Hardtop Canary: 1955 Buick Super Riviera

Mid 1950’s Buick’s are a dream when configured as a two door hardtop like this example, and the vibrant color scheme on this car is a pleasant surprise. Discovered in Tennessee as a “true barn find” but later transported to Florida, this two door beauty needs some attention. The seller believes the car to be an original low mileage vehicle, but little information is given to back up this possibility. Currently a non-running project this Buick has been bid up to $4,000 with a few days remaining in the auction. Take a look at it here on ebay out of Brooksville, Florida.

A bit crusty, but with some promise, the 322 Nailhead V8 is not currently running due to a mysteriously removed and missing starter and no battery. I would venture to guess that there may have been a starting issue with this car that could have been starter, battery, and/or ground related. Also the upper radiator hose has been removed, and the air cleaner is missing as well. One would hope that engine is still viable perhaps with a decent soaking of the rings, and some careful maintenance to revive this V8 heart.

Unfortunately the interior photos are scarce, leaving a lot of questions about the condition, and whether or not the interior is complete. The seller was kind enough to provide photos of the interior floors to show surface rust, as well as some rot. The floors as a whole aren’t terrifying, but there is definitely going to be some work for the future owner. Fix the rotted area, and then paint the floors with a rust inhibitor and keep on rolling. Also the spare tire well needs some attention as well.

A little battered, but not bruised, the exterior of this Buick still has a charming appearance, but could stand a repaint, or perhaps some touch up. The majority of the trim work looks to be in place, minus a few window seal pieces. The passenger side window is cracked, and there is some rust, but not too much to contend with. The driver side is the photogenic side with little in the way of failing paint, and little rust to be seen. There is some surface rust ahead of the rear wheel arch on the driver side, but it does not appear to have any rot mixed in with it. The passenger side has a few areas showing surface rust, but again the rockers and quarters look exemplary. There is some weird rust going on at the bottom of the passenger door where it would seem that it has been previously touched up with white paint, but the rust has continued to progress. I do not see any rot on the exterior, but that is not to say that there isn’t any possibly present. Fix the floors, clean up the interior, touch up the exterior, polish the paint, and then this Buick would be a nice looking driver. Would you take a chance on this hardtop canary?

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Comments

  1. GaryMc

    I don’t see the driver door glass and vent window

  2. redwagon

    I do not understand the fascination with green interiors for this era. This color went into everything seemingly regardless of exterior colors. White, grey, silver, black even red would all better suit the yellow/white exterior color combo

    • Puhnto

      Seriously? Since when don’t green and yellow go together?

  3. flmikey

    Very nice find…I highly doubt this car was originally yellow, though…I can see overspray on the moldings and tape marks in a few areas…

    1
    • Kevin W

      Overspray says the car was probably repainted. It doesn’t mean the color was changed.

      1
  4. Kevin W

    I’ve never understood why Buicks, Oldsmobiles, and Pontiacs of this period haven’t gained more in popularity. They were much more tasteful than “The 3 Stooges”.

    • Roger

      Some 25+years ago I missed out on a ’55 Century 2 door hardtop red and white (originally lavender and black) it belonged to a friend of Dad’s who bought it off of his employers family,it even came from the factory with twin spotlights (non working) an underseat heater,power brakes but for some reason no power steering,I remember he started it as others have mentioned by pushing the accelerator to the floor,even with the non power steering it drove fairly well and the frames under these would make a pickup blush with shame,for whatever reason I decided against it but regretted it later,a really cool old ride.

      1
  5. Nrg8

    His and her ashtrays, what a time to be alive

    1
  6. Ron Wheler

    The 1955 Buick looks like it went swiming if you know what I mean being in Florida.

  7. Bob

    Just went to an all Buick show last Saturday. I was only interested in the older cars:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lcJT5oJIus

  8. Bruce Fischer

    Starter were a problem in those Buick ask me how I know.Bruce.

    1
    • Bob

      How do you know Bruce?

      1
    • Kevin W

      They all used delco starters, why would only Buick have a problem with them? Btw, Bob is still waiting for you to tell him how you know. Lol

  9. Bob

    My grandfather got a 49 Buick, 4 door, I presume a Roadmaster. Rather than having the speedometer in the dash, it was in a separate housing, the “barrel.” He took it down to his mechanic’s service station to show it off. He liked it so well, he bought one for my mother. She was about 5 feet tall, soaking wet. Seemed like a huge car for her. Then she got a 53 2 door coupe, in a pale, puke green. One night we went to get ice cream at a 31 flavors and it had an electrical fire. I can still see the fire engines that responded. It was fixed, but she could alway smell smoke. (Mom, it might have been your cigarettes!) So she traded it in on a 54 Roadmaster coupe, white with a dark blue top and red leather upholstery. My dad, my parents were divordec, drove a black 56 Roadmaster convertible. Visitations were different in those days and the only time I rode in it, she was with us, and insisted the top be up. Fast forward to 1965 and my grandfather got a black Riviera. and again, liked it so well he got one for my mother. Gold with a dual carb engine, if I remember correctly.

    1
    • Kevin W

      So how tall was your mother when she was dry. Lol.

      1
      • Mark S

        To funny, laughed out loud …!

        1
      • Mark S

        Tickled my funny bone still laughing…!

        1
  10. ACZ

    A four-holer!

    1
  11. charlie

    And the nicest treatment of the C pillar/rear window/roof line of all time, the same on the big Buick, Olds, and Caddy from ’54 to ’56.

    1
  12. Bob

    August 20, 1953

    A new thermostat for my mom’s 51 Buick.

    Labor $1.50 plus $1.77 parts plus 6 cents tax for a total of $3.33.

    1
    • PatrickM

      My 10th birthday!!! LOL. I remember the party!!! We never owned a
      Buick, but wished we could have afforded one.

  13. Madmatt

    I have always loved the mid fifties styling,
    and this Buick is a beauty in hiding.Looks very solid and
    restorable,much more than many out there!Glad to see
    that there is still some hartops out there in such good shape,
    Hope this will bring many years of enjoyment to its new owner!

    1
  14. gary

    When I was a kid a friend’s parents had one of these. We would take turns standing by the drivers door and the other one would pretend they were a gangster shooting down the car (across the “bullet” holes in the fender) while the one standing by door would do a dramatic death scene after being “shot” by the gangster.

    Ah, the memories.

    1
  15. Bob

    Saw this 55 at Bonneville’sWorld of Speed last month.

    1
  16. Graywolf

    The problem is the owner may not know how to start the car. You had to turn on the key and push the accelerator all the way to the floor to engage the starter. There was an electric switch on the side of the carburetor. That has stumped a few second + owners!

    1
    • Brad C

      Great way to get a cheap car. Scratch your head with the seller… shake your head, mention a tow truck, lowball ’em, strike a deal…and then hop in and drive away!

      1
    • John Deebank

      I was going to say the same thing after I read all the comments. In 1964, my ’56 Factory standard transmission started that way. It’s a big shame if the owner wasn’t told that. That could very well be the reason why they thought it was a starter problem. I always had a heater problem and vacuum everything on these. Step on the gas and the wipers stopped.

      1
  17. Mark-A

    Personally I wouldn’t paint it as the wear & the likes tell the story of the car’s life plus its an actual Patina not a fake one like so many nowadays! Just my opinion

    1
  18. Ron Hobbs sr

    I have just gotten my father’s first Buick back ,it’s a 1956 Special 2dr, it was made Canada way, I’ve hunting for years for it ,everything’s original ,just have to get it working

  19. Matt

    Is fake patina now as rampant as fake news and 5′ tall soaking wet mothers trying to dry off

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