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For Sale: 1957 Buick Century Riviera 2dr Hardtop -"great condition, own 20+ yrs"- Ohio - Not Mine - 3/13 SOLD!


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For sale on Facebook: 1957 Buick Century Riviera 2-Door Hardtop in Springboro, OH  -  $25,000  -  Must be a member of Facebook to access Seller's contact information.

 

Link: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/2994868074119515/1957-Buick-Century-Riviera-2-Door-Hardtop

 

Seller's Description:

1957 Buick Century Riviera 2-Door Hardtop

  • Very good condition
  • Driven 75,000 miles
  • Automatic transmission
  • Exterior color: Black & White · Interior color: Black

1957 Buick Century Riviera model 66R 2 door hardtop in great condition. Had been repainted once with the original color scheme and has original interior. I have owned this car for over 20 years. I have more photos available and a video of it running upon request.

 

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Edited by 6T-FinSeeker
update status (see edit history)
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The seller is asking $25,000 and for that money I would hope the car would be immaculate and it's not!  The speedometer is registering something like 100 miles an hour and there is an aftermarket gauge mounted under the dash which leads me to believe the gauge cluster doesn't work.

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This appears to be a very nice unmolested original.  From what I can see, $25k is a reasonable asking price for a nice, solid, Century coupe with relatively low miles.  With one less car than I have now, I would probably look at it and offer $22k if as nice as it appears in pictures.

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This car has a lot in common with my dream car ('57 Olds). The rear quarter windows sure make this car sharp. Just the right amount of door (2), a nice conservative two tone paint job and the fact that it's a Century all seem to check all of the boxes. The instrument repair shouldn't sway some one who really likes this car IMO. 

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I want to see what the coolant and trans fluid look like. I’m going to look at floors, toe area and bottom of the doors. It’s garage kept so hopefully I can see the floor to tell if there are major leaks, granted most cars this age leak at least something don’t they? Lol. I have a illuminated scope for my phone so I’m hopeful to look in areas you can’t normally see. I’m looking for water leaks around the rear Windows and how the seals on the Windows in the doors are and how well they shut. I’ve driven two speeds but never a Dynaflow so hopefully I’ll be able to notice anything unusual. Interested to see if any gauges/lights work with the speedo broke and the additional gauge below.  Taking my meter to see how the generator is charging at idle and then fully loaded. It’s 8am now and should set eyes on it at 1030. Thanks for everyone’s comments. I’ll let you all know what happens. 

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Well I'm back at the house with no 1957 Buick in tow. This car has been sitting for several years and he said in total he put less than 5k miles on it. Since he has owned it he has had the radiator repaired and a couple small things. Still has the bias ply tires that were on it when he bought it. There are several things that the car needs. There is a rust hole in the rear floor, passenger side, not super huge. There was some bubbling under the paint in a couple spots but it didn't feel soft. The rear quarter panel, in front of the tire (when tapped on) sounded solid both sides, but if it were bondo from 20+ years ago I think it would have fallen out by now? Trim was bent and scuffed in places, chrome was all present but needed attention. Door seals looked good and not falling apart. rear tri-window seals are questionable. Rear package tray (cardboard?) needs replaced. I believe it needs a new gas tank as it had a fair amount of foreign objects in a brand new fuel filter on the intake manifold and died (no fuel) on a short test drive. Brakes need replaced or adjusted. Interior smelled like an old car that's been sitting but mostly looked presentable, but certainly needed help. Speedo and temp gauge do not work, others are operational. I mean the car seems presentable, it is still a "good looking car", but not at 25K, I knew a 25K car would not be concourse and that's not what I'm looking for either. I'm looking for a car show cruiser I can be proud of, just not sure this is it without at least 3-5K worth of work out of the gate and then possibly a long road after that. I'm no quitter but I need to figure out where I want to start.

