Dual Quads! 1964 Buick Riviera

The moment that you opened the door and climbed into a 1st Generation Riviera, it was obvious that this was a car that would provide its occupants with a truly luxurious motoring experience. However, the Riviera experience wasn’t merely about luxury, because the option was available to equip your new Riviera with performance to match its good looks. If that sounds like a winning combination, then perhaps this is a car that you need to take a close look at. The Buick is located in Des Moines, Iowa, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $13,150, and with the reserve now met, it looks like this potent luxury car is set to head to a new home.

The Riviera first saw the light of day in 1963 as a “personal luxury car,” and it received near-universal praise from motoring journalists at the time. One aspect that they were most impressed with was the vehicle’s styling, which they described as sharp and crisp. Even some 56-years later, the styling of this 1964 model still retains that crispness, and this is certainly helped by the fact that it is finished in a paint color called Bronze Mist. The paint has a nice depth of shine to it, while the panels appear to be free of any appreciable dings or dents. The owner states that the vehicle has no rust issues, and there are none visible in any of the supplied photos. The external trim and chrome is all present, and while it isn’t all in “as-new” condition, it looks to be good for a survivor of this age. As befits a luxury car, the Riviera features tinted glass all around, and this is free of any obvious flaws or issues.

There were two versions of the 425ci V8 available to Riviera buyers in 1964, and the majority of buyers chose to equip their vehicle with the standard “Wildcat 465” version. This was by no means a cream-puff, pumping out 340hp. If more horses were desired, Buick also offered the “Super Wildcat” engine to discerning buyers. Equipped with a pair of Carter 4-barrel carburetors, this engine pumped out 360hp and a whopping 465lbs/ft of torque. This was enough to propel the 4,056lb Riviera from 0-60mph in 7.1 seconds, while it could despatch the ¼ mile in 15.2 seconds before winding out to a top speed of 126mph. Of the 37,658 buyers who chose to park a Riviera in their driveway in 1964, a mere 2,122 chose to hand over an additional $139.75 for the upgraded engine. The original owner of this car was one of those people, making this a relatively rare vehicle. It still retains the original, finned valve covers, although the standard chrome air cleaner has been replaced at some point. The 1964 model year also heralded the introduction of the 3-speed Super Turbine 400 automatic transmission, replacing the previous Twin Turbine unit. In addition, the Riviera is fitted with power steering and power brakes featuring enormous finned aluminum brake drums. For potential buyers, the news appears to be all quite good. The owner states that the engine starts easily, doesn’t blow smoke or make odd noises, while the transmission engages cleanly. He also says that the car drives nicely, with the brakes stopping it straight and true.

The interior of the Riviera is claimed to be original, and if this is true, then the upholstery has survived remarkably well. About the only thing that I can potentially criticize is the fact that the headliner is a bit wrinkled. However, I’m sure that some judicious stretching could return it to a perfect state. Otherwise, the combination cloth and vinyl upholstery on the seats looks good, while the dash, door trims, and rear trims, are also in great condition. There have been no aftermarket additions and even the original Sensomatic radio is still in the dash. In keeping with the luxury theme, the Riviera features air conditioning, power windows, power locks, power seats, and a tilt wheel.

This 1964 Riviera is no show car, but it is a tidy survivor. The owner raises the idea of undertaking some custom work on this particular vehicle, but if I owned it, I would be very inclined to leave it largely untouched. A significant part of this thinking is motivated by what rests under the hood of this car, because not only is that a relatively rare engine, but it does have a marked impact upon the potential value of the vehicle if left unmolested. A Riviera with the Super Wildcat engine will command a premium of around 15% over a comparable Riviera with the standard engine. With immaculately restored or preserved examples commanding figures well in excess of $40,000 today, that would seem to be ample justification for leaving this one as-is.

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  1. GM nut

    Sexy cruiser!

  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    People talk about these over-bloated lead sleds from the ’60s. But from what I’ve been reading on the interwebs, the current 2020 Mustang GT and the Dodge Challenger Hellcat both weigh more than this car.

    • Steve R

      It’s like comparing an NFL lineman to the fat guy sitting at their favorite sports bar watching a game. The difference between the two becomes readily apparent once they move off the scale and are put through their paces.

      Steve R

      • Rex Kahrs Member

        Oh, this car with the 425 and dual quads is no couch potato!

  3. JOHN

    Quick look, the radio is aftermarket, and Buick, if I remember correctly was called a Sonomatic! The Riv’s are such an awesome car. My Dad had a 62 LeSabre 2 door hardtop with a 401 and a dealer-installed dual quad setup. It was traded in 1967, just before I got my license. It was probably a good idea, now that I think of it!

  4. Stangalang

    My dad had a riv that he” worked ” on of course I was too young to drive it 😪😭😥 but I remember it would slam me into the seat (no seat belt back then) and made some glorious music..good luck with the sale its beautiful man

  5. Del

    Nice car.

  6. FordGuy1972

    They’re only original once, so this beauty should be kept as-is. It’s a low-mileage car in great shape, well optioned and rare with the two carb set up. The only thing I’d change are the chrome air cleaners, I’d try to source the correct factory original. It may look a little worn here and there but I love that it’s a survivor.

  7. Howard A Member

    Nicest Buick ever. Just shows the mentality in 1964, you want power to pass? Dump Niagara Falls worth of gas down the intake. Not much could keep up with this, except another dual quad vehicle, I suppose. This was pretty much the last of the passenger car “dual-quad” era. I’d have to think this was a hassle in everyday traffic, and emphasis shifted to cruisers, and most went with one 4 barrel. This could have a 2 barrel for all I care, just cruising in the nicest Buick made, would be enough.

    • Robert White

      If I owned this car I would get it up-to-speed & operating temperature by giving it a good long highway run at high speed for many hours. Stomping on the gas peddle would be priority one which would cost major gas mileage problems and gas station stops along the way.

      Just running two quads full open down the highway would cost major big time bucks in fuel alone.

      Dual quads was a racetrack option IMHO, and a Vette option too. Dual quads is NOT a long distance option either. Dumping Niagara Falls down the intake is FUN but NOT practical.


  8. Bing

    Very rare car in vg condition. I would love on it but not change a thing.
    I have too much iron and projects right now, and the last time I hid a new purchase in one of the outbuildings I got my ass in a jam.

  9. Mike

    I really like these but, my favorite is the 66 because of the can like speedometer and dash. Had one with a blown up 425 single 4 but it got away when I was divorcing one of them exes. Can’t remember her but remember the car black with black interior console auto had factory reverb unit for the radio. If we only had half the stuff we used to have.

  10. Dave Rhodes

    this is a steal !

  11. Jack Hammwr

    Bill Mitchel in his finest hour. Along with the ’63 Corvette, of course.

  12. JP

    My friend had one the same yr/color combo & what a great car to drive!

  13. Jack Quantrill

    Wonderful styling!

  14. David Boose

    I worked in a gas station in the late 60’s when a lady customer came in complaining about her poor gas mileage. She had a duel quad 64 Riv and was getting about 8 mpg. I remember the fun we had with that car pretending to try to figure out why her mileage was so bad.

  15. Frank

    My friend Artie had one in college on the late 60s. What a beautiful road trip car!

  16. PatrickM

    Sold. $14,199.00.

  17. r s

    Those little tiny air filters suck – because they don’t let the engine suck air very well. I’d replace those immediately.


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