No Reserve Survivor: 1978 Buick Riviera

This 1978 Buick Riviera represents the end of the line for the company’s B-body coupe, and the final fling for the conventional rear-wheel drive layout. The company’s marquee personal luxury coupe certainly enjoyed a long life as one of the most recognized vehicles in the lineup, but changing standards for fuel economy and engine efficiency were forcing consumers to reconsider their model loyalties. It didn’t help that by this juncture, the Riviera didn’t look anything like its forebears. This example shows under 67,000 original miles and is listed at no reserve here on eBay, with a gorgeous body and time-warp interior.

Bidding is just over $3,000 at the moment, so it seems likely this one will go for a reasonable number. The Riviera was almost universally recognized for its boat-tail rear end when introduced, and while still had prodigious hindquarters in 1978, the styling that set it apart was long gone. So much had changed since the Riviera was first introduced, and appetites for big-body coupes with thirsty V8s under the hood had definitely waned. This Riviera was clearly loved by its owner, however, regardless of the consumer sentiment at the time. The bodywork shows virtually no defects and the chrome is still vibrant.

The seller notes it was a one-owner car for most of its life, so presumably they’re either referencing their own ownership of the car or a flipper who got to it before they did. The long-term owner took great care to keep the luxurious interior in good shape, as the door panels, seats, and carpet all still appear to be quite clean. The cabin was nothing short of spacious, even with just two doors. The seller notes it is equipped with power steering and brakes, tilt and cruise, power windows and locks, and factory air conditioning. If it doesn’t have an eight track, you should definitely add one.

The engine bay is nicely detailed but no details are offered on engine health, other than nothing the Riviera goes down the road well. Tires and brakes are said to be in good shape, but the seller notes muffler replacement is likely in the next owner’s future. I believe the standard engine offering would be the 403 V8, and while the displacement didn’t necessarily live up to the horsepower expectations, this will still cruise down the road just fine. The no reserve listing makes this a fairly low risk opportunity for the next owner, especially if you can live without the most iconic of the Riviera models.


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  1. Big_Fun Member

    Nice Riviera, representative of the earth tones offered on all Buicks that year. The downsized Regal and Century were new in ’78, and the brochure features this same two tone on a Century sedan.
    This example has the standard Buick 350 V8.
    Have it saved in my ebay watch list!

    Like 10
  2. Jcs

    Great cars. Basically a gussied up LaSabre. Smooth, comfortable, relatively bulletproof and inexpensive to repair to boot. Lots of miles left on this one, will be a fun ride for sure.

    Like 12
  3. Bob S Member

    This particular Riviera has 2 things going for it in my book, cloth interior, and no vinyl top! If price stays close to where it is now, will be a good buy!

    Like 6

    The 2-door-LeSabre Riviera….

    Like 5
    • Mike

      Lol yes the RiviSabre!

  5. Claudio

    Another horrible car brought to you by our american makers from the malaise era , now how can a designer sign off on this ?

    Like 2
  6. Ben T.Spanner

    Think of the drastic change for the better when the 1979 Riviera came out.

    Like 2
  7. ACZ

    These were sweet drivers. I had one with a 403. However, regardless of the mileage, it’s a rust-belt car. Beware.

  8. JoeNYWF64

    No excuse for getting rid of frameless side glass.
    Racing mirrors do not belong on a luxury car. Ironic u can’t get good looking mirrors today even on the most exotic of cars, much less metal ones.
    With a different grill & tailites, 1 might think it’s a Caprice!
    Sales must have taken a nosedive with this “design”.
    I wonder what the Riviera would look like if there were no(not even 2.5mph) bumper standards or rollover standards for ’78.

  9. JoeNYWF64

    The only things i see that appear to be rusty are the power brake booster & ps pump bracket. Odd.

  10. S

    I found it odd how the Riviera went to the B body platform for 2 years, while the Toronado and Eldorado kept going on the E body platform. It strikes me as odd that only Buick did this. I think doing what they had to do to meet the then new CAFE standards, and in general dealing with the concerns of the times, they did a decent job. I think the styling of these turned out very well,even if they weren’t as unique as previous generation Rivieras.

  11. John Oliveri

    Rare 2 yr only body style, prefer the 350 over the 403, nicer if it a sunroof, but still a nice car

  12. Andre

    Standard engine in these was a Buick 350, although the Olds 403 was optional. This one has a Buick 350 (distributor in front, and tilted at an angle)

    Like 1
  13. ernest serna

    Im looking for a 77-78 buick riviera.

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