Rust-Free Driver: 1983 Buick Riviera Convertible

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This 1983 Buick Riviera convertible is one of those collector cars that seemingly pops up with decent regularity despite being a low-production vehicle. The Riviera coupe reached total production of over 50,000 cars, while the convertible was built in far more limited quantities, with just 1,750 drop-tops made in 1983. Of those, less than 400 were painted Firemist Red, like this car. The seller claims this rare convertible was left parked outside a barn in California for almost 15 years. It presents surprisingly well and is listed here on eBay for $8,500 or best offer.

For a collector car, the price is surprisingly low, and most of the convertibles that pop up seem to be comfortably under $15,000. The Riviera is obviously a storied nameplate and even non-enthusiasts will know the name as being one of Buick’s top-of-the-line cars. But in the early 198s0, the Riviera was a much different car than its forbears and became another victim of the so-called “malaise” era with low power outputs and reduced engine displacements. Still, this was one of the prettier cars offered by one of the Big 3, and the convertible version of the Riviera was a looker regardless of its ho-hum acceleration.

The interior is still a wonderful place to spend time, though. The Riviera came with bucket seats, a center console, and attractive wood trim. The leather and the carpets complimented the red exterior, and despite sitting outside for years in the California sun, the interior is in surprisingly nice shape. This really runs counter to what happens to most convertibles when left exposed to the elements, as those cars typically feature completely dried-out leather, a dash with numerous cracks, and lots of color-fading. I’m not seeing that here, outside of a few dash pad cracks.

The engine bay presents well, which is even more impressive considering the seller lists the mileage as being 111,322. The seller discloses both the good and the bad with this Riviera, noting the engine and transmission run well, and that he has “….changed the disturber cap, wires, valve cover gaskets and I gave it an oil change as well as an engine flush” in preparation for sale. He also notes one of the brake calipers has a tendency to lock up and that the power top is moving very slowly in its operation; he suspects there’s low hydraulic fluid in the system. It’s a project, but one that has no rust and just two previous owners – and the price seems right for a classic.

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  1. HadTwo

    Buick Motor Division did not make these convertibles. An aftermarket
    company purchased Riviera’s, cropped the tops, and made the convertibles.
    These Riviera convertibles were not available for sale as new cars
    on Buick Showrooms.

    Like 11
    • Bob Ch

      The story I read back then was Buick built these Rivireas without a back seat and sent them to ASC American Sunroof and sent back the finished car to Buick show rooms to sell

      Like 7
    • Patrick J Curran

      Buick didn’t “sell” them to ASC. They were sent to ASC to complete the conversion and then sent to dealers for retail sales. They made 1,750 for the model year. Buick designated an exclusive model number for these cars. It was 4EZ67.

      Like 3
  2. nlpnt

    GM’s most expensive car when new, apart from the Cadillac Series 75 limos which were really vocational work “trucks”. A year or two later an Eldorado version replaced it.

    Like 1
  3. Howie

    These look great with the top down, check out the sellers other vehicles you might find something you like.

    Like 2
  4. Claudio

    disturber cap, Thats a new one !

    Like 3
  5. don ice

    I had a red 1982 Riviera convertible, it had the original GM sticker from the factory for $25.789. It was sitting right in the center of the Buick dealership showroom. They only made two colors, white and red both with a reddish burgundy interior with white tops. In 1894 Cadillac make the ElDorado into a convertible.

    Like 3
  6. Tom

    Owned and loved a Rivi of this vintage. It must have been in a rare color as it was called “coral” (metallic copper) with a dark red interior. Beautiful outside and inside. Began having electrical gremlins and couldn’t chase them down. Apparently, the wiring harness had a “connection cancer” (where the plastic snap-fit connections were failing) causing intermittent issues. Sadly, traded it in for a POS that couldn’t compare to the Rivi. Saw it on the road about 5 years later and still looking great! One of many of my automotive blunders…

    Like 4
  7. 65 Bonneville

    I have seen several Oldsmobile Tornados’ that have had the ASC conversion. Not to many made, but typically sell for less than the Riviera convertible. The Buick will sell in the $15-19,000 range, depending on mileage, whereas the Olds will sell in the $12-15K range. The Eldorado will sell at a high price, generally. I would like to have any of the 3 convertibles, as there are a nice size, comfortable for long distance travel, somewhat unique, and fairly good fuel mileage. sort of exotic, but with out the exotic parts cost involved.

    Like 0
  8. Olds65

    Hess & Eisenhardt did them for me on a couple new 83-85 Toronado’s.

    Like 0

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