file 1970 Buick Riviera Thread... And Now For Something Completely Different!

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01 Sep 2015 09:27 #1383 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: Re:1970 Buick Riviera Thread... And Now For Something Completely Different!

Qball wrote: I am loving this thread!

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I apologize for the long story, but it's a brain dump that needed to happen....

Kevin Oeste
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01 Sep 2015 11:37 #1386 by Qball
Qball replied the topic: Re:1970 Buick Riviera Thread... And Now For Something Completely Different!
No apologies necessary. More, we want more!

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-Mike

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01 Sep 2015 21:04 #1387 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: Re:1970 Buick Riviera Thread... And Now For Something Completely Different!
Well, OK. The saga will continue.

Kevin Oeste
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02 Sep 2015 20:25 - 02 Sep 2015 20:36 #1398 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: Re:1970 Buick Riviera Thread... And Now For Something Completely Different!
In the summer of 1994, I was able to pull the Riv back out of storage and get some work done on it. I pulled the front clip, blasted the frame, epoxied everything and shot it all in satin black. Monochrome colors were all the rage back then, and I “redded out” the motor and brakes and stuff. Everything red was shot in PPG primer and Delstar single-stage urethane, and the black was a PPG DP-40 green epoxy primer topcoated with a special blend of flat / gloss Rust Oleum with a hardener mixed in. I even shot some video:



In this next clip, the engine is back in the chassis and you get to see more of the mess I made of my parents’ garage. Body filler and PPG chemicals all over the place, tools laying around… the total opposite of how I keep things now. But hey, it was 1994 and I was a 22 year old punk. What you can’t hear is Francis Dunnery’s “American Life In The Summertime” playing on 93.1 WXRT Chicago on the radio on the original tape.



It’s hard to tell, but the Galaxie was wrecked at that point, too. It was rough around there for a while. Also dig the “Wild Orchid” rendering… I did that with watercolors. Wild Orchid was a new Ford color for 1995, and I was crazy over it.



The Wild Orchid version sports a GS chin spoiler, flush glass with black trim, N-25 style exhaust cutouts, and my personal favorite... the cell phone antenna in the back window! I still have the rendering, and now realize the smear on it is from the magnet that held it to the fridge.


1995 Ford Probe in Wild Orchid

I didn’t finish the car that summer, and I had to put the car away again for the winter. I don’t know exactly how far I got, because I seem to have some missing photos that were either never developed or are in a box of stuff at my Mom’s place in AZ.

Kevin Oeste
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Last Edit: 02 Sep 2015 20:36 by oestek.

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02 Sep 2015 21:37 #1399 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: Re:1970 Buick Riviera Thread... And Now For Something Completely Different!
I had hoped to finish the Riv in the summer of ‘95 after graduating from College, but again, I was now a 23 year old punk with no real job and no cashish. I was lucky enough to be living at my folks’ house after graduation, looking for radio gigs and doing whatever I could in the mean time to earn a dime or two. The ‘70 was still in winter storage, and I was making some money doing bodywork and painting cars out of my parents’ garage, something they didn’t really dig. I was also working on the Galaxie when I could, as it was still apart from when my Dad wrecked it. (That will be a whole ‘nother thread… )

I think we moved the Riv to my buddy Jim’s grandfather’s shop in Chicago where I worked for part of the summer as a mechanic. It stayed there a short time, but I really didn’t get anything done on it. I was also working as a freelance writer for a PR firm, doing press releases and stuff. None of which were enough to support my weekend galavanting AND restore a ‘70 Riviera.

I guess now is the best time to get into the Power Tour story.

