1985 Buick Riviera - Too few miles?

I’m wondering how someone buys a car in 1985 and only puts 9,400 miles as of the current date? Looks like they hardly ever drove it. Car is immaculate inside & out and all over so is it possible a car 37 yrs old can hide maybe a 100,000 miles as to look that good!!

254 miles per year? I guess such a thing is possible. Maybe owner only drive a few miles to buy groceries twice a month. It’s also possible the odometer isn’t accurate, has been replaced, etc. But if it really has 109,400 miles, that’s a better selection for a 37 year old car than one with only 9,400 imo. Unlikely to have a huge number of miles since it looks nearly new. I’d worry more about not enough than too many miles. Cars which aren’t driven enough can develop difficult to repair problems, many of the seals start to leak, engine & transmission gunk up, exhaust system corrodes, electrical switches corrode and become intermittent, all rubber parts are suspect, etc. Difficult to repair rust problems possible also, esp if car was parked outside or in a humid environment. Paint problems something to consider also, esp if parked outside. Probably not in this case however b/c you say it looks nearly new, so likely was garaged most of the time. Suggest to be extra caution before making an offer. At the very least, pay your own mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection. Be sure to check the date code on the tires. Could provide a clue to the actual mileage. And you don’t want to be driving on tires more than 8-10 years old.

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Thanks for your reply you have mentioned everything I was concerned with also. The only thing was the car does look like it just came off the assembly line. The pictures of the undercarriage looked good also-didn’t see any rust anywhere but to buy a car in “85” and only drive it 9,400 miles in 37 yrs is kind of hard to swallow. Oh well doesn’t matter as the listing was taken down sometime early this morning so I guess I’m kind of off the hook anyway-thanks and have a good day.

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When you find a car like this you can’t hesitate, someone will buy it.

Performing airbag recalls I have seen many 10- to 20-year-old convertibles come out of storage with less than 10,000 miles. The leather seats are soft and perfect. All of the seals are soft, no water leaks going through the car wash. No fluid leaks like you find with high milage cars. A car that is only driven on special occasion is unlikely to have a gunked up engine. An engine that is started once a week for exercise has a possibility to be gunked up.

I found an 08 convertible with under 25k last year, but it take some looking.

Older folks with plenty of money could certainly buy one for themselves or maybe the wife and literally store it most of the time and use the other car. Still cars missing that last digit is the past. My 86 riv would go to 999,999 before it rolled over to zero. Just kept on showing the additional mileage for every extra hundred thousand miles. Never got past 400,000 though but still was pretty pristine. Garages and highway miles will do that. Suspect the mileage is accurate though.

Any 85 you are going to have probably of a lot of issues. Better off with tthat than something with high miles, my thought, after a mechanic inspection of course.

Folks with ultra low mile cars often want big $$, not worth it to me, I wouldn’t be starting a museum. Put miles on it, all that extra money paid was for nothing.

Some people don’t care about the money. It was the last of the full size rivs before downsizing. Think it also was the last of the v8. I’ve never had the luxury myself though to buy a new car to moth ball it.

Your right Bing cause if you got money you can purchase whatever your heart desires-I’m like you I could never financially buy a high dollar luxury car and then garage it for 35 plus years but I could dream anyway.

I don’t consider the 1985 Riviera a classic. A 1960s or early 1970s Riviera would be. If the owner treats it as a classic car, I’d walk away. If it’s a classic in your book, then get a prepurchase inspection before you make an offer.

Here’s one with 2800 miles, sold for $38,500.

I’d prefer one like this

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My neighbor had the eldorado with a diesel. Very similar car. I thought it was the perfect car with comfort, high mpg, fwd for snow, etc. until I got a diesel. Then places advertised to convert them back to gas. Heh heh.

That “85” is one beautiful ride-love that color-thanks Texases!


Yeah you could hit a deer with that and never spill your coffee. In 86 they were down sized quite a bit and with the v6. Still fun car. If I remember right, my 86 sticker was somewhere around $20,000. I was third owner. By 89 they had upgraded the size again so it was more of a luxury car than a sports car. Combined I put about 700,000 miles on my rivs.