1964 Buick Riviera

1_Wild_Cat

Member
Your Riv is gorgeous. I'm glad you decided to do-it-up the right way after digging into it. I can certainly sympathize with the lack of support for these cars. I have a 70 Buick Wildcat and outside of the engine/trans there is zero support for this car. Last year - It took a month to get the correct rear axle bearing.

Keep up the good work.
 

64Rivi

Member
Thank you very much, WildCat. I'm enjoying your build as well. Seems we are in the lonely hearts club with the Buicks we chose. Not much out there to bring them back to life. The Rivi suffers from being a low production number. 3-year car. I think they only made 50K a year so there is many out there. I had a similar issue with the rear as it is a very unique one. I believe it came out of GM truck as it was the only one that could handle the weight of this beast along with the torque of the 425. No chance in getting gears or a diff for this thing. A used Posi unit -if you can find it- goes for over 1k right now. Crazy.

Good luck with your build and keep posting!
 

64Rivi

Member
So after all the fun with the main floor patches, there were others. By the time I was done working on my knees replacing them, I became very familiar with the rockers and door jambs. :p Something didn't look right with the paint by the scoops on the quarter so I started scratching surface.....then broke out the grinder......yup; 1/2" of filler sitting there.....
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No turning back at this point. Now it was a full-on restoration. Dug the mud out to find this.....never saw anything like it before. They cut a heal out of a donor car and tacked it right over the rot. Then the rot on the wheel opening had metal just ben around it and tacked in place. I can't even figure out what they welded it with! Doesn't look like Mig/Tig or gas.......almost looks like they stick welded it in place

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This was my first time doing any sort of sheet metal work so it was a learning experience to say the least. Especially not having a lot the tools to do it. Most of it was done with hammer and dolly, various object in the garage and mallet and shot bag. I did buy a cheap HF planishing hammer which was worth the investment to smooth the radiuss and hammer marks.

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The hardest part was the wheel opening since it was concave body line on a radius. Didn't have the ability to pull that one off so I broke it down in smaller sections that I could easily shape the curve and then work it in place as I tacked it in.
 

64Rivi

Member
Moving right along the bottom of the car (expecting more of the same) I start scratching away at the lower quarter. It had so much filler on it, I broke out the air chisel and just start lifting if off in slabs.

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The bottom half of the quarter was rotted so they cut the bottom off and just tacked a flat piece of sheet metal in it's place...…..and began building the shape back with fiberglass, long strand filler and then regular filler...….what a friggen mess!
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Luckily the driver's side was about 80% in place so I was able to template the actual body panel from it to make a correct patch for it. This was another fun job as I really had no way of creating the shape (it's more complex than it looks). Found that my acetylene b-tank had a pretty good radius so I made it work with some cargo straps and piece of ply wood to bend it. Necessity is the mother of invention. ;)

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64Rivi

Member
Fast forwarding back to the future.....the Rivi was prepped for 3-more coats of UC this weekend. Stuff sprayed wonderfully once again although I saw a bit more trash in it this time around. I cleaned the booth and scrubbed the car before painting so not sure where it came from. Nothing bad that won't come out in the cut and buff but it messes with your head after shooting some nice clear and seeing some crap sitting in it! At least I didn't splash water on the car again. I made REAL sure to carefully move the hose from one side to the other and leave the water on the floor. :p

Barry; thanks again for your help with the foam tape recommendation and visual aids for the soft edges in the jambs. Worked great. ;)

Started cutting the panels and will get them sprayed with 3-coats as well......slowly moving the ball forward.

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JimKueneman

Mopar Nut
So after all the fun with the main floor patches, there were others. By the time I was done working on my knees replacing them, I became very familiar with the rockers and door jambs. :p Something didn't look right with the paint by the scoops on the quarter so I started scratching surface.....then broke out the grinder......yup; 1/2" of filler sitting there.....
View attachment 11781

No turning back at this point. Now it was a full-on restoration. Dug the mud out to find this.....never saw anything like it before. They cut a heal out of a donor car and tacked it right over the rot. Then the rot on the wheel opening had metal just ben around it and tacked in place. I can't even figure out what they welded it with! Doesn't look like Mig/Tig or gas.......almost looks like they stick welded it in place

View attachment 11782
View attachment 11783View attachment 11784

This was my first time doing any sort of sheet metal work so it was a learning experience to say the least. Especially not having a lot the tools to do it. Most of it was done with hammer and dolly, various object in the garage and mallet and shot bag. I did buy a cheap HF planishing hammer which was worth the investment to smooth the radiuss and hammer marks.

View attachment 11785



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The hardest part was the wheel opening since it was concave body line on a radius. Didn't have the ability to pull that one off so I broke it down in smaller sections that I could easily shape the curve and then work it in place as I tacked it in.
Oh I have a similar photo on my Coronet. They brazed a patch on the trunk lip over the rusted metal then mudded her up....
 

64Rivi

Member
Thanks very much, OJ!

Jim, as mad as I was to find all this crap buried under so much filler..... I was almost impressed with their sculpting abilities to re-create all the body lines so perfectly with filler. :p More sins to come...
 

