CC Outtake: 1971 Buick Riviera – Drive-While-You-Restore Special


Ever see one of those classified ads which claims a car would be “great to drive it while you restore it”? This boattail Riv sure reminds me of those sort of ads.

Whenever I drive to the Cities, I pass a particular house in the northern suburb of Blaine. The owner always has a few interesting, if rather rusty, older GM products around in various states of completion.

For the past year or two, his fleet included a four-door Chevelle, a ’70 if I recall; an early ’70s Firebird that had received an incorrect set of snowflake wheels; and a Chevy pickup of similar vintage. But recently, I noticed that the Chevelle had disappeared. In its place was this.


At a glance, this Riviera actually looks pretty decent. But it’s a northern car with northern rust. Still, if I stumbled upon it for a cheap price (which this guy likely did), I’d drive it.


What year is it – 1971 (CC here) or 1972 (CC here)? The louvers say ’71, but is that the original decklid? It’s anybody’s guess.

From this shot, at least we can be sure it’s not a ’73. Seeing the grille might have shed some light on the situation – but unfortunately I couldn’t get a shot of it.

We can also be sure someone wasn’t too careful with it… ouch!


For that matter, is it a real GS? I’m not learned enough in Riv trivia to tell without popping the hood.


Did you notice the Transporter in the background? It seems our Buick-owning compadre isn’t the only one who likes to keep a few CCs around. In addition to the bus, his neighbor owns three Chevy trucks, each with a boat hooked to it.

Turns out Eugene isn’t the only city with designated CC neighborhoods. As I went further down the street, looking for a place to make a U-turn with my trailer, I noticed that almost every driveway had at least one! Everything from boxy pimped-out Panthers, to a red Supra that looked like it was ready to go to the races. Needless to say, I’ll be back to shoot more in the near future.