It was New Year’s Eve of 1995, and my buddy Paul and I were meeting all our buddies out at the Tequila Roadhouse in Chicago to celebrate NYE. Man, did we have a killer hookup there! Several, to be exact! First, a buddy was doing some drywall work across the street at the fancy gated condo community, so he kicked down the gate code so we always had a place to park. SCORE! Next, it turned out that a KINDERGARTEN friend - whom I had not seen since FIRST GRADE - recognized me at the bar one night! He was a bartender there, and he somehow pegged me after all those years. He turned up the game a few notches by providing us with Captain Morgan and Coke in PITCHERS! And I don’t think he ever charged us more than a regular drink. Can you imagine? We were throwing back hundreds of dollars of booze and being charged about 1/10th of what the actual tab would have been. However, we did tip him about 10 times the regular gratuity, so I’m pretty sure it all worked out. It was cool. Good times.

Anyhow, just before midnight on 12/31/95, Paul poses the question of what big thing we’re going to do in ‘96. He was still in engineering school at U of I, and I was struggling to have beer money each weekend, but we decided to do the Hot Rod Power Tour for our 1996 New Year’s Resolution! The rest of the night is a little fuzzy, but that was the plan. We didn’t have a clue what we would be driving, as he had a ‘71 Nova in about the same shape as my Riv, and neither of us had cash to travel, but those were details we could sort out later.

The Power Tour was still in its infancy at this point, having really only been its second year in ‘94, but we were jazzed by the idea of seeing the open road with cool cars and people.

However, by the time we had to leave Chicago to go to LA and join the Tour in May of ‘96, I had LONG forgotten about my commitment to Paul to go on this silly trip. Paul pulled up in front of my house in his rusty ‘88 Chevy Cavalier one day in the beginning of May.

“We’ve got to go, get your stuff together!” Paul said.

“Go where?” I asked.

“We have to be in L.A. in 2 days for the Power Tour you idiot!”

“We do?” I asked.

“Ah come on man, you PROMISED!”

I was stuck. I didn’t remember promising, and I didn’t have any plans to go, but I thought it would be totally cool.

I told my Dad we were going to L.A. for a Hot Rod event. He looked at me like I was an idiot. He was good at that, but then, I WAS an idiot most of the time.

“You got any zort?” My Dad asked. “Zort” was a term for money that came from my Dad’s childhood neighborhood.

“Nope” I said. I had about $600.00 on a credit card, Paul had some cash and about $250.00 on his card, and neither of us had a decent car.

“Well, have fun and don’t get killed.” Sage advice from Big Al.

I had been to LA a couple years earlier to pick up the Galaxie, so I pretended to know where I was going, so we stuffed the Cavalier with camping junk and hit the road for L.A.

Kevin Oeste
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20 Sep 2015 22:01 - 15 Nov 2015 09:55 #1464 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: Re:1970 Buick Riviera Thread... And Now For Something Completely Different!
Paul and I hit the road from our suburban Chicago town of Park Ridge, IL. We only had a couple of days to make it to Los Angeles, so we drove as much as we could without taking time to stop. At some point in Colorado, it dawned on us that we would soon be traveling with some of the baddest hot rods in the land, and we were piloting a rolling toilet.

We decided to tag along without ruining the experience for everyone else, and we thought it would be a good idea if we tried to stay out of the photographs with the car. We didn’t want to ruin Hot Rod’s event coverage with our junk.

We also bought a box of sharpie markers with the intentions of inviting people to sign the car.
Today, it’s pretty common to see some beaters being signed on Power Tour, but we were the first ones to do it.

We finally made it to Los Angeles, and found a cheap dive motel in Hollywood to spend the night. The next morning, we met up with the crowd at the Pour Tour kick off party held at the Petersen Museum. We were amazed at the quality of cars, and it was cool to put faces to the names that we had recognized from Hot Rod Magazine. Many of these included Boyd Coddington, Jack Chisenhall, Gray Baskerville, Troy Trepanier, Jim Losee, Hot Rod Editor Drew Harden, and more.

We paid our registration and put our sticker on the car, and filed in with the others as we prepared to leave the Petersen and head down La Cienega Blvd. on our way to Las Vegas for the first stop.

Kevin Oeste
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Last Edit: 15 Nov 2015 09:55 by oestek.
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