Rare Sport Wagon: 1958 Buick Riviera Estate

Talk about one cool and rare find! This 1958 Buick Special Estate is a Riviera, which means it’s a pillarless hardtop. With the 364 V8 this would have been one hot wagon when it was new. It’s showing some great patina and looks to be quite original. You can find it here on eBay in Grand Junction, Colorado with a BIN of $9,950. Special thanks to local_sheriff for this tip!

While the exterior looks quite solid and very complete, the floors are rusty, the interior needs restored, and the drivetrain is missing. The seller does have a solid floor pan that’s included. They also know of a correct drivetrain for it that they can help the buyer acquire. With just 3,420 of these having been built, finding parts could be a challenge, so any leads the seller has on any needed parts will come in handy.

Prior to 1963, the Riviera name was used to denote the body style, rather than a model or trim designation. While any big Buick in the Riviera body style is a big deal, finding one of these wagons is really something special. The combination of luxury, performance, and style of these wagons is truly impressive.

It’s a shame that the original drivetrain is missing, but it’s wasn’t uncommon for these Buick’s to offer their engine to a hot rod. With 250 horsepower, it was a quite potent engine at the time, but a more modern V8 would provide more power. Which brings us to a bit of a conundrum. The correct engine would be expensive to source but would make it correct. A newer engine would be cheaper and offer better performance. So, which would it be for you?

There’s a ton of work to be done here, but it really is a special find. Hopefully, someone will see the significance of this car and do something with it. A full restoration would do it the most justice, but a restromod would definitely be cool. So, which route would you go with this Buick wagon?

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  1. Classic Steel

    Cute and fun car to build but wowsa on price? Really ?

    If the market supports your SWAG price then more power to you.

  2. Fred W

    Is it just me or is there a lot of missing side glass?

    • CCFisher

      I was wondering why the author is concerned the missing drivetrain when the missing glass is a far bigger issue, especially the curved tailgate glass.

    • Will Fox

      ALL glass behind the windshield is missing! Gooood luck finding the quarter glass and tailgate window. You’ll look long & hard before finding any of it. (Hint: A `58 4dr. hardtop sedan’s glass would work in the doors. Just not the glass from a pillared sedan) This car will need $120K to restore, but worth every dime when done.

      • Joe Tonietto

        The only glass that is not easily found is the liftgate glass. Everything else is available from your favorite glass supplier.

        The 364 Nailhead isn’t that difficult to find, either.
        But everything unique to the wagon bodies will present a challenge.

        Rear bumper ends are difficult to find and very costly. Same goes for the unique dual exhaust LH manifold, pristeen tail light lenses and front park/turn lamp housings.

        The entire wiring harness is available, but it’s only available from a couple of restoration suppliers. A generic harness would be the way to go if you’re not seeking a perfect restoration.

        I finished the restoration of my 58 Caballero in 2019. Such a cool car!

      • Stan Marks

        Will, you hit the nail right on the head. Worth every penny.
        You don’t see these wagons, very often.
        Even though the interior needs a re-do, it would have been nice to see the interior & under side.

        I’m a sucker for red cars. The body looks like surface rust. The chrome looks good. That especially goes for the front grill.

        Who said finding glass would be a problem? You can find anything on the www.

        BTW.. I’d put a newer engine under the hood, too.
        When all said & done, this car would fetch double the cost. IMO.

  3. local_sheriff

    Personally I find both the previous and following year Buicks to look WAY better than the ’58, but any 4dht longroof makes a great vehicle. I saw one at the July 4th cruise last year; an unrestored pink(!) and white HT wagon but I may recall that one was a Caballero.
    This is a wagon it’s almost impossible to put any price tag on – it’ll cost a fortune to do it right so the buying audience will likely be minuscule, meaning there will be many watchers but very few bidders. Best wishes to the next owner!

  4. TimM

    Really unique looking wagon!! It is weird that someone sells a car with that much glass missing!!! The tailgate glass looks like it could be curved so maybe there’s a problem finding that but the side glass looks flat I would suspect you could get that from any auto glass company!! The grill on this car is killer with all those individual little squares under the hood!! That alone is worth half the asking price in my opinion!!!

    • Fireballr Member

      Weird tho that the seller states he knows where to get the glass. Maybe just get it all and sell it WITH the wagon? Drivetrain as well. All right there.

      • G G

        prob out of his $ range, why selling

  5. Jamie

    They forgot to hose down the seats before they took a pic. They hosed down everything else, why stop there!

