HomeAutoHunterAutoHunter Spotlight: 1965 Buick Riviera

AutoHunter Spotlight: 1965 Buick Riviera

The 1965 Buick Riviera is an American GT car


Featured on AutoHunter, the online auction platform driven by ClassicCars.com, is this 1965 Buick Riviera

I will say from the start that I am more of a European car guy, and the few American cars I like (Camaro, Mustang, Cougar, Challenger, AMX, Corvette) all lean towards the more sport or GT segment. These are all cars I have either owned or have a lot of time behind the wheel with. It’s not that I don’t like other American cars, it just isn’t where my interests lie.

Saying that, though, there is an American car I love, have driven quite a bit, and almost bought a number of times: the first generation Buick Riviera.

The Buick Riviera was build to compete with the second generation Ford Thunderbird, the car that created a new category of cars here in the U.S. The American cars in this category are often called Personal Luxury cars, but if these were European cars they would likely have been categorized as grand touring cars, with the finest and most exclusive ones labeled as Gentleman’s Express cars.

What people mean when they label a car as a “Gentleman’s Express” is that it is a very stylish car that was built for two people to travel on long distances at high speed in comfort. These cars are always subtly elegant and offer the best of what was available as far as materials and quality of build, often incorporating features that make them stand out from ordinary cars.

I maintain that the first generation Riviera is a true Gentleman’s Express in that not only does it benefit from a striking exterior design (just look at the cool hidden headlights and Coke bottle styling going on here), it also has a interior that for the time was the very definition of luxury.

The 1965 Riviera offered here has been with its current owner for 23 years and was restored in 2004, after which it’s remained in heated storage. It is in Pearl White paint over a white vinyl interior and powered by a 401cid Nailhead V8 backed by a three-speed automatic transmission, both of which have fewer than 2,000 miles since being rebuilt.

Features on this Riviera include power steering and brakes, factory air conditioning, an AM/FM stereo, a tilt steering column, wood interior trim, a wood-rimmed steering wheel, and power windows.

The car currently rides on a set of aftermarket chrome 15-inch Cragar Keystone Klassic wheels wrapped in 225/70R15 Republic Enterprise whitewall radial tires.

Consider that this car was restored 19 years ago and look at the overall condition of the car. The interior and exterior look to be in great condition. The engine compartment also looks good with what I would consider normal wear for a 20 year old restoration. While no longer in show winning condition, this looks to be an excellent driver car that is ready to be enjoyed.

So if I found myself the wining bidder for this Riviera, the first thing I would do would be to load it up with my clothes and gear for Monterey Car Week, have a friend fly out to Connecticut and drive it out west. I would likely be the only person at car week with a Riviera and would enjoy using it there. Basically, I would use it for what it was built for.

The auction for this 1965 Buick Riviera ends on Wednesday, July 19, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. (PDT)

Visit the AutoHunter listing for more information and photo gallery

Andy Reid
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.


  1. Nice car indeed. Would like to see what the color looks like in person, the pictures look more like a beige or even light gold than pearl white to me, neither of which I’m real big on.

  2. I have a 1964 Rivera which will be going on auto hunters in August some time red with a black gut a beautiful solid car I’ve owned it for 20 years hate to let it go

  3. I remember when I was a teenager. One of my dad’s sergeants father passed and he inherited a 64 or 65 Buick Riviera GS. This car was Stunning, it had a 425 nailhead, Dual carburetors and and it was a four speed. Some special model It was black with gold flakes and it had a 24 karat gold placard on the passenger side dash. It was the owner’s nand what Serial number it was. I understand that only made five hundred of those. The Sargent tried to sell it to my dad, we’re talking about the 70s now, My dad told the gentleman that he did not want that gas hog. The guy only wanted $500 for the car. Go figure rite lol.


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