Pick of the Day: A Custom 1965 Buick Riviera

Bill Mitchell, born in 1912, was the son of a Buick dealer. From a young age, he demonstrated a keen ability for sketching cars. He first joined the team at General Motors in 1935 and by 1958, he became vice president over all styling at GM. Two of his most famous designs were the 1963 Corvette (designed under Mitchell by Larry Shinoda) and the 1963 Riviera.

The Pick of the Day is a custom 1965 Buick Riviera listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Sterling, Illinois.

“The current owner purchased this car in 2017 and took it straight to Blue Collar Rods for a makeover,” the listing states. That makeover reportedly involved work to the frame, a bare-metal body refinish, shaving of the door handles, and application of a green and silver metallic paint scheme.

The Riviera was a personal luxury car sold by Buick between 1963 and 1999. The Riviera name itself, which is Italian for “coastline,” was first seen in in the early 1950s on long-wheelbase versions of the Roadmaster and Super models. Later, the name was used for Buick and Oldsmobile four-door hardtops. Finally, in 1963 the model became a standalone two-door hardtop on the General Motors E-body platform.

“The car has menacing curb appeal with its sweet bright green pinstripes, color-coordinated bumpers, and its gorgeous 18-inch chrome Ridler rims wrapped in low profile Nitto tires,” the listing states. The interior uses bucket seats both front and rear, with generous luxury appointments like a center console. The seller states that it’s all original except for new carpeting and a Bluetooth-enabled audio system.

Power comes from a 401cid (6.6-liter) Nailhead V8 mated to a TH-400 three-speed automatic transmission. “The engine has a nice rumble at idle and sounds just plain nasty ripping through its stainless-steel performance exhaust. The engine bay was spiced up with tons of new chrome, an aluminum radiator, and a color-coordinated air cleaner.” A start-up video has been provided in the listing showing the Nailhead at idle.

“Between the cost of the original car and the extensive makeover, over $50,000 was spent to make this dream a reality. It was never built with the intent of selling it, but health issues force the sale making this car available for less than what it cost to build,” the selling dealer concludes.

Bill Mitchell passed away in 1988, but if he were around, it would be fun to see his reaction to this customized hot-rod Riviera. The selling dealer is asking $37,900 for this Riviera, which includes a scale model, awards received, and a shop manual.