: What's cheaper to own....LT1 FWB or L67 GTP/GS???



I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-15-08, 10:18 PM
I'm jumping the gun here....but basically I'll be looking for a secondary, cheaper to own, domestic vehicle in a couple of years, and I've basically limited it to a '97-03 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP, '97-04 Regal GS, and the '93-'96 Fleetwood Brougham.

I want something simple, domestic, time proven and uber reliable. Those are my top priorities, and take matter over things such as fuel economy and size. I picked these for a few reasons, and I've got a history of interest in these, as you can see if you look through old threads. The reasons I picked the GTP/GS is because it's a pretty darn quick car, the drivetrain seems to be rock solid, and it's got enough of those creature comforts that I so desire. And it's not a car that I'd have to worry a lot about...I can park in the not so good neighborhoods and not stress it, and I wouldn't have to worry about getting door dings in parking lots and so on and so forth. But their interiors, especially the GTP's, seem cheap, and I've heard their trannys don't take abuse very well at all.


The FWB I love for many reasons....the size, the presence, the "wow" factor, the rarity, the drivetrain (LT1 and L67 are my two favorite GM motors....L37 probably being 3rd), the fact it's the last true Cadillac by some accounts, and of all the Cadillac models, the Fleetwood/Brougham is my favorite....it's the Cadillac of Cadillacs, etc etc. But on the downside, it's getting up there in years, so it would be tough to get a loan for (if I needed one), and from what I remember it drives like a late '70s car...not a modern day one, and it's HUGE! Making it very hard to manuver/park in tight city spaces. The interior seems cheapish for a Cadillac too, but on the other hand, it's incredibly simple...moreso than the GTP/GS in some respects, and has basically very little to go wrong causing expensive repair bills. Hell, even the GTP/GS have some creature comforts the FWB doesn't...for example, the HUD, dual zone climate control, trip computer, Bose system, Onstar, etc etc.

I could get a decent example of each for around $8,000, but the GTP/GS would be 6-8 years newer, better on gas, probably better DD's (based on size), and quicker. But I suppose a Cadillac, even one as large and outdated for the modern times as the FWB is, would be very fitting for a member of a CADILLAC OWNERS group...

So my question to you, all things considered, what would be cheaper to own over all? Considering initial cost of vehicle, cost of upkeep and repairs, cost of insurance and cost of gas?

ted tcb
02-15-08, 11:25 PM
Like yourself, I live in snow country, driving a RWD LS400.
Its a joy to park the Lexus and hop into a 4wd vehicle when we've received 2ft of snow in one day.
The city crews cannot keep up this winter ... we have no place to put the snow, and the winds keep creating
drifts. The conditions change every few hours, and it has been treacherous driving this year.
Twin Cities are roughly parallel to Orillia ... it would be comforting to park your S Class safely in bed, and drive
the Regal GS. With 4 snows, the Buick would be unstoppable.
My mother owns a 1999 GS, with only 30k on her. Great car in nasty weather, seriously fast, and nearly invisible
to the cops. The interior is much more refined than the GTP, and I'd bet the insurance is cheaper.
The LT1 should be more of a special event car ... its too rare to be subjected to road salt and other vehicles skidding through
the winter.
I have an acquaintance who owns an older Bonneville SSEi ... a '93 with about 200k on it. He still commutes to Toronto every day,
while he parks his rwd 2007 Mustang GT safely away from the snow. Makes sense to me.
If I owned an LT1 Fleetwood, I would still need a daily driver ... no way in hell I'd navigate that car around the snow banks
and icy roads we have up here for 5 months of the year.

eldorado99
02-15-08, 11:45 PM
Well since I know a little bit about what you like Chad, I'm going to say the best car of the lot for you is the GS. The Fleetwood LT1 is going to burn a bit more fuel and it just doesn't feel quite as sophisticated when it comes down to driving feel. Don't get me wrong I absolutely adore the Fleetwood, in fact I wish I had one, just not to drive everyday.

The GTP is great and IMO has better exterior styling than the GS, but the interior of the GS is far superior and the drive train is nearly identical. I'd say the GS/GTP would be cheaper to own than the Fleetwood, but not by much. I just think you'd like the GS the best out of the three because after coming from a Merc, you might be insulted by the GTP interior, and the Fleetwood just really doesn't feel all that fast or corner quickly compared to the GS/GTP. One additional detail though, I'm not scared of the L67 being unreliable, but I am a little scared of the 4T65E-HD transmission in the GS/GTP. The Fleetwood does not suffer from this problem, but I wouldn't be too worried about the 4T65E-HD until you start getting up in miles anyway unless you start modding and putting major power through it. However as repairs go, I would say all are pretty easy and cheap to repair. Insurance where I live is virtually the same for all 3 cars. When it comes down to it there just isn't much difference in cost of ownership for any of these cars, but I would give a slight nod to the W-body in that department. FWD might help a bit in winter too.

