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Bruschi 54
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Hi, to everyone. First time post and hopefully will be a owner of my all time favourite American car ( although not a 65 GS ).

Can ask your advice? A 63 Riviera has come up for sale over here in the UK. The gent selling it said in the advert that it has a few “niggles” . 
I have spoken to him over the phone and he has told me that the wipers don’t work and the flashers only work on one side.

 I initially thought it sounded like an earthing problem. He has said it needs a fuse box . From looking on the net and on here I’m starting to have my doubts. I have recently caught a bloodied nose from my last American car purchases ( Ford Thunderbird and Pontiac Fiero). Which I don’t wish to repeat either financially or emotionally.

I would appreciate some genuine advice as this car is at the top end of my budget and I would actually like some driving enjoyment rather than months of misery.

Thank You and Stay Safe

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Tell the guy that is selling it when he gets all the "niggles" fixed to give you a call.

There is no reason that a running driving car should have not already had these items addressed, as

they are safety items. You can rest assured that the car has major problems or he would have already

gotten it fixed. This sounds like "years of misery" not "months of misery" to me.

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3 hours ago, Bruschi 54 said:

Hi, to everyone. First time post and hopefully will be a owner of my all time favourite American car ( although not a 65 GS ).

Can ask your advice? A 63 Riviera has come up for sale over here in the UK. The gent selling it said in the advert that it has a few “niggles” . 
I have spoken to him over the phone and he has told me that the wipers don’t work and the flashers only work on one side.

 I initially thought it sounded like an earthing problem. He has said it needs a fuse box . From looking on the net and on here I’m starting to have my doubts. I have recently caught a bloodied nose from my last American car purchases ( Ford Thunderbird and Pontiac Fiero). Which I don’t wish to repeat either financially or emotionally.

I would appreciate some genuine advice as this car is at the top end of my budget and I would actually like some driving enjoyment rather than months of misery.

Thank You and Stay Safe

Sir, it is best you inspect the car. It could be a knowledge member of the 63 that is close where the vehicle is located. The inspection companies that advertise inspection service are very poor indeed. I bought a good 63 with original engine and transmission and paid more than I should. I bought the car long distance. Truly the car had not been maintained. So, mufflers, radiator, alternator, battery, light switch, and shocks were minimal fix now needs. Be careful. 
You might consider buying a zRiviera from one of the zRiviera members in the Classified section in the Riview magazine.

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Hi There,

               Thanks for the advice Seafoam! Yeah I'm thinking of my heart instead of my head. Your right, those items should be working... he says he has had it for four years so you would think these would be working. I surmise from looking on here the wiper motor is no good and are not available to buy and are also a pain to get to. Also the flashers are probably that cable that breaks..

       Turbinator, thanks for your words. Unfortunately I have a tight budget and its cost prohibitive to import to the UK.... 

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The flasher (I think that we would refer to them as turn signals or turn indicators) could be something as simple as misalignment of the contact points at the base of the steering column. Or it could be a broken cable assembly.  If the car has a tilt wheel, put the turn signal lever in the position (left or right) where the signal doesn't work. Then position the tilt wheel in each of the seven positions and see if the signal doesn't start working. Or it could be a weak ground. Or something as simple as a burnt out bulb. If one side works but the other doesn't, it's note a fuse issue.

 

Windshield wipers should be part of the deal, they don't work, you walk.  Getting to the wiper motor is not a job for the faint of heart. The motor is on the firewall UNDER the inner fender. Remove the hood hinge and work by feel.  Wiper switches can come apart easily.  Is the fuse good?  What else is "niggling."  You'd want a complete list and estimate of what will cost to repair and reduce the purchase price by that amount or pay the asking price AFTER everything is working and the car will pass a safety inspection. From what I hear you say, I do not think the seller is too knowledgeable in the workings of cars.  Can you find a Riviera owner who lives in your area to look at it. Or is there an inspection company who specializes in 60 year old America cars?  Find Edd China and have him look it over.

Edited by RivNut
Grammar checked myself (see edit history)
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And it could be a rust free specimen with a great interior and perfect paint.

 

And the current owner could be selling it for 2500US

 

I'll take a few niggles if the price is right on a good solid car in nice condition in a minute.

 

They all have a niggle or two

 

Niggles. LOL

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If it needs a fuse box, then the windshield is leaking, and it's leaking because of rust-out. Had that problem on mine. Had to replace the whole fuse block with a custom built part. It was not easy.

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And IF the windsheild is leaking the floor on the drivers side is/could be rotted out.  Would need to pull up the rug on both sides to be sure OR stab the flours with a pick/sharp object to see if you can easily poke a hole from the bottom.

ALSO the wiper motor has an access panel in the front fenderwell on the left side. Still not an easy job.

 

Tom T.

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Hi all, thanks for the comments. The gent selling the car as already said " Don't try to knock me down on the price. Its cheap as it is" Thats  £15,500 or $21,607 which at the UK price is cheap and Rivi's are not abundant in the UK. 

