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Used Car Lot Find: 1974 Buick Riviera


This 1974 Buick Riviera represents the first year of a makeover of the previous “boattail” body style to make it look more conventional. It’s a low-mileage original car pictured on a used car lot in Utah but supposedly for sale in Brooklyn, New York. It’s listed for sale here on eBay with a buy-it-now of $5,900 and bidding currently at $2,000.


One interesting detail about this body style is that the elevated brake lights at the base of the rear window were (I believe) one of the first implementations of the high-mounted stop lights that are ubiquitous now. While there are some areas at the edges of the vinyl top that have me wondering, the car is said to have been in indoor storage and is in “excellent” condition.


I can’t help but wonder why the seller didn’t clean the whitewalls before taking the pictures. There are a few parking lot dings and scrapes, but nothing horrible. The seller doesn’t tell us whether or not this is original paint, but it may well be. The yellow and white look nice together, and I’ve always liked the Buick version of rallye wheels.


It’s a shame that the steering wheel is split, but the interior as a whole doesn’t look bad. Can you believe the claim of 62,058 miles? It doesn’t look like 168,000 to me. I wonder if the upholstery is vinyl or leather (both were offered, along with cloth)? Unfortunately, the seller doesn’t include any engine or under car pictures, but we’re told the car has a 455 V-8. The ad does state that the car runs “super strong” and drives “super smooth.”

1974 Buick Riviera Folder-02-03

(brochure courtesy of oldcarbrochures.org)

You can see that Buick was aiming the Riviera at the “personal luxury” segment of the market. Does it meet your requirements? Would you like this cruiser in your fleet? Let us know in the comments below!


  1. Avatar photo dj

    I just sold one of these steering wheels on Ebay for $50 in excellent shape. I like this car and wouldn’t mind having it. Now my wife on the other hand would say I’d have to sell one of the other cars first.

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  2. Avatar photo Nessy

    It’s a 75. The 74 still had the round headlights. 75 was the first year of the headlight change on most higher model GM cars.

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    • Avatar photo ydnar

      Good catch, but the VIN starts with a 4, so I am confused, as usual.

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      • Avatar photo Erik

        First digit 4 is for Buick, the 6th digit in the VIN is for the model year.

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  3. Avatar photo Rex Kahrs Member

    Man for 6K this thing looks to be a great cruiser.

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  4. Avatar photo Cassidy

    “Skipper! I found The Minnow!”

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  5. Avatar photo mark

    I had forgotten how much this style of Riviera looks like the Olds Tornado. The Tornado had similar elevated brake lights.

    Like 1
  6. Avatar photo jim s

    it would make a great driver if the miles are true. i too would need to know why car is listed for sale in NY when photos are from Utah. nice find.

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    • Avatar photo dj

      I wondered the same thing. I just sent a message on Ebay. It’s 1:40am here and 2:40 am there and got a very quick reply. Said those pics were taken when it was shipped to him. Huh? It smells like sardines to me.

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      • Avatar photo jim s

        thanks for checking. i wonder how old the photos are. seller also has posted on the Ebay listing that car is a 1975 not 74. no longer has a BIN but still has a reserve which is not met. this car/seller needs a PI before bidding.

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      • Avatar photo Roseland Pete

        Makes me wonder why the seller didn’t take his own pics. Fishy is right. On another note, I wouldn’t buy a new car without seeing it first much less a 40 year old one. If I really wanted it, I’d travel which I’ve done in the past. I don’t know how many times I’ve been told an old car was “excellent” or “in showroom condition,” “better than new” but when I got there it was a different story.

        Like 1
  7. Avatar photo MountainMan

    For sure a nice cruiser even at the asking price. These are some of the better looking Buicks from the mid 70s in my opinion. Likely will make somebody a nice classic for not a lot of green

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  8. Avatar photo Barry T

    The early Riviera body style was quite stylish, this one not so much. Just looks like any other Buick to me.

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  9. Avatar photo Charles H.

    Looks like the headlight bezels have been swapped for the rectangular ’75 type. or it’s a ’75, and not a ’74

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  10. Avatar photo piper62j

    Really nice.. I like it.. Horn pad could use some 409 and that looks like all it needs..

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  11. Avatar photo PaulieB

    My aunt had one back in the day.. Great looking car..nothing but headaches.. The a/c went within warranty as did the transmission.. She used to keep her cars for 4 years but dumped this one after only 2.. bought an Electra and never had any trouble with it.. kept that one for 8 years..

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  12. Avatar photo Jerry Friedrich

    I’ve got a perfect 75 in my garage, One owner but has been stored for 30 years, Open the door and it still smells like new leather… I need to get it out and sell it..

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    • Avatar photo Jesse Staff

      Let us know when you are ready to let it go Jerry!

      Like 0
  13. Avatar photo Roseland Pete

    Didn’t sell. Ebay shows 830 views and zero bids. 62k miles is entirely possible. I have a 72 Riv that had 9,600 miles on it when I got it . It broke my heart to turn 10k miles.

    Like 0
  14. Avatar photo jd

    Love it~Ugly and Big~The way a land Yacht otta be~give you 500 cash~

    Like 0
  15. Avatar photo Keith

    Can’t be a 74, square headlights were not introduced until 1975. Cadillac had round headlights on all their models in 1974 so I know for sure this is not a 74 model. People make mistakes. I like the 71-73 Caddy steering wheel though, even if it is cracked.

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  16. Avatar photo Derrick Rollison

    It’s not a 74, it’s a 75-76 model beautiful car, Caddy had that steering wheel but they put them in some olds and Buicks ,it was the telescopic steering wheel, and believe it or not I had a 74 Electra with air bags , yes g.m. was the first American car to experiment with that from 74 to 76

    Like 0

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