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Projects '63 Riviera project begins! Another reason not to finish the T'Bird...

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by flynbrian48, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,066

    flynbrian48
    Member

    IMG_2732.jpg IMG_2725.jpg Brought home the two Buick Riviera's bought from my pal John earlier this summer. On close inspection, they're pretty nice builders, and complete aside from their long stripped out 425 Nailheads. A shame really, because they were both pretty nice cars when the engines were pulled a decade ago.

    My plan (at least for now) is to build one, using (GASP!!!) a 14K mile 454/475 Turbo from a 92 Starcraft motorhome I'm parting out, and sell the other one as a Riviera "Kit", sort of a "3 in 1" like the old AMT models, with all the extra parts, a 425 I wrangled from another hot rodder pal, a 350 Chev TBI/4L60, and pay for building whichever one I keep. There is at least two extra of everything; bumpers, doors, glass, trim parts, a complete new exhaust system, so there's enough for both builds with lots of parts left over to sell or trade. It should work out.

    In truth, the only reason I bought them was for something to put the 454 in, and to prevent me from building a COE ramp truck from the motorhome chassis, but I've always liked Riviera's, it helped my buddy out to get rid of them, and it'll be an easy build.

    Here they are...
     

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  2. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,443

    40StudeDude
    Member

    So he says...:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

    R-
     
  3. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,066

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Yes, I've said that before...:D
     
  4. fishslayer82
    Joined: Jul 21, 2006
    Posts: 357

    fishslayer82
    Member

    haha! I like Rivieras
     

  5. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,066

    flynbrian48
    Member

    I had to swear I wasn't touching the Riv until the 'Bird was finished, so I have to stick to it.
     
  6. Outback
    Joined: Mar 4, 2005
    Posts: 1,162

    Outback
    Member
    from NE Vic

    how long will that ^^^^^^^^ last :D

    Nice start BTW
     
  7. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,066

    flynbrian48
    Member

    This afternoon I hauled all the loose parts out to see what there is, and there's a LOT of stuff. In addition to the the parts from the '63, there are:

    One rear bumper, one front bumper, one set of side vent spears, two hood center strips, one grill, left and right headlights WITH T3 bulbs that are all good (!), right and left doors complete with glass and deluxe door panels, what looks to be twosets of rear window trim, 3 wheel lip moldings, a set lof side trim, 3 backlight glass, 3 park lamp assemblies with bezels, one right door skin, a pair of vent windows, trunk and hood stainless lip trim, and some misc. small pieces. Also a pair of what look like unused exhaust pipes and one mystery pipe that may be a tailpipe (?). Ph, and two door glass with channels. It was like going through a treasure chest!

    Now I have to put an ad together and sell it (the '63). The only thing I don't have is a left front fender, but should be enough goof stuff to sell or swap to get one.
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1407445581.395917.jpg u ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1407445596.129283.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1407445621.195882.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1407445635.995888.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1407445658.129141.jpg


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  8. robertsregal
    Joined: Oct 2, 2008
    Posts: 743

    robertsregal
    Member

    The 1963-1965 Riviera's are such awesome cars, Great line's and timeless style. What will your plans be when the time comes?
     
  9. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,066

    flynbrian48
    Member

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1407497304.220179.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1407497330.785561.jpg

    I'll build the '64, using a 455 and 475 Turbo I have with only 14,000 miles as a very mild cistom. Lowered, simple color, maybe silver, stock interior. Yesterday my wife said, "Those are nice looking cars, and they're not big. Maybe it could be my summer car."
    A huge step forward from a few days ago when she didn't want them in the yard!


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    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
  10. PistonHead88
    Joined: Aug 8, 2014
    Posts: 17

    PistonHead88

    Looks like a fun project, have fun!:D
     
  11. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,737

    jetnow1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    You are a lucky man to have a wife who can look at an unfinished car are say it could be something she could drive. Hope this project comes out as nice as your truck.
     
    DallasVW171 likes this.
  12. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,985

    fab32
    Member Emeritus

    That's the kind of stash like I to come across just at the start of winter. I can lock myself in the shop and come out in the spring with a new ride ready to roll or sell and hit the swap meets looking for the next "gotta have". Keep us posted on the progress. You put some custom wheels on one of those things and give her a lowering job..................instant Custom.

    Frank
     
    kidcampbell71 and castirondude like this.
  13. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,066

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Frank. If you buy the yellow one now, you'll have three month head start on a winter project!


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  14. Hardtail75
    Joined: Jan 18, 2014
    Posts: 117

    Hardtail75
    Member
    from Canada

    These cars are wicked man. Can't wait to see how they turn out!
     
  15. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,066

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Getting the Yellow Riv ready to haul to the Relix Riot swap meet next weekend (or not, if it sells). I had the front wheels off looking at exactly what had been to pull the drums, and checked the fit of a pair of GM "B" body spindles/rotors/calipers I have. They have exactly the same spindle height, the steering arm is the same length and angle from the lower ball joint hole, so IF the ball joints are the same size, they'll be a direct bolt on. That means I could, if I want to, swap spindles on the one I'm building, and have front disks. The car has one steel drum, which must be an aftermarket replacement for the Buick aluminum drum? The left side is just the hub, no drum.
     

