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´68 Buick Riviera Custom - John D'Agostino's Pantheon


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Hi there,

got a new project on the bench. The idea is to turn this amt ´69 Riviera kit...

1573779302_0169Rivierakit.jpg.bb518f6c5ea3da1e925eae5b095c4f00.jpg

... into this:

1926879334_02Pantheon1.jpg.600a30769d1aee10cfa503b2e766adcb.jpg

1531304806_03Pantheon2.jpg.f4a51cb1e81884ee14b4efd48d7848a5.jpg

John D'Agostino's beautiful custom Riviera Called Pantheon. I'll be using a ´69 kit while the Pantheon is a ´69 but I didn't recognised any significant differences between these two model years. If you are aware of any, please let me know.

Already started a few weeks ago to replicate the signature ´53 Cadillac wire wheels which couldn't find in any kit or at any aftermarket supplier.

1318178368_04Cadillavwheels.jpg.a8c235eb5b7948837e1e30e57f1171c4.jpg

Some years ago I found a set of wire wheels at a well known auction site and made resin copies of them without the knockoffs:

1015986538_05Resinwheel.jpg.10fb7005a0a6d15448c80fa5c764e121.jpg

Then I drilled a hole in the center and used slices of Evergreen tubing and bearing balls to replicate  the beautiful bullet caps:

890862446_06bulletcentercaps.jpg.78070612807ee55d44cf7fe378b4a480.jpg

Afer testing them in amt parts pack skinny whitewalls the wheels were sent out of house to get chrome plated. Hope to get them back finished, soon.

In the meanwhile there is lot of work to do and I will begin to clean to body.

1364579144_07toshave.jpg.3242f262b35d0e4cca2d600aa7ed91b2.jpg

All handles, side markers and lettering will have to be shaved, so let's get out the sand paper...

 

Stay tuned and thanks for watching!

 

 

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Look forward to seeing your build on this. The slightly chopped top maybe the only really big challenge for the body. 

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Oliver, as a former '69 Riv owner, I can say with confidence the only outward differences between the '68 and '69 are the grille and back bumper. The '69 has the backup lights as part of the main rail light assembly while the '68 has them separate, under the tail lights.

'68,,

For sporting style, power, and capacity, it's hard to beat this... |  Hemmings

For sporting style, power, and capacity, it's hard to beat this... |  Hemmings

 

'69,,

1969 BUICK RIVIERA CUSTOM COUPE

1969 BUICK RIVIERA CUSTOM COUPE

The headlights are an interesting problem if you have the hood open. I found that the headlights from an AMT '64 or '65 Thunderbird are the closest I've found to how the actual Riv light assembly looks when "closed". At least as far as 1/25 model parts goes.

69riv engine 3

 

 

,,And I'll definitely be following along to watch as you chop that top and apply that subtle fade paintjob.😁👍

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On 7/28/2022 at 4:29 PM, espo said:

Look forward to seeing your build on this. The slightly chopped top maybe the only really big challenge for the body. 

Yeah I guess the chop will be tricky. According to an article in Traditional Rod & Culture magazine the original has a three inch chop, a widened roof and a laid back backlight. I think the most difficult part will be to get the c-pillars look right 🤔

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On 7/28/2022 at 9:43 PM, Can-Con said:

the only outward differences between the '68 and '69 are the grille and back bumper. The '69 has the backup lights as part of the main rail light assembly while the '68 has them separate, under the tail lights.

On 7/28/2022 at 9:43 PM, Can-Con said:

The headlights are an interesting problem if you have the hood open. I found that the headlights from an AMT '64 or '65 Thunderbird are the closest I've found to how the actual Riv light assembly looks when "closed"

Thank for the infos, Steve. The grille and the headlights won't be a problem, as the original's headlights are fixed in the vertical position and will sit behind a custom tube grille (to be scratch built(. And for the back up lights : I think I can live a cleaner looking rear bumper, or maybe I find some suitable decals...

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9 minutes ago, Koellefornia Kid said:

OK, the body has been cleaned now

387454847_08shaved1.jpg.78d41d6bffbc59c1322433c2f091abe8.jpg

436729721_09shaved2.jpg.6fc731fa7e967cea1332ff493e524869.jpg

Next up will be the heavy part. I'm a bit anxious  for I know I'll have to cut the roof in at least 5 pieces! The first cut is the deepest... 😳

 Might be too late, but here's how I chopped mine. Might be of some help. I didn't bother widening the roof on mine though.

https://public.fotki.com/SteveMilberry/projects/66-riviera-custom/

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48 minutes ago, slusher said:

I look forward to your project.  How do the headlights work on this year Buick??

They pivot down, Carl. Part of the grille is attached to them and swing down with them , out of the way.