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What a minute.  25,000 is a lot of money for a 50s 2 door hardtop Buick.  For $25 large I expect a "super nice" car.  Might be original with some patina or an older restoration but $25,000 should buy you a #2 - car that can garner 370 points at a BCA National meet. Not that thats the end all be all but it is a litmus test.  When did $25,000 buy someone a car that is described as you mention by a dishonest seller looking to fund a cruise or home improvement project???  I hate these Facebook or CL ads that tell half a story.  BS.  This is at best a $12,000 car.  Likely needs towed home.  My issue has more to do with the seller.  If I've owned a 57 Century 2 door hardtop for those many years and enjoyed it's ownership at little maintenance cost, then I am adding my cost plus maybe $2,000.  I don't care about appreciation or "Joe got such n such for his old car"  This is why the hobby is regressing.  Greed for average cars.  Exceptional cars are a different discussion.  Look at the 36 Roadmaster offering from Harwood Motors for about $3000 more asking than this misrepresented car.  

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I danced with the seller on this car as well but I didn't move forward to personally inspect the car!  We traded many emails and the seller sent many pictures but in the end it just didn't add up to $25 grand; eh, not even close!  The car sat for most of the sellers ownership for 20 years and as I thought there are more issues than were disclosed in those emails and pictures.

 

He did say the trans leaks and from what I know that's is due to the seals and bands drying out.  He said he drove it to exercise it only on city streets because of the ancient tires but I don't think it was driven much more than once a month or less.  When I asked about the brakes he said he did nothing to them in 20 years.  Every time I buy a an old car it invariably needs some brake work which usually includes wheel cylinders.  After 20 years of neglect my thoughts were brakes with cylinders all the way around! So even $20 grand is way too much!!

 

A great percentage of sellers believe the old car in their garage is a pot of gold.  I used to represent cars for the owners that wanted to sell. But I stopped doing that.  Owners today are so irrational about the price and they don't want a gut check from someone who's done the research!

 

 

Edited by deac (see edit history)
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He was forthcoming on the car and answered every question I had. I believe he picked a number and is willing to go down from there. He doesn’t feel this is a retirement fund as he actually wants to build a 70’s Chevy truck. He also said I wouldn’t insult him if I gave him a number. Just would have made me feel better if he spent some time driving it. Letting an old car just sit is the worst. If I were going to offer him something I think I would be around 16k knowing what I know now. It’s still the style of car I want just wish it was a little better kept. If it didn’t have bubbles in the paint I probably would have gone for it. So if anyone knows of a 1957 Century Riviera coupe in the 25k range let me know, I really like the triple rear window though. 

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On 2/27/2021 at 7:43 AM, B Jake Moran said:

Leaks under transmission. 

 

I have a '57 Century 4-door hardtop.

It has been said that all Dynaflows leak at least

a little bit, so that may not be worrisome.

 

 

1957 Buick-mine 8a.JPG

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

I have a '57 Century 4-door hardtop.

It has been said that all Dynaflows leak at least

a little bit, so that may not be worrisome.

 

 

1957 Buick-mine 8a.JPG

That's a really good looking sedan, I wish I didn't want a coupe so bad as there are a couple sedans out there.

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John that is a nice car.  Mike, don't know how old you are but I am 57 and although the majority of the 275 cars I have owned are 2 doors, I regret that decision a bit.  I could easily own a 50's 4 door hardtop.  If I could do it all over again, my honest #1 car choice in the fifties is a 1956 Buick Roadmaster 4 door hardtop in Coral (whatever Buick called it).   Give me $35,000 and instead of looking for a 2 door hardtop, I would go for the 4 door hardtop.  

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12 minutes ago, B Jake Moran said:

John that is a nice car.  Mike, don't know how old you are but I am 57 and although the majority of the 275 cars I have owned are 2 doors, I regret that decision a bit.  I could easily own a 50's 4 door hardtop.  If I could do it all over again, my honest #1 car choice in the fifties is a 1956 Buick Roadmaster 4 door hardtop in Coral (whatever Buick called it).   Give me $35,000 and instead of looking for a 2 door hardtop, I would go for the 4 door hardtop.  

If I were looking for a wagon I would go the 4dr route. I had a 70 Mark III as a winter car in my 20's, that was an interesting decision LOL, and have always had a soft spot for coupes. Sedans are beautiful cars so don't get me wrong, just two too many doors for me right now. I'll be 49 this year.

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Gotcha.  Yes I have always wanted a Mark collection.  I looked at a triple white one 3 months ago as a project - $500.  Obviously I did not get it but I could see going with 2-3 representing their changes from 1968 (1969) through 1976.  But this is about Buicks.  

