HomePick of the DayCoastal cruiser in America’s heartland

Coastal cruiser in America’s heartland


For the 1963 model year, the Buick division of General Motors launched its concept for a personal luxury car with sporty pretensions (AKA, its competitor for Ford’s Thunderbird). The car was a sharp-edged coupe with a V8 engine and bucket seats front and rear. It was named for the French resort area known as the Riviera.

The Pick of the Day is a 1964 Buick Riviera in Teal Mist Blue. The car was ordered new for the wife of a Kansas City Buick dealer but soon was sold to a bachelor engineer working for an off-shore oil-drilling company in the Gulf Coast.  

Riviera, Coastal cruiser in America’s heartland, ClassicCars.com Journal

The engineer returned to Kansas City when he retired and kept the Riv among his collection of Corvettes and other cars until he sold it in 2006, according to the advertisement for the car on ClassicCars.com. It was soon thereafter that the car was purchased by the private seller now offering the car to a new owner.

Remember, the car was in long-term ownership by an engineer and the seller notes, “Meticulous records were kept since new; even original spark plugs were cataloged and boxed, noting any wear. 

“Original dash tags, FM radio instructions and Owner’s Manual are still with the car. 

“The Riviera has never been ‘restored’ but maintained and carefully updated where seen appropriate. Engine is original to car being rebuilt once in the 70’s and again in 2009 to stock specs. Car is solid and rust free, drives fantastic and is visually stunning. Driven regularly in season and always garage kept.  

“This is basically an original car. The only variations being ‘Skylark’ style wheels, 2 (-inch) lowered coil springs, an upgraded sound system and metalflake paint added in the roof section. 

“To make it ‘factory correct’ is pretty straight forward as the original sound system is still installed — complete and operable (with reverb for that weird auditorium feel). The painted roof section has defined edges that allow a relative easy re-spray match to original. The custom roof panel is a close color match to body and often goes unnoticed but is really period cool. 

“Stock height coil springs are an easy switch and readily available. The ‘Skylark’ style wires are period correct (like the painted roof section) but original steel wheels and hubcaps come with the car if desired. Nothing has been altered to change the originality of the vehicle.”

Riviera, Coastal cruiser in America’s heartland, ClassicCars.com Journal

The car is powered by a 425cid “Nail Head” V8 linked to a Turbo 400 automatic transmission. The advertisement offers a long list of features and notes 150,823 miles on the odometer. 

The car is located in Urbandale, Iowa, and is being offered for $31,500.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. When I was in my early twenties I worked in a Buick garage and would look out the window at the new Riviera’s that was in the mid-60s I’m 73 now and this brings back memories and a desire to consider the possibility of anyone. It’s just beautiful is it for sale.


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