Dual 4 Barrel Carburetors! 1965 Buick Riviera GS

A few weeks ago I was in southern California, a place where you always find interesting cars that are used as everyday drivers. In spite of tight emission controls, many older cars, old enough to escape those regulations, can be found sitting at curbs in neighborhoods from Glendale to Torrance. Even first-gen Buick Rivieras, like this ’65 GS, make an appearance but they’re usually not quite this nice. Well, not found at a California curb, but domiciled in Green Bay, Wisconsin is this 1965 Buick Riviera GS. It is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $32,000, reserve not yet met. There is a BIN option of $40,000 available too.

Back to California, the ’65 that I spied was sitting on a side street, its faded, similar shade of blue paint covered in dust. I assumed it was sort of permanently parked but the next day it had moved. By the evening, it was back but now parked on the other side of the street. The following day it had been returned to its original resting spot. The same thing happened the following day, that old and worn ’65 Riv was someone’s daily driver! And ’65 was a fair year production-wise with 34K Rivieras finding new homes, so there’s probably a reasonable number still roaming America’s roads. And of course, that black tag Buick had California’s helpful climate working for it. My find was not one of the 3,300 GS models (option A9) like today’s find, but it was still a worthwhile discovery.

The ’65 Buick Riviera GS was notable for its 360 gross HP, 425 CI “Super Wildcat” V8 engine, fed by twin four-barrel carburetors and pushing that power through a Turbo-Hydramatic 400, three-speed automatic transmission. The seller states, “The vehicle runs great and is mainly used for weekend drives“. The odometer reads 80K miles but there is no detail regarding its accuracy or whether any engine rebuilding or enhancement has been performed.

The exterior of this Riviera is laser straight and resplendent in its resprayed hue of Turquoise Mist accented by re-chromed bumpers. There is no rust, scratches, dings, dents, creases, no nothing – this Riviera presents just as Bill Mitchell intended. The seller also mentions that the distinctive clamshell headlights work perfectly. Buick’s always popular rally wheels pin down this Riviera’s four corners.

The leather-grained black vinyl upholstery has withstood the test of time, no surprise considering the quality materials that Buicks are known for. The center console, replete with its attractive wood accents, speaks to this Riviera’s era. While there are typical bucket seats up front, there’s another pair in the rear making this GS a 2+2. The dash pad and instrument panel check out as needing no attention. The seller does mention, however, that the cruise control is inoperative.

What a fantastic combination of performance and luxury! I look at a modern Buick and all I recognize is a name attached to what looks like a variety of different-sized swine on stilts – oh the horror of it all. Admiring this Buick is not tantamount to being stuck in the past, it’s a matter of appreciating what American automobile design and manufacturing could do at one time.  It’s not a matter of reliving the past, just enjoying the past, right?

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Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Said it before, if you want one of the best looking and running cars ever made put the ’63 – ’65 Riviera on your list. This is a beauty.

    Like 41
    • scantar

      Agreed! Back in the 70’s I had all 3, all with the 401 nailhead. Even with that it would chirp the tires in 2nd and 3rd. The 425 Car engine made these as beastly as they were beautiful

      Like 10
  2. Vance

    Got to agree with Bob, but I would have to go to go with the clamshell 65. It looks like something Jams Bond 007 would drive. Sleek, refined, yet powerful. GM’S finest hour.

    Like 15
  3. Vance

    Yeah, I know, James Bond.

    Like 3
  4. Al

    One of my dream cars. When Buick’s were Buick’s. Not crazy about the color on this one but would think about replacing my Vette with it. At least I could get in and out without problems.

    Like 4
  5. Arby

    Jim’s comments about the one he spotted in Socal illustrate the main problem with California cars. Many of them have never seen the inside of a garage. They’re outside 24/7. Needless to say this is not good for long term preservation no matter the climate. The houses have garages but they seem to be used for other purposes. Storing their junk or maybe even people…

    Like 6
    • Charles Sawka

      Many people drive their old cars because they like em ! Here in SoCal the weather permits pretty much unlimited driving time. They were meant to be used,not saved for bragging rites 50 years later.

      Like 12
  6. RegularGuy55

    In the engine photo, the block looks blue. I had a ’65 (401) and the block was definitely green.

    Like 1
    • Patrick Curran

      You are correct. The engine in this car is the wrong color.

  7. Ken Carney

    The closest that I ever came to owning
    one was the 1/25th scale model made
    by AMT. I bought it in ’68 for the princely sum of $4.25! I painted it byzantine gold with a black interior. I
    also put the Astro rims on it with the
    wide oval tires they had in the box for you if you wanted to customize it. Like
    this car, it had the 425 dual quad engine
    in it too and boy it looked great dressed
    out in all the chrome parts they put in
    the box for it! After it was done, I put it
    on the book shelf in my room and fantasized about getting a real one when I was old enough to own one.
    Well folks, I’m 66, semi retired, and still
    haven’t bought one yet. Mighty sad how
    life gets in the way.

    Like 7
    • RegularGuy55

      I bought a ’65 Riviera model kit in 1965. I never opened it, but swore I would build it to look just like the one I hoped to own someday.

      Someday came on my 50th birthday when I bought an Astro Blue ’65 Riv. I spent a couple of years restoring it (it was still just a driver quality). I built the model to mirror my car. I even got a can of Astro Blue paint for that perfect match.

      Sadly, I had to sell the real car a few years ago, but I still have my custom Riviera model.

      Like 8
  8. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Beautiful car with the 425 two 4’s. I love my 64 which has the 425 single 4 bbl. I have options like a/c, tilt wheel, electric windows and seat. I like the clam shells on the 65 but I like the 64 tail light design better. These cars move when needed and stop well with huge 12″x2 1/4″ brakes up front and 12″x2″ in the rear. Mine has easy turn power steering and vacuum power assisted brakes. I keep mine in a garage and only drive on sunny days. If you want a nice car you won’t go wrong with this Riviera. The price might be a little high, but you get what you pay for in this case.
    God bless America

    Like 9
  9. Robert White

    Tuned & timed, this car would purr down the road @ 120 miles per hour easy, except the cops would get you for stunt driving.

    This car deserves a good highway run flat out just to decarbonize the cylinders and clean the spark plugs up to operating temp.

    I’d run this car really hard and would probably get busted.

    Bob

    Like 2
  10. chrlsful

    fine auto esp 1st gen. This and the (1st gen) Toranado knock my socks off eventho ‘a ford guy”. Not at the time but 10, 15 yrs after & to this day…they grow & grow on me. Images of europeans on the sidewalk as one of these, brandy spankin new, drives by…

  11. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Nice car, flipped it for you John.

    Always liked the roofline on these, a kind of formal look. Great weekend cruiser!

    Like 2
    • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

      Thank DDB. Sometimes these pictures get turned the wrong way when I down load them.
      Have a great day, enjoy the hobby.
      God bless America

      Like 1
  12. JoeBob

    Beautiful.

  13. David Tanner

    I bought a 1965 Riviera GS in 1977. It had 90,000 miles and still had the clear plastic covers on the seats. It was nice but I sold it to pay for a Gibson 5 string banjo. I still have the banjo but wish I had the car!

    Like 1

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