44k Original Miles: 1963 Buick Riviera

When potential buyers begin their search for a classic car to park in their garage, a vehicle with a long-term ownership history is always reassuring. That generally indicates that the car in question has been treated with respect because they can look pretty ordinary if they have been subjected to ongoing abuse for an extended period. That should make this 1963 Buick Riviera an attractive proposition because it has belonged to the same family since Day One. Adding to this Riviera’s attraction is the genuine 44,000 miles that show on its odometer. All good things must come to an end, so the family has decided that the time has come for this Buick to head to a new home. It is located in Lynnwood, Washington, and has been listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner has set the sale price at $29,900, and he states that he is not interested in considering trades. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder MattR for referring this classic to us.

I’ve always found the 1963 Riviera to be an attractive car, and it is one that I would love to park in my garage if the opportunity arose. While it is larger than its natural competitor, the Ford Thunderbird, Buick managed to create a classic with light and elegant styling. This is perfectly demonstrated by our feature car that is finished in stunning Regal Black. The paint shines beautifully, with very few marks or flaws. Black paint is also excellent at exposing any dings or defects in the steel that hides beneath, but I can’t spot any problems worth noting. The panels are as straight as an arrow, and there’s no evidence of any rust problems. The owner refers to this Buick as rust-free, which paints a positive picture for potential buyers. The exterior trim presents superbly, as does the glass. The immaculate Rally wheels and whitewall tires seem the perfect way to round out the exterior appearance.

When owners climbed aboard their ’63 Riviera, they were left with no doubt that they were about to participate in a special motoring experience. Buick did their utmost to ensure that the occupants felt special, and that impression continues to this day. This is a four-seater vehicle with an interior trimmed in White leather. The upholstered surfaces generally look respectable, with no rips or tears. Some of the surfaces have developed the creases that are an almost obligatory part of aged leather, but if the buyer keeps the leather conditioned, it should remain soft and supple for years to come. That doesn’t mean that the interior is perfect because there are a few flaws that the buyer will probably choose to address. The dash pad is cracked in a couple of places, so the buyer might want to spend $205 on a replacement. A couple of the walnut trim pieces have deteriorated noticeably, especially the one on the passenger door. Buyers can find individual parts to replace these, but they might find some color inconsistency between the old and the new. If this is a concern, they can source a complete kit for around $360.  With those items replaced, this interior would look pretty nice. The original radio has made way for a CD player, but I can’t spot any other additions. I can’t spot any evidence that the owner ordered the car with luxury touches like air conditioning, but power windows should add a further air of luxury to the interior.

The owner offers very little information on the Riviera’s mechanical specifications, but he states that it has 44,000 genuine miles on the clock. He doesn’t mention verifying evidence, but he does seem approachable if potential buyers have questions about this aspect of the car. Buick offered potential buyers a choice between two engines for their ’63 Riviera, although the majority selected the 401ci “Nailhead” V8. If that is what is under the hood of this Riviera, it should offer the driver 325hp that finds its way to the rear wheels via a Twin Turbine automatic transmission. Power steering and power drum brakes were part of the package to further add to the luxurious feel of this classic. If the driver were to point the Buick at a ¼ mile, the journey would be over in around 16.7 seconds. Ford’s Thunderbird could just eclipse that figure, but it was a close call between the pair. For potential buyers, the news seems to be pretty good. While we don’t receive any information on the specifications, the owner indicates that it has no mechanical issues. That suggests that it is a turn-key classic that is ready to be driven and enjoyed.

When I was faced with writing about this 1963 Buick Riviera, I knew that I would have to be objective. This wasn’t easy because I have always wanted to park one of these in my driveway. I profess a soft spot for any car that wears the blue oval badge, but I believe that Buick created something stunning when they unveiled the Riviera. I am not alone in this belief because the buying public clamored for the 40,000 cars the company chose to build for that model year. This one is not perfect, but it is a low-mileage survivor that needs little to be lifted to the next level. I am not in a position to purchase it at this point, but I wish that I was. If one of our readers becomes its next owner, I’m not ashamed to say that I will envy them for it.

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Comments

  1. Allen Member

    That is one beautiful, classy car. I’d love to cruise around town in that.

