Gorgeous California Riv, disc brakes, factory A/C, cloth interior, VERY NICE!
- Make: Buick
- Model: Riviera
- SubModel: Riviera
- Type: Coupe
- Year: 1963
- Mileage: 30,506
- VIN: 7J1103370
- Color: Blue
- Number of cylinders: 8
- Power options: Air Conditioning
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Transmission: Automatic
- Interior color: Black
- Vehicle Title: Clear Want to buy? Contact seller!
1963 Buick Riviera RivieraVehicle The short version of this 1963 Buick Riviera is that it's a super-clean California car with factory A/C and some mild appearance upgrades that give it awesome presence. If not for a certain split-window Corvette a very good argument could be made that this was the most spectacular car built in 1963 and today the design is holding up beautifully with chiseled good looks that look like nothing else on the road. And while these cars were always second-class citizens in the collector car world the market has recently discovered how gorgeous they are to look at and how wonderful they are to drive. As a result prices are inching up steadily and finding a good solid original car is getting more challenging all the time. Quite honestly if this one doesn't sell I’m going to keep it for myself.
The cowl tag says this one was originally code H Glacier Blue which was very light and icy but today it's a lot closer to perhaps code F Marlin Blue with just a touch of gunmetal gray mixed in. So it's not totally authentic but it looks spectacular in every way. Hailing from California this super straight Riv wears the paint extremely well with ripple-free bodywork good gaps and crisp character lines that make the most of Bill Mitchell's greatest effort. Finish quality is very good certainly in line with the very reasonable price tag and as far as we can tell that's all original sheetmetal on the car. The doors open and close easily without a big slam and gaps are good all around. The cool creases on the roof are almost sharp enough to give you a paper cut and if you sight down the sides of the car you'll find that someone invested a lot of time in blocking the bodywork before a drop of paint was sprayed. The chrome is probably original and in very good condition but there are a few light signs of age and the dime-sized plastic Riviera emblem on the nose is pretty deteriorated but otherwise it presents quite well. Like I said I like this one enough to make it a permanent part of my personal collection.
I'm inclined to believe that most of the code 787 black cloth and vinyl interior is original and holding up rather well. The funky brocade cloth inserts are pure 1960s cool and aside from the passenger's front seat back which is a slightly different color (a little more gray) it appears to be factory-original stuff. It shows some minor signs of use and age but the preservation is quite impressive overall. Seat belts have been fitted and the carpets may have been replaced but there's no question that the door panels and dash are original. And speaking of the dash it's a beautiful combination of black camera-case textured surfaces and brushed metal a very period look that seems upscale and elegant to us today. The two big round dials for the driver include a speedometer (with speed alert) and warning lights for the secondary functions. You'll note that this car has factory A/C which has been recently serviced and filled with R134a refrigerant so it'll be easy to recharge should it be necessary in the future. The original AM/FM radio still lives up high in the dash and the ventilation controls are neat aircraft-type sliders under the dash hood. Demerits include a thumb-sized hole in the headliner above the passenger front window and a rather cheesy homemade shift quadrant indicator in the console that has gotten wet (it actually looks like it was made on an inkjet printer) and of course the clock doesn't work. On the other hand the gauges are bright and crisp the chrome and trim is excellent and there are Buick floor mats keeping it protected. The trunk is upholstered in gray carpet which looks fantastic even if it's not totally correct and there's a full-sized spare and jack assembly just in case.
If you haven't experienced the power of a Nailhead V8 this is a great opportunity. Actually I should say it's torque that you'll be experiencing and this big luxury coupe moves like a muscle car thanks to the robust 401 cubic inch Buick V8. Not shared with any other division this smooth powerplant is the ideal choice for the Riviera and with a few modest upgrades it's a show piece as much as a driving force. Obviously it's dressed for show with a chrome air cleaner finned valve covers and matching valley cover as well as correct corporate Turquoise paint on the block itself. You can see evidence of both clean California living as well as recent service work in the master cylinder A/C system and alternator and the overall condition is quite impressive. Yes it has been driven but a weekend spent really scrubbing the little nooks and crannies would make this a show-worthy engine bay. It also runs superbly starting with a surprisingly robust bark from the custom Flowmaster dual exhaust system and there are no disappointments on the road where its torque curve is as wide and flat as Death Valley.
The original Turbine Drive transmission was a descendant of the Dynaflow but when it was time for repairs it was instead replaced with a more familiar TH350 3-speed automatic which is responsive and crisp-shifting and a lot easier for which to find parts and service. Tallish 3.23 gears in back make it a fantastic highway cruiser that feels like it could run forever without getting tired. Smooth road manners powerful brakes with upgraded front discs and a well-sorted suspension give this car the feel of a much more contemporary machine. The 16-inch polished American Racing wheels are a dramatic statement that works really well (I wouldn't change a thing!) and wear tall 235/60/16 front and 255/65/16 rear Goodyear radials that fill the fenders properly.
Early Rivieras are not going to get more affordable and if I had to pick five cars that were going to be worth more in five years than they are today this car would be on that list. Great colors smart upgrades and a killer look all add up to a first-rate hobby car at a price that just can't be beat.