4-Door Hardtop: 1958 Buick Riviera Model 750

Technically the correct name for this car is the 1958 Buick Roadmaster Limited Riviera – Model 750 which in anyone’s language is quite a mouthful, so I think that I’ll just abbreviate it to Riviera. Listed for sale here on eBay, this Riviera is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is offered with a Bill of Sale signed by the owner. Bidding has seen the price rise to $3,450 but the reserve has not been met as yet.

This Riviera is definitely a project car. There is rust to deal with, the worst of this being in the trunk floor and both quarter panels. There is also some in the eyebrows above the headlights. Most of the trim is present on the car, and the trim that isn’t actually attached is in boxes in the car. Most of the trim appears to be quite good, but there are some pieces that may need either refurbishment or replacement. The glass is all generally quite good, but there is a nickel-sized chip in the windshield high up on the driver’s side.

Unfortunately, the interior possesses that all-pervading odor of mouse. They have wrought havoc on the headliner which will require replacement. The dash itself looks quite good, although the original radio is missing. The dash pad also appears to be in good condition. The seats appear to be in good condition, but the door trims will need to be re-upholstered. I guess that it is worth considering that if mice have done so much damage to the headliner, what have they done to the stuffing in the seats or to the wiring under the dash?

This is the 364ci Fireball V8 which is backed by the Dynaflow transmission. The engine hasn’t run since the car was placed into storage in 1997. The engine does turn freely, but the seller has not attempted to start it. He feels that the gas tank and lines should probably be cleaned before that is attempted. The Riviera also featured air-cooled aluminum drum brakes which represented quite a technological achievement when new.

This Buick is going to require a lot of work. The rust and corrosion in the trunk area and rear quarter panels are quite severe and is not going to be easy to repair properly. The extent of the work required on the interior simply won’t be known until that part of the car is inspected properly. However, 4-door hardtops are quite nice cars, and this one is unusual and maybe a bit rarer than most. If the drive-train turns out to be in good condition then this could be a good candidate for a restoration.

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Comments

  1. Howard A

    Since I’m commenting early, I’d call this “early excess”. The difference between the ’57’s( which I liked) and ’58’s ( just too much) was quite a turnaround. We just don’t see that kind of offering today. Everybody today gets the same looking car. With these cars( all 58 GM’s really) they poured on the glitz with a patching trowel. The grill alone is a work of art. Named the “Fashion Aire Dynastar Grille” ( whoo-wee) was made up of 160 individual chrome beveled squares, not some stamped black plastic angry bumble bee face. A friend’s dad had a ’58 Buick in the early 60’s, and even as a kid, I knew that cars had to shift, and I remember riding in the Buick waiting for the lurches of every gear change, but this Buick had none. Aside from it’s tank like status, it was a heck of a car, and not to belabor a point, the Europeans were driving Morris Minors and Fiat 500’s,,,only as a comparison.

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  2. canadainmarkseh Member

    Gee it’s a good thing that the grille and front bumper are in good order I can’t imagine how much it would cost to restore that alone. What a presence this car would have had back in the day, but this car is a rust bucket and will need a dedicated restorer to bring it back, more than I’d want to take on, at least at a personal level. This is going to take a team of specialists to get this right but boy will it be a looker when done. I’d paint it red on red to give it extra bling it would knock your socks when complete. JMHO.

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  3. Daniel Kern

    The opulence of the ’58 Buicks was the stuff of legend. The top of the line ’58 Buick Limited model was more than the Cadillac!! 😂

    1
  4. Don Diego

    Need a “bling-off” between this and the ’58 Olds wagon from earlier today.

    4
    • PatrickM

      Yes. I saw that, too. Both cars, if you can use your imagination, are comprehensive examples of GM’s going bulky looking. Yet, I liked them all. Of course, I was a teenager in Jr. High School, but, what the heck… The father of a girl I dated a few years later had a ’58 Olds 4 door hardtop. Sweet ride!

  5. NMCarNut

    Hate to be a stickler but if you are going to abbreviate the mouthful name then Limited would better apply since in 58 all Buick 2 door and 4 door hardtops were Rivieras from the entry level Special on up. Also 54 was the last year for the “Fireball” engine name and engines would remain nameless until the B-12000 in 58. Why B-12000? Because of Buick’s claim of 12,000 pounds thrust behind each piston fired.
    Advertising in the 50’s was marvelous and the “air born” B-58 Buick campaigns one of the best . . .

    4
    • Miguel Member

      Actually it is a Roadmaster which was one of the three names used on Buicks that year. The rest are different levels inside the Roadmaster line.

      4
  6. Camaro Joe

    Those grills can be really pricey. Raz, the trim man from New Orleans, told me he had over $2000 in a customer’s late 50’s Caddy grill about 2001 or so. The car got wiped out by the hurricane around 2006, but the grill only needed cleaned and owner sold it on eBay for $2500. That’s really sad.

    I think I’ll stick to 69 Camaro Z/28’s, the last grill I bought was $79.95. But there’s a big difference between 150 aluminum pieces and a hunk of Chinese plastic.