    • vintagehotrods

      Exactly! That’s the way I see a lot of guys trying to put lipstick on a pig lately. Hose ’em down so they shine, even a one like this! Ridiculous!

  6. Bob Washburne

    Uh yeah there’s no glass in it, except the windshield. Also appears that the engine wiring harness is gone, and I’m not confident that the dash harness is there, or unmolested.

    It is potentially a worth-while attempt at an investment project for someone with the time, skills, and (most inportantly) with all of the glass lying around. That isn;t saying much, because cars in general are not great investments.

  7. Kenneth Carney

    Add the 300HP engine from a later Roadmaster along the wiring and tranny
    and you’ll have the best of both worlds and one hell of a daily driver. Any good
    upholstery shop can stitch you a near matching interior, but it’s the glass and a
    lot of it that worries me most. I can see
    this car painted Velvet Touch Maroon with a Cream roof and wearing a set of
    wire rims and a proper set of wide whites
    too. Always wanted one since I watched
    the old Rescue 8 TV show where one of the firemen had one as his personal car.
    They must’ve been paying a really good
    wage back then for him to be driving a
    car like that.

    • Gaspumpchas

      Wow, Ken- Rescue 8! Skip and Wes!.Thought my brother and me were the only guys that remembered. It’s on you tube, and the 4×4 GMC was the coolest and baddest truck ever. The extremely handsome Jim davis, not sure of his partner’s real name. If you’re a fan of the 70’s Emergency! Show- watch the clip of Skip and Wes leaving the firehouse , and the aerial view- Then watch the beginning of an Emergency! show–the clips are identical. Reviving the concept so many years later really worked. This is good stuff. Sorry if its off topic. There was another show about a trucker called Shannon- he drove a wicked cool GMC .Crackerbox.

  8. junkman Member

    They picked it pretty clean, obviously a parts car for some other cause. No Thanks to that endless search. These are without a doubt sweet rides when done, think you could do better for 10k. My .02 cents.

  9. PaulR

    The Fashion-Aire Dynastar grille work with it’s 160 squares. Each grille had to be labor intensive during assembly at the factory. A lot of them were donated to the custom car culture.

  10. Cattoo Member

    Except for the wing windows the door glass seems to be rolled down. At least to my eye. Cannot day about the back glass and I doubt the rear side glass rolled down so some of the glass is there.

    • CCFisher

      The door glass frames are there, but the glass is not.

  11. Kenneth Carney

    Yeah Charles, I’ve seen most all the episodes they have there. That’s when TV was TV. The only Shannon I knew
    drove a Buick Special not a GMC crackerbox. Also like the show Cannonball too. Would like to see that
    show too if I can find it. Sounds interesting .

  12. ccrvtt

    Unfortunately for the amount of money it would take to put this beautiful hunk of chrome back together it will probably end up in a museum or a private collection. This thing is just too, too….. (I’m speechless) to be hidden from public view.

    If I were a man of means I’d fix it and take it across the country to every cars & coffee I could find. It would be a service to mankind.

  13. Raymond Smith

    The EBAY add addresses the glass issue. Copy of information below. (Edited as the information was spread throughout the add.)



  14. Turbo

    So the guy will sell you the car for 10 grand and he knows where all the other hard to find parts are (all the missing glass and ‘number matching’ drive train). Does anyone else think this is weird? It would seem easier to sell, and for a better price, if he made it a package. Probably trying to sell the car and then grease the buyer by selling him the rest of the car at inflated prices. And why does the car look like it was just in a thunderstorm? Just not getting a good vibe on this one.

  15. Rodney - GSM

    All that heavy chrome at the back end makes my teeth ache. But in a good way…

    • Mike

      No need for air bags when you have this bumper fortress on wheels.

      • TimM

        The only air bags are your ex-wife and ex-mother-in-law in the back seat!!!

  16. Howard A Member

    Colorado is fast becoming the “new” California, mostly because people that made their money in California,( and milked that to the end) are now turning to Colorado, and consequently, driving the price up to California standards. 4 digit rentals are the norm. Not mine, but $700 rent for a 1 bedroom is around the corner. I’m not sure I can live here much longer. This car exemplifies that. While the car proper, is an outstanding example of American glitz at it’s finest( in cars) this particular car, I, and most others feel, is not a $10g car. Even the current bid of $8 is out of kilter. If it was drivable and looked liked this maybe, but it’s sad to think a hulk of a car, is worth $10g’s today. I’m looking at 2 and 3 bedroom houses ( in an undisclosed location) that can be had for $15g’s. I’m not going to say where, just you better like snow, and I do.( as long as I don’t have to be anywhere, that is)

    • Mountainwoodie

      Back to the UP with you! :)

      Yup…its the end of the world…………hulks selling for ten grand.