 

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11 hours ago, Can-Con said:

They pivot down, Carl. Part of the grille is attached to them and swing down with them , out of the way.

 


Thank you Steve,, I  was at a loss how they worked..

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On 7/28/2022 at 10:22 AM, Koellefornia Kid said:

Already started a few weeks ago to replicate the signature ´53 Cadillac wire wheels which couldn't find in any kit or at any aftermarket supplier.

1318178368_04Cadillavwheels.jpg.a8c235eb5b7948837e1e30e57f1171c4.jpg

 

These look like Kelsey Hayes spokes. There is an aftermarket set available in 15". They are a bit pricey but would be closer to the look of the 1:1.

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Great looking project Oliver, I will be watching with interest. Love these old Rivs. 
Steve (Can Con), thanks for sharing your chop technique. It always amazes me how many different ways there are to get from “A” to “B” chopping tops. Great sharing on this forum.

Cheers, Steve

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On 7/31/2022 at 9:54 PM, Perspective Customs said:

These look like Kelsey Hayes spokes. There is an aftermarket set available in 15". They are a bit pricey but would be closer to the look of the 1:1.

Yes, a bit pricey plus shipping to Germany on top. But I´ll keep them as an opportunity in mind, just in case my replicas will fail. But I'm pretty confident they will work.I already used these wheels some years earlier on another D'Agostino build, The Golden Starfire:

827036364_5GoldenStarfireScaleModelCar.jpg.da5726e9cc23c2749ea2b5ba5c7ff13f.jpg

Just used different hub caps back then.

@Can-Con: Thanks for sharing your your beautiful ´66 Riv and the work you invested in it. But I'm afraid the slanted A-pillars are not the right technique for the Pantheon. But we'll see, I didn't touch the roof yet...🤢 still a bit anxious.

But I already opened the Grille...

971389379_10grille.jpg.5e330fd3054881948982b4ccfb828c2d.jpg

537888855_11grille2.jpg.44d4750204b59496f92e0563f66f1700.jpg

...and will try make a custom tube grille these days.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for the slow progress, lots of work, lots of family events, very few bench time.. But a few things happened. First of all, I created a custom tube grille from thin metal rods...

1154009238_12grille3.jpg.181186773f1c296e003c3013da720aae.jpg

1083430455_13grille4.jpg.0d81207041b47771c811651d1b7299a1.jpg

1017745833_14grille5.jpg.30e9bf206983d5a52ac7fb7b8147db9d.jpg

And this morning in the mail: my chrome plated wheels:

1637455296_15wheels.jpg.572b0386d5ce3b6501d869d8cd61220d.jpg

wrapped in tires:

1356164265_16wheelsntires.jpg.f7b0f52f495d8d9498cf1c4ee7f94994.jpg

Under the body:

488308202_17wheels2.jpg.48a6063337afc8edd8edcfb8847b5a89.jpg

I'm really happy with how they turned out 😃 Just the way I wanted them to look like!

Further I had some tough hours thinking about how to chop the top (think I gained a few more ray hairs...). Here are I marked the cuts I want to make:

683833782_18chopsreas.jpg.948aa81a821b9d770d95abb804249682.jpg

The roof will increase a bit of width and will move forward slightly. The backlight will be angled to meet the rest of the top and I guess I will have to angle the C-pillars, too.

Keep the fingers crossed, I will start to cut tomorrow...😨

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Posted (edited)

A quick update on what happened so far:

After changing my mind on where to cut the C-pillars...

330277664_19chopareas2.jpg.90f239017934437cbac124ad804703df.jpg

...I cut around the backlight first:

1451133010_20backlightcuts.jpg.dc10656f928f241630e09300b8eda360.jpg

Then I cut off the roof at the top of the A- and C-pillars

2014673647_21roofoff.jpg.70a113a3f1432ba3de2cc7ab2c11bd4b.jpg

I also removed the front edges of the C-pillars for I might have to relocate and angle them

802564956_24cpillarfrontedge.jpg.c7d18c6d51b1d15f9cc1db6d0945d5b9.jpg

Next, the roof was cut in halves...

1604451869_22roofhalves.jpg.2d2306eba630d3eb1e225e3f2f57431a.jpg

...and after shortening the pillars I widened it with the help of Evergreen strips

1274553710_23roofwidened.jpg.73c06dd452f4be9fd007801708c59363.jpg

25 roof back on.jpg

And finally with the roof back on the body I laid back the backlight:

600422611_26backlightlaidback.jpg.1e4e9d46abb071fee8a310d6fae5fd9f.jpg

Now a lot of putty and sanding work lies ahead of me...

Thanks for watching, see you...

 

Edited by Koellefornia Kid
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I see what you did with the roof and it looks logical. I think it will work great! Did you figure out how much chop your method resulted in or are you just going by the look of it? Looking forward to more progress.

Later-

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