1970 Buick Riviera opinions wanted

Discussion in 'The Bench' started by melontrout, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. melontrout

    melontrout New Member


    New to the forum, and I am considering purchasing the following 1970 Buick Riviera as a daily driver.

    1970 Buick Riviera <-LINK


    I had a few questions before progressing, as I am not as knowledgable about this model car as I would like to be and am sure that there are many here who could steer me in the right direction.

    1. This particular car does not have cruise control. Is adding cruise to a model like this a pretty expensive option and/or requires fooling with the dash (hard parts to find, etc...?)

    2. I noticed that this particular car did not have the sweepspear chrome moldings on the side and wondered if some models didn't come with that option or they had possibly been taken off. Are replacement sweepspear pieces hard to find for this model, and are they difficult to install properly?

    3. Would anyone recommend what they think a fair price for this car would be? I know that it is listed at $11,995, but feel that one could have this car for a bit cheaper due to demand for these types of vehicles.

    4. Would this be an ideal car to use as a daily driver, or am I likely getting myself into something that will require repeated repairs, etc..?

    I apologize for the length of this post, and greatly appreciate any feedback you guys could offer.

    Thanks for your help.

  2. JZRIV

    JZRIV Platinum Level Contributor

    Hi and welcome to the forum.

    1. Adding cruise isn't terribly difficult as far as options go but that all depends on your skill level. It could be a mountain to climb or just a bump in the road. Finding the cruise parts will take some digging but they are out there.

    2. The side sweepspear was optional. You can find them used but again you may have to do some digging and prepare to pay for straight undamaged trim. As far as installation maybe someone else can comment. Factory cars may have had T studs on the body for clips/retainers.

    3. Your link did not appear. Can't see car - Update Got it now - Thats a plain jane car. agree with Briz on the value. Asking price is over two times market value IMO from what I've seen other 70s going for. Not that a 70 won't sell for that but it would be better equipped with more attractive options. Be patient and be willing to travel out of state for the right car. Looks like its a decent car. They don't list the miles. Just way over priced. If you are truely interested offer $4000 and work from there.

    4. Any car from that era will require regular maintenance to be a reliable daily driver. We have become so accustomed to the newer cars low maintenance that its easy to forget the effort it took to keep a late 60s or early 70s car reliable after it was 3 years old. Again if your skill level is good these big Buicks generally are well engineered and stand the test of time so they are one of the better candidates for a daily driver IMO. As long as you get enjoyment out of driving it the amount of maintenance will be a non-issue. Whatever you buy unless someone just did it there are a number of mechainical and electrical systems that you will want to refresh so need to keep $1500 or so set back for that.

    Familiarize yourself with the options these cars had so you get what you want. 70 came with short or long skirts. Some people like the short skirts (pun intended) You could also get bucket seats and shifting console as well as the GS package.

    You can also check out this forum

    And here
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
  3. Briz

    Briz Platinum Level Contributor

    Welcome to the board from Florida.

    I love the second generation Riv better than all of them but the 70 was my least fav of that series because they did away with some of the coolest features. They can make a good daily driver if, as pointed out above,you keep up on the maint. and you dont mind getting 10-15 MPG. I grew up in the time of these cars so working on them is not a big deal for me. Most of us here enjoy doing it. I think the asking price on that car is about 2x's what it should be. Shop around. There's been several here on the board in the last few months. Good luck on your search.
  4. Rivman

    Rivman Senior Ottawa Buick Guy

    Welcome to v8buick, and congratulations on your very first post in the forum - please check out the links that Jason Z. has posted.
    This appears to be nice clean, unmolested example of a '70 'base' model Riviera with very limited options.
    With the base interior trim, no cruise control, no sweepspear side trim moldings, hubcaps only, and 'crank' windows - on a Riviera??
    I also agree with Steve's comments, about the asking price for this vehicle, as there are better equipped examples available for the same price.
    . . . shop around, and I think some of your questions have been suitably addressed. :TU:

    As Dale B. (aka,...'sweepspear'), so aptly dubbed it, the '70 Riviera is the 'red-headed-step-child' of 2nd generation Rivieras !!