From the car collection the gent has cash flow does not appear to be an issue so I'm a little concerned as its the top of my budget with little cash to try to put things right.... although I note parts for both issues are also scarce in the US.

Edd China ??? No thanks LMAO.....

Ill have Ant Anstead.....

 

Thanks Again

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If the owner is willing to discount the price on the things that are not working, then it may make a worthwhile purchase. I approached my seller of a Buick with known costs of items that were missing or not correct with the words “ that we are both aware it is not a perfect car, that X, Y and Z were not correct or missing”

 

I suggested “ that the owner fix could those items and I would pay the asking price or he discount the sale price based on my costs.” He didnt want to fix them. 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

 

Try to have another person go with you who can point out things that you miss. Check everything, lights, horn, heater etc then present your findings. If the owner is fair, they will negotiate.

 

And things like wipers and flashers are usually ground issues and dirty terminals. Ask me how I know!

good luck

Rodney 😀😀😀😀😀

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Thanks for the advice Rodney..... He was adamant he was not going to lower the price regardless ... He dropped the price from £18000 ($25000) over the past few months.

I probably would take a punt at it. Its just the lack of available parts to fix it. 

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25 minutes ago, Bruschi 54 said:

 

I probably would take a punt at it. Its just the lack of available parts to fix it. 

I’m in Australia and face a similar issue. This forum has been a great source for information and parts sourcing both NOS and second hand. They are a very over engineered car, Buick use three brackets where Chevrolet and Ford used one. But they are a nice model and ‘63 is the pick (bias here 😀😀😀😀😀)

 

I bought a “turn key and go 1963” back in 2015 and imported it but still had to do a lot of things to get it ready and reliable! Enjoy and keep posting.

cheers

Rodney 😀😀😀😀😀

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17 hours ago, Bruschi 54 said:

Hi all, thanks for the comments. The gent selling the car as already said " Don't try to knock me down on the price. Its cheap as it is" Thats  £15,500 or $21,607 which at the UK price is cheap and Rivi's are not abundant in the UK. 

From the car collection the gent has cash flow does not appear to be an issue so I'm a little concerned as its the top of my budget with little cash to try to put things right.... although I note parts for both issues are also scarce in the US.

Edd China ??? No thanks LMAO.....

Ill have Ant Anstead.....

 

Thanks Again

Hi

I live in the UK (London) and own a '65 - i'll DM you me my number for a chat. Note I'm not as tall as Ed China but i can shine a light on owning a Riv in the UK.

Kev

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Bruschi 54...are you a New England Patriots fan?  I assume so...Tedy Bruschi wore number 54 and played for the Pats from 1996 to 2008.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Bruschi 54 said:

GO PATS!!! Tedy my all time favourite player, the late Junior Seau is also up there.

I agree with both of your choices!  Junior was number 55.  Tedy did not want his number 54 retired when he retired...Hightower wears it now.

 

Sadly, I'm now a Tampa Bay fan with Brady moving....just sayin'

Edited by dship (see edit history)
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Folks, if I peruse the Riviera over the bank holiday. How difficult is it to get those parts? Did anyone resolve an alternative cable? Is reconditioning the wiper motor the only alternative?

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20 hours ago, moran75 said:

i can shine a light on owning a Riv in the UK.

 

The best so far. 

 

If you previously owned a Thunderbird and a Fiero a very shabby Buick will lead you astray in a minute.

 

I am reminded of a friend who told me about moving from Pittsburgh, Pa to Buffalo, NY during the 1950's. The Buffalo radio station announced "another overcast day". He said it looked pretty nice out to him.

 

Personally I have decades of dreams that I wouldn't trade for 10 minutes of reality.

Bernie

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2 hours ago, Bruschi 54 said:

Folks, if I peruse the Riviera over the bank holiday. How difficult is it to get those parts? Did anyone resolve an alternative cable? Is reconditioning the wiper motor the only alternative?

I’d start with CARS - Old Buick Parts. They have an online catalogue. 
 

is it for sale on line? Post a link so we can take a look - won’t tell a complete story but could get an idea of plot...

 

like you I’m based in UK so I agree we are not blessed with 1st Gen Rivs. So personally I wouldn’t immediately discount car ...positives MAY outweigh negatives after due diligence.

 

In my case I ended up liking stateside and for me worked out very well. Doesn’t for everyone. That’s a subject for another day..

 

look for rust on trunk floor ..it’s gens can suffer there. Trim around rear screen traps water which rusts through into trunk.

 

personally as a starting point I put a lit of weight on how much history the seller knows about the car and his enthusiam/knowledge of the marque. And his general attitude. Shows if he cares about the car and therefore how likely he will have been to maintain it properly. He should at least know if it’s numbers matching. I’m funny like that. 

 

I could waffle on all night. Give me a call if you like. DM’d you yesterday. Where is car? If in South East I could take an objective look for you...I’m very nosey when it comes to Rivs.