To sum it up:

GTP: Looks good, fast and reliable engine, transmission is a little dicey when they get older, terrible interior quality, great handling, good mileage (I get about 21/31 MPG in mine).

GS: Looks decent, fast and reliable engine, same transmission problem, adequate interior build quality, "classier" and less "sporty" styling than the GTP, great handling, good mileage.

Fleetwood: Looks good, not fast although not slow either, very reliable drivetrain, interior build quality slightly above GS, very classy, poor handling when stock, average mileage.

hueterm
02-16-08, 01:26 AM
Top recommendation: '96-98 Riviera S/C (you should be able to find one in the price range you're mentioning in the 50K mile range)
Runners Up: '98+ GP GTP Coupe or similar year Regal GS

If you're going to get the 4 door, get the Regal, as there was no 2 door option.

I had a '99 GTP Coupe and the back seat room was pretty good. It will fit 4 average to above average size grown men if necessary in relative comfort (if the front seats are moved up 1/4 - 1/2 of the way).

The Riv is bigger overall, but has a little less room in the back than the GTP, but there's no comparison in the interior or exterior styling.

Since you have the W140, I would recommend not getting the FWB, as they're both really big cars.

I'd throw this out and say get rid of the W140, get a Riv AND a FWB. You could probably get both of the 2 GMs for the price of the M-B -- with much cheaper upkeep and repairs.

And try E-Loan or Capital One for the loans. They typically have no age restrictions on cars (or at least very lenient ones).

eldorado99
02-16-08, 03:00 AM
By the way I still haven't gotten a chance to make those 0-60 videos yet Chad, it's still raining here. Don't think I forgot though ;), my new camera arrived the other day so it's ready to go.

Night Wolf
02-16-08, 09:07 AM
I really like my parents '98 Park Ave (non-Ultra) It's a really nice car with alot of nice features. I've driven it a few times, plenty powerful, its flat out awesome on gas, getting 20 around town and high 20's on the highway. But most of all, despite being newer, it still has the GM feel that I really like.

I'd choose an Ultra for the s/c.... and they are still cheap, would I choose a Park Ave Ultra over my Town Car? close call, I'd definitly would have given it more thought.

But, the Park Ave, in terms of build quality and materials, is far superior to the Grand Prix/Regal. The W-body dates back to the mid 80's and shows it. The '97+ Park Ave is all new, on the G? body, same as the Aurora/Riv. It's a much newer and tighter feeling car. Although if you are looking for a "sporty" car, either W-body would look more sporty, as the Park Ave is more of a boat, hood ornament and all.

If I was to choose a s/c 3800 car, a '97-'99 Riv would be the first choice.... then the above mentioned Park Ave.

My parents got their '98 Park Ave with 75k miles on it last year for $5,000. They've put 10k on it or so since, only problem was the idler pully seized up and trashed the serpintine belt as my mom was driving into town. Thats been fixed, and they've had great luck with it, both are extremely happy with their car too. Heh, it's their first FWD car, their first unibody car and their first car with fuel injection, as before that they had the '87 and '89 Broughams.

But, I really liked driving it. It was a very nice size for daily driving, nice ride/handling blend. Has a tachometer and detailed driver info center as well as all the options of a typical late 90's high end Buick.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Florida/9-15-07/IMG_0086.jpg

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-16-08, 10:39 AM
I like the GS and Riviera because they don't feel or look like your typical Buick....the Park Avenue does though, and that's why I don't like them. Unless I got the Fleetwood, I wouldn't want another 6 seater car, and unless I got another Cadillac, classic Lincoln or Mercedes, I wouldn't want any more cars with hood ornaments too...

AMGoff
02-16-08, 02:02 PM
You can never go wrong with a 3.8L Buick, supercharged or not. You know I "heart" the GS though... and I've always hated the interior of those Pontiacs. Both are fairly cheap looking by today's standards... but the interior of the GS has and will age much better than those fugly Pontiacs.

Go for a Regal... or if you can find one, a Rivi. I honestly believe if you got yourself a Riviera, you'd be more than pleased with it for years and years to come. Some cars just have that certain charm, that "X" factor... and the Rivi has it in spades... not to mention it's painfully good-looking!

hueterm
02-16-08, 02:14 PM
The PA Ultra did have a bucket seat option, but still the column shifter. Again, w/the S Class, the PA would be a little redundant.

You have the big American luxury car sickness...go for it:

Just a joke/fantasy here... http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1999-RIVIERA-Silver-Arrow-56-23-000mi_W0QQitemZ300198812437QQihZ020QQcategoryZ6142 QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Mine looks like this, but w/no moonroof: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/97-RIVIERA-LEATHER-PWR-LOCS-WINS-LO-MILES-EXCELLENT_W0QQitemZ220199827423QQihZ012QQcategoryZ 6142QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

My favorite color combo: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1997-Buick-Riviera-SUPERCHRGED-43K-RARE-NO-RESERVE_W0QQitemZ250215647503QQihZ015QQcategoryZ61 42QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-16-08, 02:49 PM
I <3 the Rivs more than I do the GS or GTP, but they're tough to find, especially with lower miles, and hard to finance through my bank. And I remember hearing that the water pump or serp belt is a B-I-T-C-H to do on those due to the way the engine is situated in there.

