1985 Buick Riviera 307 V8 from North America


My 1985 Riviera is classy, comfy and a work in progress.


The rear leveling system was dead before my purchase. I will restore it.

The plastic steering wheel is badly cracked in several places. This ailment is not exclusive to Rivieras, but spans most American cars of it's time.

The power antenna was broken, in the up position. GM could have learned a lesson from Ford, that the antenna is only needed with radio airplay. My Lincoln had an optional antenna switch.

This way the power antennas last longer. I will replace it with an original power antenna, to the tune of $330.00. I know because I've replaced one on my 85 LeSabre in '93.

The transmission has started delayed shifting. That will cost a fortune to replace.

The original lacquer paint checks, but still shines.

General Comments:

The '84 and '85 Buick Rivieras are the classiest cars of their time. The cars have nice lines and classic features that are sorely missing today: chrome, $5.00 headlights, vinyl roof w/coach lamps, real bumpers in chrome & wire wheel covers. Even the interiors came in multiple colors that aren't offered today.

This body style is considerably smaller than cars of the '70s & not much bigger than todays cars. It will take some time before it is universally accepted as a classic.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th March, 2005

2nd Jun 2006, 10:54

Why would you sink all that money into a car with a bad transmission?

28th Aug 2006, 18:01

The '85 Rivi is my favorite car that I owned in the past. I'm restoring this one. I've only put 400 miles on it in the last 3 years. When it's not on the road, it's resting in the garage. The tranny is on the list. There aren't any good examples of today's cars that would hold up as well as my 85 did, after 18 yrs!! It's "car show worthy".

1985 Buick Riviera 5.0 (307) 4-bbl unleaded from North America


Suited for the junkyard


Multitudes of spark plug replacement.

Engine blows oil at a moderate rate.

Transmission shifts weirdly.

The engine diesels (continues to run after switching off)

Service engine soon light is on.

Catalytic converter replaced.

Radiator replaced.

Fuel Pump replaced.

Radio is busted.

Carburetor replaced.

Air shock compressor is dead.

It's a major gas guzzler (12 MPG, supposed to get 18 MPG)

Engine knocks and pings although I use high octane (92 or higher)

Anti-theft device doesn't work.

Climate control lights blink (indicating trouble)

General Comments:

At least it starts easily unlike my mother's Le Sabre.

It's a piece of junk.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 14th June, 2003

21st Mar 2005, 16:11

I've owned 2 85 Rivieras and both have been great investments. Yes, things do go wrong, but these cars offer a lot. Negligent treatment of the car by a previous owner can really affect it's reliability & performance. The leveling system goes out on all cars that had them in the 80s. It's not exclusive to Rivieras.