One-Family Owned 1958 Buick Special Riviera

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Okay Mr. Peabody, set the Wayback Machine to 1958 and cue the Happy Days theme song. Here’s a sharp-looking, sparkling survivor with no gaps on its resume. The seller shares that this Buick was purchased new in Nampa, Idaho in 1958 and remained in the same family for 62 years. (I wonder if their last name was Cunningham and the father owned a hardware store?) Apparently, the original owner logged most of the 56,130 miles between 1958 and 1970 before gifting the car to his son. “Richie,” as we’ll call him, drove it sparingly, showing it at car shows, driving in parades, and maybe cruising down to Arnold’s for a burger, fries, and shake. In 2015, the original owner’s granddaughter inherited the car and stored it in her garage until 2020, when the family decided it was time for grandpa’s beloved Buick to find a new family. You can find this Buick Special Riviera, one of 34,903 hardtop coupes produced in 1958, currently residing in Hayden Lake, Idaho here on eBay. But hurry, the auction ends May 3, 2021 at 9:00 pm. Props to Larry D for sending this tip our way.

Get a load of that brooding mug; the epitome of 50s glitz and ornamentation. Their advertising campaign called it the B-58 Buick and claimed it “looks and feels like flight on wheels” and boasted of “sleek and bold styling with lavish use of heavy-duty chrome, stainless steel, and lightweight aluminum.” But given the styling and proportions, the “B” could’ve stood for Battleship, especially when compared to the sleek “Forward Look” styling of the Chrysler Corporation. Overall, this Buick appears to be nice and straight and had one 1970s era repaint. Finished in an attractive metallic copper with a tasteful light gray top, the paint looks very presentable for its age. The ton of trim is complete except for a little upfront dental work. Three of the 160 faceted chrome squares from the flashy “Fashion-Aire Dynastar Grille” are missing.

The colorful interior (the 442 trim code: Rust pattern cloth and White Cordaveen vinyl) has had the carpet and headliner replaced, but the rest of it appears to be original. Yes, the front seat is showing its age, especially the driver’s side, but the rear seat is near perfect. And check out that funky textured seat fabric. The dash is described as showing minimal wear and the vinyl dash pad shows a few minor cracks. The white steering wheel has the usual hairline cracks, and the heater works but only blows in the low-speed position. The original radio isn’t currently working, and all the gauges work except the one that got to most use the past 63 years: the fuel gauge.

The seller doesn’t share much about the 364-cubic inch “Nailhead” V8, except that it “runs well.” As you can tell from the photo, the engine bay looks every bit its age, but the turquoise and black powerplant would look sharp if the buyer opts to restore it. Since coming out of storage, the Buick has received new mufflers and a new water pump, spark plugs, cap, rotor, condenser, and battery. The original starter was also rebuilt. The seller says the car drives well but could likely use a new set of ball joints and tie rods ends to tighten up the steering. Overall, this Buick Special Riviera 2-door hardtop is indeed special. It’s a solid, rust-free survivor with low mileage, a one-family history, and in need of a new home. Who wants to be the next King or Queen of Bling floating down the road in this metallic copper B-58?

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  1. CadmanlsMember

    Wow what a beauty, I am sure it just floats down the road. Real steel and lots of it.

    Like 25
    • Michael Castagna

      Looks like a 12 volt. Normally 2 volts for each water filler cap. So, this has 6 times 2 equals 12.

      Like 1
  2. Moparman MoparmanMember

    I can’t help seeing it, the missing “teeth” give this mouth a snaggle-toothed look, LOL!! This one is a beauty, needing only some TLC and repairs to bring it back to its full glory. GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 16
  3. Clark

    What kind of battery is that?