AMGoff
02-16-08, 03:30 PM
I wouldn't be too concerned with finding one with low miles as I would with just finding one with average miles. The "newest" Rivi is what now, 9 years old?

I'd personally have no problem picking up one with 90-100K miles on it for $3-5K. You should really look into joining a local credit union... they are probably the best place to acquire loans for older cars that the big banks won't finance.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-16-08, 03:57 PM
I'd heard the early ones had major problems, so I'd have to pick up a '97-'99, and there's only one in my area with less than 100k on it, and it's got the burgundy interior that I detest.

AMGoff
02-16-08, 04:11 PM
What have you heard wrong with the early ones? Any mid-90's GM 3.8 I've had experience with have all been fine mechanically. And if you go with one of the earlier Rivis... you'll have the option of getting a NA one.... the most fickle part of the SC Buicks were the superchargers themselves.

I see two '95 Rivis within 25 miles of St. Paul one for $9K w/ 29K miles and another for $7.5K w/ 56K miles. There's also a black '96 w/ 106K but has no price listed.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-16-08, 04:32 PM
I don't remember preciesly what the problems were, but if you go look thru the carsurvey.org reviews, I'm sure you'll see them.

Naturally aspirated 3.8 is out of the question for me. Without the supercharger, the GP/Regal/Riviera has NO appeal for me.

eldorado99
02-16-08, 04:53 PM
I haven't yet found the supercharger to be a reliability issue anyway, and even if it was, they're really easy to work on as there really isn't much to them and they're right on top of the engine.

hueterm
02-16-08, 06:06 PM
I've read the same thing about pre-'97, especially about the '95. And I don't remember exactly what the gremlins were, but it took a couple of years to work them out. In any case, you definitely want the Series II engine, that came out in '96, due to the appx. 40HP increase.

I've never had a S/C problem with a 3800 -- so I'm not sure what to say there. Water pump, however = $700 @ dealer -- that, I have done. And it's all due to the location. I had the water pump replaced on the Concours and it was less than $300.

Cadillacboy
02-16-08, 06:41 PM
Fleetwood !
It's a big car you know but not as big as you could think when maneuvering .LT1 is an amazing engine too

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-16-08, 09:59 PM
Water pump, however = $700 @ dealer -- that, I have done. And it's all due to the location.

That's what it was!!! Where exactly did they put it on there? As far as being a PITA job, it's gotta be comparable to a 4.9 water pump.


Another suggestion.....early-mid '90s LS400, but their resale is through the roof. I can get one with 170k on it for the same price as an 85k '94 Fleetwood. Oh well though. From what I've heard the LS400 in some respects, is a better S Class than an S Class.

hueterm
02-16-08, 10:09 PM
I have no idea really, they just had to take a few things off in order to get to it and it took a few more hours (@ $100/hr or whatever they charge).

I'm sure an independent shop would have been cheaper (not many here though) and if you could do it yourself, it would be way cheaper (however for me, that would be a false economy).

Night Wolf
02-17-08, 07:49 AM
The problem is that the serpintine belt pretty much runs between the motor mount, so enable to change it, the motor mount has to be removed, which entails lifting/jacking the engine, not alot, but just the standard amount for a motor mount.

Waterpump is no different when any other s/c 3800, its just tight to get to.

Would I let any of the above stop me, or even be anything more then a quick thought in buying that, or any car for that matter? No.

All cars have their own little PITA thing to fix weather you know about it before or after you buy it.

caddycruiser
02-17-08, 09:49 PM
'95-99 Riviera. The G-body is much more modern and refined than the W-body (well, it's old too, but not as much so), and these cars generally are built very well and are very refined. The typical S/C is fun, but even a regular 3.8L (which there's only a handful of these Rivieras with anyway), is more than adequate.

Plus, the Riviera looks the most "special" of nearly any late 90's GM vehicle, and is upscale at that--not the typical everyday & cheaper Regal (which isn't a bad car, at all) and Grand Prix.

Also not the snooze fest or boat size of a Park Avenue, but still large enough, and with buckets and a console shifter.

As for the Fleetwood...no. Unless you really have the time and space, and have a more vast collection, at this stage a Fleetwood would just be too old, too low tech, and too HUGE. That's coming from someone who drives a '95 daily, and wishes they didn't. Can be a fabulous show car and even a daily driver if you see it fit (and it's in great shape), but the old & big aren't conducive to it.

Not bad choices, so far, for potential daily runabout toys, except for the Fleetwood--trust me. You already have an S-class, so something smaller, newer or the same age, and somewhat entertaining would be key.

