Register now to get rid of these ads!

'63 Riviera, I said wasn't gonna start another project...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by flynbrian48, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,437


    A while back, in a fit of rational thinking, I promised, both to my wife privately, and publicly at "Cool McCool's Garage", that I was NOT going to start another project untill the Diamond T pickup was finished, and the chopped '59 T'Bird was painted. I also want (need) to get the '48 Pontiac convert tidied up and a new interior to replace the dreadful early '90's Caddy stuff in there now. Lots to do. That was a solomn vow, spoken with the best intentions.


    Last weekend a good friend made me an offer I couldn't refuse, and I'm now the proud owner of both a '63 AND a '64 Riviera. Both are minus the engine/trans, but are fully optioned, rust free western cars, and a truck load of extra bumpers, trim, doors, etc. The '63 is titled, the '64 is a "parts car", only because it comes without papers. I've always liked them, and have always wanted one, and now find myself with two.

    So, what to do? My thought at this point is to get 'em home, sort through the parts, inventory everything, and then pile up what I want to keep, and what can go. Since neither one has an engine ( the '64 supposedly was a 425 "Wildcat" dual quad, gone now to a hot rod project), I'd really like to get a 425/Turbo 400 and build the '63. My first thought was an LS/4L60, but after a day or so to mull it over, going with a 425/Turbo 400 would be better. I like the LS engines, but even I think it would be sort of a shame to put one in a Riv.

    So, am I crazy? I'm borrowing a little from my 401K to get 'em, with the thought that since market is (still) in the tank, I might as well have something shiney. I'm getting enough to pay off my daily driver Merc Milan, finish the other two projects and maybe even the '48. I'll probably sell the '64 and whatever parts I don't need, hopefully enough to get an engine/trans, and go from there. My wife was OK with the idea, if not enthusiastic, so it's all good on the home front. Plus, I can see a lime gold Riv with pearl white interior setting in the garage next to the '51 woody wagon, the '59 T'Bird, the '48 convert, and the '36 roadster. I think I'd be happy then...

    I promise pics when I get them, a build thread when I start, AFTER the Diamond T is done and T'Bird is painted, of course...

    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012
  2. I've heard them called the "Gentleman's" hot rod! I love everything about them. What about a 425/700R4 set up. Pardon my ignorance, but I don't know if that combo is possible. Congrats none the less!
  3. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,437


    That is my thought as well. Since a T400 came in the '64, I don't know why a 700R couldn't be put behind a 425. Anything to squeeze a little more "economy" from a 425!
  4. PM Stevie G- he is a Rivi maniac/guru!
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. jrdeleon0430
    Joined: Jun 11, 2012
    Posts: 35


    Very interested to see how this goes. Looking forward to pictures. Subscribed.
  6. old soul
    Joined: Jan 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,094

    old soul
    from oswego NY

    Sounds like your mind is already made up buddy. What are you asken us for???? Go get some.
  7. Sounds like a couple of nice cars, always loved the Rivs. I like the 425/700R4 combo, should be doable I'm sure. As for the 401K, I have borrowed $$$ a few times to do things on the house and get myself out of a jam. I can start hitting mine legally in 1 year, 11 months and 22 days.

  8. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,129


    Riv's are a beautiful a car. Incidently, the 425 doesn't have the BOP bell housing pattern, so a 700r4 or 200r4 will not bolt up without an adapter kit.
  9. ka-zoo
    Joined: Oct 20, 2004
    Posts: 509


    you have the coolest stuff...
  10. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,437


    Really? They have a unique bolt pattern? I've never had one, but assumed since the '64 had a 425/Turbo 400 (Buick called a SuperTurbine, didn't they?) that it was the same BOP bolt pattern. Huh, learn something every day...


  11. Nailheads have a unique bellhousing pattern. Not the same as the std B-O-P-Cad pattern and not Chevy. It is more rounded.

    So to use a bolt-up T400 (Buick actually called them Super Turbine 400, but the internals are basically similar), you need a nailhead ST400. The first year 64 have a one-year valve body, but it is not a problem more than a slightly more expensive rebuild since valve body is unique. The hard parts are the same. The last year for nailhead is 66, so you need to find a 64-66 for straight bolt-up. This also assumes your engine is a 64-up as the earlier Dynaslow versions have a different crank hole diam. You can get a bushing though for easy fix to make a 57-63 engine work.

    The best find is a switch pitch nailhead pattern ST400. The switch pitch converter enables two stall speeds. I think switch pitch was 66 only, but others can verify exact.

    To run an OD trans, or any other B-O-P-Cad, it will need an adapter. See Bendtsens or similar. There are also people that cut off the bellhousing and weld on a nailhead pattern bellhousing to your modern-ish trans.

    To add some confusion, there are some Jeeps that used nailhead pattern T400, I believe they got a good deal for leftover castings from GM where the 67 and up Buicks did not need the nailhead pattern any longer. These Jeeps had Buick engines, but not nailhead Buicks, using an adapter plate. The nailhead actually has a slightly extended bellhousing, so the adapter plate to the new Buick engine took up that space. The nailheads before 57 (264(?)-322) are a smaller bellhousing pattern than the later 364-401-425 series.

    Confusing? Yes, but it can be done. I miss my old 64 Riviera with the std 401-ST400. Great driver and lot of fun car.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
  12. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,437


    Thanks for the info! I'm going to hunt for a 401 or 425 with a trans, rather than adapt a later one. Hopefully, funded by selling the engine-less 64...

  13. Gremlinguy
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 492


    When I brought home my 32 Nash in January, I told my wife I was done buying cars for at least 6 months..... I have bought 3 since then.........
    Can't wait to see what ya do with the Riv! Bucket list car.
  14. Wanna sell me some parts? I just picked up a 65 in decent shape other than some dents and light rust
  15. Detailman
    Joined: Aug 24, 2012
    Posts: 1


    Looking for 64 Riv parts too. Maybe you will something that I can use too. Dave
  16. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,479


    Well lets see some pics. The Riviera is such a classy looking car. I saw a 64 doing a cross Canada and it was just sooo nice. You learned never say "never" It's a hobby that endures...I am not building another hotrod either but that does not stop me from bringing 'em home to tinker with.

  17. Caractacus Potts
    Joined: Jan 17, 2008
    Posts: 85

    Caractacus Potts

    Brian, didn't see you at the vicksburg show this year. The car I used to take to that show every year, before the Studebaker, was a very nice 65 Riviera. They are sweet cars in every respect, I really miss mine. Saw some pics of your truck, looks great. You know how to stay busy.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.