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Dundee
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Hi out there in Riviera land. I have just signed to the aaca forum and have been reading quite a lot of stuff over the weeks. I am down under and accustomed to Aussie muscle and American usuals like mustangs, cougars most of which I have lost my emotion for. It was about 18 months ago when I got just a glimpse of a 63 Riviera and since then have been a bit obsesses with them. At the time I didn't take much notice of what was under the sheet in that shed but went of and searched the hell out of them online a thought the 63-65 was a possible player for me if I could find 1. The vehicle I refer to has been off the road since 1980 and when the current owner bought it it had been RH converted but with a burnt valve needed attention. Unfortunately the owner then decided to embark on his own full restoration which was great but as circumstances change and time slips away he never got the vehicle back together. Not withstanding I need to sell another little classic to fund any new adventure I have expressed my interest in the vehicle which is sort of the good, bad and ugly barn find! If your a bloke I don't have to explain how hard it can be to admit defeat and let go of some things in life even though they are no longer in keeping of where you are at..My last visit to his property he seemed a little more willing to consider a sale though progress is slow but I did get a better look at what was on offer and for me with perhaps average mechanical knowledge and ability I realised I would not take this task on alone. In a nut shell a rolling chassis and everything else out and scattered around the shed. The only reason I pursued from there was my beloved half brother and nephew have a restoration business specialising in Ford GT and Mustangs to concourse level. www.rodneyplowmanrestorations.com.au 

Given the owners renewed willingness my brother flew across the country and we went to see what was on offer especially with the conversion and assess the parts situation to some extent to try and figure what we are up against. Still very daunting but I was prepared to have a crack at the right price and off course often 2 different opinions to which I hit him with a number and there is a lot to consider like shipping (3000 AUD each way) parts needed and if available?? and the fact that the works done to body, engine and trans already 20-30 years old so could be lots of unknowns.. I guess what I am trying to hear some feedback on what the 63 budget should be in an above average condition once put back together. Speaking in AUD terms I was thinking $65,000 by the end with not a whole lot to go by here and definitely not in RHD. There is 1 LHD on offer for around that money but it has been for some time and the later series stuff seems to have minimal interest here also..Notwithstanding there may be a lot more to discuss with the forum lets see where it goes. Some pics attached and I am not a social media, forum guy generally so go easy...

Cheers Ron

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Hi Ron,

where are you located?

There are many 1st generation Rivieras Down Under although not that many from ‘63 (I have one). You will benefit from becoming a member in ROA (in USA and that also covers Australia) which is also strong here including an Australian version of the magazine. ROA membership includes a list of owners and cars in Australia. There are also Buick clubs in most if not every state but I guess you knew that.

there are ‘63s for sale from time to time and I don’t think they have been near $65k Australian.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

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Cool love to see a photo of your 63 for inspiration.. I am mid north coast NSW.

definitely a hit of an unknown I am dealing with but if I get the project done by the bro we agree it will be the beast we know which is likely better than buying the unknown. Budget always a restrictive beast.

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1 hour ago, Dundee said:

Cool love to see a photo of your 63 for inspiration.. I am mid north coast NSW.

definitely a hit of an unknown I am dealing with but if I get the project done by the bro we agree it will be the beast we know which is likely better than buying the unknown. Budget always a restrictive beast.

Here is one picture. And no, I haven’t gone that far. Yet,…

 

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On my iPad there is an arrow on the right that you can click on to get to the picture, it is a link to something I put up before in the forum. It used to come out as a picture direct before, maybe I did something wrong or they have changed the site again. I have uploaded another here.

BB0A5A65-EA5F-49DE-ACBC-F5E9C632FC9E.png

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Welcome Dundee, a 63 Riv is a grail car of sorts. The few pics look like a very good start for a project but buying anything that blown apart is a major decision. Inspect that body and frame to be sure it is rust free, then start looking for all the rest with some expert help. I look forward to seeing your progress.

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Ron, the paint appears good and in my opinion, a deciding factor. Also, the rear axle is clean and is indicative of a restoration being on the right track. However, the other major undertakings are the powertrain and interior. Cost to restore those? The interior will throw a few surprises and take much longer than anticipated if you want it done correctly, even though the headliner is in.

My Riv was in this state when in 2016, re-started as a Father & Son project left idle since 1993. Got it on-the-road in November 2020 after doing most everything myself (slower).

As for budget, what is a completed 1st Gen Riviera worth? They have been creeping up in value.

This project is definitely worth completing if no major rust.

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Again using my brothers eyes a couple weeks back we are of the opinion the body is good other than rust on bonnet (hood) where the under frame is. Diff looks pretty but not overhauled engine and trans done but no documentation and time warrants opening them up again. Was originally a DD car which would have been nice now the unknown blue with a grey upholstery which so far rats have only eaten top off 1 button otherwise looks good. Main problem is inside door and rear panels missing. Apparently upholsterer lost them and I have been to them and remember job but can’t remember where they went back to owner or what but sure they don’t have them. They have done work on my 60’s lounge and basically in next street so I take it as final. Any help thoughts there as we are unsure if there is metal fabrication involved in those linings or what? The rest is a mixed bag of good, clean up or throwaway and start again mechano set 😵💫

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Your local ROA Regional magazine will have a classified section in which you might find a parts/donor car for those missing pieces or someone who has those particular pieces.
 

Down under you’d want to contact the Australian ROA Coordinator: Tom Kunek, 0419 658 500. riv@netspace.net.au.  He can give you tons of information on all of the W’s.

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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