As for me...at this point I'd love to have a mid-late 90's Honda Accord. Yes, seriously and in the worst way. At the least, my next vehicle change will for sure be half the size, newer (or new-new), and 4-cyl. It's a combo I've finally found to "be me". But that's another thread, for another day.

So...another Riviera vote here;)

Night Wolf
02-18-08, 01:05 AM
I heard GM used the same Riviera to do front crash tests rating as well as rear crash test rating, and both doors still opened and closed good.

Playdrv4me
02-18-08, 02:35 AM
Regal GS. The Riviera doesn't have the interior to back up the exterior like the G and K Cadillacs do.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-18-08, 12:43 PM
Actually, I rather like the Riv's interior. MUCH more so than the Regal GS's.

CadillacSTS42005
02-18-08, 12:48 PM
imho
you think a N* HG is an expensive fix
check out the reman cost of a S/C on those 3.8s
weve junked 3 of them 2 GTPS and an Ultra at my shop because they didnt want to spend the money on a new or rebuilt S/C
even used they bring a nice premo

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-18-08, 01:06 PM
An extended warranty would cover either of those problems. :)
Which brings me to my next thought......98+ STS, low miles, for around $8000 + Fidelity warranty = great car w/o any headgasket woes.

CadillacSTS42005
02-18-08, 01:19 PM
egh
98s are actually pretty blan an plauged with many electrical gremlins
for instance on my moms car some times the chimes wont stop PERIOD until you get out and put the key into the door and turn both ways
another example for NO reason the rear windows will go down and STAY down you cant put them up until you shut the car down open the door and then restart the car
plus 99 got alot more STS standard things, like the wood wheel and shifter is more common, there was a massaging seat option too (died in 00 which sucks id love those in my 03)

id look for a 99 over a 98, and a 99 over a 00 due to the performance of the 99 is so much greater, id of looked for one of them too but i wanted magride due to the driving conditions of which i live in (more hills and such then areas to whind her up) and i had the ETC for high speed.

and before Gary chimes in on the magride thing its this simple at 100K the average STS owner is looking to spend 4k on all new struts, i dont do arnot or anything passive as its just not the same ride, hell the ones in my moms 98 went bad i got her used ones, the 97 went bad and i went for ALL NEW STRUTS, magride outlasts the 100K mark its that simple and is actually cheaper than the CVRSS struts

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-18-08, 01:37 PM
Thanks for the advice J. I'd go as new as possible too, and I'd steer clear of the '98s for nothing more than the fact that they are the 1st of their kind, and you'll always see the most problems on the 1st year models.

CadillacSTS42005
02-18-08, 01:41 PM
not always true
my 97 is the 1st for stabilitrak and ive never had a problem with it

just depends on the amount of the leap and so much

CadillacSTS42005
02-18-08, 01:43 PM
oh
and on this note
id rather and i was going to buy an SSEI
imho look into an SSEI or Bonni GXP st8 up bad ass

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-18-08, 01:47 PM
That SSEI has a face even it's mother couldn't love. Seriously, the ONLY good looking Pontiac from that era is the Grand Prix. Remember, these are the people that brought you the Aztek. :histeric:

CadillacSTS42005
02-18-08, 01:52 PM
lol
its a complete sleeper is the point
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4899029450867238928&q=bonneville+ssei+burnout&total=9&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=3
p-rkdwXjzW0
nuff said

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-18-08, 02:11 PM
Yeah, but so is a GS when you remove the GS badge.

AMGoff
02-18-08, 03:08 PM
Overall, I'd have to agree with Chad on the interiors... I much prefer the Rivi's interior to the Regal's. The Regal's is nice and all... but the overall cockpit layout of the Rivi wins me over. They're especially sharp with a dash kit in them.

The only GS's I can't stand are the Abboud editions. I normally like two-tone interiors, but those are just ghastly.

Either way... if were talking daily drivers, either a Riviera or a GS would be fantastic choices.

Night Wolf
02-18-08, 04:18 PM
The largest (only?) problem with the s/c is the coupler going bad. Alot of places want to make money and will say the whole s/c needs to be replaced, but the coupler isn't all that bad to replace, and its fairly cheap.... most of all, even with a couple that is totally gone, the car is still 100% driveable with no adverse damage to the engine.... there is just no s/c.

It's not very common at all to see the s/c itself fail.

eldorado99
02-18-08, 04:25 PM
The largest (only?) problem with the s/c is the coupler going bad. Alot of places want to make money and will say the whole s/c needs to be replaced, but the coupler isn't all that bad to replace, and its fairly cheap.... most of all, even with a couple that is totally gone, the car is still 100% driveable with no adverse damage to the engine.... there is just no s/c.

It's not very common at all to see the s/c itself fail.

Yeah, the coupler on my s/c was starting to go, cost me 35 bucks and part of an afternoon, not really a big deal, plus the only symptom was a rattling noise at idle. The car drove the same before and after I fixed it.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-18-08, 05:01 PM
It's not very common at all to see the s/c itself fail.


