Tom’s 1964 Buick Riviera
“Hi everyone, my name is Tom Telesco and I am the original owner of this 1964 RIVIERA.
In 1997 I drove this car to Lancaster, PA. to the ROA Nationals. That was a blast to see so many ‘Rivs’ in one place, it was a memorable week, but the drive back to CT. was a drag. In ’98 I drove it on the HOT ROD MAGAZINE POWER CRUISE. I drove from southern CT. to FORT DEVINS, MASS. From there I proceeded to be a “Long Hauler” by going all the way to ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA.
In Georgia I was asked by Gray Baskerville (the ‘Grandfather’ of HOT ROD) for a ride in my RIV. What an honor and a privilege to be asked. Of course, how could I refuse?! The trip lasted for over 4 hours. We talked about a lot of things, but one of the things was why I bought my RIV instead of buying something else (I could of bought a FUELIE ‘VETTE’ for about the same money).
He also asked what I had painted the car with. He said that no matter where he was, as long as he was above the line of cars, he always knew where my car was, because ‘it had a glow’, and it ‘stuck out from the crowd’. What an honor, with all the pearls, flames, clear-coats and all the other rainbow of colors, my car stood out.
But the biggest thing was when I told him when it was painted and with what, he couldn’t believe it. The repainting started in November of 1970 and was finished in February of 1973. Over two years. It was painted in lacquer – the only paint that was familiar and available then. He couldn’t get over it and also commented on the condition the car was in for the mileage (which was 285,000 at the time) and being a ‘Northern car’ all it’s life as well. The drive home again was a drag. How boring to be without all the people.
In 2000 I went to my first GSCA NATIONALS in Bowling Green, KEN. I wasn’t intending to race, but did. On my third trip down the track racing JOHN EVERETT in his WILDCAT the car turned over 300,000 miles!!! What a fitting tribute, because I’ve been racing the car since the 60’s. This lit my fire again to race the car. I wanted to know what the 60 foot times were, as they did not have 60 foot times 30+ yrs. ago. So when the BUICK PERFORMANCE WEEK END was happening down in CECIL COUNTY, MARYLAND in OCT. 2000 I had to try it.
Try it I did…18 times. Finally making it to the semi-finals out of 22 cars. I would have made it into the FINALS if I had not tried something to lower my 60 foot times further and I red lighted with a .495 reaction time.
I tried coming out of the hole a little higher and with 50 psi in the front tires. They slipped forward through the lights. Oh well, I had a blast anyway and surprising some cars with the consistency of the RIV. It turned out my best 60 foot time was a 1.96 with my best run of 14.02 at just under 100 MPH and this was with the slicks I had purchased in 1970!
The best this car has ever run was a 13.98 at almost exactly the same MPH, not bad for over 30 years later with the same points that have been in the car for over 200,000 miles since 1967. (incredible! – Bill)
Basically, the car is all stock, except that when I rebuilt the motor (when I lost my license) with about 120,000 miles on it (the rebuild has about 182,000 on it now) I used TRW forged pistons and balanced the whole assembly, paying very close attention to details and clearances.
I am involved with what we all in the northeast believe to be the fastest, normally aspirated, street driveable nailhead in the country. You can check this out on the northeast GSCA website at www.ne-gsca.com.
Because of this nailhead and others, I have designed – and am now marketing – a Mini Starter for the Buick ‘Nailhead’ engine. If anyone is interested they can email me at this address email@example.com. I am also heavily invovled in producing Roller Tip Rockers for the Buick ‘Nailhead’ engine. which are still in the design and prototype process.”
Archive for the ‘64 BuickStreet’ Category
Gary’s 1964 Buick Wildcat
|Body Type:||4 Door Hardtop Custom|
|Engine:||425 ‘Nailhead’ V8|
|Transmission:||1965 Rivera 3 Speed Hydramatic|
|Suspension:||Easy Street Air ride System|
|Wheels:||Luxors 100 spoke Knock offs|
|Location:||Langley B.C. Canada|
|“I came across this car at a typical sleezy used car dealership in 1998. Straight trade for my 1988 Dodge Daytona Shelby with over 450,000 kms on it and a blown turbo. Best trade I have ever made. Paint is a second attempt, but will be stripped down to bare metal and redone complete with acid dip but for now she will roll and roll good.Next on the list for bolt on fun is a new exhaust with sneaker pipes and side dumps. I’ll be practising my pinstriping on this car as well. The 425 runs strong with loads of torque for the posi rear end. She will top out at 130 mph on the I5 freeway coming out of seattle. I have done it and will do it again!
Driving this car is crazy. Non-stop looks and comments. I can’t roll ten feet without a “my dad owned one of these….but it never looked this good.” When we installed the front of the air ride system I didnt want to hack the hell out of the A arms so I opt’d to not put in custom shocks. Therefore there are no shocks in the front but it still rides like a true full size Buick. The air ride gets used plenty while driving. Especially on the freeway when a good looking crew of girlies roll by. “drop the ass end” and they scream!! I have titanium strips on the exhaust for 20 foot spark shows while on the prowl.
While at a local hot rod show I was made famous for an 80′ posi patch laid in the middle of Vancouvers downtown core. “your that guy with the Patch layin Buick…wow..nice” The older hotrodders drool over the 425 with factory finned covers. “We used to junk these cars just for the motors and slip them into our ’32 fords and go drag on the orange belt” I love to drive this car always. I am always adding chrome/billet bolt on accessories , there’s never enough hey? Along with this car I have boughten a complete parts car with better metal on it than this one. But It’s the american model with little differences. So it will live in the barn for the rest of its life untill this one (god help me) ever gets into an accident.”
I’ve always liked customs. I like rods too so that’s no surprise. When you lower a car it creates the illusion that the car is bigger and in my opinion anything that can make a full size Buick look bigger is ok with me. Gary, your car is stunning, pure class all the way. It must be a blast to drive and I bet it turns a head or two as well. This car is so low you almost have to run a fence around it so people don’t trip over it! A Classic Buick – Bill