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HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1963 Buick Riviera, rare coastline cruiser

Pick of the Day: 1963 Buick Riviera, rare coastline cruiser

The luxury muscle car has a powerful V8 and very low mileage

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The Pick of the Day is a 1963 Buick Riviera that “will instantaneously transport you back to the classic, original, perfection that was the groundbreaking design, form and engineering of the 1963 Riviera,” according to the Marina Del Rey, California, private seller advertising the car on ClassicCars.com.

“Riviera is a state of mind, inspired by the winding glamour and effortless cruising of the European, captured here in an iconically American fashion,” the seller continues.

The odometer shows only 40,790 miles, which according to the seller, are original to the car.

“It has lived its entire life within a 40-mile stretch of the California Riviera from San Pedro to Marina Del Rey,” the seller states.

1963 Buick Riviera

Buick debuted the Riviera in October 1962 as GM’s “personally luxury car” created to compete with the Ford Thunderbird. Its powerful V8 engine, luxury features and “knife-edge” styling – penned by GM stylist Ned Nickle under the legendary GM design director Bill Mitchell – made the Riviera a huge hit.

1963 Buick Riviera engine

This is the “rare 1963 – 401 cu in, 7-liter, 445 Wildcat Nailhead version, with 2-speed auto turbine transmission,” the seller notes.

“The 445 V8 is especially rare in the 1963 model year in which it was introduced,” the seller adds. “With only 2,601 produced of 40,000 total Riviera units, adding to the desirability and collectability of the ’63.”

The seller notes the Riviera has “undergone a multi-year, fully documented $31k, complete mechanical restoration” performed over 3 years.  

The restoration consisted of an engine rebuild, including carburetor and electrical, a transmission rebuilt with an original GM kit, replaced shocks, tires, hoses and suspension, and a dual-hydraulic-system upgrade for the brakes, the ad states.

1963 Buick Riviera interior

Finished in its original Bronze Mist paint over a white leather interior, this vehicle is a “spectacular example and a true expression of the original Riviera,” the seller says.

The asking price is $34,900.

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

Hagerty
Racheal Colbert
An experienced writer and editor, Racheal brings her enthusiasm for collector cars to her role as the Content Manager of the Collector Car Network. Former Content Writer and Marketing Manager in the tech and publishing industry, Racheal brings a fresh perspective to the Journal and the automotive world.

16 COMMENTS

  1. The ‘63 Riviera came with a 401 cu in called a Wildcat 445 (torque) The 425 cu in eng. was introduced for the ‘64 model yr. it was called a Wildcat 465. The air cleaner on this auto has a 445 on it, which means it’s a 401 not 425 cu in. If the decal is wrong and is actually a 425ci then it is not the original engine for this car.

    • An option for 1963 was a 425 cid engine, 340 hp. Wildcat 465 ( being the torque ) . But the air cleaner should say this. So you are correct : either a wrong air cleaner to a 425 engine, or the correct cleaner and the engine is a 401 cid

  2. Agree with Ron Drew. I own an original 1963 Riviera with the 445 Wildcat, it is 401 cu in engine. Drive train has never been touched. The 425 cu in engine came in ’64 and was a 465 Wildcat.

  3. Right …. or somehow the wrong decal got on the air cleaner.. Ms Colbert needs to get this sorted out…. otherwise this Rivi is misrepresented. Restoration costs sound very high. How does one say “almost upside down”

  4. I have a 64 Riviera, and the comments are absolutely correct. In 63 only a 401 was offered, in 64 the 425 became an option. The 401 was offered in single 4 bbl or two 4 bbl carburetor configuration. The 425 had the same choices. Mine is the 425 single 4 bbl, 465 lbs/Ft torque, 340 hp. I have a/c electric seat and windows, tilt wheel. These are very nice cars with tire burning power an smooth ride.
    God bless America

    • I believe the 425 cid was an option for 1963, the 401 being standard. In 1964 the 425 was the standard engine, with the torque being 465 and hp at 340

      • You are quite correct thr 425ci was available in ’63. Specs are:
        6970 cm3 / 425.3 cui, advertised power: 253.5 kW / 340 hp / 345 PS ( SAE gross ), torque: 631 Nm / 465 lb-ft.
        Ref: [https://www.automobile-catalog.com/make/buick/riviera_1gen/riviera_1gen/1963.html]

  5. Of they spent over 30k in mechanical ” restoration” they got ripped off. Love the Riverias had a 73 bought it from my Grandma for $750 back in 1987. At the same time I had a 71 Cutlass SX w a 455. Having 2 cars with 455s was indeed rough on my 17 year old pocket. But it was worth it for my ego.

  6. Just a little further clarification – The chief designer of the 1963 Riv was Ned NICKLES – one of GM’s most talented designers. He was most influential on Buick design post- WWII. Nickles was directly responsible for Buick Venti-ports as well as the sweep spear design elements which came to be so closely identified with Buick. The design for the Riviera was originally meant as a revival for the Cadillac LaSalle. Indeed the original proposal from GM Design Staff was tagged, “laSalle II”. The two narrow grilles on both sides of the leading edges of the front quarters were meant to recreate the tall, narrow prow of the most memorable LaSalle’s from the late 1930’s and early 1940’s – just updated for the 1960’s. Cadillac was selling everything they could build at the time and was absolutely not interested. Mitchell shopped the design amongst the other GM divisions and Buick won the competition to produce one of the most beautiful production cars ever built in the eyes of many. God bless America, indeed.

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