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Let's see those Rivi's

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Don't you just love that Zaino shine?! I am a recent convert to Zaino and don't think I would use any other product on a show car or any other car/truck for that matter!

Love the Rivies here... maybe this could be a post it!

Still looking for the 1970 model year and we could always use late 70 models also!

Keep em' coming!!!

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

No pics yet, but just bought my first Riv 3 weeks ago. I have always been a 55-57 Chevy guy, but while looking at a 55 the other day, this 63 Riv caught my eye. He has had it in the corner of his shop since 83 going to restore it and just didn't get to it yet. I made an offer and the next thing I know I am loading a Riviera on my trailer instead of the Bel Air I came to see. Runs great now, and gets new exhaust tomorrow. Plans call for a mild lowering, wheels and then new paint. Then lots of cruising.

I have learned a lot about my car just reading this forum. I know I have a lot more to learn, and know where to come to find the answers to my questions. Thanks,guys.

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  • 1 year later...

I now have a few pictures and have been working on it for a while. Air bags, wheels, and billet grille. Just got the headlights re-installed over Thanksgiving. Need to get some front turnsignals in now. May use 65s, but haven't decided yet. Next chore is to replace the heater core and then it is off to the paint shop.


Steve Owens

Oklahoma City

63 lo and slo


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Here's the black 72 I recently bought here in the UK.


Needs a bit of work.. Mainly a new paint job, the engine needs a good scrubbing and the engine mounts, fuel lines and trailing arms need replacing.

I love it though smile.gif

Here's the engine, or "Dusty" as I call it at the moment.


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Rob... Nice paint work! I also like how you filled the wheel wells up in the back with those tires and wheels. Looks mean!

Chopper... Welcome and thanks for the picture! Love the boattail! Be careful driving on those narrow UK roads!

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Dan and Tex. Nice cars!

Chucks: Yes.. It can be quite entertaining on the narrow roads when a bus is coming. Parking can be quite a spectator sport too. Nobody is quite sure what to make of the noise, size and look of the Riv as it's crusiing about.

I use it as a daily driver as I only live a mile from work so it doesn't cost much to run.

Cheap classic insurance ($154 per annum fully comp with unlimited mileage) and road tax exempt (£400 a year normally over here for an engine that big)! No depreciation too which is cool smile.gif

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The passenger side mirror is original and is identical to the drivers side with inside adjustment. May have been dealer installed. Unfortunately the rearward mounting location on my early build car make it totally useless.

The AC setup is Vintage Air, here is that story reprinted from an earlier post:

Ed Raner, Bill Stoneberg and others have expressed interest in the Vintage Air aftermarket A/C conversion I did on my 63 so I wanted to share some of the details. BEWARE – LONG POST. My car had factory air but when I got it nothing worked. I looked into rebuilding the stock system and even bought a few new parts but the more I looked at it the scarier it got. I went to see a full custom Riv with a Vintage air system and really liked the way it cleaned up the junk under the hood so I decided to go for it.

Get the latest Vintage Air catalog and look in the back for their dealer’s list. If you can, buy the system from a local dealer as they can be very helpful. I bought mine from Sachse Hot Rod Shop, not too far from my house. I bought the largest universal kit, the Gen II Super unit with heat and defrost, 61005-VUZ-A. I used the 49200 rotary controls because at the time I planned to hide them. The condenser was the 03263-VUC 14" by 24" horizontal, compressor was a 04808 VUA Sanden SD-508, and I used a trinary safety switch 11076-VUS. These numbers may be different now, I bought the system more than two years ago. All these conversion units are recirculate only, they do not mix outside air like the stock system. This makes them more efficient at cooling than stock. The entire AC, heat and defrost system is built into the under dash unit including electric servomotor controls, no more cables or vacuum lines! The only parts left under the hood are the compressor, condenser, and dryer.

The first step is to strip out the entire stock system plus the radiator and grille. This took me awhile because I wanted to preserve all the old parts. I always planned for the conversion to be as reversible as possible, just in case a later owner may want to go back to stock. You will also need to remove the console, dash pad, lower passenger side dash, passenger seat, and front passenger carpet. With all this stuff out the main unit just squeezes up behind the dash but it fits well and the defroster outlets line up perfectly. I trial installed everything over the grungy existing conditions so I could drill and file as needed, then took it all apart and cleaned / painted the engine compartment. The underhood stuff was fairly easy but the dash unit needed to be trial fit a few times.

