455 Survivor: 1973 Buick Riviera GS Stage 1

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Since the personal luxury car has been out of production for more than a decade, those looking for a brand-new example are out of luck. However, if you’d consider a survivor example, an anonymous Barn Finds reader may have found just the one for you. This 1973 Buick Riviera GS can be found here on eBay in Springtown, Texas. After 22 bids the current bid price has been pushed to $18,100 and it appears the reserve has been met.

This 1973 example was the final year of the Riviera’s 3rd generation. With 34,080 built that year, 1973 was the highest production year for the 3rd generation, but just barely – 101,618 Rivieras rolled off the assembly line throughout those 3 years with nearly an even production split among the three.

The seller describes the exterior as being in “excellent condition.” We’re also told no rust has been found in the trunk, doors, rockers, and underneath. Those are lofty claims, but there are plenty of high-resolution photos for you to confirm or deny. I hope that greyish-brown paint is in as good of shape as it’s described and appears to be – especially having already received one repaint – because I’m sure a quality repaint on a 3rd generation Riviera requires one to dig deep into their pockets.

As to be expected in a personal luxury car the interior looks welcoming and conveniences abound, including bucket seats, full console with L-shifter, power windows, and power seat. A simple palette of black upholstery with woodgrain accents offset that luxury with simplicity, all of which appear to be in very good condition. While it does have air-conditioning, it does not blow cold.

As all 1973 Rivieras were so-equipped, under the hood is the 455 cubic-inch. However, this GS Stage 1 variant left the factory with some upgraded internals which bumped it’s power ratings to 260 hp and 380-lb.ft. of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a console shifted automatic transmission.

Aside from one repaint, this Riviera is claimed to be largely original. Whether that repaint disqualifies it as a “survivor” is for our Barn Finds readers to decide. Regardless of its survivor status, this Riviera presents well and looks like it’s ready to drive. I can’t validate this, but the seller claims there were fewer than 2,000 GS Rivieras built in 1973. If that’s accurate, these must rarely hit the market. So, if you’ve been in the market for a mostly original 1973 Buick Riviera GS that’s ready to drive, this one may be worth checking out.

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Comments

  1. HoA Howard AMember

    Hmm, what a coinkydink, a neighbor has a ’73 just like this. I wonder if he knows it’s worth $20g’s? Years ago, my ex-brother in law, had a car exactly like this. He wanted the biggest, and therefore, safest car for his family. Well, he found it in the boa-tailed Riv. Fantastic car, probably the nicest 4 seat cruiser GM made. The only downside, was it’s atrocious appetite for fuel, single digits, at best. Fact is, I think it’s one of the few cars that got better mileage in the city. But a nicer cruiser, I don’t think you’ll find. I think this was Bill Mitchells finest offering. I never thought about it, but it does resemble the split window Corvette, also his idea. Beautiful cars.

    Like 18
    • james or carol copeland

      the engineers had not learned how to deal with unleaded fuel requirments people would take theirs to the shop with complaints about how it ran bad and weak hp. without even looking at the motor, would say its because of the pollution equipment

      Like 0
    • Vince H

      Gas mileage on the highway was not that bad. Local driving was bad, around 8mpg.

      Like 2
  2. leiniedude leiniedudeMember

    A beauty for sure! What is up with that stick fence?

    Like 2
    • Patrick Farmer

      That my friend is a Texas cattle fence. They are Cowboy sheik. Use to be that all fat-stock,(Texan for cattle.) fences were built like this. Cheap and effective. The gate is called a gap. The gap section of the fence has posts(sticks) that are not in the ground and are held up by the barbwire, usually three loose posts. The end post of the gap is usually stuck into a wire loop at the bottom and another tighter loop at the top that pulls it tight. They are made out Cedar or Bodark, hedge apple and rarely by its scientific name, Osage-Orange, Maclura pomifera. Bodark resist rot better than Mahogany. The tree is a crooked mess and fence post are really the best use of the wood. It would be easier to shave a live Bobcat than it would to make even a bird house. The tree is native to Texas and the cattle love the oranges they drop. They call it an Osage Orange but it looks live an alien body double pod. This guy lives in the town next to me. I ought to go see it in person. Cool car 1974 version has battering rams for bumpers. This the last year with the sculpted rear bumper.

      Like 5
      • Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

        Saw many a power saw blade ruined when someone tried to cut Osage-Orange, about like Illinois ironwood and knowledgeable folklore tells that it’s so dense it sinks in water!

        Like 1
    • leiniedude leiniedudeMember

      Thanks for the info Patrick and Nevadahalfrack! Always something to learn. Thanks again and Happy Fathers Day! Take care, Mike.

      Like 2
      • Patrick Farmer

        You are quite welcome sir. Happy Father’s to you.

        Like 0
      • Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

        “Live like you’ll die tomorrow, learn like you’ll live forever”.. Thank you, leiniedude, and I hope your Fathers Day was the best one yet.

        Like 0
  3. Dusty Stalz

    Wow another repainted “survivor”.

    Like 5
  4. Dusty Stalz

    It is a nice car tho. Why can’t we edit the comments anymore?

    Like 1
    • David Zornig

      Apparently editing comments and adding images can only be done by those who pay to join…

      Like 0
      • HoA Howard AMember

        So join in! For the cost of a couple gallons of gas a month, you can be part of the “club”, and it helps support the writers, who I think do a great job.

