A Pair Of LA Classics: 1963 Buick Rivieras


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Projects that went off track are great fodder for barn finds. So often, amateur mechanics take on cars that just have too many problems for their abilities or their budgets, and they have to be passed onto new hands.


It’s not so often that we see a professional giving up on a project, but in this craigslist ad in Torrance, California, the seller, who is apparently a professional builder, offers not one, but two 1963 Buick Rivieras for sale for $6,900.


Apparently, the seller bought one of these cars to build for an online magazine. This car is said to have a good motor, but the brakes need some work, the interior is not so good, and it has a bit of body rot.


The seller started working on it and then came across another car in worse shape that had all the parts he needed for the first car, including a great dash and center console.


Despite saying that he loves the 1963 Riviera, and that this was a work for hire, evidently the project has run off the tracks, other business is more important, and the two cars are now being offered for someone new to take over this project.


The 1963 Buick Riviera was truly a revolutionary car for its time, and really established the category of personal luxury car. The first generation Riviera did not share its body shell with any other GM model, and many feel it is one of the best looking GM production cars ever built. Altogether 40,000 of them were built in 1963, and many survive, so this car is not particularly rare, although the optional high output engine was only sold to 2601 customers.


This seller here does not specify the options on either of the two cars he is selling, so we don’t know much about what we’re getting, other than that with these two cars combined, the buyer will have everything needed to build one complete car. No pictures or description of the mechanicals of any kind are provided for either car. Personally, this situation makes me a bit nervous – who knows the scope of work involved, and if a professional builder can’t finish the build, maybe the reality is a bit more complicated than might otherwise be suggested in the ad. Still, the 1963 Riviera is a beautiful and desirable car, so maybe there’s a buyer out there for these two cars. What do you think of this offer and the asking price?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Derik Lattig

    Pretty good deal depending on the rust. Sell the parts you don’t need to help finance the one keeper car.

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  2. wagon master

    I love these rolling works of art, but they are sometimes cost prohibitive to restore to a high level. Most parts are still not repopped yet! I say $3500 for both! The ’65 GS with dual quads IS worth the value of restoration IMHO ….

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    As old as me but I don’t need that much work, physically anyways. I always thought it would be cool to drive a car and own the same yr you were born but I think I would rather have a 63 Vette

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  4. Casey

    I love to imagine what it was like to see these for the first time in ’63. This and the Stingray are really a high water mark of American styling, and that’s coming from a guy who generally dislikes GM cars.

    I’d love to restore a Riv someday, there’s actually one with a 465 wildcat for sale locally that is somewhat tempting, just have too many other irons in the fire at the moment.

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  5. Chuck

    I am currently refurbishing a 66 Riv. that I bought from Larry Daisy in Arizona. Most Riv. people know him for the 63 to 65 Rivs.
    He said the Nailhead was beyond repair—but we did it.

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  6. Chris A.

    The first Riviera I ever saw was a pre production car that came out of Rochester Products GM engineering test fleet. I was just a high school kid but still remember just how awesome that car looked backed into it’s parking slot with dad waiting for his high school cheerleader daughter. Both were head turners. To me the first series Riviera is the high point for GM’s design group. I prefer the early version as the clamshell head lights are sort of hokey. Although the gas mileage must have been horrendous when the GS 2X4bbls were at full throttle, who’d care at $.30 back then for premium. These need to be saved and restored, especially the GS.

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  7. Joe Moss

    These are great cars that were FAR ahead of their times. First cars with FRAME LESS windows, Turbo 400 trans (64) and so much more. Much faster-lighter then the T-Bird.. These were great handlers and with those Buick finned brakes good stoppers to. I love my low mileage 64 but are thinking about selling it due to age and other “needed” projects. These cars are far underrated-priced today. Will miss her badly if she goes-.. ( they are starting to reproduce lots of parts for these now)..

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