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Could It Have Just 30k Miles? 1970 Buick Riviera

Buick introduced the Riviera in 1963 as a “personal luxury car” and it would stick around through the end of the century. Unlike its later cousins the Oldsmobile Toronado and Cadillac Eldorado, the earlier Rivieras had rear-wheel-drive just like the rest of the Buick ensemble. The second generation arrived in 1966 and would have a five-year run. This ’70 edition is from the last year of that cycle, and it appears to be in remarkable condition. With a 455 cubic inch V8, this possible survivor is in Clifton, Virginia, and is available here on craigslist for an even $20,000. Kudos to Pat L. for his continuing efforts to find us great tips to bring to our readers!

The 1970 Riviera was less popular than the year before (37,300 vs. 52,800 copies), but interest would perk up when the “boattail” Riviera arrived in 1971. The ’70s had been restyled somewhat, looking a bit like a GM concept car from the 1960s. If you ordered a new Riviera that year, you got rear wheel skirts as standard equipment, though you could ditch them by checking the “delete” box on the order form. 1970 Rivieras now had the biggest Buick engine to date, up from 430 to 455 CI with an output of 370 hp.

Almost no photos of this Riviera show it in its entirety as the seller elected to focus on certain angles of parts of the car. We’re told the green paint is “excellent” but doesn’t say if it’s original or a respray, so we’ll assume the latter. However, the sheet metal has never been repaired so it should pass the “magnet test” if you’re so inclined. The odometer reads 30,000 miles with no mention made of that being accurate or more like 130,000.

The passenger compartment features original materials and working factory air conditioning. The black vinyl roof looks as good as the paint, but is it from the day it was built or has it been replaced? This presents a beautiful Buick in excellent condition, but the seller’s case would be better served if more history and details about the auto were provided. There is no photo from under the hood.


  1. BA

    Be still my beating heart! Not only a pristine example but arguably the best looking & fastest car as well! There is hope for the world when you can still find a sweetheart like this if it is everything claimed for 20,000 clams! Don’t let that 455 fool you as some luxury boat anchor because this 455 shared duties proppelling the GSX Stage 1 ! A few small changes away from warp factor 10 Scottie! Now where did I hide that bundle of cash at?

    Like 15
    • Robert Proulx

      It always amazes me why people don’t include engine bay pic’s, dirty or not its part of the car. This is a nice one although i’d say respray and its nothing to ashamed of if it is. In the last year of the Get Smart series the chief had a blue one on the show.

      Like 9
      • Charles Turner

        “Missed it by that much!” What a great show that was .

        Like 0
  2. Stan

    Luxury rocketship 🚀

    Like 10
  3. CCFisher

    The crank windows look out of place in a “luxury” car like this, but there they are, a reminder that the definition of “luxury car” has changed drastically over the years.

    Like 5
  4. CCFisher

    Forgot to mention…. I’ve been into vintage cars since single-digit age, but only recently did I learn that these were available with two styles of fender skirts: what Buick called a full, flush fender skirt (as on this example), and what they called a High Profile wheel opening cover.

    Like 6

      The full skirted cars had the sweepspear side molding. I believe the small-skirt cars came about mid-way during the model year, and they generally did not have the molding.

      Like 4
      • Erik

        Cars with the “high profile” skirts also came with the sweepspear. You could order the Riviera I, II or III models: https://i.ibb.co/3sm0nmm/d.jpg

        Like 2
  5. Rickirick

    These “land yachts” from this era were stoked w/power! My younger brother had one in college in Michigan’s UP. It always started & always went thru the snow bc of its weight. He never shoveled. Our uncle in Ohio had a Buick wagon w/455. Just awesome. Cadillac was even in the game.
    But Ford had the 460 in wagons also, along w/ the full size line. Lincolns & Mercury Maurauder included. None were slouches despite being heavy cars. 360-400 hp was common “back then”.

    Like 7
    • KH

      Michigan tech?

      Like 0
      • Rickirick

        Close! MMU in Marquette. That was circa 1981. Man his car was just a beast!

        Like 0
  6. Luki

    Definitely not a respray nor replacement top. Both to exact factory specifications and impossible to duplicate correctly.
    No pictures of engine compartment doesn’t help.
    Goofy aftermarket headlight chromes and tailpipes easily reversed.
    Should make someone very happy.

    Like 4
  7. ThunderRob

    The odd-duck year,which is among my favs personally.It’s either factory original with the typical friday afternoon build quality(as seen on the illfitted rear bumper) or was reassembled poorly after repaint..or has been hit.As green is my fav colour this would def be the Riviera i’d want.

    Like 4
  8. mick

    I was at a car show in Fairfax a few weekends ago and this car was there. It is beautiful, inside and out. If this is not a respray, it’s been driven 30k indoors. I believe, after seeing it in person, it has been repainted. And, not too long ago.
    My opinion . . .

    Like 2
  9. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel_Cadillac_Diva Member

    I love this year Riviera. I had one in the early 2000s, same color, vinyl top. Yes, all Rivieras had the side spear molding. It was body color, but after 30 years the paint peeled off and it was chrome underneath which I think looked better. Mine also had the high profile “skirts”. After awhile the paint came off of them and they were all chrome also.
    I stripped all the paint and vinyl top off and primed it. That’s as far as I got.
    Mine had bucket seats, console, floor shift, p/s, p/b, p/w, p/dl, p/seats, p/trunk, a/c, tinted glass.
    I have seen very few like mine was with the bucket seats and power everything.
    I SO wish I hadn’t sold it, but, that’s the cost of divorce

    Like 4
  10. theGasHole

    Nice to see some love for the 70 Riv. I had this exact same car, same color combo, even with the super rare window defroster that resembled a blow dryer. I loved that car, but most people told me it was butt-ugly and the worst Riviera design of all time. I ended up selling mine for something like $4500 and it went to Argentina. One of the few cars I really miss.

    Like 0
  11. Cadmanls Member

    Great styling and powerful drivetrain. What’s not to like, one year too!

    Like 0

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