        Like 11
      • boxdin

        Between cells, tv, internet & land line I pay 600 per month. There is a limit I will pay for “access”.

        Like 1
  5. John M

    These cars were great, they had plenty of power, were very responsive and quite comfortable to drive.
    I worked as a service mgr at a large Buick Pontiac dealership and the owner (my boss) didn’t like me driving my Mark 4 Lincoln to work so I ordered a black GS with white interior. It was beautiful and quick.
    I got a ticket for 90 going to work one morning but luckily the local judge was a customer and happened to bring his GMC Jimmy in for service that morning. Needless to say everything worked out great for both of us, I even delivered the Jimmy back to the court house for him.

    Like 16
  6. msheiner Maxwell SheinerMember

    Stunning car!! In my humble opinion, the much more dramatic rear end of the ’71 and ’72 capture the original and true design that was intended.

    Like 7
    • Big_FunMember

      I agree! This was the first year for the 5 mph bumper law, so many cars appeared altered. I wonder if you could modify a ’71-2 front bumper to fit this car? Even removing the vertical bumper guards may help. And, with today’s technology in wrapping vehicles, I wonder if wrapping the lower part of the front bumper in the body color would be a viable option?

      Like 7
      • msheiner Maxwell SheinerMember

        Aside from the federally mandated bumpers, per Wikipedia, the rear end (trunk) was modified (greatly toned down) in an effort to broaden the appeal of the car overall.

        Like 2
      • JoeNYWF64

        You remove the massive front bumper & the car will rise 3 inches. lol

        Like 7
      • Patrick Farmer

        That’s true about the weight.Its 150lbs for each bumper assembly. Airbags baby! And while they are working on that, install an under the hood blower. Paint it black and go cruising. People will think it’s Batman.

        Like 2
  7. ccrvtt

    “66-67 still my favorites, but just about any Riv up to this one is a beauty. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but I recall seeing a video of a lowrider of this vintage where the trunk lid was split vertically and it opened up into two rumble seats. Remotely, hydraulically, while driving and bouncing. Off the charts cool even for a lowrider.

    Like 4
  8. Sean

    I am pretty sure these are front drive cars just like the toronado and eldorado.

    Like 0
    • Bruce Reiss

      These Riv’s are rear wheel drive.

      Like 5
    • Stevieg

      They are rear drive through 1978.

      Like 3
    • KC Ronn

      Rear Wheel Drive my brother had one beautiful car until he got his hands on it.

      Like 0
  9. Stevieg

    While growing up, my Mom had one of these. Hers was burnt coral (copper) with beige top & beige 60/40 split vinyl bench seats.
    I ended up with it after it went through a series of other owners. By the time I got it, the engine was knocking badly. I was 14, so I didn’t care lol. I was the only freshman who drove myself to school lol.
    I always liked the style of the 1971 & 1972 better. I had a couple of them, in fact. But the 1973 still holds a special place in my heart because of Mom’s old bomb! One day I will have another one.

    Like 3
  10. Mark

    Had a 73 when I was 20 dating my wife in the early ‘80’s. Sold it after 2 years. A friend saw it in a gas station lot and it had been wrapped around a tree. Sad!!!

    Like 2
  11. Fred Alexander

    You know something – – of course you don’t – – but I’m gonna tell you anyway – —
    I don’t care if it’s got clunky looking bumpers, picture taken with the stick corral fence, clouds in the sky, she’s a beauty and I’d park it in my garage any day — and of course drive it with Pride!
    Please don’t knock what I can’t have – – it shatters my dreams. ( LOL )
    Anyway regardless – I have enough iron in the stable for now.
    Parted with too many cars I should have kept I could easily become a hoarder.
    Oh I forgot – – I used to be – – had to try to have one of every make model etc.

    Like 4
  12. mainlymuscle

    A buckets and console boat tail is much rarer than you would think.
    These were cheap a few years ago,but peeps have realized just how Majestic the Big Rivs can be.I bid on a silver 71 locally ,just the other day.It was not a GS,so I bid 13k,sold for 15 .I think this is a decent buy.

    Like 1
  13. RG in PDX

    A classic design, but not a fan of that color. Growing up in Pittsburgh in the 1970s, these cars had worked their way down to young dudes who really loved them but trashed them horribly. Then the salt had its way… can remember the creek bed of rust around that beautiful rear window. My buddy Dino Dimartino’s was red with white leather interior.

    Like 0
  14. TimM

    The boattail Rivera was a nice gentleman shot rod!! This one looks good and seems stock and worth the money!!

    Like 1
  15. PRA4SNW

    SOLD for $23,410.

    Like 3
  16. Patrick Farmer

    Hey, they going to have a hot time in Springtown tonight. They might drive over to the malt shop in Weatherford, TX. Have a double cheeseburger, onion rings, Chocolate or Vanilla malt to wash it all down. I use to go to a crappy little burger stand south of Hobby Airport, in Houston, that served up a great burger and the onion rings were wide cut with a light flour batter. The great thing about the onion ring order was that had a bell pepper ring in every order. God that was good. The best place I ever had a cheese burger from was a Mexican restaurant. They served it open face, so you build it at your table and the meat came sizzling on a fajita flat iron, along with grilled onions. The burger had just a hint of fajita seasoning. It was so hot I thought I was gone to shatter my teeth. I have found that a lot of Mexican restaurant can make hellish cheese burgers. They are so good that they will make a rabbit slap a bear.

    Like 2

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