    Like 7
  4. JCAMember

    I thought Mr Cunningham had a 4 door Desoto? Richie didn’t like borrowing it because it wasn’t cool enough to pick up chicks in lol

    Like 8
  5. Rodney - GSM

    A good 3D printer might help with the missing “teeth” up front. Otherwise, an amazing piece of rolling history. This is your father’s Buick…

    Like 8
  6. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Your father or as in my case my school teacher. Let’s see, in 58 I was 11 and in the 5th grade, Mrs. McClendon traded her 49 Studebaker in on a new Buick, but I’m thinking hers was a roadmaster, but not sure. I do remember it was blue and white two tone. She even had the optional aircoditioning and every power option available. She was very proud of her Buick. Thanks for the memories.
    God bless America

    Like 14
  7. Jonathan

    Sorry, but I have to mention this, though I may sound like a curmudgeon. Why is it that even though most every phone has a perfectly usable camera, with which one could take copious pictures at zero cost, there seems to be a dearth of photos of many of these cars. Could be there are many pictures, but editors choice is expressed. It’s jut that I appreciate more interior shots than, especially dashboards. Seems my memory banks remember dashboards pretty well, for some reason, therefore I appreciate the nostalgia.

    Like 4
    • JCAMember

      Jonathan, Click on the Ebay listing link in the first paragraph to see the rest…

      Like 0
  8. CraigR

    That car ticks every box on the cool list. Man that’s nice.

    Like 4
  9. RichardMember

    I bought one of these (in white) from an estate back in 1979. My daughter and I spent hours cleaning up the chrome. I think there were 160 of those squares in the grille. I bought the house from the estate a couple of months later and we lived there for over 20 years. My son owns the house now but the Buick has been gone for many years. It was a one owner 34k mile car.

    Like 6
    • Pete Phillips

      I would have kept the car and sold the house!

      Like 6
  10. Will Fox

    Unbelievable condition for it’s age. This has to be among THE cleanest one-owner cars of this vintage I’ve seen in years. The chrome trim is just amazing. Usually they have been fully restored, but this? This is a masterpiece in originality! wish I had the bucks & the room for it. Just beautiful.

    Like 6
  11. Harold Booth

    The early ’50 Pontiac batteries were six volts [three cells] in-line.

    Like 2
  12. local_sheriff

    As much as I like 50s-60s roadboats I’ve never been the biggest fan of the ’58 Olds or Buick, they simply look too cluttered to me. I’ve seen many of the latter but never one in this color combo. It still surprices me just how much a specific color can ‘make’ a car as suddenly I find this to be a desirable vehicle.

    Once again it’s so pleasing to see folks who have managed to properly take so good care of a family heirloom for decades. Hopefully there’ll be several priceless pics and stories gathered during this Buicks ownership that need to be passed along to the next owner

    Like 2
  13. Steve Clinton

    It’s hard to believe the difference between this and the ’59 Buick.

    Like 2
    • LarryS

      The ’59 Buick. Way back then my favorite time of the year was in the fall when the new cars appeared in the showrooms. I always made the rounds of every car dealership I could (many!) on my bike to find out when the models would show up and, then, get to the dealership when they did. About a 1/2 mile away was the Buick dealer. I still remember seeing the ’59 Buick for the first time. I’m not sure that, to that point in my life, I had ever been so awed. And maybe never since.

      Like 6
      • dwcisme

        We had a 59 Buick back in the early 60’s. White roof over bronze. For a family of 6, it was the perfect size car. We went camping every year and that trunk would swallow all our gear. I remember a problem it had was an electrical gremlin that required the driver to put a new fuse in every time it was started. It eventually got taken out by a fuel tanker on a roundabout in Dartmouth N.S.

        Like 0
  14. Guggie 13

    This was my first car , 58 Buick ,mine was red and white , when I bought it in 1964 it had 38k on it the dealer put two good front tires on it and did an oil/ filter change / inspection all for $500.00 , what a tank . Sold it a year later due to having to go into the military ,dont remember what I got for it ,seems like as much as I paid . Always liked Buicks .

    Like 4
  15. Dave G

    Currently at $24,100 with just under 2 days to go.

    Like 1

    Museum piece! Hope it goes to a good home!

    Like 0
  17. Anthony DAmico

    A beautiful car for sure. But I don’t get the reference to Happy Days. I don’t think the Fonz would have ever been caught dead in a ’58 Buick! Neither would Richie. Anyhow, true Buick fans prefer the ’54 through ’57 body style. I’m surprised the bidding’s at $24k.

    Like 0
  18. MLM

    Not much of a fan of the ’54,the ’55-56 is beautiful, but the ’57s are my favorites.This ’58 don’t look too bad.I hope it goes to a good home.

    Like 1
  19. Miguel - Mexican Spec

    What no portivents?

    Like 0

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