Step Back in Time with the ’55 Buick Riviera Hardtop


The 1956 model year was an iconic one for American automakers, marking some of the most exaggerated designs of the tailfin era. Buick was no exception, producing some of the most flamboyant and beautiful vehicles of the postwar period. Among them is the stunning 1956 Buick Century Riviera two-door hardtop offered here. With its flowing lines, chrome accents, and unique color combination, this Buick captures the essence of 1950s style and sophistication.

An Iconic Design That Stands the Test of Time

Buick first used the Riviera name in 1949 to denote its premium hardtop coupes. By the mid-1950s, the Riviera badge signified some of GM’s most dramatic designs. The 1956 Century Riviera featured Buick’s signature “double bubble” windshield and curvaceous rear fenders accentuated by bold chrome sweepspears. Four opera windows or “Ventiports” front fender Newport also identified it as a Buick. The two-tone blue and white exterior gives the car an instantly recognizable 1950s appearance. It’s a timeless design that turned heads then and continues to garner attention today.

Refurbished to Showroom Condition

This particular 1956 Buick Century Riviera two-door hardtop underwent a full refurbishment under previous ownership in 2003. The quality of the work is evident, with the Electric Blue and Dover White two-tone finish retaining a deep luster and shine. All of the chrome exterior trim was refinished and appears flawless. The wire wheel covers were also restored, giving the car a period-correct look. All of the lighting and glass components are in excellent shape. There are only minor paint imperfections noted on the roof. Overall, the restoration work was done to a very high standard, leaving this Buick in beautiful condition inside and out.

Luxurious Interior With All the Right Details

The interior features tri-tone blue vinyl and cloth upholstery, expertly fitted to the front bench and rear seat. Departing from the original style interior, it takes inspiration from the era with its color scheme and patterns. The door panels and carpeting were also replaced and coordinate nicely. One of the most notable options is the power adjustable bench seat, allowing the driver to customize their seating position. This combines with other comfort features like power steering and factory air conditioning to make this Buick a joy to cruise in. The instrument cluster contains a full set of functioning gauges that are clear and add to the period correctness. Small details like the horn ring steering wheel and analog clock help to create an inviting 1950s environment.

Strong V8 Power and Smooth Ride

Motivating this Century Riviera is an upgraded 322ci V8, bored .30 over and featuring an increased compression ratio and hardened valve seats. The engine was rebuilt by a previous owner and starts up readily and idles smoothly. Power delivery through the Dynaflow automatic transmission is responsive. The stout V8 provides plenty of power for highway cruising. Complementing the powertrain is a suspension and brakes restored to proper working order. All new brake shoes, wheel cylinders, booster and related parts ensure confident stops. Between the ride quality and performance, this Buick provides a sublime driving experience.

Well-Documented and cared for

This 1956 Century possesses excellent documentation dating back to 2003. Invoices outline the thorough restoration work performed. More recent maintenance receipts show work done by the previous and current owners. The carburetor, generator, brakes, and other systems have been meticulously sorted to keep the car road ready. With just over 98,000 miles showing, it’s very low mileage for the year. The Buick starts up easily, drives smoothly, and is tour or show ready. Complete with its paperwork and extras like the original carburetor, it is a great opportunity for the garage.

The 1956 Buick Century Riviera represents one of GM’s most ornate designs of the 1950s. With its show quality restoration, rare color combination, and timeless style, this Buick is sure to draw attention wherever it goes. It would make an excellent addition to any collection of American classics.

Frequently Asked Questions

What was the difference between the Buick Century and the Buick Special?

The Century was Buick’s performance-oriented model, featuring more powerful V8 engines and sportier styling compared to the more economical Special series. The Century offered higher trim options than its Special counterpart.

What body styles were available for the 1956 Century?

For 1956, the Century was available as a two-door coupe, convertible, and hardtop coupe body styles. The two-door pillared coupe was the least expensive while the two-door hardtop, like the one featured here, was the most luxurious variant.

How many horsepower did the 1956 Century produce?

The standard engine for the 1956 Century was the 322 cubic inch V8, which produced 236 horsepower with a two-barrel carburetor. Optional was a four-barrel version of the 322 rated at 256 horsepower.

How much did a new 1956 Century cost?

Pricing varied by bodystyle and engine. The base two-door Century coupe started at $2,963 while the high-end Century Riviera hardtop with the optional four-barrel V8 was priced around $3,500.

How many 1956 Centurys were built?

Total production for 1956 Century models was 54,266. This included all body styles from coupes to convertibles. The Century represented about one-third of Buick’s total output for 1956.






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