Optional Astro Roof: 1983 Buick Riviera

We’ve recently seen a few low-mileage classics at Barn Finds, and this 1983 Buick Riviera is a beauty. It presents impressively and features the added luxury of the optional Astro Roof. Its presentation is difficult to fault, which is no surprise considering it has a genuine 20,000 miles on the clock. Until recently, it was a one-owner vehicle, but it needs a new home. The Riviera is listed here on eBay in Lakeland, Florida. It has received a single bid of $10,000, which is below the reserve. I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Larry D for spotting this stunning survivor.

The first Riviera appeared on the showroom floor in 1963, meaning the badge celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 1983. The company produced five-hundred cars as a limited edition called the Riviera XX, but this isn’t one of those vehicles. That doesn’t make it any less special because the original owner ensured it was about as well-equipped as anyone could want. It presents beautifully in Code 11 White with a matching Landau-style vinyl top. There’s no evidence of significant marks or defects, suggesting it has been treated respectfully throughout its life. There are no dings or dents and no rust. The optional chrome wheels add a touch of class, but some people will be attracted by the inclusion of the optional factory Astro Roof. The seller claims it is a rare option, but I’ve been unable to confirm a production total. It offers improved ventilation and would provide some welcome fresh air on warmer days. The trim looks excellent, and the glass is flawless.

Buick introduced the Sixth Generation Riviera in 1979, with the new model bringing the most significant change in the model’s history. It was the first Riviera featuring front-wheel-drive, which helped increase interior cabin space. The original owner ordered this classic with the 307ci V8, which sends 140hp to the front wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission. Although the original Riviera combined luxury and performance, by 1983, there was more of the former than the latter as part of the car’s DNA. At 3,858lbs, the Riviera was not particularly heavy for a vehicle of its type. However, a ¼-mile ET of 19.4 seconds graphically demonstrates how much manufacturers struggled during The Malaise Era. This Buick is mechanically original and is in excellent mechanical health. It has a genuine 20,907 miles showing on its odometer, and the seller holds verifying evidence for that claim. They state it is the best example you will find, and it is hard to argue with that assessment.

I mentioned Buick’s and the original owner’s focus on luxury with this Riviera, and the equipment list backs that statement. The new owner receives climate-control air conditioning, leather upholstery, acres of faux walnut, power windows, power locks, power front seats, cruise control, the Twilight Sentinel, a tilt wheel, and a premium AM/FM radio and cassette player, with that staple of the 1980s, a graphic equalizer. The overall condition is all you might expect for a low-mileage survivor. There’s no evidence of wear or abuse and no signs of aftermarket additions. Slipping behind the wheel would be like rewinding the clock to 1983, and the overall condition would satisfy the most meticulous buyer.

When it was shiny and new, this 1983 Riviera would have cost its original owner more than $25,000. Today, the market average sits at around $10,000. However, extraordinary examples can command prices of about $15,000. This Riviera fits into the second category courtesy of its overall condition, equipment level, and odometer reading. I’m surprised there has only been one bid on this classic, although that situation could change as the auction draws to a close. Cars from the 1980s have developed a strong following among a new generation of enthusiasts, so it will be interesting to see if that’s enough to intensify the action as the end approaches.


  1. Craig Baloga Member

    This is the exact car my mom had and I learned to drive to get my license!

    Look closely, these wheels were also used on the sinister Grand Nationals.

    The GN’s wheels had a larger offset for a deeper, more aggressive look, and of course, a different center cap.

    Great looking Riv’ here, for sure!

    Like 2
  2. Mitch

    This E-body Riviera received always controversial comments
    about their styling but Buick as is had the better reputation
    then the more often seeing faulty Plastillacs (Eldorado) The
    at most desirable models of this chassis are the convertibles
    or the rare Toronado. So far i remember on the Buick the 350
    engine was avail as option as the GM division 6 dropped it.
    A mint classic here.

    Like 1
  3. paterson guy

    Had an 82 triple powder gray for my wife; just beautiful. When our daughter was born and she had to use the backseat for the car seat that huge front door was just too much; loved it. Traded it for an 85 Caddy with the transverse engine; what a DOG. The engines ate the air conditionerS.

  4. Keith D.

    I owned an 85 Rivvy back in the mid 90’s same color combo, leather also. I was never interested in the front wheel drive GM coupes back in the day ie: Toronado & Eldorado. However until I experienced driving my Riviera in those snowy days living in NYC did I realize the convenience of having a vehicle with that type of suspension. This Rivvy is Gorgeous and very well taken care of. I’m also surprised there aren’t more bids on this classic. Nice Barn Find.

    Like 3
  5. Caprice Guy

    Beautiful car! This particular car has been listed and relisted over and over on Ebay for months and has never met the reserve. I think I was the high bidder at least once. It’s on the dealer’s website for $27,900 which is pretty pricey to say the least. It is about as clean as you could find though.

  6. Shuttle Guy

    Had one of my own. ’85 Light Blue one W/Dark Blue Landau roof. Big Shot realtor ya know.

    Like 1
  7. Stan

    This era interiors were some of the warmest and most welcoming, on a winters day. Fantastic.

    Like 3
  8. Vance

    I bought one of these for my wife, the original owner was a good friend of ours. She had taken excellent care of it, and had every service done by the dealer with receipts to prove it. This was 1990, and the odometer was around 70k and we paid 3k for it. It did need tires and shocks ( the rear needed air shocks ), and it was beautiful. She went back to school, and we needed a more economical ride. Before I sold it, I waxed it , detailed the motor and interior, it was stunning.. The first person to look at it was a woman, she ran from her car, screaming, “It’s beautiful! The husband looked at me like a defeated dog. I got 6500.00 for it, and had them sign an as is sales receipt when they took it away. Well, the transmission blew up about 2 weeks later, I had never had a hint of any problems. I became a car salesman not too long after that.

    Like 2
  9. patersonguy

    My wife’s had pleated powder gray leather seats with the powder gray vinyl roof; just beautiful; hated to trade it. Was a beast in the snow!

    Like 1
  10. DN

    Don’t bother- this stealership is infamously know girl it’s ridiculously inflated prices. Not even sure how they even stay in business.

    There’s plenty of other candidates out there to showcase instead of giving dealers like this any more exposure or platform

    Like 1
  11. Paul

    Dn is right

  12. Paul

    D. N is right

  13. Paulcug

    This car was not by any stretch over $25K new. The 86’ did shoot up to $26K but this car would have been $20K or in that range. In 79’ you could have got a brand new one off the showroom floor for $13K. Ask me how I know.

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