JimKueneman

Mopar Nut
Thanks very much, OJ!

Jim, as mad as I was to find all this crap buried under so much filler..... I was almost impressed with their sculpting abilities to re-create all the body lines so perfectly with filler. :p More sins to come...
Not gonna lie, I can sculpt filler way better than I can shape metal :)..... I won't tell you how much filler is in the top of the Duster LH fender.... someone really beat it up and to get it to match the hood it took way more than I wanted it to.....
 
I'm getting caught up on this forum, as I'm reading TV is playing an interview with actor Danny Trejo, who has a stable of cars. When asked which is his favorite (that he owns) ... it's the 65 Riv, which they show and it is a STUNNING Black beauty.
Interesting coincidence.

Updates look STUNNING!!!
The more I see it, the more I notice how many different angles that car has! I don't know if I want to read any more updates until the final reveal now!! LOL
 

64Rivi

Member
Hey Jim, as long as it looks good and your happy with the results, let the next guy worry about it in 20-years when it gets re-done. LOL

I saw the same show, Hoosier. The first gen Rivi's are a very understated car. It looks like a lot of flat and sleek body lines but there is actually a lot of style lines all over this car. It made the body work reeeealy fun. :p The sides of the car go from a large convex radius with a style line in the up top to a tight concave radius into a small flat molding reveal then back to a convex at the bottom before hitting a tight corner dying into the rocker. Doesn't look like much as the lines are very under-stated but it definitely runs you through the paces with all your sanding block shapes.......I've even re-purposed some pool noodles for the concave transitions that go into the wheel lip. Worked great in those corners. Just the right density of foam to fall into the corner radius without worrying about the edges digging in;)

Finished cutting the panels this weekend to get them ready for another round of UC this week sometime. You get an idea of the body lines here....but it's much better in person. Keep in mind those fenders are about 5 feet long.... she's a big girl.

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64Rivi

Member
Here's a little preview of what nightmare the removable door panels can be. You can see what appears to be a low spot on door panel when I cut it this weekend. Under that spot is where on of the studs are to attached the panel. I was really careful to put the door panels in place and not remove them while I was doing the bodywork otherwise you can keep chasing these spots over and over and over again. A little adjustment on the stud and she cut flat just fine. It'll be fun putting it back on the last and final time!

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Put her back on tires and took it out of the booth today so I can get the panels shot next. A little glamor shot in the sunshine. :D

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64Rivi

Member
Thanks, John! Looking forward to seeing it done one day. They are definitely cars worth saving. This one was actually silver originally but black just makes this car pop. Plus, for my first paint job.......I convinced myself to avoid the additional headache with a metallic. :p

And you should be a proud owner of that beautiful wheel! Those are like hens teeth and very hard to come by.....if you have the horn bar, even more rare!
 

64Rivi

Member
A bit behind on my updates as it's been really busy around the house and work lately. Still finding time to keep pushing the ball forward on the car wherever I can right now. Finished doing the additional 3-coats of clear on the body panels and got everything out in the sun for a day.

That was an amazing experience in and of itself. The car had been in a warm garage for 2-weeks after the last 3-coats on the body before I got it out in the sun. Figured the tail solvents would have come out for sure in that time! Once that thing started to get warm in the sun, you could literally smell the tail solvents evaporating off the surface. Within a few hours, all gone. Amazing! Now I can definitely see why Barry recommends this. :cool:

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64Rivi

Member
After the 3-coats and sun-time were all done, I've been slowing doing one panel at a time with 1000 grit wet on the first cut.

Holy crap.....this is a whole new skill set and boat load of work! LOL Took me a good 2 1/2 hours to get one door skin cut with 1000. These next update might take a long time. Ha! I'm so nervous both with cutting through and making sure I get the surface flat that i'm just taking my time and going through it methodically. I'm nervous as hell just thinking about the polishing stage after this. :oops:

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Tried my hand at the oak block to do the first cut but that didn't work out well for me. As an avid wood worker, I had my doubts that I would get lucky with a block of wood staying flat/ true when wet sanding....and that didn't take long before it manifested itself.

I cut up a piece of red oak the same size as my durablock and soft block and then trued both sides with 80 grit on a piece of glass. Got about halfway through the trunk lid when I noticed strange sanding patterns developing on the other side of the trunk.

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Notice the pattern to the right of the picture-it's more pronounced there.

Got out my machinist ruler and took a look......yup, started to cup on me.

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I was going to try again with a piece of 5/4 tiger wood I had left over from a deck I built.....but then decided not drive myself crazy. I opted to cannibalize a 1/4 piece of plexiglas that I used for cc'ing cylinder heads in the past. That works like a charm so far.
 

64Rivi

Member
Once I get some more down time, I'll get back to posting some of the restoration photo's again......didn't forget.;)
 

EddieF

Top Banana
Love it & yes black's 100% proper choice. Great job!

Door skins- are they rigid enough to where they'll hold shape after mounting?
Thought is block sanding it mounted would true it up if shape changes slightly once bolted.
 
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