First let me introduce myself. My name is Martin and I live with my girlfriend in the eastern part of the Netherlands (Europe). As long as I can remember I'm a big fan of all kinds of old American vehicles and American cars in particular. At this time we own a 1969 Buick Riviera, a 1965 Buick Sport Wagon and a 1978 Buick Regal as a daily driver. On this page you can read how I finally bought the car I always wanted to have.

The American cars I have owned or still own through the years:

 
I started my "career" in American automobiles on May 15th, 1992 when I bought a  1982 Pontiac Phoenix Hatchback. This Pontiac had a V6 - 2.8 liters engine with a 3-speed automatic transmission and with all the options available except for the sunroof. The picture below shows a 1980 Phoenix, but as far as I know only the grill looks different on a 1982 Phoenix. Sadly I don't have pictures of the '82 Phoenix I have owned. I drove this car for almost a year until my financial status forced me to sell the car ....................
 

Technical data:

 

Engine: V6 - 2.8 liters (172 cid)

Bore & stroke:  89 mm x 76 mm (3.5" x 3.0")

Compression ratio: 8.5 : 1

Bhp @ rpm: 115 @ 4800

Length - width - height: 455 x 177 x 136 (cm)

Top speed: approx. 165 km/h

Total production: 72.875


 
After driving a couple of cheap European cars, a friend of mine suggested to buy together an American car  just for the fun of it. After a couple of weeks searching we bought our 1979 Chevrolet Impala in the summer of 1993. It was a four door sedan in black, which was dented and damaged on all sides. Although it had only a six cylinder in line engine, we sure had lots of fun with this car for about a year. No pictures of this "wreck-yard" car either ....................
 

Technical data:

 

Engine: L6 -  4.1 liters ( cid)

Bore & stroke:  98 mm x 90 mm (3.8" x 3.5")

Compression ratio: 8.3 : 1

Bhp @ rpm: 112 @ 3800

Length - width - height: 538 x 191 x 145 (cm)

Top speed: approx. 160 km/h

Total production:


 
In May 1997 my girlfriend saw an ad about a 1980 Buick Skylark for sale in the local newspaper . It was almost 3 years ago since I owned an American car, so I thought lets take a look. Although it was a small car with only a four cylinder in line engine  I decided to buy the Skylark after a test drive.

I really enjoyed this Buick. Maybe this car is the reason I am a Buick nut (neh, not really).

 

 

In August of that same year I bought a 1983 Buick Skylark Limited as a parts car. After stripping all the parts I may need for my own Skylark, the remains went to the wreck yard.

 
In the beginning of 1999 I was involved in a car accident. The pictures below shows what happens when a mid-size Toyota hits a Buick with approx. 80 km/h. So this was the end of my 1980 Skylark .............

 

Technical data:

 

Engine: L4 - 2.5 liters (151 cid)

Bore & stroke: 101 mm x 76 mm (4.0" x 3.0")

Compression ratio: 8.2 : 1

Bhp @ rpm: 90 @ 4000

Length - width - height: 462 x 172 x 136 (cm)

Top speed: approx. 155 km/h

Total production: 55.114 (coupe)


 
Now it is time to buy a real American car with a big V8 engine. I already knew it was going to be a Buick Riviera, but my girlfriend and I had a different opinion about what model it would be. My girlfriend liked the '71 - '72 Boattail the most and I rather have a late '60 model. We decided to look for both models.

After a couple of disappointments when we were looking for a Riviera, in February 2000 we came across a 1976 Chevrolet Impala for a reasonable price. We decided to buy this Chevy and take our time to look for a Riviera.

I drove this Impala every day for two years with minor maintenance. The Impala was a very reliable car. The water pump was the only thing I had to repair in these years beside the regular maintenance.

In this period the Dutch government decided that you no longer had to pay taxes for classic cars older than 25 years. The bad news was that the prices of classic American cars were going sky high. You had to pay a lot of money for scrap and good cars costs a fortune. This didn't stop me from wanting a Riviera ....................

 
In February 2002 I decided to sell my Impala en go for the Buick Riviera. I placed an ad on the internet and a couple of days later the car was sold. I thought it would take longer, so now I had no car of my own. I had to borough a car from a friend, a 1976 Caprice.