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After rebuilding much of my car, if I had to do again I would start with a list of what repairs cost. Wiring harness $3500 front to back not installed. Paint, $7500 (low) with car stripped and ready to block. Mechanicals $$$$ trans, brakes and engine. Chrome and stainless $4000. Tires $2000. Interior $6000 (material only). These are some of the expenses that I have incurred when I started with a pretty solid car. Also I would consider parts made of unobtainium, which can be an unknown. My passenger side door latch took a year to find as this was only made for one year and two models. This would be my approach if I had to do again. 

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All good points, which is why people are no longer restoring cars and the old adage buy the best car you can applies.  It's not 100% true that no one is doing restorations but just about.  I am saying this is a nice driver but not a $25,000 car or even close.  I used to watch markets closely and got paid for awhile to provide assessments.  While no expert I can tell you that in my opinion, $20,000 should buy a really nice 1950's 2 door hardtop.  Everybody has a budget and mine is "zero" but if I did want to pull the trigger on another old car, it would likely be a driver class vehicle and if you don't like whatever is wrong with it I don't care.  If I had a high point car, there would be some reluctance to drive it.  With driver class cars, not so much concern, just drive it.  This is a driver after you go through the brakes and some of the other things, and for that $12,000 seems like good money to me.  

 

If he can't maintain this then I don't see him building a 70's Chevy truck, which admittedly I considered and they are hot.  Anything Chevy truck from the late 30's to 1972 is in demand.  I love the 67-72's.  Nice ones command $30,000, $40,000 from dealers for those salt and pepper retirees with more cash than brains.  Huge catalog support.   But I think this guy put $25,000 so he could get a very nice driver truck that needs nothing, like his Buick did 20 years ago....

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I told him today I was good and wished him luck in selling it. He did ask why and I explained what my thoughts/concerns were and he was appreciative of the input. I explained that I was looking for a nice drivers car, not a show competitor, and I didn't want to start with a bunch of work first before I could even reliably drive it around town.

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On 2/27/2021 at 4:07 PM, thebigmikeo said:

There is a rust hole in the rear floor, passenger side, not super huge. 

 

Mike, how did you notice the rust hole?

From underneath, with the car on a lift;

or by lifting up the carpet in the interior?

 

I ask for future knowledge, in case some

other car comes along that I'm looking at---

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Thanks, Mike.

If I tried that, I'd see only the holes that were

pretty obvious.  I could miss a bunch of small

defects. 

 

At the Hershey car corral a few years ago,

a seller had a 1960-or-thereabouts Chrysler

product.  I knew they were very prone to rust

unless they came from a dry climate, so I asked

him whether there was rust.  He said there was none.

I lifted up the trunk mat, and the trunk floor was

full of dozens of small holes.  Did the owner not

know, or was he lying?  I walked away.

 

Thanks for your detailed report on the Buick!

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What I saw was a good sized hole, probably golf ball sized. I think once someone starts to dig at it, it will be bigger. The rest of the floor looked pretty solid, but I'm no seasoned expert. This is looking rearward from passenger door, orientation could be off but it was rear passenger side.

IMG_6511.JPG

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I was more concerned about these as there were several spots like this. I wasn't sure if this was result of a bad prep and repaint 20+ years ago or something more exciting. Adam, the trim was pretty beat on this car in some spots also, is that in your wheelhouse of "service".

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Edited by thebigmikeo (see edit history)
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Mike, good luck finding the right car for you. Rust is a real concern and if you are shopping in the mid west, there is no shortage of it. Also, I am surprised at how many cars that are 65 years old or more that still have the original wiring harnesses. 

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If it didn't have this bubbling I would have been more interested in dipping my toe in. I'm not fixed to buying local, in 2015 I bought a 2013 Lincoln MKT in Texas, so I'm willing to look anywhere.

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Depending on how bad the trim is, I can usually work them out.  Sometimes it's worth it to find good cores to start with.

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  • 6T-FinSeeker changed the title to For Sale: 1957 Buick Century Riviera 2-Door Hardtop -"great condition, own 20+ yrs"- Ohio - Not Mine - 3/13 SOLD!
  • 6T-FinSeeker changed the title to For Sale: 1957 Buick Century Riviera 2dr Hardtop -"great condition, own 20+ yrs"- Ohio - Not Mine - 3/13 SOLD!

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