    Like 5
  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    ’63 would have still had the Dynaflow transmission, which is maligned, but I can’t find anything wrong with it in my 63 Riv.

    I replaced the once-replaced door wood panels with a nice Wilsonart laminate, it looks pretty good. The panels were made for Buick by Ternsteadt out of Columbus, OH, which became the Fisher guide plant there on the West side.

    Like 1
  3. gbvette62

    God this thing is beautiful!

    The ad isn’t the best, it doesn’t include a lot of info, and could use a few more pictures (an engine pic would have been nice), but it sure looks like a pretty and honest car. These early Riv’s are just about the most beautiful car built in the 60’s, and probably among the top 5 of all cars ever built, design wise. Given a choice between this car at $30K, and the $36K 62 Grand Prix featured here a little earlier, there is no choice, this car wins hands down!

    If this thing wasn’t 3000 miles away from me, I’d be really tempted to have a look at it.

    Like 16
  4. Claudio

    A few decades ago , i was at a car show and this couple drives up with one like this but a convertible!
    I have always been a topless kind of guy and was in love
    We talked quite a bit , i tried to get to sell
    He gave me his phone but i was never able to reach him and it was too far to go drive around to find him
    These designs were so beautiful and have survived the test of time …

    Like 4
    • gbvette62

      Other than a single prototype, Buick never made a convertible version of the 63-65 Riviera convertible. The only “production” Riviera convertibles were the 82-85’s, and even these weren’t built in house by Buick, but instead were farmed out to someone like Cars & Concepts or American Sunroof for conversion.

      Like 5
      • Claudio

        I am aware that they never did any production units, i forgot to write that it was a custom but i dont remember what he said was used to swap
        Impala , chevelle , i really dont remember but it flowed very well

        Like 1
  5. Michael

    a real beauty.

    Like 1
  6. Joe Machado

    For some reason, these early Rivi’s were popular for figure 8 races in the 60’s n 70’s.
    They were gutted and caged.
    Ascot Park, Raceway, used up possibly hundreds of them.
    Lots of them.
    Don’t know if other trailers consumed any.
    I never see them at shows here in the desert.

    Like 1
  7. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    That’s a nice looking car. I have a 64 with 425 ci single carb, 340 hp 465 Ftlb torque. Mine has a/c electric windows and seat and tilt wheel. These are nice cars and always draw attention, usually the only one at shows. Mine is matching numbers and was a one family owned car before I bought it in 2011.
    God bless America

    Like 7
  8. NJ Driver 54

    This is still a stunning vehicle even after 58 years. It ruly is a classic in every sense of the word. There will never be vehicles like the Riveria again it belonged to a different time. Growing up one of my neighbors down the block had a 1964 Riveria which if I can remeber was also black.

    Like 3
  9. Mark Member

    Wow, this is gorgeous! Price is right.

    Like 1
  10. Gerard Frederick

    Simply gorgeous, pure class. The epitome of American car-greatness. Too bad that today one sees some in the LA area, butchered by low-rider-low-class punks.

    Like 4
  11. Gary

    The only thing that would make it better in my old eyes would be a black interior

    Like 1
    • Dan Bogert

      No, Black w/ the silver interior (leather).

  12. Fran

    Does anyone ever check to see if these cars are a scam?

    Like 1
  13. Frank

    Barnfinds out did them self today. You had lots of great cars in this listing. This was a great car in 63. Someone has a winner here! This was one of the only times (60’s) in Buick history they produced some nice cars.

    Like 1
  14. bobhess bobhess Member

    Been on my list of the best looking cars ever built for a long time. Beautiful car here.

    Like 1
  15. chuck dickinson

    Not mentioned in ad, but it does also have cruise. Control is on the top left corner of the dash. First year on Buicks.

    Like 1
  16. Frank Sumatra

    The CD player only accepts Frank Sinatra.

    Like 2
  17. JImmyinTEXAS

    And it is gone. Congrats Adam… lol

    Like 1
  18. Car Nut Tacoma

    Beautiful looking car. My favourite years for the Buick Riviera are 1963 and 1964.

    Like 1
  19. Dave Rhodes

    worth every penny

  20. Steve Clinton

    Not one photo of the back…something was not right here.

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