 

Technical data:

 

Engine: V8 - 5.7 liters (350 cid)

Bore & stroke: 101 mm x 88 mm (4.0" x 3.48")

Compression ratio: 8.5 : 1

Bhp @ rpm: 155 @ 3800

Length - width - height: 567 x 202 x 139 (cm)

Top speed: approx. 180 km/h

Total production:


 
It was also in February when I came across a 1969 Buick Riviera for sale on the internet and I wanted to see the Riviera with my own eyes. As soon as I saw the car I knew this was the car I was looking for, in spite of the green color which isn't my favorite color.

The deal was closed and I was the new owner of this Riviera. For a year and a half I drove this car on a daily basis and I loved every minute of it, although I had to fix a leaking head gasket after five months. In the same month my neighbor (just learned how to drive) damaged the door on the passenger side. Thanks to the plastic bumper on his car, the paint was still intact.

I decided to leave it like it was, because not many people noticed it on first sight and I certainly wouldn't like a difference in color when the door had to be re-sprayed. I realized I shouldn't waste this beauty by using it as a daily driver, so next thing to do was to buy a daily driver and put the Riviera in storage during the winter. In November 2004 I finally found a garage for my Riviera. At the end of April 2005 I took the Riviera out of the garage and a couple of days later the passenger door was scratched !!!!!!!!!!!!!

This had to be fixed immediately, because the paint was scratched up to the steel plate of the door. A week later the door was repaired and re-painted in exact the same color. I can't see a difference in color at all.

 

Technical data:

 

Engine: V8 - 7.0 liters (430 cid)

Bore & stroke: 106 mm x 99 mm (4.19" x 3.90")

Compression ratio: 10.25 : 1

Bhp @ rpm: 360 @ 5000

Length - width - height: 547 x 201 x 135 (cm)

Top speed: approx. 210 km/h

Total production: 55.114


 
Since we bought the Riviera my girlfriend complained about the size of the car. The car was too big and she couldn't see the front and the back of the car while driving. We decided to buy a smaller American car, which we could also use as our daily driver. While we were looking for a 1979 Riviera we came across a 1978 Regal Limited and after I bought this car I had to do a lot of work to make it a reliable car for my girlfriend to drive in. More about this Regal in the Buick section.
 

Technical data:

 

Engine: V8 - 5.0 liters (305 cid)

Bore & stroke: 95 mm x 88 mm (3.74" x 3.48")

Compression ratio: 8.5 : 1

Bhp @ rpm: 145 @ 3800

Length - width - height: 508 x 178 x 136 (cm)

Top speed: approx. 180 km/h

Total production: 236.652 (all models)


 
In November 2005 I came across another 1969 Riviera for sale on the internet. This 1969 Riviera is partly equipped with 1968 parts like the hood and both bumpers, along with some nice original options like an electric rear window defogger (very handy in our Dutch weather), bucket seats, floor shifter and the most wonderful option: Power DISC Brakes!!!!

The car is original Dutch (imported in 1969 to the Netherlands), so the body is also original Dutch. In other words: the body is BAD. We picked up the car in a truck. When we loaded the car on the truck it almost went wrong. This is not something I would recommend to someone else to do. We sure will never pull a stunt like this again! Unloading the car went a lot easier.

 
 
 
At the start of 2007 we were thinking about buying another American car. It should be a Chevy Cargo-Van or some kind of station wagon. After looking at a couple of hearses (under which a '66 Buick Electra), Vista Cruisers, Fords and a Plymouth,. we came across a '65 Buick Sport Wagon. We both liked this model and decided to buy the car.

I knew the engine wasn't running very well, but I hoped I could drive the car home. Only 60 km later the engine was making a lot of bad noises and the ride home was over.I had to call the emergency road services to bring the car home. Now it was certain I have to overhaul the engine.

More about this Sport Wagon in the Buick section.

 

Technical data:

 

Engine: V8 - 4.9 liters (300 cid)

Bore & stroke: 95 mm x 86 mm (3.75" x 3.40")

Compression ratio: 10.25 : 1

Bhp @ rpm: 250 @ 4800

Length - width - height: 529 x 187 x 140 (cm)

Top speed: approx. 170 km/h

Total production: 11.166