1971 buick riviera gs stage 1

Discussion in 'Buyer/Seller Feedback' started by 1968buick, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. 1968buick

    1968buick buick1968

    where i work there's a guy who has a 1971 rivera gs stage 1 runs body good and has a small hole in the flour
    car hasn't been restored just loved he said he wants to sell it has 45,000 real miles on it great looking car
    joking with him i said ill give you $500.00 for it he said ok but look at it first and drive it
    hes an older man and is in hard time i don't want to take it if i can get him more i wasn't raised to take
    advantage of people in need but to help them i would love the car but i need to know what its worth ill post pic.s as soon as i can if i don't get it hopefully one of you can give me a price to help the old man out thanks
    for reading
    sbrmd likes this.
  2. flynbuick

    flynbuick Super Moderator Staff Member

    For 71 you could buy a HP Riv but not a Stage 1
  3. flynbuick

    flynbuick Super Moderator Staff Member

    That is a mistake. A HP and stage one engine are not the same. The camshaft and valves, for example, are not the same.
  4. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    His table is correct. The Stage1 is NOT correct/available for the Riv in 71. The TA engine is pretty peppy, though.
  5. Smartin

    Smartin antiqueautomotiveservice.com Staff Member

    As far as a value, there's no way to gauge it unless we see photos and options.
  6. 1968buick

    1968buick buick1968

    I finally got to pictures on the 71 riv think it’s more of a parts car Iam out as far as what i can do to save it if anyone is interested here’s a couple pictures and it’s got the dealer plate card too it’s a 455 stage 1 just let me know I’ll pass of your information to the seller

    Attached Files:

  7. 65gs76limited

    65gs76limited Well-Known Member

    73 and 74 were the only years you could get a Stage 1 Riviera option.
  8. Eric

    Eric Founders Club Member

    It's a 71 Stage 1 alright...Look at the Stage 1 option on top of the front right fender.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020
    BYoung likes this.
  9. Brad Conley

    Brad Conley Super Moderator Staff Member

    Wow...that roof is UGLY!
  10. cjp69

    cjp69 Platinum Level Contributor

    Looks like a Stage 2 to me, it is already past Stage 1 rust.
    BYoung and Mike B in SC like this.
  11. Luxus

    Luxus Gold Level Contributor

    Wowsers, I agree that looks more parts car than anything.

    I was going to say post the VIN, but it looks like for 1971 the VIN contains no engine information. Looks like that starts in 1972.
  12. 69GS&M21

    69GS&M21 Silver Level contributor

    This has got me missing my 71 Riviera GS, which was black and very original and in pretty good shape when I sold it. It was a tank, but it had a really nice, soft, comfortable ride.
  13. cjp69

    cjp69 Platinum Level Contributor

    Post engine and interior pics so we can see what options it has. If it is a GS, it should have a posi rear, which would be worth the $500 alone. good running and driving car definitely worth $500+, even with the rust.
  14. 1968buick

    1968buick buick1968

    its a real gs stage 1 posi 455 as they all say ran when parked motor is free he's also has 4 buick rims on the car and 3-4 extra off the car he's not looking for
    a lot just what someone can do with what can be saved aim looking to get as much as i can for him whole if not ill part it out i trying to get him
    to sell it to put the money into him grandfathers 55-56 buick
  15. 1968buick

    1968buick buick1968

    ill get more pics soon
  16. Nailhead in a 1967

    Nailhead in a 1967 Well-Known Member

    1971 and 1972 it was a gs even with the stage I engine
    in 1973 and 1974 there was no gs and buick used stage I on the cars

    from a roa article in the riview:

    What is a Gran Sport/G.S./Stage 1? (Part 3)

    By Darwin Falk, ROA #2077 & Ray Knott ROA #1

    This article is re-printed from, "The Riview", published by the Riviera Owners Association

    The optional engine package included a chromed air cleaner lid without a decal

    In previous issues we covered the 1965 through 1969 Gran Sport/GS options. In this the last of the three part series we will cover the 1970-1975 models. Once again we remind you that these options do not include interior trim, bucket seats, chrome wheels. These and other options are separate and available on every Riviera

    1970 GS

    The new 455ci engine was introduced in 1970 and was installed in the restyled body of the 1970 Riviera. This new look included exposed headlight for the first time since 1964 and fender skirts for the only time on a Riviera. The shirts were available in full or short styles. Another option was a wide spear that ran along the side bodylines. The 1970 was in many ways a one of a kind design, however when it came to the GS option it was just a ride & handling package, with a posi rear and an axle ratio of 3.42. Only one engine was available for the Riviera in 1970, but what an engine! The first 455 ci had the highest recorded horsepower rating of any Riviera ever made. According to Buick's figures it was rated at 370hp. The GS option did include a chrome air cleaner lid as an appearance item for the engine. Otherwise the engine remained unchanged.

    Based on Buick literature the engine was a Stage1, however the name was not used for the Riviera in 1970.

    The red GS emblem was attached to the front fenders, in front of the front wheels, just above the sidelights, not behind as in previous years and there was no Riviera script on the fenders of the '70. Despite what some Buick literature states there were no GS emblems used on the dash.

