32k Original Miles: 1957 Buick Special Riviera

I don’t know an enthusiast that doesn’t respect authenticity. That doesn’t mean that, in their eyes, a classic car needs to be 100% original. However, most will accept a vehicle as long as the seller doesn’t present it as something it clearly isn’t. That doesn’t appear to be the case with this 1957 Buick Special Riviera because evidence suggests it is an unrestored survivor with 32,000 miles on the clock. It presents beautifully and will be a guaranteed head-turner for its new owner. The Buick is listed here on eBay in Cleveland, Ohio. It comes with a BIN of $47,900, although interested parties could make an offer. We always appreciate input from our readers, meaning I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Larry D for spotting this beauty.

The seller doesn’t refer to this Buick as a Riviera in their listing, but decoding the Tag confirms it is. The company only offered the Special Riviera in a four-door hardtop, and although it features fins that were a common sight during that period, they aren’t as excessive as those seen on other makes. Its presentation is excellent in a combination of Antique Ivory and Garnet Red. The seller indicates the paint is original, and if true, its condition is impressive. There are no significant chips or scratches, and it covers panels with no bumps or bruises. Cars from this era developed a reputation for rust, with some showing problems only a year after rolling off the production line. This Buick avoided those hassles. With clean panels and the underside showing no floor or frame problems, it could be rightfully classed as rust-free. The original trim, including the damage-prone hubcaps, sparkles under the sun, while the glass looks flawless.

Powering this Buick is a 364ci V8 that sends 250hp to the rear wheels via a two-speed Dynaflow transmission. The Dynaflow was part of the company’s arsenal from 1947 until 1963. Although it was one of the smoothest automatics in existence during this period, its characteristics made cars equipped with this option notably slower than those featuring a manual unit. With that transmission and a curb weight of 4,210 lbs, the ¼-mile ET of 18.3 seconds. More impressive was the Riviera’s ability to accelerate smoothly and seamlessly from a standstill to a top speed of 115mph. This Buick also features power assistance for the steering and brakes to provide an effortless driving experience. The seller claims the car has a genuine 32,000 miles on the clock. They don’t mention verifying evidence, but the overall presentation and condition make the claim seem plausible. The listing paints a positive picture of this Riviera’s health, courtesy of a recent engine, transmission, and rear-end rebuild. The V8 roars into life at the first turn of the key, with the transmission and brakes functioning flawlessly. It is a turnkey classic awaiting a new owner.

The positive vibes continue when we examine this Riviera’s interior. The factory Rust cloth and Ivory Cordaveen seats look flawless. This is understandable, considering they have spent their life protected under a set of clear plastic covers the seller includes in the deal. The remaining upholstery, dash, pad, and carpet, are equally impressive. The lack of visible wear on the wheel seems to support the mileage claim, with the car free from aftermarket additions and retaining its factory AM radio and clock.

This 1957 Buick Special Riviera is a stunning car with all the hallmarks of an original survivor. It seems to need nothing and would suit someone seeking a turnkey classic. The BIN figure isn’t pocket change, raising the question of whether the price is justified. If you believe Hagerty and NADA, they give a resounding “no” as their answer. However, recent sales results contradict their view, suggesting this Buick is worth the money. Whether the seller achieves it is a great unknown, but you must wonder whether one of the fifteen people watching the listing might consider making an offer. It is possible, meaning somebody could drive home behind the wheel of a marvelous survivor.

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Now, stop me if you heard this one(teeny super little guy) Remember the story of the old lady in the N.Wis. parking lot years ago? This, practically to the T, was that car. I’d say, late 70’s, I hung around in N.Wis. a lot, and on a trip to the store, friend gets out, I stayed in the truck. He comes back 2 seconds later, “Howard, you gotta see this”. There was this car,, I don’t recall the Riviera part, but in about the same condition, an old lady barely had the window open, “can you help me? she quietly asked? Sure, we, open the hood, gas all over, the engine looked just like this, except, it had the original tar top battery. We took the air cleaner off, held the choke open, fired right up. She thanked us, I tried to see the mileage, and appeared to be 19,000 something, plastic still on the seats. I always wondered what happened to that car. I suppose it could have made it to Ohio, but ’57 was a banner year for Buick, she wasn’t the only one, I’m sure.