 

kev

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13 minutes ago, Bruschi 54 said:

https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1310872

 

Cheers Kev. I hope this link works

Interestingly I had searched and found that listing earlier today...but description immediately differs as the listing I found claims engine had been rebuilt (yours doesn’t ) ...doesn’t fill me with confidence to start with. I’ve attached a screen grab.

 

but if he’s on level he’ll happily clarify and give its history..eg how long has it been in UK, evidence of Californian life etc...

 

9E26540F-2877-480A-A04B-D9BB7CE892C0.png

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The advert has been changed quite a few times over the past few months. Its been advertised for the past few months in Classic American magazine.

He didn't mention the rebuild only the detailing. I must admit IF he had the work done he lists, its concerning he has spent that money and left the wiper and flasher issue unresolved.     

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2 hours ago, moran75 said:

personally as a starting point I put a lit of weight on how much history the seller knows about the car and his enthusiam/knowledge of the marque. And his general attitude. Shows if he cares about the car and therefore how likely he will have been to maintain it properly. He should at least know if it’s numbers matching. I’m funny like that. 

 

 

I put these questions together specifically to get the feeling Moran75 refers to:

 

Car Sale Questions

 

1. Do you own the car and have legal proof?

2 Is the paperwork clear and free of liens, unbranded?

3. How long have you owned the car?

4. Is the car currently licensed and insured?

5. Can it be driven on the road, legally, today?

6 Is the car in storage? If so, how long has it been stored?

7. How many miles did you drive it during the last 12 months?

8. Have you done any major work on the car since you have owned it?

9. What and when was the most recent service or repair?

10. If you decided to keep the car what improvement would you consider important?

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Noticed the warped driver's door card, and the steering column chrome painted black. To me, two more indicators that the windshield is leaking. The chrome will get pits (the reason for the painted chrome) and the door card is pressed cardboard so it absorbs some water. Note the hole at the arm rest near the window switches. I'd want to look at the floors, and even pull the top inside windshield trim off to see what's under it. If it was 3 or 4k cheaper, I wouldn't be that concerned. But at that price, it better be solid metal.

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2 hours ago, Bruschi 54 said:

Thanks for those pointers and questions to ask..... Also looking at the photos. Is that gear lever centre console area correct ?

 

I’m not intimately knowledgeable of interior of a 63 but gear stick (as we call it in UK) def looks all wrong ..seems too long/high and the plastic shroud is def wrong...why is it there and what’s it hiding..def want to look under there.. I’d even go as far to ask question what type gear box is it attached to...is it original/correct replacement or some kind of Frankenstein! 

I know what it’s like to search endlessly for THE car, especially in the UK ..but to me the car is already asking too many questions...especially at the price ...seems like he’s dropped price considerably cause no one wants it and he really wants to get rid of it...

 

id def want to get to bottom of the Californian black plate thing...the car currently has a black plate but it’s a UK plate so that is no evidence...for that claim I’d want to see proof (black plate cars from Californian are potentially big bonus because of the climate) plus receipts for all the work that’s been carried out...people can claim anything but some claims that supposedly add value need to be backed up in my opinion...

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I’m on a roll....One other thing...ask him for a pic of data plate..not only will.this tell you how car looked/what options it had when left factory (if originality is of special interest to you) but perhaps more importantly if his attitude to providing this is negative, such as he doesn’t know where it is, it’s too much like hard work for him to do it or if he takes it as some kind of attack on his credibility - that somehow your checking his claims- then it would def turn me off...that sort request for info is routine in my opinion...

if he does send it then google how to decode it...all interesting stuff anyway

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Yes Kev... I'm getting the feeling he is BS merchant. He says he has Ferrari's and other classics and the Buick has to go as he has lost his storage.....Where are the Ferraris going ? On the road ??

 

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Anytime i see “ rebuilt or overhauled engine” that raises red flags for me . Who did the work? Did the person that did the work have experience with nailheads? A block can be messed up by line boring ( will never get timing right because of loose timing chain) and heads damaged by installing new seats

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2 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:
2 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:
5 hours ago, Bruschi 54 said:

he is BS merchant.

 

I got the B for British. What's the S stand for

 

🤣🤣🤣

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15 hours ago, Bruschi 54 said:

Thanks for those pointers and questions to ask..... Also looking at the photos. Is that gear lever centre console area correct ?

 

It's been serious lengthened for some weird reason. Also, they added a different reverse lockout. The whole shifter cover plate is gone too. I suspect someone modified a old hurst shift to fit the car. They may have had to modify the trans tunnel to fit it. If this was a 6 or 8k car, i'd be more tolerant of it. But at 15k, no way.

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I think everyone here as given me enough information to not to consider the car. Too much wrong before I even look at it. Its just not financially viable for me.

 

Thanks to everyone. A really friendly bunch. Take care and stay safe.

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I would say that unless the car is 100% correct you should pass.  If you lived in the US where it would be easier to have parts shipped to you and you could look at other examples for reference, that would be a different story.

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