I asked a few of our senior heavy line techs if they've ever seen a Chevy with the Supercharged 3.8 have supercharger fail, and they both said they've never seen one, and I then asked our senior parts representative if he's ever seen one, even when he worked at the big B/P/GMC dealer down in Hudson. He said he's seen 3 fail in the entire time he's been there.


I was bored at work today, so using our parts and labor guide, I worked together a few estimates for the worrysome repairs on these cars.


To replace the supercharger on a 3.8L Buick, whether it be the Regal or Riviera- $2036

Water pump on a '99 Regal GS-$368

Water pump on a '99 Riviera- $538

Distributor on a '94 Brougham- $867

Headgaskets on a '01 STS- $3336

LS1Mike
02-18-08, 09:08 PM
The largest (only?) problem with the s/c is the coupler going bad. Alot of places want to make money and will say the whole s/c needs to be replaced, but the coupler isn't all that bad to replace, and its fairly cheap.... most of all, even with a couple that is totally gone, the car is still 100% driveable with no adverse damage to the engine.... there is just no s/c.

It's not very common at all to see the s/c itself fail.

True that and it is and easy fix, you can also buy the Magnuson nose and that allows you to do quick pulley swap outs. I had that on my 01 GTP, it was good purchase.
http://www.fquick.com/images/vehicles/full/493225028.jpg?1170827028
I miss that thing more than any car I have had.

Oh yeah Chad remind me, if I ever run into you, to punch you for having the damn George Michael crap in your sig, now I keep humming that damn song.

Playdrv4me
02-18-08, 09:11 PM
Thanks for the advice J. I'd go as new as possible too, and I'd steer clear of the '98s for nothing more than the fact that they are the 1st of their kind, and you'll always see the most problems on the 1st year models.

Outside of that STUPID HG fiasco, I never had ANY problems with my '98s... ever. From what Ive seen here, '99s tend to be worse, at least with HGs and Im not sure why.

I'd say to get a 99 for no reason other than the warranty gets cheaper and covers more the newer the car is.

gdwriter
02-18-08, 09:13 PM
Oh yeah Chad remind me, if I ever run into you, to punch you for having the damn George Michael crap in your sig, now I keep humming that damn song.:histeric::histeric::histeric::histeric::hist eric:

You should have been at the Chicago meet last weekend. On our way to the Chicago Auto Show in Jesda's Navigator with a leaky air suspension, several of us were singing along to Wham at the top of our lungs. And we were all totally sober.

Guess you had to be there. But it was pretty freakin' funny.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-18-08, 09:18 PM
Oh yeah Chad remind me, if I ever run into you, to punch you for having the damn George Michael crap in your sig, now I keep humming that damn song.

I've got that song on YouTube now on a constant repeat.

I love the '80s. :cool2:

Night Wolf
02-18-08, 10:58 PM
As for the last gen Riv.... I think it's only of the most sexy cars ever made, and maybe THE most from the 90's

I *really* like the interior, alot... it is so unique, yet is a modern day of what the original Riviera was.... simplicated elegance.

In fact, it's a little *too* simple for me, or I thought it was, and pretty much the only reason why I did not get a Riv and instead got the Town Car was the lack of driver/fuel info center.... looking back, something as trivial as that shoudln't have made a difference, and I really should have driven a Riv and compared.

But it wasn't just that, at the time I wanted another boat with bench seat, column shift and hood ornament. Still, I don't know if I would have chosen a Riv over the TC, fact is too, a compareable condition Riv was almost twice what I paid for my TC, still not alot for the car, but still more then I could afford. Right now it's not cost effective to get another car, nor would I have a use for it other then just because its a sweet car. But I like the Town Car alot for what it is, the big American boat, the last of it's kind which is pretty much died off now.... plus the digital dash is just flat out cool :)

But if I was to get any of those cars, it'd be the Riv... only car that would be a close runner up would be a '95 Eldorado ETC, another personal favorite, and it was between those 2, and my Town Car as my next car, I chose the Lincoln, I don't regret it, but that had to be one of the hardest decsions to make. All are sweet cars :)

96Fleetwood
02-18-08, 11:10 PM
Distributor on a '94 Brougham- $867

That is robbery.

These are to very different cars. Unless you plan to modify the LT1 Fleetwood, why get it when you can have one of those FWD supercharged toys.

