I consider Bill Mitchell to be the best American Automotive designer of our time and I consider the 1965 Buick Riviera specifically to be his piece de la resistance. So in a manner of speaking, I’m saying that the ’65 Riv is the most beautiful American car ever made. Sincerely.
The thing is though, this isn’t some regular old 1965 Buick Riviera (if there is such a thing). This, in fact, is the fabled Gran Sport – the pacesetter of all Rivieras. More so, it features 45,000 original miles, every single available option (minus the multi-tone horn), numbers to back up the GS claim, and a pretty significant history.
The car was purchased new by the executive secretary of a General Motors VP. She drove the car sparingly into the 1970’s and eventually sold it to some friends of hers. From there, the car ended up with our buddy Jocko – the third owner. He’s not ready for another project at the moment, so he’s decided to let it go at The House.
But, wait? Project? Yes. The car does have some rust. The left cowl as well as the driver’s side rocker and floor are showing rust, but oddly, the passenger side is not. Both the trunk and quarter extensions are solid as is the rest of the body. A closer examination shows some minor body repair here and there, but nothing obtrusive and nothing that required a pound of mud. Put simply it’s a pretty damned body that has lived a life and needs some freshening.
Much of the bright work is showing some age, but nothing to the point of replacement. Things like the wheels, bumpers and trim just require some love – a light and easy restoration if you will.
Mechanically, the GS is as solid as any original you might find. It’s starts easily and without any funny business or noises and that dual-four nailhead runs like you would expect a Gran Sport to run – hard. Tranny shifts just like it should too… The exhaust, however, is showing its age and a complete redo would be in order there. Brakes work fine and everything else seems to be in order.
The interior? So damned nice… and in the best color Buick offered – light ivory. There are no rips, no tears, and no stains. Spend a few hours with your favorite cleaning products and you could probably skip the upholstery shop all together on this one. It’s that nice.
Questions From The Jalopy Journal:
What’s the worst aspect of the Riviera?
“Without question, the rust. There’s not a ton of it, but it is there and needs to be dealt with.”
What’s the best aspect of the Riviera?
”It makes huge power and does it so smoothly…
Or, there’s also just the fact that this is a real numbers matching 1965 Buick Riviera Gran Sport – one of only 3,354 ever made. It’s special.”
Thoughts From The Jalopy Journal:
This auction is sort of my love letter to Rivieras. Yes, I’m biased. I love them so much… If you do as well, you probably understand how rare of a find this is…. A 45,000 mile Gran Sport is unheard of and with restored cars often bringing over 6-figures, finding something like this is getting to be next to impossible. Even better? The reserve is lower than you would think. In fact, I think this might be the best deal on The House right now…