ASC Conversion: 1983 Buick Riviera Convertible – NOW $13,000

by | Jan 2023 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Topless Thursday

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February 9, 2023, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

January 7, 2023 Update – The seller reduced their asking price from $15,000 to $13,000.

It’s amazing how many cars American Specialty Cars, or ASC, has touched in its history. If you were a manufacturer in the 1980s with a convertible hole in your lineup, it was practically a given that ASC would be your first call to get the top chopped off a hardtop model. That assortment of ASC-blessed vehicles included this 1983 Buick Riviera convertible, a rare find even among the legions of domestic models converted to soft tops. The Buick was last listed in January 2023 on Craigslist in Houston for $13,000 (the original ask was $15,000) with 118,000 miles on the clock, indicating it was used rather than socked away as a collectible. Comparing that price against the Classic.com model guide shows us that the seller is asking for slightly above the going rate, which is pegged at around $11,000 as of this writing:

The early 1980s were dark days for General Motors and other large domestic brands. Even the imports suffered, but they were faring better than Detroit’s heavy hitters. The power outputs plummeted, and any semblance of a horsepower war was dead in the water. There was no honor in stating you built a car with a bigger engine and more power; that’s not where the collective mindset was at as priorities shifted toward fuel economy. But if you were the likes of Buick, you could build a car loaded up with luxury features and forget about a sexy drivetrain and you’d still move a ton of inventory, which is why a heavy convertible with just 140 horsepower was allowed to exist. That being said, the high price tag of the Riviera convertible made it less of a success story than perhaps other Buick models at the time, and the company was forced to scale back production from its first-year high of 1,750 units. Despite this, Buick still enlisted American Sunroof Corporation to manage the tedious convertible conversion process, which added significant production time.

The SaabKyle04 YouTube Channel features this modern-day walk-around video of a similar 1983 Buick Riviera convertible

I’m always a little put off by the non-collectible cars set aside as time-warp specimens. Many owners in the 1980s tended to equate l0w-mileage with instant collectability, a phenomenon that repeated itself every time a limited-production pace car tribute or some other special edition model came out of Lansing. The Riviera convertible can be considered a genuine collector car, but this one has actually racked up some miles, with 118,000 claimed miles on the clock. I totally applaud the owner that logged most of those miles for not being scared to actually get in the Riviera and stretch its legs, as its comfortable and luxurious interior is practically made for long road trips. Speaking of trips, the seller has addressed some of your typical deferred maintenance items to make it easier to hop in the Riviera and go at the drop of a hat. New shocks and brakes, a rebuilt automatic transmission, a complete tune-up, and new tires with less than 100 miles on them round out the list of improvements that make it far easier to enjoy the rich, brown leather of the Riviera’s interior and point the nose westward to the Vegas strip, where a classic convertible like this absolutely belongs.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Open to respectable offers

White on white with red interior

Extremely clean underbody
New shocks and brakes done in July
Very Well maintained car
Fresh tune up last year
Transmission professionally rebuilt 8/21
New tires in June of this year less than 100 miles on them
Custom 1 off Grille
Oil just changed.”

Aftermarket conversion: what’s your favorite convertible modified by Ameican Sunroof Corporation?

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