Bought a Classic Car - 1970 Buick Riviera

I always said I wanted a "muscle car". Big American V8. My first car was a maroon 1974 Dodge Dart. I loved that car. Twin brother wrecked it.

Found a black 1970 Buick Riviera a few weeks ago on Facebook Marketplace for sale an hour away from me and, being of middle age and with some disposable income finally, I picked it up. Here she is:

I always envisioned buying a 1970's sports car: a Mustang Mach 1 or something. I also liked the 1969 Ford Galaxie Fastback. What I ended up buying is technically known as a "personal luxury vehicle", not a "muscle car". But the 1970 Buick Riviera had the biggest, most powerful engine Buick ever made: a 455 cubic inch displacement, 370 horsepower, V8 "big block". It had more horsepower (370) than the Buick sports car at the time, the GS-455 (360). Let me tell you it hauls. My daily driver is a Prius-C (that I bought in 2013 when gas was $3.85 in Texas and I was commuting 55 miles each way to work), so driving "the Rivie", as I call it, is a huge difference. I think I hurt my neck at a stoplight recently.

The 1970 Riviera is unique in multiple ways: it was the only year that featured the wheel skirts (the rear wheels are partially covered), and the first year that the headlights were not retractable. As mentioned above, no Buick engine was ever bigger or more powerful. 1970 was the first year of the "big block" and they only got smaller from there. It's a hard top coupe.

It needs some work: most notably I need new brakes. Getting those this week. Radio needs work, needs a new blower motor. But the engine runs great and the interior is in decent shape. I'll probably eventually have it reupholstered, but not all of this at once. I don't have *that much* middle age disposable income! Plus it gets a whopping 9.1 mpg, so a fill-up of super gets pricey real quick!


  1. brakes done! blower motor fixed, didn't need a new one. also replaced two wheel bearings. next up: shocks. I'm gonna do them myself.


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