1985 Buick Riviera 2 Door Coupe 5.0 V8

Sold: £7,480

Vendor Rating: 
Manufacturer:  Buick
First Registered:  2020
Model:  Riviera 2 Door Coupe 5.0 V8
Registration No:  B870 RLP
Mileometer:  83,000
Chassis No:  1G4EZ57Y6FE432135
MOT:  01 November 2021
Colour:  Black

This Buick Riviera 2 Door Coupe 5.0 V8 is powered by the ‘best’ engine, which in the American parlance means the largest available at the time. It’s a 5-litre 307cu Oldsmobile V8, the one that’s very distantly related to the famous ‘Rocket’ engine from the 1940s, which kickstarted the muscle-car movement. Don’t get too carried away though, it only makes five more horsepower than it did in those early days, due to its ‘smog’ fighting emissions gear. On the plus side, it’s quiet and effortlessly smooth in operation.

Having been kept inside, out of the worst of east coast winters for over three decades, the condition of this Buick is truly remarkable. On top of this, it’s loaded with every conceivable extra money could buy in 1985. Air-conditioning, cruise control, premium Bose audio and six-way electrically adjustable front seats, all are present and all still work. This Riviera easily lives up to the luxury reputation forged by its forebears. Black paint with a matching black Landau hardtop made this Riviera rare and desirable right out of the factory. Both remain in near showroom order to this day, which is certainly unusual. The environmental impact of older paints was being combatted in the era when this Buick was made and GM had little choice but to employ some trial and error to get the new water-based finishes dialled in. The mirror-like polish seen on this Buick has certainly stood the test however, likely in part down to its Pada paint sealant surface protection. The chrome also has survived in a comparable, near blemish-free condition. Looking at the listing from this car’s sale Stateside, the seller (Millford Auto Sales in Hopedale Massachusetts) mentioned that the previous two owners kept this Riviera garaged since new. The condition it presents in here certainly speaks volumes as to the validity of that statement.

The wheels are wire-wheel lookalike caps rather than the real deal, but they’re hugely convincing and are in excellent order, with attractive R for Riviera chrome-capped centres. The white wall radial-ply tyres are in good condition with lots of tread and no visible signs of damage, although they are thought to be old as there is no date stamp visible.

This is really where the Riviera impresses. Even by 2020 standards, the comfort level remains extraordinary. The cabin is trimmed in an appealing combination of rich walnut and quality cloth. The carpet has a deep pile that welcomes the driver’s feet as the big door swings open and the split-bench front seats, with centre armrest, are extremely comfortable. Continuing the theme of cossetting its inhabitants from the outside world, the car’s rear suspension uses compressed air with a self-levelling function. Together with the power steering, column-shift automatic transmission and heavily-servoed brakes, the driver has to employ minimal effort to get this Buick down the road.

Most of the tech in the cabin is obviously of its era, but some stand out features were a long way ahead of the curve, especially for us in Europe. There’s a premium Bose audio system with cassette and FM/AM stereo functions. The latter receives its signal via a huge, metre-long, powered antenna that rises with a whirr from the offside front wing. There’s even an owner’s manual on cassette included within the car’s history book and an audio demo tape that shows off its capabilities, helping you set it up for peak fidelity.

More impressive still (even more so than the electrically operated front windows and six-way powered seats) are the air-conditioning and heater controls. The Electronic Touch Climate Control features a buttonless facia that responds to touch. Seriously fancy tech for the mid-1980s. The same can be said of the powered boot release with its working soft-close function. There’s a near new exhaust system fitted that’s given away by its bright silver finish and stickers remaining in place. The sills and floors remain straight, untarnished and free from any apparent weld repairs. For these reasons and more the Riviera, especially in this colour and with these options, was popular with ’80s mobsters.

Note: This description is provided by the vendor and unless otherwise stated is 'Not Verified' by Barons or any person employed by Barons. Prospective purchasers are advised to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of any statements made, whether they be statements of fact or opinion.

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