1958 Buick Special Riviera - $29,900
     
  • Overview & History
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This Hunter Green Buick definitely has the right look, with clean bodywork and striking styling that make the Special look like it should cost far more than it does.

Attractive older restoration still in good condition. Desirable Riviera hardtop body. Great chrome and stainless trim. Clean engine bay with great-running Nailhead V8 and Dynaflow transmission. Big Buick luxury and performance for not a lot of cash!

All the 1958 GM cars were heavily revised from the 1957s, and the 1959s would be a clean-sheet design, making cars like this 1958 Buick Special Riviera rather unique. Unique styling, bigger bodywork, more comfortable interiors, and more chrome than anyone had ever seen before. It makes the 1958 models highly collectable and with the beautiful Buicks sitting near the top of GM’s hierarchy, they represent great value in the old car world. “Riviera” is Buick’s name for the hardtop, a sporty 2-door pillarless coupe that represented a buyer who knew what he wanted and could afford to own it. That remains true today, with these being some of the more handsome cars of the ‘50s. This Hunter Green Buick definitely has the right look, with clean bodywork and striking styling that make even the Special look like it should cost far more than it does. The restoration was finished perhaps 25 years ago but it’s holding up nicely, with a great shine to the paint and surprisingly high-quality chrome and stainless trim that just sparkles. The Buick “Sweep Spear” is still highly evident, along with the insanely complex grille with hundreds of individual pieces, and the “Bombsight” ornaments atop the fenders. Subtle it is not, but nobody will argue this isn’t a great-looking car.

The green cloth and vinyl interior isn’t quite to GM specs but it remains a spacious, comfortable place to spend some time. Wide bench seats make it a 6-passenger car and thanks to the rather lengthy 122-inch wheelbase, there’s plenty of legroom front and back. For such a flamboyant car, the instrument panel is rather plain, but the gauges are easy to see through the massive 3-spoke steering wheel with a very jet-age horn ring in its center. The gauges are all operational save for the ammeter, which is disabled due to an alternator living under the hood. There’s more jet-inspired styling on the heater controls and in 1958 Buick was still calling their AM radio the “Sonomatic.” Newer dark green carpets add some contrast and thanks to the hardtop design, the interior is airy and spacious. It’s possible that the headliner is original and in great shape, and all the glass is clear. And remember, this is a Buick, so there’s a giant trunk that includes a correct mat set and a brand-new full-sized spare in a rust-free spare tire well.

Buick was bringing the muscle in 1958, with this Special packing a 364 cubic inch “Nailhead” V8 making 250 horsepower and 380 lb-ft. of torque. In fact, torque is the Nailhead’s specialty, making this big coupe feel light on its feet and effortless on the highway. The engine bay is nicely detailed with Buick Turquoise engine enamel, a giant air cleaner up top, and a thick radiator up front keeping things cool. The chrome valve covers aren’t quite correct for 1958 but adds some sparkle, and as we mentioned, there’s a 12-volt alternator making the electricity. It starts easily, idles nicely, and drives well. Once it’s rolling, the unassisted steering is quite manageable and the Dynaflow’s seamless shifts need to be experienced to understand just how smooth it is. The undercarriage is original and obviously isn’t shiny, but the floors are good and the hardware is in great shape with plenty of evidence of proper maintenance over the years. Massive finned drums give it confident stopping power and the tires are brand new 225/75/15 Diamondback radials that have less than 10 miles on them.

Extras include a factory owner’s manual and a set of spare hubcaps.

As Buick fans ourselves, this car really appeals to us. It’s in just the right condition to drive and enjoy without worries—bugs, rain, whatever, you won’t sweat it when you’re behind the wheel. It’s attractive and someone in the past spent the long dollar on the important stuff like all that chrome trim. It’s the right size for a ‘50s cruiser and delivers that incomparable Buick smoothness. If that appeals to you as well, then give us a call today!

Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections of any vehicle in our inventory prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1958 Buick Special Riviera
Price: $29,900
Stock Number: 119066
Odometer Reading: 66,975
VIN: 4E1063589
Engine: 364 cubic inch V8
Transmission: Dynaflow Automatic
Gear Ratio: 3.23
Wheelbase: 122 inches
Wheels: 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 225/75/15 wide whitewall radials
Exterior Color: Hunter Green
Interior Color: Green cloth
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