HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1965 Buick Riviera

Pick of the Day: 1965 Buick Riviera


Bill Mitchell, born in 1912, was the son of a Buick dealer. From a young age, he demonstrated a keen ability for sketching cars. He first joined the team at General Motors in 1935 and by 1958, he became vice president over all styling at GM. Two of his most famous designs were the 1963 Corvette (designed under Mitchell by Larry Shinoda) and the 1963 Riviera.

The Pick of the Day is a custom 1965 Buick Riviera listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Sterling, Illinois.

“The current owner purchased this car in 2017 and took it straight to Blue Collar Rods for a makeover,” the listing states. That makeover reportedly involved work to the frame, a bare-metal body refinish, shaving of the door handles, and application of a green and silver metallic paint scheme.

The Riviera was a personal luxury car sold by Buick between 1963 and 1999. The Riviera name itself, which is Italian for “coastline,” was first seen in in the early 1950s on long-wheelbase versions of the Roadmaster and Super models. Later, the name was used for Buick and Oldsmobile four-door hardtops. Finally, in 1963 the model became a standalone two-door hardtop on the General Motors E-body platform.

The car has menacing curb appeal with its sweet bright green pinstripes, color-coordinated bumpers, and its gorgeous 18-inch chrome Ridler rims wrapped in low profile Nitto tires,” the listing states. The interior uses bucket seats both front and rear, with generous luxury appointments like a center console. The seller states that it’s all original except for new carpeting and a Bluetooth-enabled audio system.

Power comes from a 401cid (6.6-liter) Nailhead V8 mated to a TH-400 three-speed automatic transmission. “The engine has a nice rumble at idle and sounds just plain nasty ripping through its stainless-steel performance exhaust. The engine bay was spiced up with tons of new chrome, an aluminum radiator, and a color-coordinated air cleaner.” A start-up video has been provided in the listing showing the Nailhead at idle.

“Between the cost of the original car and the extensive makeover, over $50,000 was spent to make this dream a reality. It was never built with the intent of selling it, but health issues force the sale making this car available for less than what it cost to build,” the selling dealer concludes.

Bill Mitchell passed away in 1988, but if he were around, it would be fun to see his reaction to this customized hot-rod Riviera. The selling dealer is asking $37,900 for this Riviera, which includes a scale model, awards received, and a shop manual.

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

Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie grew up in a family of gearheads and enjoys anything to do with automotive and motorsports. He is a contributing editor to Redline Reviews, a YouTube channel with coverage from major auto shows. He also writes for Arizona Driver Magazine and holds leadership positions with a number of car clubs. Tyson has lived in Arizona for 10 years and his current obsession is Japanese cars from the early 1990s which, though hard to believe, are now becoming classics. Tyson can usually be found exploring offbeat and obscure road trip destinations on his blog "Drive to Five," which started as a way to share travel stories and experiences with his now-550,000-mile Acura.


    • 65 Riviera’s come standard with a 401 4bbl, while the 425 4bbl and dual 4 bbl were optional. The 425 2×4 was standard in the Riviera G.S..

  1. This is a body style that I’ve always loved and it would be perfect…. IF the owner had made it more of a road/touring car – ie: put tires to not only go straight, but provide some decent cornering – on all four, just for starters..

  2. Overall this is an amazing restoration. There are basically only 3 ways to do a restoration, (1), all original, (2), resto – mod or (3), low – rider. All three in my opinion are all great. SO – I personally don’t have any complaints with this beautiful car . Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! This one is definitely beholding! Great article and good luck to the new owner.

  3. Not much to say other than i still enjoy going to the do it yourself car wash. Spending about 30 to 45 minutes to get it all nice, and cean then rolling down the window, and drive around my hometown of Sherman TX in my 72 Buick GS, before heading back to my parents home. Did the same routine in College Station, Plano .Tx thenv Round Rock, now Leander Tx. I take my Lexus. RX 350 on on drives around lake Travis.


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