OCTOBER 26, 2014 (NOVEMBER 2014): SOMETHING DIFFERENT THAN A 5-6-7 CHEVY: A 1957 BUICK OWNER’S ANSWER

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Ron Stimson is a patient man.

 

He has the kind of patience you need to build a perfect custom ride and his 1957 Buick Special Riviera is indeed a perfect custom ride.

 

Everything about this Buick is the result of a well thought game plan to make this beauty a show-stealer.

 

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Ron chose the Buick because he “wanted something different from the 5-6-7 Chevys”, in his words. He liked their “classier and more elegant” lines, so he chose to go off the beaten path and build a Buick.

 

Ron spotted the Buick in an ad and told us he “had not really thought about a Buick until I saw the lines and decided I had to do this.”

 

Ron also decided to go “all Buick” and chose a 401 nailhead from a mid-60s Wildcat donor car as his engine choice. The 400 automatic tranny is also pure Buick and met Ron’s desire to go period-correct with his engine swap.

 

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One can imagine how valuable this combination would have been in 1966 to a car guy who wanted to beef up his ‘57 Buick with a power train from a then-recently wrecked ’66 Wildcat. Ron wanted to replicate that scenario and combination in the 21st century.

 

Ron is no half-miler when it comes to a project, so his Buick also runs a multi-carb setup “for the look” in his words. Ron assessment is pretty basic; “my setup runs nice”. No small feat when it comes to multi-carbs.

 

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The build took four and a half years and the results are stunning.

 

The Buick has a few Blue Oval components with its Mustang II front end and Ford 9″ rear end, but in between is pure General Motors.

 

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The front and back seats were donated by a 2002 Caddy Eldorado and the center console is vintage Wildcat. The console tach has been replaced by stereo controls because this Buick also has a 21st century sound system.

 

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The Buick’s interior has been custom-built to an amazing level and incorporates a stylish use of imagination, appearance and pure comfort.

 

This Buick will also stop on a dime with its four wheel disc brakes while the interior stays cool with its full air conditioning system. Ron lives in an area where hot summers are a way of life and air conditioning is a basic necessity.

 

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One of the unique features of Ron’s Buick are the flat electronic gauges placed in stock holes in the Buick’s dash. They look cool and give very accurate readings of the Buick’s status under power. The wood grain adds an elegant touch to the instrument panel.

 

We mentioned earlier that Ron was a patient man.

 

He is willing to take the time to make his vision of the perfect custom ride perfect before it hits the street. Mission accomplished Ron, because your 1957 Buick Special Riviera is a rock star at car shows.

 

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How do we know this fact? Because we had to be as patient as Ron just to get photos of his remarkable car.

 

There were too many people in the way.

 

Jim Sutherland

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