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Stock #:


1953 Buick Special Riviera



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1953 Buick

Special Riviera



Engine Size
263 Straight 8
3 Speed Manual
38,199 (Actual)
Fort Worth
Questions? Send A Message

or give us a call at (817) 764-8000

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1953 was a big year for Buick: it was their 50th anniversary, the OHV V8 debuted, and in cars like this handsome 1953 Buick Special Riviera, the last of the faithful straight-8 engines were built. Nicely finished in great colors, this is a wonderful '50s cruiser with a few smart updates that make it comfortable in today's world.

Riviera was Buick's name for the hardtop, those beautiful 2-door coupes without a B-pillar which GM introduced in 1949. The beautiful styling works particularly well on the long and low Buicks, and there are many who will argue that the '53s are the best-looking Buicks ever made. Two-tone dark green and white is timeless and will always look great, and it safely eliminates the risk of having a pastel color that doesn't appeal to everyone. The finish is very good, offering super straight bodywork that shows off attention to detail where it matters: on the big quarters where you can see that slicing character line, and up front where Buick's familiar sweep-spear trim begins. It shines up brilliantly, suggesting that the investment was somewhat more than it should have been given the asking price. Then there's all the chrome and stainless trim, which, on a Buick, can easily cost $10-15,000 to restore, and all of it is in excellent shape. The toothy grille shines up well and all the emblems are in excellent condition.

The interior is also very close to what this car might have worn originally, and it's every bit as comfortable as it looks. The Special was Buicks smallest model, but it's still got big car comfort inside, with room for six in a pinch and a very elegant look throughout. The big steering wheel is not only ideal for maneuvering the big coupe, but also a very cool styling detail. Individual round gauge pods handle the speedometer and auxiliary dials, and there's a matching clock in front of the passenger. The factory Sonomatic AM radio is up high in the dash (disconnected due to the 12V conversion), while an aftermarket A/C system has been very neatly installed underneath. Heavy-duty floor mats protect the handsome green carpets and the wide rear bench is as inviting as any back seat we've ever seen. As a full-sized Buick, you also get a massive trunk that's beautifully upholstered in matching green carpets, as well as a full-sized spare tire with a custom cover.

Under that massive hood, you'll find the last of the straight-8 Buicks: a 263 cubic inch overhead valve powerplant that had been refined, updated, and perfected so it just purrs away. It's dressed correctly in turquoise engine enamel and still inhales through a standard air cleaner and Stromberg 2-barrel carburetor, so it's silky smooth and very torquey. The aluminum radiator and 12-volt alternator are smart upgrades, especially with the addition of A/C, and it's all so beautifully installed that few people will notice the changes. It starts easily and pulls well, due in part to the 3-speed manual transmission, which works better than the power-stealing Dynaflow automatic. Like all Buicks before it, this Riviera rides on coil springs all around, which all appear to be new, and there's a fresh muffler that give the straight-8 a unique sound. The flashy wire wheels probably weren't standard equipment, but they look as good here as they do on the Skylark and carry right-sized 215/75/15 whitewall radials that ride and handle great.

With just 38,199 original miles, this awesome Riviera delivers a great old car look and feel with major upgrades that mean you can drive it anywhere. Call today!

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  • Defrost
  • Numbers Matching
  • AM Radio
  • Air Conditioning
  • Cloth Interior
  • Heat
  • Vinyl Interior
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Exterior Color
Dark Green
Interior Color
Dark Green
Front Brakes
Rear Brakes
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