213 Thornton Rd
Lithia Springs, GA
By 1985, it was clear that the convertible was making a comeback, and even Buick, who hadn't built a convertible since 1974, had to concede that it was a pretty good idea. This 1985 Buick Riviera convertible is the epitome of 1980s luxury and is a reasonably-priced way to get some high-end sunshine in your life.
These Riviera convertibles (and their stablemates, the Cadillac Eldorados) were actually built by ASC, and the workmanship is impressive. In fact, the only way to tell a real convertible from a hardtop with a fake convertible top is by the size of the rear window; ragtop windows are smaller. THAT's how accurately the convertible mirrors the original design. For an outside job, the build quality is quite good and in 1985, this was one of the most expensive cars in the GM stable. The bodywork remains in good condition, with very straight panels, doors that still open and close easily, and an older repaint with a nice soft shine that looks right and makes this Riv look right. All the Riviera's chrome is also excellent, including the bumpers, grille, and stainless trim that runs along the lower edges of the body. Even the fillers around the bumpers are in good order, something that's always an issue on GM cars of this era.
The interior features pleated burgundy leather that is still in good condition. Yes, it's the '80s version of luxury, but that's the whole point, and the leather itself remains supple and smooth with only modest wear. Matching burgundy carpets haven't been baked by the sun, and the door panels show none of the cracking that these cars often experience. Gauges are clear, there's a mini console between the seats, and all that faux wood still looks pretty good. Of course, every comfort and convenience feature was standard: A/C (needs to be serviced), power windows and locks, a tilt wheel, cruise control, and power seats, and ASC thoughtfully added power quarter windows as well, a nice touch. The original Delco radio is in the dahs but is sadly non-functional (replacements are practically free on eBay, so it's easy to fix) and the cabin is nicely protected from wind buffeting when the top is down, a tribute to the ASC engineers. The burgundy convertible top is in excellent condition and unlike many coupes that are turned into convertibles, this one retains a full back seat and a truly spacious trunk.
Power comes from Oldsmobile's 307 cubic inch V8, a powerplant that has proven its reliability in GM luxury cars for years. It starts easily and runs down the road with a subdued V8 hum that's muscular and luxurious, but almost inaudible at cruising speed. It's pretty clean under the hood, suggesting proper maintenance over the years, and as a southern car, you don't see any of that chalkiness on the bare metal parts that you'd get from a car in the rust belt. The 307 isn't a screamer, but it's competent and torquey, moving the Riviera with the kind of stately elegance you'd expect. The chassis is in good order and it rides beautifully thanks to 4-wheel independent suspension with disc brakes at all four corners. Original steel wheels with correct wire wheel covers give it a pure 1980s luxury look and it rides on 215/75/15 whitewall radials.
We would expect these cars to be future collectables, offering V8 power, limited production, and classic good looks. Call today!
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