Night Wolf
02-18-08, 11:25 PM
Man, this is a SEXY car.... darn..... it's making me really want one....again....

http://server2.texasdirectauto.com/south_pics/1G4GD2214V4703150/DCP_9998.JPG

http://server2.texasdirectauto.com/south_pics/1G4GD2214V4703150/DCP_0005.JPG

Needs chrome (factory Riv) wheels tho

This wood kit (could get it in all different patterns) really pulls the interior together, and is what I'd do to it. I really like this interior color too.

http://server2.texasdirectauto.com/south_pics/1G4GD2214V4703150/DCP_0027.JPG

The wrap-around dash into doors into the backseat is awesome. Personally I think the interior *does* equal the exterior, the whole car is about being subtle, which is what the interior is.... personally at the time I wanted more electronic gizmos.... now, I don't think it really matters, thats a good looking car even today.

http://server2.texasdirectauto.com/south_pics/1G4GD2214V4703150/DCP_0043.JPG

Thats the one to get, if you had the money.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1997-BUICK-RIVIERA-SUPERCHARGED-HEATED-LEATHER-36K-MI_W0QQitemZ170195177103QQihZ007QQcategoryZ6142QQs sPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Playdrv4me
02-18-08, 11:37 PM
Like AMGoff said, It looks good with the wood kit, its bland as fuc* without it, especially that overcast grey.

That being said, the outside of the Riviera defines what is great about American car design, and probably design in general. Huge muscular flanks, flowing and graceful lines and swooping profile... It is an amazing car. Think about it, it is one of the few cars that truly lives up to its namesake... "Riviera". You guys may have convinced me to look for one of these over a 98 Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited if and when I get a cash car in the future. Only other thing I would probably do is see if there's a way to adapt wood to that hideous GM wheel. Not having the Northstar, or in these times a V8 period, is a real blessing, and will probably slightly drive up their prices as gas soars.

This and the Buick Regatta were the only Buicks from the past 20 years that ever mattered to me. The GNx before that.

I can tell by the pics that's Texas Direct Auto. He always has really nice shiny cars. Has Sevilles all the time.

Night Wolf
02-18-08, 11:49 PM
The wood kits are cheap enough that if the car dosn't have it, it dosn't matter. Personally I'd rather it not have it as I've seen some kits that I don't like at all (I like that one alot) so I'd just put it on myself.

All this talk, and now looking at the Riv's is making me look at them again.... I guess the good thing is they are not a high demand car, so in a few years there should still be some mint '97-'99's to pickup, such as this one. I really wouldn't mind getting one, and keeping the Town Car if I could... If there was a Riv that I wanted for anywhere near $3,500 (what I paid for the Town Car) I'd have one of them, but they all seemed to be $6,000+.... still a bargin for what it is, but out of my budget.

the Riv is probably the heaviest car the 3800 was in, so it's a bit less faster and uses a tad more gas... from browsing the Riv forums when I was going to get one, most people reported mid-high 20's for highway econ... which darn is still really good compared to today. It needs premium fuel IIRC, which to me has never been a big deal (tho I am used to regular with the Town Car now)

Maybe in several years.... I think there will be deals for quite awhile :) Gosh, theres really nothing else as sexy as the last gen Riv.... its completely different then say, a CTS-V or something that is muscular.... it's just something that you don't see much, and has to be done just right, in the case of the Riv, it is.

What keeps it from being a blob is the hard body crease that starts from the edges of the grille, which is the fenders, and goes the whole length of the body, then into the trunk.... the whole design..... s-e-x-y.

hueterm
02-18-08, 11:50 PM
IMO, the Riv is the only interior that looks good w/an aftermarket dash kit.

It looks FIERCE in black, and the chrome wheels would look awesome on it. I only ever see the ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ champagne color (like mine), or the powder blue.

Night Wolf
02-18-08, 11:53 PM
One thing I never liked was the Cavalier-style shifter, which in classic GM form, even the Corvette got.... personally I'd swap in a ~'95 Eldorado/Seville shifter, or possibly a nice all wood shifter similar to the '98+ STS, tho there would be no shift button, I remember seeing someone retrofitted one into the car... looked awesome.

The car does suffer from GM cost savings, which is evident in alot of places, but all in all its hard to hold that against the car, and when you consider that there is nothing else like it, maybe the closest runner up would be a Mark VIII, I'd hardly make any of that a consideration in wanting the car or not... you either love it or hate it.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-18-08, 11:53 PM
Man, this is a SEXY car.... darn..... it's making me really want one....again....

http://server2.texasdirectauto.com/south_pics/1G4GD2214V4703150/DCP_9998.JPG

http://server2.texasdirectauto.com/south_pics/1G4GD2214V4703150/DCP_0005.JPG

Needs chrome (factory Riv) wheels tho

This wood kit (could get it in all different patterns) really pulls the interior together, and is what I'd do to it. I really like this interior color too.

http://server2.texasdirectauto.com/south_pics/1G4GD2214V4703150/DCP_0027.JPG

The wrap-around dash into doors into the backseat is awesome. Personally I think the interior *does* equal the exterior, the whole car is about being subtle, which is what the interior is.... personally at the time I wanted more electronic gizmos.... now, I don't think it really matters, thats a good looking car even today.

http://server2.texasdirectauto.com/south_pics/1G4GD2214V4703150/DCP_0043.JPG

Thats the one to get, if you had the money.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1997-BUICK-RIVIERA-SUPERCHARGED-HEATED-LEATHER-36K-MI_W0QQitemZ170195177103QQihZ007QQcategoryZ6142QQs sPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


Too much wood!!! It's like Ron Jeremy's bedroom!