      Along with most of what else passes for normal today……….I’ll pass

  17. john taggart Member

    the bumpers and grill on this are massive robably wigh more than most small cars today what an era 58 was for design all 58’s took a huge turn for lne year and redisgned the following your including GM FORD AND CHRYSLER

  18. don

    We shouldn’t complain about the hosing down of the car , I mean how many cars listed here have so much dust/dirt/ garbage piled on and in them you can’t see what you’re bidding on ? That said, this car looks like it may have sat in a field or junkyard for years with the windows down to get the floor to rot so badly compared to the rest of the car ; that would explain why most of the interior is gone too – the seller likely removed the ruined interior parts to start a restoration and never got around to finishing it

    • karl

      Cant fault the seller for the lack of pictures ; I dont think I’ve ever seen a listing with so many shots of the car ! It may not be worth what hes asking, but it does seem like he is straightforward on the condition .

  19. Bob Mck Member

    I usually hate rusty cars, but with a bucket full of cash this one could be really nice.

  20. Philip Bregar

    Nice car, but not $10k as it sits. Yeah, that was a good idea to hose down the complete car. It was fairly rust free before, but we can’t have that. The dash, too? WTH? Funny he didn’t mention the cracked windshield. Probably has a line on a new one of those, too. He should buy all the other stuff and add it to the auction, then he could maybe get the $10k.

    Had a co-worker sell an old Indian MC, and keep a couple of the juicy parts to sell to someone else. Strikes me as unethical. But, that’s just me.

  21. KARL

    What ? A top of the line Buck wagon and its radio delete ?????????? I’ll pass

    • Bill McCoskey


      This isn’t a top of the line Buick. It’s a Special Riviera model 49D. In 1958 Buick offered the base model 49 wagon, a standard pillared 4-door wagon. The next up the line was the 49D, the car you see here. More expensive Buick wagons were the Century Caballero, and the Limited wagon.

      So finding this car has no radio is not surprising.

  22. Chas358 Chas358 Member

    Rusty, no engine, no wiring harnesses – for $10 Large?

    Uhhh, I’ll pass.

    • Vince H


      I would pass on it even if it had all the parts. I always thought these and the 58 Olds were really ugly.

      • Stan Marks

        Leno’s garage would do a good job. Jay is a perfectionist.

  23. P Wentzell

    There is no such thing as “great patina”. It looks forced. For nearly ten large, there should at least be something of a drivetrain and glass. Maybe I expect too much.

  24. Stan Marks

    I agree, PW. It’s an excuse not to paint. To each his/her own. And clear coating it doesn’t help. Now if you have an old rat mobile, or vintage car or pick up, you can get away with it.

  25. Peter J Weinzierl

    What a sweeeeetttt ride!! Jay Leno ought to buy this!! I can see him making a killer out of this beauty. If I had the room, I’d be on it!

    • Stan Marks

      Better yet, give it to Richard Rawlings, or “The Count”, in Vegas.

      • Vince H


        Right on they could really mess it up.

  26. Peter J Weinzierl

    The movie “Christine:” comes to mind. Imagine if this was the car. Wow!

  27. Stan Marks

    IMO, ’58 Fury was more menacing.


  28. Wayne from oz

    I don’t think it’s been hosed down, there’s no droplets. I think he went mad with the clear coat.

    • vintagehotrods

      Take a closer look at the pics. There’s water still on the windshield and its dripping on the ground too.

  29. Joe Tonietto

    I completed the restoration of my 58 Caballero Estate Wagon in 2019.

    Some stuff is easy to find, because this body is common with the Special & Century 4 door hardtops from the C pillar forward. Everything from the back of the rear door rearward is unique to the wagons.

    Some parts are shared with Oldsmobile wagons. Only a few hardware bits are shared with Chevrolet & Pontiac.

    All the glass is available for these cars, with the exception of the liftgate glass. That’s a little tough to find, but they’re out there. The liftgate glass is shared by all 1957 & 1958 Oldsmobile and Buick wagons.

    Rear bumper ends are REALLY hard to find and these look pretty good.

    The 364 nailhead is a pretty easy find, too. If the trans is missing, you’re faced with an interesting decision…find a Dynaflow to hook up with the original torque tube, or install a conventional rear axle with all the suspension and control arm pieces to keep it in place.

    Cool car.


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