    7
  7. Miguel Member

    “These Limiteds are rare; only 5,571 were built in 1958; if 10% (optimistic) survived, there would only be 56 remaining – nearly as rare as a Tucker.”

    I think the seller had better buy a calculator, or go back to remedial math class.

    5
    • Dave

      10% would be 560, not 56.

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      • Dick Johnson

        My head hurts. Pretty sure it’s five sumpin’. With 120000 pounds of thrust (inch or foot pounds?) On each piston, what is the BMEP at WOT? How much would the BMEP be with the JC Whitney water injector as advertised in Popular Science? Something you didn’t see on the Iowa Basic Skills test math section in the 50’s and 60’s.

        To see these cars gleaming on a showroom floor back then was magical. It really makes me want to go to the Buick dealer this morning to view the 2019 Buck Roundy-voo. NOT!!

        2
  8. Miguel Member

    Here is what I don’t understand.

    We have seen time and time again these ads saying they just found this in a barn but they haven’t tried to start it.

    That would be the most exciting part for me if I found a car after sitting for so long.

    I would connect a fuel line to an outside gas can and try to start the engine.

    The anticipation would kill me.

    I guess you have to be a car person to understand that, which a lot of these flippers are not.

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    • Dick Johnson

      Pre-oil first.

      8
  9. Miguel Member

    “This vehicle is being sold without a title and with a bill-of-sale signed by the owner. This is acceptable in most states; check if you are unsure.”

    This is not true at all.

    3
  10. Madmatt

    We had a customer in the early 1980’s,who had a
    white/blue 58 roadmaster hardtop.That car was
    even more of a tank than our 55 Fleetwood,that we had at the time.
    It had the most Chrome inside and out that I’ve ever seen in a
    factory vehicle,it was gorgeous,but “Oh So huge”took up most of 2
    work bays,and I didn’t like being under it,while it was on our
    old fashioned single post lift,but I was a teen,and I loved that car,
    death by crushing be damned…!…Lol………

    3
  11. Daved

    Minnesota. I could smell the rust before I even saw the pics. Parts car :(

    2
  12. Ed P

    This car is living proof that Harley Earl loved chrome!

    1
  13. Guggie 13

    My first car in 1964 was a 58 Buick 2 door Limited Riviera 38k , red and white , with red leather seats. I purchased it for $ 500,00 from a used car dealer ,he did an oil filter change and put on four good tires , and I was all set to go ( mainly to the gas station) . This car was smooth as silk and powerful, had the Wonderbar radio . You could put 4 kids in the trunk for the drive in lol . Drove it for about 2 years and Uncle Sam called on me so I joined the US Coast Guard and the Buick was gone . that was a one year design and they are rare in any condition , no port holes on the fenders either ,I think Buick regetted that one , you could buy fake ones to put on from JCWhitney , I passed on that one .Gone but not forgotten I have a Sun Star 1/18 model of a 1958 Buick Limited Riviera on my desk that I got at an estate auction , as close as I will be to owing another 1958 Buick Limited Riviera besides its a lot cheaper on gas lol.

    2
  14. Joe

    There will come a time when the 1958 top of the line GM cars will be rare and highly sought after. I think they are unique and quite spectacular.

    1
  15. ACZ

    One of my all time favorites. So over the top.

  16. Kevin

    This is my ’58 Super Riviera restoration project. I can say from experience that body parts and trim are extremely difficult to come by. Nobody makes aftermarket pieces for these old sleds. Also if you plan on replacing that engine you’ll likely have to replace everything from the engine back to the rear suspension. These cars have what’s called a “torque tube” drive shaft. It’s an enclosed driveline and is actually part of the rear suspension. I was lucky to find one with virtually no rust other than surface.

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  17. David

    The car in the ad is a Limited, not a Roadmaster.

    • Miguel Member

      I have never heard of a model named Limited.

      Buick had three models.

      They were the Special, Super and the Roadmaster.

      The four port hole cars means it is a Roadmaster.

      Where did this Limited name come from?

    • Miguel Member

      I am sorry David, you are right.

      This is from the text from the brochure from 1958

      “So come make your acquaintance with five great new Buick Series – LIMITED, ROADMASTER 75, SUPER, CENTURY and SPECIAL. ”

      I have never head of it, but there it is. Also I forgot about the Century.

  18. David

    True. The name Limited was revived for 1958, having been used in the ’30’s and ’40’s for the top-of-the -line Buicks in those years. No portholes in ’58. However 4 portholes had also been employed on the Century in the ’50’s, as well as for the Roadmaster. The Limited for ’58 also carried a longer overall length than did the others.

  19. theGasHole

    The quickest way to spot the rare Limited as opposed to the “lesser” B-58’s (if there can be called such a thing), is the rear quarter panels of the Limited has three sets of 5 vertical bars.
    Ebay states the car sold for $5,000….not a bad deal if this is what you are looking for.

  20. Denis Flaherty

    The Limited was a top of the line version of the Roadmaster…longer, more trim…my dad was a Buick dealer…I remember an old gent who bought a Limited in an orchid color…beeeyoootiful car….rear quarters the length of a football field…if this was in a bit better shape I would buy for nostalgia but too many projects ahead of it

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