That is robbery.

Well if that's robbery, then consider me John Dillinger. :cool2:



These are to very different cars. Unless you plan to modify the LT1 Fleetwood, why get it when you can have one of those FWD supercharged toys.

Because it's a Cadillac, and the best Cadillac IMO....the Brougham. :)

Playdrv4me
02-18-08, 11:56 PM
One thing I never liked was the Cavalier-style shifter, which in classic GM form, even the Corvette got.... personally I'd swap in a ~'95 Eldorado/Seville shifter, or possibly a nice all wood shifter similar to the '98+ STS, tho there would be no shift button, I remember seeing someone retrofitted one into the car... looked awesome.

The car does suffer from GM cost savings, which is evident in alot of places, but all in all its hard to hold that against the car, and when you consider that there is nothing else like it, maybe the closest runner up would be a Mark VIII, I'd hardly make any of that a consideration in wanting the car or not... you either love it or hate it.

oh DAMMIT. I didnt see that stupid shifter there because it was black. I hate that shifter too.

Night Wolf
02-18-08, 11:59 PM
IMO, the Riv is the only interior that looks good w/an aftermarket dash kit.

It looks FIERCE in black, and the chrome wheels would look awesome on it. I only ever see the ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ champagne color (like mine), or the powder blue.

I like the champagne color alot.

Personally I don't like any of the oddball colors, the blues, the teal, the burgendy is right on the edge of dislike, but what sends it over the edge is that the interior is always red... I dunno, I am just not fond of the red interior, or blue... or worse... the teal. But I'd take the champagne color with matching interior. Even with the "bland" colors, these cars still stick out.

But, I agree for maximum sexiness, black thats taken care of and not scratched.... and the chroem wheels... but it's gotta be factory chome wheels, these cars, like most others start to look bad with the wrong aftermarket wheels, and the larger the wheels get, the worse they look.

96Fleetwood
02-19-08, 12:02 AM
Man.. those Rivs are just weird and bubbly...

when I think Riviera I see this:

http://www.4wheelz.net/makes/images/buick/1971_buick_riviera01_64d2_im.jpg


What do you think about that Riviera concept?

http://www.tuningnews.net/news/070421/buick-riviera-concept-coupe.jpg

hueterm
02-19-08, 12:03 AM
For me, the champagne is just acceptable. I agree, any of the greens they had were puke. I do like the red/burgundy and the black cherry/burgundy though.

The champagne has one great advantage though, is that it hides dirt VERY well.

Night Wolf
02-19-08, 12:04 AM
Too much wood!!! It's like Ron Jeremy's bedroom!



Well if that's robbery, then consider me John Dillinger. :cool2:



Because it's a Cadillac, and the best Cadillac IMO....the Brougham. :)

It *IS* alot of wood, but it just works so well in the Riv, and really pulls the interior together from looking bland...... it's nearly perfect.

The whole symmetrical design of the interior, simple but useful design etc.... just further pushes what the Riv was all about. In 30 years from now, the Riv is definitly going to be one of *those* cars that are now sought after.... and personally if I was to get a Riv, I'd want to find the best, nicest example I could in colors I really like, because I would not be selling that car in the future... I would drive it, quite a bit actually, but it probably wouldn't even be the daily driver.... THAT is a car to keep safe... when it looks that downright sexy standing still, well, it deserves it :)

hueterm
02-19-08, 12:05 AM
The '71/'72 is automotive royalty. That Chinese concept is CRAP!!!!!!!!! If they want to make it, fine -- just don't call it a Riviera.

hueterm
02-19-08, 12:08 AM
In 30 years from now, the Riv is definitly going to be one of *those* cars that are now sought after.... and personally if I was to get a Riv, I'd want to find the best, nicest example I could in colors I really like, because I would not be selling that car in the future... I would drive it, quite a bit actually, but it probably wouldn't even be the daily driver.... THAT is a car to keep safe... when it looks that downright sexy standing still, well, it deserves it :)


HUSH LOL!!! :)

Now, you're making me not want to get rid of mine :mad2:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-19-08, 12:12 AM
Riviera's greatest years, as far as exterior design is concerned: 1963-65, 71-72, 79-85, 95-99.

Night Wolf
02-19-08, 12:13 AM
HUSH LOL!!! :)

Now, you're making me not want to get rid of mine :mad2:

;) :)

It hurts cause you know it's true :)

Worse yet, I am making me want one now.... err...again.... ugh....

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-19-08, 12:15 AM
I drove a bunch of mid '90s GM luxury cars last winter, 01 GS, 02 GTP, '98 Riviera, 99 ETC, '93 STS. Aside from that '93 STS, the Riviera was my favorite.

Night Wolf
02-19-08, 12:26 AM
Riviera's greatest years, as far as exterior design is concerned: 1963-65, 71-72, 79-85, 95-99.

