Orange you glad I didn't say banana? Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Buick Riviera represents that marque's original entry into the personal coupe wars. This one is also unexpectedly orange. You need to decide if its condition - and its color- will make its price the apple of your eye.
The name Scirocco is derived from the Greek siroccos, a mediterranean wind that drags dust from the Sahara all the way to Spain, Italy, and even to France. Hardly anyone was going to go anywhere near yesterday's diesel-converted 1980 VW Scirocco at its nearly six grand asking, and when the dust settled it came away with a 70% Crack Pipe loss.
The Scirocco wind might be felt on the French Riviera, but if THAT'S too far to go to get your breeze on, you might very well want to check out driving with the windows down in today's 1964 Buick Riviera. It's been painted a somewhat incongruous - and non-factory - shade of orange, but you know what? I like it.
The Riviera was originally intended to be a budget Cadillac model, perhaps branded as a La Salle as that had once been Caddy's sub-brand. In the early sixties when the Riv was under development GM's top dog had difficulty building enough of its own models to meet demand and demurred the offer of the model line expansion. The Riviera then went to Buick, a marque that at the time was in desperate need of a sales shot in the arm.
This 1964 edition is from that first - and some say (meaning me) best-looking - edition of the Riviera. The '63 and '64 models lack the hidden headlights of the original concept, however those would make a return on this body style's final model year in '65.
Despite its always there lights, these cars are unquestionably one of the most handsome designs ever offered by an American car maker. This one has been slightly modified from its original looks, with door handles shaved off, and the aforementioned orange paint. There's nothing egregiously wrong with what has been done to it, but it does look as though it's being sold while not yet complete. Naughty, naughty.
The ad notes that, along with a slate of mechanical refreshment - new ball joints, bushings, shocks, etc - there's also the need to have part of the floorboard replaced so driver's don't need to pretend they're Fred Flntstone. There's also the note of there being 'very little rust' which might be a red flag.
It is more fully described as a driver/restoration in progress and I guess that's a fair assessment, it's just an odd choice to undertake a renewal of a car while you're still counting on it getting you places. Getting to those places is made possible by a 425 Wildcat V8. The factory claimed that mill to be good for 340-hp (the Super Wildcat had 360) and 465 lb-ft of torque. That would move the car's two-tons to sixty in under 8 seconds, pretty good for 1964.
The interior here looks decent, although the front buckets are shrouded in mystery - never a good sign - and there's some tears in the rear seat upholstery. At least all the trim seems to be in place, which is a plus as that would be a bear to try and round up.
At $8,000, this Riviera is cheaper than a trip to the real Riviera, but of course with the only opportunity for toplessness being your own (sad face). What do you think about that price for this classic Buick in nothing-rhymes-with-it orange? Is that a good deal? Or, is that too much for a work in progress?
H/T to Iwswonderofwonders for the hookup!
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