Supercharged Land Yacht: 1997 Buick Riviera – SOLD!

May 2021 | Classifinds, Free For All Friday

June 18, 2021 Update – we confirmed the seller of this Buick Riviera “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Despite being one of the more recognized names in American makes and models, the eighth generation Buick Riviera has seemingly been washed away to the halls of retired nameplates. The final iteration was more soft jellybean than the rigid personal luxury coupe, but it was memorable in ways the previous models weren’t. This 1997 example originally listed in May 2021 on Craigslist in Raleigh, North Carolina is loaded with extensive factory options, including the supercharged V6 powerplant, and is offered with extensive service history and an asking price of $4,700. Comparing this price against the NADA Price Guide confirms this private seller has his Riviera priced above the “High Retail” price of $3,150, but keep in mind that very few are left in this sort of condition.

The middle 90s were interesting times at Buick and Oldsmobile. Two great names in building luxury models and high-comfort cruisers, it began to emerge that Oldsmobile was chasing a more sporting lineup while Buick was maintaining its allegiance to the geriatric set. To realize the Riviera was still being made as late as 1997 is rather amazing when you consider how much the bottom had dropped out of the big personal luxury coupe market. Despite being the gold standard for measuring one’s success in life, the middle 90s no longer saw the Riviera as a benchmark for achievement, unless you were cycling through different cars in your retirement years. Despite this, Buick continued to refine the product, eventually beefing up the supercharged examples to a respectable 240 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, good for a run to 60 in about seven seconds – truly impressive considering the heft it was lugging around.

The tough thing with used luxury cars is that they often find themselves under the care of owners more concerned with appearances than actual upkeep. And given luxury cars typically abound with opulent materials and high-end electronics, neglect of both the mechanical and cosmetic sort can turn a trophy into a timebomb. This Riviera has escaped such a fate, clearly belonging to an owner who spent some very real monies on its upkeep rather than limiting his investment to “as-needed” repairs. Recent mechanical work includes “…engine mounts, alternator, camshaft sensor, valve cover gasket, new tires, oil change, transmission fluid change, coolant change, and supercharger fluid changed,” and the seller notes it left the factory loaded with options. The leather appears to be in fine shape along with the factory chrome wheels, and the seller has added a new head unit with a backup camera. It likely won’t appreciate much over the next few years, but this is the sort of car you buy for a long roadtrip to soak up the miles without worrying about adding a few turns on the odometer. Good luck with the purchase if you take this Riviera home – preferably, the long way.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Two owner Buick Riviera supercharged coupe. This vehicle is loaded with every option from the factory. Documentation includes the original build/order sheet and dealer brochure. This car has been well maintained with recent service including engine mounts, alternator, camshaft sensor, valve cover gasket, new tires, oil change, transmission fluid change, coolant change, and supercharger fluid changed.

Updates include wood dash kit, UV resistant ceramic tint,, rear view camera and double din stereo. The OEM stereo is available if you prefer the factory stereo. I recently took it on a 1500 mile trip with no issues. This is not a project car, it’s a classic ready to ride.”

Do you have a Buick Riviera story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

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