Even tho they weren't much to look at outside, the late 80's/early 90's generation had one of the coolest digital dashes in a car..... I know alot of people don't like them, but I like it alot... and from what I heard, they wanted to get away from that hence the wayyy toned down dash of the '95+ But still, something to be said about the awesome digital dash of those cars. A friend has a ~'91? Riv, 190k, sorta beat up, but I still like that interior so much... actually the car really feels alot like my '93 Coupe DeVille did... probably cause they are so similar. If the '95-'99 Riv had an updated digital dash of this gen, that would be THE perfect car for me, but at the same time I do like the simple look and the analog gauges... it's just if it had the driver info/fuel info center that the Caddys, Pontiacs and other Buicks had at the time, that'd make it nearly perfect. But, atleast there are aftermarket things you can get for OBDII cars that take care of that (google Interceptor) which is probably what I'd end up doing, make it look factory tho.


http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj182/robmiller32/Cars/1990%20Buick%20Riviera/100_0408.jpg

http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj182/robmiller32/Cars/1990%20Buick%20Riviera/100_0409.jpg

Oh and don't forget the optional touch-screen VIC :)

http://i8.ebayimg.com/06/i/000/da/ed/8fbc_3.JPG

I don't mind the exterior that much either, it's just small, but the same can be said about the DeVille during those years too. With the Seires I NA 3800, thats pretty as dependable as you can get... I woudln't mind having one of these either :)

Playdrv4me
02-19-08, 12:31 AM
Even tho they weren't much to look at outside, the late 80's/early 90's generation had one of the coolest digital dashes in a car..... I know alot of people don't like them, but I like it alot... and from what I heard, they wanted to get away from that hence the wayyy toned down dash of the '95+ But still, something to be said about the awesome digital dash of those cars. A friend has a ~'91? Riv, 190k, sorta beat up, but I still like that interior so much... actually the car really feels alot like my '93 Coupe DeVille did... probably cause they are so similar. If the '95-'99 Riv had an updated digital dash of this gen, that would be THE perfect car for me, but at the same time I do like the simple look and the analog gauges... it's just if it had the driver info/fuel info center that the Caddys, Pontiacs and other Buicks had at the time, that'd make it nearly perfect. But, atleast there are aftermarket things you can get for OBDII cars that take care of that (google Interceptor) which is probably what I'd end up doing, make it look factory tho.


http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj182/robmiller32/Cars/1990%20Buick%20Riviera/100_0408.jpg

http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj182/robmiller32/Cars/1990%20Buick%20Riviera/100_0409.jpg

Oh and don't forget the optional touch-screen VIC :)

http://i8.ebayimg.com/06/i/000/da/ed/8fbc_3.JPG

I don't mind the exterior that much either, it's just small, but the same can be said about the DeVille during those years too. With the Seires I NA 3800, thats pretty as dependable as you can get... I woudln't mind having one of these either :)

Wow... that generation of Riv was such a blip in history I didn't even know the T-VIC was an option in them!

However, the one in the early 90s Toronado-Trofeo was nicer. It was an ACTUAL 5" Sony Trinitron tube sporting color graphics.

Night Wolf
02-19-08, 12:36 AM
Wow... that generation of Riv was such a blip in history I didn't even know the T-VIC was an option in them!

However, the one in the early 90s Toronado-Trofeo was nicer. It was an ACTUAL 5" Sony Trinitron tube sporting color graphics.

That particular picture of the VIC was the late 80's version, in 1990 the interior got the (cool) restyle, and IIRC it got the updated VIC that the Toronado had, the one you described.

Night Wolf
02-19-08, 12:44 AM
Here is a cool video showing the VIC... though this is the older version, it's still cool.

W9FmaMyGqoQ

Going back to the newer Riv... we all love to see videos of the dash while accelerating, right?

tNAQjCiK-Wg&feature=related

I need to stop now cause I am making myself want one more with every post I make about it :(

hueterm
02-19-08, 01:06 AM
The color VIC was exclusive to the Toro. I think some of the stubby '89s had it, but it was primarily available in the redesigned '90-'92s (I had a '92, but it didn't have the VIC).

IIRC, the Riv's was green only and came out in the '86 model, which stayed the same till '88. The Riv was redesigned in '89, and had the digi dash upgrade you showed with the VIC. That model was '89-93. There was no '94, and the last gen came out in '95.

gdwriter
02-19-08, 02:12 AM
I love the exterior of the last Rivieras, probably the best looking Riv since the original masterpiece from 1963-65. Second-generations weren't bad, either, especially 66-67. It's too bad they didn't sell better, but I can't think of any big coupe in recent years that has sold well.

A lot of those last Rivieras were likely owned by older people, so you could still find one in nice shape with low miles for a good price. According to NADA Guides, retail for a clean '98 would be about $5,000.

I agree the aftermarket wood kit is a bit much, but otherwise, it's a nice car.

The Riviera certainly has more style and is much more unique than the Grand Prix or Regal. And it would probably make a better daily driver than an LT-1 Fleetwood.