top. I remember removing the ribbon speedometer and having it repaired as it didn't work when I bought the car. I removed most all the trim and gave it a complete black & white repaint, it had was some minor rust but not bad.  There was a certain old car junkyard in SE PA that had maybe 7-8 1958 Buicks in it (no wagons & the yard is long gone!) and I replaced most of the dented or damaged stainless trim pieces. The interior was quite presentable and cleaned up nicely for the most part. This wagon served me well for a few years and I drove it 40 miles every day back & forth to work. I found it to be no more or less problematic than any other car at the time, to me it was just another old car I fixed up and later sold. All in all it was a pretty good car. 

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1 hour ago, The 55er said:

Back in the early 80s I bought this 1958 Buick Century Caballero wagon

Caballero's are wonderful hardtop wagons. And now one has been memorialized as the first postwar AACA Zenith winner. . . 😉

 

A major difference between your car and the Roadmaster in question is that your car was just 20 years old when you did it and the Roadmaster is now 60 years old. As you noted you had the support of several local parts cars which are now gone. 

 

Walt was asking about the differences between a postwar restoration and a Full Classic (coachbuilt) restoration. In many ways the coachbuilt restorations are easier because they were originally built by a craftsman, so today they can be REbuilt by a craftsman. A good wood man or a top upholster can remake  most anything from the Classic era. You can reacast parts in your garage using the most basic foundry techniques.

 

Since these postwar cars were very much mass produced cars, they were made by machines, not men. Stamps, molds, presses, etc . . .  once set up, they can make thousands of copies very cheaply BUT if you need JUST ONE piece (that looks just like the original) it becomes almost impossible unless you recreate/reestablish the mass-production type of manufacturing. Hence the best place to get replacements is from another car, and as time goes by they become more scarce. 

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I am just now finishing what I might call a "rework" of previous partial restorations of a Laurel Mist '58 Roadmaster. Mechanical and electrical stuff is much the same as a '50s car, except for a lot of extra power doodads. NOS parts are available. I fixed everything (even the groaning 6-way power seat!) but passed on the power antenna. $1200 for a rebuild, too much. I installed an old-manual antenna. The engine and transmission were OK before I started work. WARNING: the Roadmaster will have the amazing FlightPitch Dynaflow, a terrific and sturdy triple turbine drive unit. BUT... it is probably the most complex pre-electronic transmission ever built. If it is not working right, you'd have to search far and wide to find a willing and able technician. Parts are probably very scarce.

 

The worst challenges are the interior and the trim, unless you plan to go all the way to a full repaint. (I didn't, as the paint is 20-ft passable.) In 2015 I took out the entire interior and sent it to the now-defunct LeBaron Bonney company, who took over a year instead of 6 months and did some very marginal work. (Hence bankruptcy) For example, they glued vinyl over all the screw holes you need to mount things. They overstuffed some items, creating clearance issues. The seats however were well done. I recommend never doing what I did - the upholsterer has to have the car and install what he makes.

 

 I can't even figure out how some things were done at the factory. For example, when I got the seats into the car, I found that I could access only a few of the hold-down bolts -- the rest were completely blocked by the upholstery right above! You need to make yourself a special tool to remove and install the power brake booster. The shop manual shows a picture of it. Very poor engineering idea.

 

All this being said, the eBay car has the advantage of originality. Mine had been worked on by at least two previous owners who predictably did some terrible things, like spraying undercoating onto anything that was rusted.

 

It is a magnificent car, huge, heavy, powerful, gleaming with chrome and stainless. It is a very difficult car to restore fully unless you want to pay a good shop $100K. I say, if you can spare $100K, do it. I am satisfied that I am saving a 58 Roadmaster from the rust pile. 

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10 hours ago, highcking said:

WARNING: the Roadmaster will have the amazing Flight Pitch Dynaflow, a terrific and sturdy triple turbine drive unit. BUT... it is probably the most complex pre-electronic transmission ever built.

 

Thank you for your insights on '58 Buicks, and

for keeping a fine Roadmaster on the road.

Maybe you can post of picture here of your own car.

 

I note that Buick engineers themselves didn't like

the Flight Pitch Dynaflow, afterward renamed the

Triple Turbine transmission.  In the authoritative book

"The Buick:  A Complete History," it's considered a

failure, like the air suspension of the same year.  

As you note, it's far too complex;  and it was so 

expensive to manufacture, "it practically broke us,"

one Buick executive said.  Even though it was working

properly, it felt like it was slipping, said another

Buick man.  "Buick invested $86 million in tooling for

triple turbine, only to scrap it a few years later,"

the book noted.

 

I'm glad there are some people out there still to work

on them!  History, good or not-so-good, needs to be

preserved.  One man I know has a '58 Roadmaster

convertible:

 

 

 

1958 Buick Roadmaster conv (3).JPG

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I agree with these notes on the triple turbine. It was terribly costly to build and extremely difficult to repair. Having now owned two 58 Roadmasters, I can say that it’s by far the best of the Dynaflows for performance. Once I tested the Grade Retard function going down a Steep mountain in Virginia. It performed just as promised, held the speed to 20-25 all the way down. I never touched the brake pedal.

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On 8/21/2020 at 6:33 PM, 6T-FinSeeker said:

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On 8/21/2020 at 6:36 PM, 6T-FinSeeker said:

Additional Pictures:

 

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It looks like a pretty good car, but the rust in the door jambs

would be concerning.  I've certainly seen rust in rocker panels,

but door jambs seem like an unusual place for rust to start.

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  • 6T-FinSeeker changed the title to 1958 Buick Roadmaster 75 Riviera - Laurel Mist - "Complete/Original" - $14,250 - AZ - Not Mine - Relisted

 

Auction #2 ended 9/20 with bidding at $10,600.00 (Reserve not Met) with 6 bidders and 9 bids. https://www.ebay.com/itm/1958-Buick-Roadmaster/NoSale

Auction #1 ended 9/4 with bidding at $10,100.00 (Reserve not Met) with 8 bidders and 15 bids. 

 

Seller still holding out for $14k

 

Edited by 6T-FinSeeker (see edit history)
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  • 6T-FinSeeker changed the title to 1958 Buick Roadmaster 75 Riviera - Laurel Mist - "Complete/Original" - AZ - Not Mine - 9/30 Price Reduced

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