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  16. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,055

    OahuEli
    Member
    from Hawaii

    I always liked those old Riv's. Looks like it'll be a cool project.
     
  17. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,066

    flynbrian48
    Member

    I'm getting closer to getting the 454 freed from the motorhome. Destruction is tiring...
     

    Attached Files:

    kiwijeff and jakespeed63 like this.
  18. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,055

    OahuEli
    Member
    from Hawaii

    Well, at least you don't have to be careful.:D
     
  19. PistonHead88
    Joined: Aug 8, 2014
    Posts: 17

    PistonHead88

    Same here, chainsaw and sludge hammer for me!:D
     
    flynbrian48 likes this.
  20. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,066

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Now that I've dragged the motor home into the yard and gotten it demolished, bought not one, but TWO cars to make one to put the 454 in, we are now going with an LS and 4L60. I guess I will have to use the 454 in the '27 roadster project...
     
  21. castirondude
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 496

    castirondude
    Member

    LOL! Last time we did one of those jobs I used my excavator. You can reach over top and grab on the bottom of the other end and then unfold it like a cardboard box. Takes just a couple of minutes. Then of course it is still several days of work to clear up the debris field and separate the materials for recycling.

    Well the buicks are really cool. I've looked at a few stock 60s' buicks myself and they all sport such high compression that you'd have a hard time getting gas for it. The 454 will give nice unstoppable stump pulling burn-any-gas type of power. In fact I have a '90 460 from a motorhome in my '59 Edsel for similar reasons.
     
  22. ffr1222k
    Joined: Nov 5, 2009
    Posts: 1,160

    ffr1222k
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I told you that you would end up using an LS engine.....

    Now build the COE Ramp Truck from the motor home chassis and engine.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  23. lewk
    Joined: Apr 8, 2011
    Posts: 795

    lewk
    Member
    from Mt

    Very cool project. Those 63-65 Rivieras are some of my favorites. I've always wanted to build a 63 or 64 with the 65 lights. Best of all worlds.

    I keep finding out that there are no free RVs the hard way. They may appear to be free, but there is a cost, usually taken from your soul by way of residual hippy funk and dead rats.
     
  24. RockinRivi
    Joined: Feb 12, 2013
    Posts: 71

    RockinRivi
    Member

    subscribed...can't wait to see more
     
  25. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,066

    flynbrian48
    Member

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1409164611.669166.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1409164625.268192.jpg
     

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  26. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,066

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Thank you, a Riv (and a '63 GP) have long been on my bucket list, so I feel good about this one. I'm cheating on the lights, but this (quad lights hidden behind the stock park lamp grills) looks better than the clamshells, and will always work! The fact that my wife likes it and wants it (and has accepted that I'm working on it rather than gettin my 'Bird done this fall) makes it even better.

    You are correct sir an the funk and filth of the recently deceased motorhome, it still stinks, even with the body off. Yuck. It does look hilarious driving it around the yard however! On the plus side, I've traded the whole thing for a set of rim laced Dayton knock-offs in as new condition for the '27 highboy project in my head. I didn't want a ramp truck anyway!

     
    kiwijeff, lewk and jakespeed63 like this.
  27. Brian, ALL your projects have been kick-ass, and I am sure this will be no exception. Hidden light idea is cool, because let's face best/worst part of these Riv's is the clamshell headlamps.
    Please give serious thought to silver. At Amelia Island Concours', this year, the 2 GM Silver Arrows were on display.
    Pushed me over the edge to paint my '64 Olds 98 that color. Will look stunning.
    JT
    DSCN6054.JPG DSCN6056.JPG imagesAEYOMLD1.jpg
     
  28. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,066

    flynbrian48
    Member

    The Silver Arrow is fantastic, and I see our car silver in my minds eye, however, my wife has decreed she'd like a blue car. (Heavy sigh insert here) I am also planning on painting the T'bird bright silver, so I don't know if I want two silver cars in the garage. That doesn't so bad having written it though...

    I really like the exaggerated prow on the SA, and the mild chop, but I don't want to get mired in a big metalwork project like the 'bird turned into and lose interest, so I'm gonna stick to the KISS formula and knock this one out before it overwhelms me and the shop. Plus, I LOVE the '65 grill, and really, the lines are perfect without a chop.

    Thanks for compliment!

     
  29. MrWatts
    Joined: Nov 17, 2011
    Posts: 13

    MrWatts
    Member

    This is one of my wish I would haves.... I passed up a few of these when I didn't have a garage. Technically I didn't have any money either so, that was an issue too. :) Love you project!
     
  30. barfers
    Joined: Feb 11, 2007
    Posts: 382

    barfers
    Member
    from Florida

    63-65 rivis are so modern for their time.. love em and the make the best lowriders or bellflower style Blvd machines!!!!! Def on my dream car list..can't wait to see the finished product
     

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