How it all began and why I bought a 1973 Buick Riviera "Boattail"
I always dreamt about owning an American classic car. And the dream also included some kind of restoration project, but since I didnít have a suitable place for such a project, it was hard to make that dream come true.
In 1998 though, after moving to a new apartment with access to a garage, I began to think about it again. Two years later I decided to go through with the plan and find a suitable car. The problem was, I didnít have a particular favorite model. A lot of different cars appealed to me but I wasnít sure about which one to go with. Suddenly a movie came to mind, that I saw a couple years earlier. A car in that movie made an unforgettable impression on me, but I had no clue what make or model it was. I searched the Internet and found the title of the movie "Red Rock West" and then I went straight down to the local video store and got the VHS tape.
And there it wasÖ a black 1973 Buick Riviera. I still though it looked amazing and it was no longer a question about it. It had to be a Riviera.
After some more searching on the Internet, I found out that the Boattail body was made 1971-1973 and I liked the 1973 most of all.
I didnít know by that time, just how many of those cars that was to be found in Sweden.
I later learned that there was about 30 Boattail Rivieras of each year in the country.
Not that many to chose from then. I didnít find any for sale in the ads I went through during the next couple of weeks, so I decided to put an ad myself in a few car magazines. About a week later a guy living in the Stockholm area called and he had a 1973 for sale. Perfect!
We discussed the price over the phone and came to a preliminary agreement, if the car was as he described it and the following Saturday me and a friend drove the 500km (310 miles) to Stockholm and the Riviera came with us back to Gothenburg.
This was in January 2000 and the weather wasnít really what you usually take this kind of car for a spin in, but we made it safely all the way home. You can read the rest of the story under the restoration section on this site.
These photos were taken the day after the Riviera came home.
The condition of the car was ok. It looked fine from a little distance, but the body had some rust and the floor behind the front seats was really soft.
More about that under the restoration section.
As you se from the photos, there is no snow on the ground. But on the way home from Stockholm, we drove through a mild snow storm and it wasnít nice to do in a car of these dimensions, with bad tires and no air up on the wind screen to keep the moisture away. The ventilation system was easy to fix later on, when I found that the vacuum system was disconnected.
My restoration project of a classic Boattail Riviera
The photo above was taken at a US Car Meet in the town of Uddevalla, on the west coast of Sweden. This was in August of 2007. One year after the body restoration was completed.
My name is Thanassis and I live in Gothenburg, Sweden.