One Off? 1968 Buick Riviera GS Convertible – $29,500
If you are up on your Buick Riviera history, you likely know that the General Motors division responsible for the car did not offer a convertible version of it until 1983. So, imagine our surprise when we came across this 1968 Buick Riviera GS convertible listed here on Craigslist in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania (Poconos) that, based on the windshield header and the trim around the rear deck area, appears to be either factory or at least a high-quality conversion using other “B” body components from which this vintage of Riviera is based.
The current caretaker has their 1968 Buick Riviera GS convertible listed for $29,500. Comparing that ask against the hardtop values listed in the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Riviera priced between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $18,000 and its #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $32,600. Interestingly, the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask is over four thousand dollars above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $25,150.
Buick redesigned its personal luxury Riviera Sport Coupe for the 1966 model year. While it retained its cruciform X-frame, powertrain, and brakes, its curvaceous new body was longer, wider, and two hundred pounds heavier. Vent windows, a feature GM had introduced in the 1930s, were absent. Headlamps remained concealed, but now pivoted behind the grille when not in use, and they were once again horizontally arranged. The car’s added bulk slowed acceleration with the unchanged 425 engine. The Gran Sport package remained available as an option. Rear seat belts and AM/FM radio were optional.
Inside, the four-place cabin with front and rear bucket seats and center console were replaced by a choice of bucket seats or conventional bench seats as standard equipment, making the Riviera a full six-passenger car for the first time. Optionally available was a Strato-bench seat with armrest or Strato bucket seats with either a short consolette or a full-length operating console with a “horseshoe” shaped floor shifter and storage compartment. Both the buckets and Strato-bench seats were available with a reclining seat option for the passenger’s side. Sales for 1966 rebounded to 45,308, a new record.
The most significant change for 1967 was Buick’s replacement of its venerable 425 “Nailhead” with an entirely new 430 cubic inch V8. Its 360 horsepower and 475pound-feet of torque were a performance improvement. Gasoline mileage improved slightly but remained low. Powerful disc brakes with Bendix four-piston calipers became optional for the front wheels but most Riviera continued to be ordered with Buick’s highly capable ribbed aluminum brake drums. Cosmetically, changes were few and were limited to the addition of a wide, full-width, center-mounted horizontal chrome grille bar that stretched over the headlight doors and outboard parking lights. Sales eased to 42,799 for the 1967 model year. The Riviera had full instrumentation.
1967 saw the introduction of U.S. mandated safety equipment to improve occupant protection during a crash, including an energy-absorbing steering column, non-protruding control knobs, 4-way hazard flasher, soft interior surfaces, locking seatbacks (on 2-door models), a dual-circuit hydraulic braking system (with warning light), and shoulder belt anchors. The Rivieras complied on all counts and featured the full range of safety features.
1968 models had reshaped loop-type bumpers that surrounded both the vehicle’s recessed crosshatch front grille and tail lamps. Hidden wiper arms made their debut. Federally mandated side marker lights appeared, as inverted trapezoids on the lower leading edges of the front fenders, and circular in the rear. The interior was restyled and for the first time shared its instrument panel with the other full-size Buick models. Shoulder belts for front outboard occupants were made standard on all cars built from January 1, 1968. Mechanically, the transmission lost its variable pitch torque converter. A tilt steering wheel became standard equipment. Sales set another new record in 1968, as 49,284 units were sold.
The Cars & Stripes YouTube channel features the redesigned-for-1966 Buick Riviera looking at home on the streets of the Italian Riviera:
Obviously, the biggest thing we need to discuss with the seller is exactly how this likely one-off 1968 Buick Riviera GS convertible came to be. If you want to and find out more details before us, please comment below. If you are serious about buying this Buick Riviera, you can start the conversation by emailing the private seller. When you connect, please remember to mention you saw their 1968 Buick Riviera GS convertible featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“WILL CONSIDER A TRADE FOR A 4X4 PICKUP OR BEST OFFER.
1968 RIVIERA GS RED CONVERTABLE. 95% MINT CONDITION. LOW MILEAGE.
SERIOUS INQUIRY ONLY.”
Show or go: what would you do with this one-off 1968 Buick Rivira GS convertible? Comment below and let us know!