Newbie, 68 Riviera GS

Discussion in 'Wet behind the ears??' started by Valtalma, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Valtalma

    Valtalma New Member

    Hello every one, my name is Val, from the San Francisco Bay Area. I am new to Buick and new to the forum. I want to share with you how I got here.


    3 months ago, I responded to an ad selling a 68 Riviera GS, that just needed a little work to get back on the road. The seller was a smog shop owner, really nice guy and just down the street from me, so I figured it was a trustworthy person.
    He told me the car had been off the road for decades, that the last reg tag was from 1979, and he showed me the reg cards from back then, that were in the same name as the person he got it from.

    I know very little little about old cars, but I could see that the car was 100% original, 100% complete and full matching numbers and a true survivor. The paint and chassis had some substantial surface rust, but no corrosion through the sheet metal anywhere. The car was starting and running, but not very smoothly.

    We shook hands and he promised to deliver the car in roadworthy condition within two weeks.

    Every other day or so, I went down to his shop and saw him work on different parts of the car, sometimes on his own, sometimes with the help of other knowledgeable mechanics from around his shop.

    The two weeks turned into 4, then 8 and everytime he fixed something, something else came up. Over the last 3 months, I have seen him put new tires, change the radiator and all hoses, check the transmission, rebuilt the braking system with reconditioned master and wheel cyclinders, purge and check the power steering and change hoses, entirely replace the carb with a "new" reconditioned unit, check the cooling system...

    While I had to wait much longer than expected, this was a unique opportunity to learn about the car I was buying and get to know some of its quirks and issues. Nothing I saw in the past 3 months surprised me or looked like it could not be fixed.

    In the meantime, I was able to check that all numbers on engine block and VIN code exactly matched the description of the car.

    Finally, the new carb was installed yesterday and the car sit in my garage. No yet titled to my name or registered.

    It is not in showroom condition, but I would say it would make a very nice driver.

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  2. johnriv67

    johnriv67 Well-Known Member

    Glad to see it! Looks great and hopefully now runs even better!
     
  3. lemmy-67

    lemmy-67 Gold Level Contributor

    Congrats on the vintage wheels. Very nice. Even has the original black plates, not those new imitation deals. It's spent its life in CA, and never been registered out of state, which is a rare thing.

    If the radiator needed replacement, expect the water pump and heater core to be next. Old coolant turns acidic and eats away soft metal in those components.

    Sounds like the previous owner was honest enough, and performed the due diligence to keep things in working order. I'd check suspension components if the ride seems sluggish, some nice poly-U bushings and Bilstein shocks will make things more sporty. One of the first things I did on my '67 after doing the top end of the engine was replacing all of my front/rear bushings with Energy Suspension components, and put an Air-Lift bag set in the new rear springs.

    Check the carb the seller gave you as well, hopefully it is a good Rochester 4MV core and can be upgraded if necessary. A lot of the reman cores are no good for anything except compliant emissions test results, which in your case don't apply (CA smog exempt).
     
  4. breakinbuick11

    breakinbuick11 Platinum Level Contributor

    Nice find. That paint will buff out to a really deep shine. Meguiar makes a 3 step kit that is very easy to use and novice friendly. Best $200 I ever spent. It will take stains/scratches out of the paint too.
     
    Nailhead Ronnie likes this.
  5. Briz

    Briz Platinum Level Contributor

    If its not to late get and keep the original carb. Later have one of our guys go through it and rebuild back to factory specs.Oh, and welcome to the family. I'm a Riv guy too!
     
  6. Nailhead Ronnie

    Nailhead Ronnie Life's 2 Short. Live like it.

  7. Bad Boattail

    Bad Boattail Guest

    Val:

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    I've added you and the Riviera to the V8 Buick Board Members map of the World [​IMG]


    Click screenshot to view the actual map [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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