When the Buick Riviera debuted in 1963, it was a grand slam felt throughout Detroit − after the success of the 1958 Thunderbird, several manufacturers half-heartedly tried to mimic the personal luxury coupe formula with some success, but none did it as well as Buick. This 1964 Riviera on eBay shows exactly what made the Buick special.
Unlike personal luxury cars like the Oldsmobile Starfire, Pontiac Grand Prix, or even Buick’s own Invicta Wildcat, the Riviera had a body that was shared by no other models, giving it distinction that allowed it to go head-to-head with the Ford Thunderbird. Under Bill Mitchell’s lead, designer Ned Nickles penned the British-inspired personal luxury coupe for Cadillac, but the luxury brand was not interested and suggested to peddle it to Buick. Underneath the Riviera was regular Buick fare, which included a standard 325-horse 401 “Nailhead” with a 340-horse 425 being a later addition.
For 1964, the 425 was made standard, with a 360-horse dual quad option to make things really interesting. General Motors also introduced the Super Turbine 400, which was a huge improvement over the Turbine Drive automatic from the previous year. Otherwise, the Riviera changed in minute details − why change a good thing?
This 1964 Riviera on eBay has been given a cosmetic restoration with deep black paint job with nicely contrasting white/black interior. The suspension has been lowered three inches to give the Riv an “aggressive stance,” and five-spoke Astro Supreme chrome mags complete the picture. Other niceties, stock or otherwise, include three-spoke woodgrain steering wheel, Alpine stereo with trunk-mounted Kicker woofer, and alarm system. At $29,888 BIN, it’s a bit too rich for even a stock Riv, so if this car’s giving you some ideas, it wouldn’t hurt to look around because tens of thousand of Rivieras were built.