The condenser replaces the original but is much thinner and the outlets are located on the end rather than the top. Be sure to trial fit with fittings in place to be sure they will clear the radiator support. I used their universal brackets but had to fabricate one mounting point, get it as close to the radiator as possible. The compressor is much shorter than the A6 but about the same diameter, I was able to use the stock front mount and tubular support with a little filing and some spacer washers and I fabricated a rear bracket. Stock size belts work fine. Because of my reversibility rule I fabricated bolt-on covers for the openings in the dash with galvanized steel and painted them body color. I also used the VA aluminum bulkhead connector 34218-VUQ for the lines and mounted it in one of my patch panels. Remember to caulk everything including unused holes for fume control and cover the inner firewall with new insulation / sound deadener, I used a pad with aluminum on both sides from Sachse. You will also need a good fan shroud correctly located, my original was broken so I bought the repro from CARS plus added some old weatherstripping around the edges to maximize the intake of outside air by the fan. If you are converting a non-AC car you may need to do other updates to the cooling system.

Once all the components are mounted you need to plan your refrigerant and heater hose layout. This is probably the most time consuming part of the job. Start with the refrigerant lines and follow the instructions. You will have to create some holes in the radiator support, a Greenlee electrician’s knockout punch set works wonders. You will quickly find that the fittings included in the universal kit will not be sufficient. This is the first advantage of a local dealer, they let me exchange the duds for the fittings I actually needed. You need to install all the fittings, cut the hoses to fit, and mark them to be sure they stay lined up. Second advantage of a local dealer, they crimped all my fittings at no additional charge. You also need to fit your heater hoses at the same time to be sure it all fits under the dash. You will lose your glove box, it gets very crowded in that area. Buy top quality heater hose as it will be very hard to get at once you reassemble the dash.

After all the hoses are in you will do the wiring. You have a main feed with circuit breaker from the starter relay, an ignition-on tap into the fuse box, and a single wire to the compressor, all the rest is new harnesses including relays with easy to follow instructions. At this point the system is ready to charge, third advantage of a local dealer / installer. I had them charge the system and leak check it, they said this type of unit charges differently than most OEM and they had the experience of having done many installs. Its best to have this done before you button up the dash so they can access everything in case there are leaks.

After the system is charged and working its time to reassemble everything. I reused all the OEM air outlets, the two outboard ones were connected by just pushing the new duct hose inside the OEM hose. For the center vent I bought a VA outlet 63016-VUL and removed the rear hose adapters, which I attached to the back of the OEM outlet with silicone. These were the most difficult to attach because the ducts had to snake around a number of obstacles but it does work. The biggest problem I had was with the control panel. My original idea of hiding the rotary controls behind the ashtray door did not work and I agonized over cutting the console panel to the point that I drove the car for almost a year with wires hanging out and no console. I finally bit the bullet and switched over to the diecast aluminum slide lever control panel 49110SHQ. This is a much nicer setup that is backlit and looks fairly stock. I did have to cut the diecast panel on my 63 but on 64 and 65 this unit could drop into the existing control location with much less disruption. Once I made this decision I was able to finish everything. The unit has operated trouble-free for two years and cools the car very well in our Texas heat. The blower sound at low speed is a little noisier than stock but not objectionable. The heat and defrost work well and you can blend in a little AC for dehumidification.

Well, that’s the story, sorry for the very long post. If anyone would like some photos of the install send me a PM with your direct e-mail.

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Very Cool info Tex. I have mounted a drivers remote mirror on my passengers side and it is useless as well as the wing window pillar blocks any real view of it and I think the dealer likely did what I did which was make a template off of the drivers door and drill the door skin in the same spot then drill the door panel for the remote joystick using a simular template. I just use mine for the passenger to have a view to check the lane for me if I'm on the highway.

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Ok...so here's my '67 black beauty that has never seen another buick since it's day of production :-(

Maybe I'll ship her back to the states one day and drive around for a month to show her where she came from...:-)




and HERE

Can someone pleeease tell me which wheelsize will definitely fit the drumbrakes in the back? (backspace etc...)

It's quite hard to get such information in Germany...:-)

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My 1963 Riviera acquired this August from Marty Mawacke in Kenmosha WI - Silver with Black Cloth/Vinyl interior. Engine only pic at this time. (attached and I hope it works)

I've been amazed with the cleaning power of POR's Marine Clean. I cleaned up the engine compartment and masked and painted some areas. I also polished some of the brass and steel. What amazed me most was that the wires have retained their color after 46 years. I found a newer used Carter AFB that is currently on the car.

Current projects include conversion to a dual MC, new front brake lines, wheel cylinders and shoes as well as new rear coils and shock for all :-> Thanks to Ed Raner and Jim Cannon for tons of advise and tips.

I've also cleaned the under belly and applied POR-15 from the front wheels back. Nasty job but there was a lot of surface oxidation I wanted to halt.

She should be road ready again by March.

If you know Marty, this was his baby since it was 2 years old. I don't think he really wanted to sell it yet but did so. I will be it's steward for the next decade or three.

Regards, Dalton in Kansas City.


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