    1971-1972 GS

    The GS option in these two years were very similar in that an modified engine was part of the package, which offered an additional 10-15 hp over the standard engine. Once again the chromed air cleaner lid was included. Beginning with the '72 model the vin# included the letter "W" to indicate that the car was equipped with the optional Stage 1 engine.

    As in '70 there was no additional Stage 1 decals or emblems on the car.

    The GS option included the engine a well as the ride and handling package and posi rear axle with a 3.42 ratio. The fender emblems changed once again with a return to the Riviera script located behind the front wheels. The script had a new sleeker look for the first time. The red GS emblems, similar to the one used from 67-70, were positioned below the script rather than behind, as in previous years.

    1973-1974 GS/Stage 1

    The Stage 1 engine option in 1973 was identified by the badge in the grill

    Beginning with the '73 model the Stage 1 emblem was first used to identify the optional engine package. The Stage 1 badge was attached to the grille, as shown in the photograph.

    AS in 1972 the letter "W" appears in the vin # to indicate that the car was equipped with the Stage 1 engine. Once again the only difference in the appearance of the engine was the addition of a chromed lid on the air cleaner, with out any decals. During these years the GS option was a ride and handling package only.

    Now that the GS was replaced with the Stage 1 as the engine option, Buick changed the color of the GS emblems to gold rather than the traditional red. The Stage 1 package included the modified engine, chrome air cleaner and a posi rear with an axle ratio of 3.23. If the car were equipped with both options it would have both emblems. There were only a limited number of cars built with both option. (see production figures at the end of this article) Although radial tires had been available for several years they were first included in '73 as part of the GS package.

    1975 GS

    The GS emblem was placed beneath the Riviera script in '71 - '75 models

    The optional Stage 1 engine was no longer offered in the Riviera, but the GS ride and handling option was continued into the new model year.

    Only the standard 455 engine was available. As in the 1973-'74 models the GS emblems were positioned below the script on the fenders and painted gold rather than red.

    "The GS/Stage I options do not include upgrade interiors!"

    Be suspicious of overly chromed engines, since the standard 70-74 GS/Stage1 engines had only the chromed air cleaner lid. Buick did offer a dress-up appearance package with the chromed lid and chromed value cover, but that did not make it a GS/Stage1. Similarly additional engine decals may have been added to dress up an engine. If you have any questions about your car, or one you are looking to purchase, don't hesitate to contact the ROA office/library or the tech advisor for your year. It may just save you some money!

    Production Figures

    Year Total Production GS Stage I Engine codes
    1970 37,336 3,505 N/A SF
    1971 33,810 3,175 N/A TA
    1972 33,728 2,171 N/A WA
    1973 34,080 3,933 1,234 XA
    1974 20,129 4,119 1,698 ZA
  17. flynbuick

    flynbuick Super Moderator Staff Member

    Here is where the ROA article made its error:

    “According to Buick's figures it was rated at 370hp...

    Based on Buick literature the engine was a Stage1, however the name was not used for the Riviera in 1970.

    The 370 hp SF rating was a based upon a penciled change to rating for essentially the same small valve engine rated 350hp in a 70 GS455. GM had 10 to 1 horsepower to weight ratio limitation in effect at the time. They used the factory number for the "curb weight". Since the Riv weighed more than a GS, they could pencil the number up from 350 hp to 370 hp for the nonstage 1 small valve engine. This could be based upon taking the hp numbers from a higher rpm or it could be based upon pure pencil whipping.

    The same 370 hp rated SF engine was used in the 70 Estate wagon. To be sure, you would not leap to the same conclusion that somehow wagons received higher horsepower engine than a 70 GS stage 1 (rated 360 hp) and for this reason it must be a stage 1 455.

    I can also post the factory order sheet for the 71 model year. There is only an HP option and no stage 1 option. A HP is not the same as a stage 1. It has a third camshaft profile and non swirled polished valves, for example. For the 70 model year there was no HP or Stage 1 engine option for any car other than a GS455 which only offered a stage 1. The HP engine option started in the 71 model year and was only available on GM order sheets for Rivieras, LeSabre455s, and Centurions.

    Look at 71 sales code A9:

  18. 1968buick

    1968buick buick1968

    thinking of having him part is out make offers whole or what you need
  19. flynbuick

    flynbuick Super Moderator Staff Member

    No, you cannot use this board solicit offers to purchase the whole car. If he wants to sell the whole car, under the longstanding board rule, he must name a specific asking price. If he wants to receive competing offers for the whole car, he needs to put it on eBay.
  20. Hawken

    Hawken Hawken

    From all I have red in the past on this issue:
    A. When the Riviera "Stage 1" engine option was available, it was separate (not included and vice versa) from the "GS" option (though they could both be ordered together);
    B. The Riviera "Stage 1" engine was never the same as the A-body (Skylark/GS) "Stage 1" engine as only the latter had a specially calibrated carb, specially calibrated distributor (and specially calibrated 'BB' TH400 if ordered with an auto trans), and the camshafts were different as the latter had a more agressive cam, the timing was different and probably a couple other things I am forgetting which leads to the point that a "Stage 1" engine in the Riviera is NOT the same as a "Stage 1" engine in a (Skylark) GS; and
    C. There was a HP 455 available either with the '71-'72 Riviera GS or extra cost in other models which carried on to about '74, I believe.

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