    . . . how about a name and location? - were a pretty friendly group here,
    and good luck on finding a better example of the '70 Riviera. :beer
  5. melontrout

    melontrout New Member

    I sure do appreciate the input, guys. I've owned and driven only one old car in my life ('69 Chevy Pickup) for about five years, and I was able to work on that thing pretty good and got used to the maintenance.

    Glad to see that you've confirmed some of my suspicions about this particular car, and I might keep looking a bit and maybe try for a different year model Riv or a nicer example.
  6. lemmy-67

    lemmy-67 Gold Level Contributor

    I agree with what's been written thus far. If you want a highway cruiser a shade lighter than a Cadillac Fleetwood, then the 70 Riviera will fit that bill. I like the 2nd generation Rivieras too, but you know my favorite year. For me, the 67 was the best trade-off on engine size, horsepower, handling, looks, and features. $12k is ridiculous, even if it's in Concours show quality. After 67, the EPA began mandating all kinds of emissions hardware, and the performance got reduced while the vehicle weight went way up.

    I've also heard that parts availability for the 66 vs. the 67 Riviera is much more scarce. I've had a reasonable amount of luck keeping my 67 in running order with parts and labor.
  7. Dale

    Dale Sweepspear

    I can't really add to what others have said here, I have the same opinions as they do.
    Although a very plain Jane example, it looks to be a very clean car, but I think the price is overly optimistic.
    Dang, I'd like to get that.

    The trim along the sides was an option on the '70 as Jason mentioned.
    If you wanted to install a set you would have to drill holes all along the side of the car and use barrel clips to hold it on.
  8. Yardley

    Yardley Club Jackass

    Very few Rivs came with low options. Most had AC and power windows at least. You should hold out for one that has the options you want. 11 large would be the price of a very nice car that has been gone over mechanically AND has AC and power windows. 2nd gen Rivs are marvelous machines, however, if you are not able to do routine maintenance yourself, I WOULD NOT get one. These cars are NOT Chevelles or Camaros and cannot be worked on as such. Example: the 69 and 70 Riviera have an in-tank electric fuel pump. ZERO repair garages out there today know this unless you use a Buick specialist, like we have in the BPG. The 70 does not have hidden headlights, so you dodge a bullet there as they vacuum systems for the 68/69 Rivs can be troublesome.

    1st and 2nd Gen Rivs have 2 piece driveshafts and a panhard bar in the rear. Not your normal 4 link suspension. The upper ball joints cannot be purchased anywhere except at a classic Buick supplier like CARS or Kanter - AND the original ones are welded into the control arm from the factory. The replacements must also be tack-welded in. Stuff like this that the regular mechanic won't know and YOU must know - and can only know by reading the shop manual like a bible.

    They are smooth and powerful luxury cars and make fine drivers. However, as was mentioned before, you will get about 13 mpg around town. It will get real expensive to drive it every day. Plan on filling it up every other day.
  9. black70buick

    black70buick Well-Known Member


    I am probably going to repeat much that is already said...

    1.) This one is over priced but is nice. (4K can get you one straight and better optioned)
    2.) This one is low optioned but nice. (4K can get you one straight and better optioned)
    3.) This year car has pieces that are hard to come by so plan accordingly (i.e. windshield, upper ball joints, interior door arm rests, propeller shaft hardware, etc) But with patience and time you'll find people who have solutions, upper ball joints can be used from an '81 caddy and bolted and/or welded in. A-Arm removal required. Fuel pump is electric (not a big deal) and I would recommend a "hot wire" kit for it.
    4.) If you were to buy as a daily, do it because of the uniqueness of the car imho.
    5.) If you were to buy as a daily, do it because you enjoy the challenge of maintenance, but keep an alternate driver for when you need more than a day for repairs.

    IMHO, the car's greatest strengths are it's greatest weaknesses. For example, I think the 70 interior is crap and boring therefore parts are cheap. The earlier and later models are superior in this area and parts can be pricier. Regardless of interior, exterior, mechanical or electrical all can be overcome if your creativity and skill level are moderate and have the patience to wait for a part.

    I drove my Riv as a daily driver for 4 year before doing a ground up rebuild. Now it is just a weekender...


Share This Page