Loads of Chrome! 1958 Buick Super Riviera

The 1958 Buick Super Riviera is a stunning classic, capturing the essence of an era when American cars were bold, brimming with chrome, and exuding presence. Despite its beauty, this model is a testament to a challenging period for the U.S. auto industry.

Economic Downturn and Buick’s Struggles

In 1958, the U.S. faced its first significant economic downturn since the post-World War II boom. The auto industry was particularly affected, with sales plummeting by 30% compared to the previous year. Buick felt the sting more than most, selling just 241,000 cars in 1958, a stark contrast to the 700,000 units sold in its 1955 peak.

Bold Styling and Lavish Chrome

The 1958 Buicks were designed to be bold. The Super Riviera, in particular, was drenched in chrome, a design choice that may have deterred some buyers. The Super was positioned between the entry-level Special and the mid-level Century, effectively making it a fancier version of the Special. Notably, all Super models were hardtops referred to as Rivieras.

Powerful Performance

Under the hood, the 1958 Super Riviera was equipped with a 364 cubic inch “Nailhead” V8 engine. This powerhouse was essential given the car’s substantial weight. The front end of the vehicle featured quad headlights, a design enabled by the Department of Transportation’s recent approval and quickly adopted by many automakers.

Production Numbers

Despite the overall slump in sales, Buick managed to produce and sell 28,000 four-door Super Rivieras and 14,000 two-door versions, like the two-tone example currently for sale.

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Condition and Restoration Potential

The Buick in question has 78,000 miles on the odometer and, at first glance, appears to be in excellent condition. The paint and chrome gleam, suggesting it’s a real head-turner. However, a closer inspection reveals some rust issues in the inner rocker panels that have developed into holes. The interior also shows signs of wear, particularly the front seat and carpeting, though the back seat remains in perfect condition, offering hope for finding matching materials for restoration.

Mechanical Details

This Buick is powered by the revered Nailhead V8, paired with a DynaFlow variable pitch transmission. The seller confirms the car starts, moves, and shifts independently but provides no further details on its mechanical state.

A Restoration Opportunity

For classic car enthusiasts willing to tackle the under-the-skin issues, this 1958 Buick Super Riviera offers a fantastic restoration opportunity. Located in Norco, California, it is currently listed on eBay with a bid of $10,000 and no reserve. With some effort, this could transform into a truly spectacular classic ride.

Final Thoughts

The 1958 Buick Super Riviera is more than just a car; it’s a piece of American automotive history. Despite the economic challenges of its time, it remains a symbol of the bold, chrome-laden designs that defined an era. If you’re up for a restoration project, this classic Buick might be the perfect candidate to bring back to its former glory.

Our mission is to take you on a thrilling ride down memory lane, exploring the history, design, and unforgettable moments that define the golden era of automobiles.

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