    Like 16
    • Will Fox

      Howard, I myself had a similar experience in about `78, when I was just entering my senior year of HS. At a WOOLCO store lot, a lady in her 70’s asked for help starting her prestine `54 Olds 98 4dr. sedan with FACTORY AC. she has stopped to shop and couldn’t start the car. I was drooling over her two-tone blue/white sedan the whole time I fiddled with the choke to start it. I was not successful, and a guy my Dad’s age came over to help–he knew more than I did and got it running. When she drove away, we both stood wide-eyed at the originality of that car which was then nearly 25 years old! Wished then that car was mine!

      Like 7
  2. That Guy

    I’ve come to the conclusion that Buicks were the best looking American cars of 1957, with the possible exception of the Continental Mark II and the Eldorado Brougham. They shimmer with flamboyant style. And this is a beautiful example.

    Like 10
    • local_sheriff

      Personally I wouldn’t praise the ’57 Buick without also applaud its Olds cousin – it shares the same fantastic 3split backlight with this Buick

      Like 7
      • Will Fox

        Indeed. My favorite GM `57 is the Olds 98 2dr. hardtop. Very tasteful and an eye catcher with two-tone paint!

        Like 5
      • JimB.

        I would totally agree with you on the olds. But I do think that is a lot of money for a car with 2 -2 many doors. Although this is a beautiful example!

  3. Calhoun

    Talking “57’s” I have to put my 2 cents in and say my favorite is Pontiacs Chieftain. But the Olds is beautiful. The ever popular Chevys were the plainest of them all.

    Like 5
  4. Earl

    I have read articles that call the 63 to 65 Riveiras the first generation. How can that be since Buick used the Riveira monicker in the 50s.

    • Chuck Dickinson

      63s were the first “Buick Rivieras”. The earlier cars were Buick Roadmaster (or Super, Special) Riviera sedans or coupes. A specific body style, not an entire car called the Buick Riviera.

      Like 1
  5. Jack Quantrill

    It’s a ‘57 Bel Air, on steroids!

    Like 5
  6. Tony

    Being a 57 guy this car is just beautiful with that color combo just gorgeous

    Like 2
  7. Jranders Member

    Riviera was Buick’s name for any pillarless hardtop model

    Like 3
    • LarryS

      Correct.

      Like 1
    • Chuck Dickinson

      From 54 up. Earlier Roadmaster or Super Rivieras could have been a 4 dr sedan OR a 2 dr ht.

      • GMB in Maine G M B

        Actually, even earlier than 1954….

  8. Patrick Michael Shanahan

    When I was first married I had run my Chevy Conv into the ground and got one of these from my father. Gas pedal starter and a crappy trans. It was slower than a school bus taking off but oh when it got rolling. I think they called the 364 cu nailhead.

  9. Kevin O'Neill Member

    I was lucky enough to own a ’57 Special Riviera two door survivor.
    It was a San Diego car all its life so no rust or squirrel predation on the interior.
    Cream over black color scheme no post.
    It is hard to say with a straight face but that was the “sporty” model for Buick.
    That is one I let get away when I had more cars that space for them and donated it to the Automotive museum.

  10. Peter Thibeault

    That triple rear window is what always gets me about this car!!

    Like 5
  11. TOMMY GRANERT Member

    My first car was this same color but mine was a 2 door hard top Roadmaster 75. It had power windows and power seat and power antenna the seats were leather around the outside and the cloth inside had gold threads mixed in the fabric. It had clear plastic covers on it that were put on when it was new and the carpet was a cut pile.
    I was 16 and my Dad would let me drive it to school just on Fridays.

    Like 1
  12. George Birth

    Beautiful car!

    Like 1
  13. MLM

    My favorite Buick of the 1950s. I just love the styling of these cars, not overdone like other cars in that decade.

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