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Time to restore my 79 Riviera! (Heavy)
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BoyWonder
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:05 pm    Post subject: Time to restore my 79 Riviera! (Heavy) Reply with quote

Long time lurker first time poster and looking forward to being part of the Samba community!

First a little history on my bus. I purchased it in late 95 from the 2nd owner, he had owned it since 84. He took extremely good care of it and kept amazing records (I have not been as good with the record keeping part). It was my daily driver for about 6 years or so and during that time I took a massive 7 mouth, 25K mile, 48 state road trip with my buddy. Since then it has been stored in a variety of different places, most of them dry, some warm and it only spent one full NW winter in the rain (it made me sad). It has been on a few small road trips over the last few years and always fired right up and ran great.

I have recently decided it is time for it to once again become my daily driver after a pretty thorough restore. I plan on doing bodywork and paint, headliner, new upholstery throughout, new flooring and panels and almost all new odds and ends (mirrors, visors, lights, etc). I am going to try and keep it as close to stock as possible. I got it out of the shop the other day and snapped a couple of pictures. I will try and post more as I get things done.

One question I have is, does anyone else own a tin-top Riviera? I know they were made to order but I have never seen another one.


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This is the worst of the rust.
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I have some at all 4 tires
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The Boy really wanted to go for a ride
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The headliner is in good shape except for the one bow
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Last edited by BoyWonder on Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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VDubTech
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a Transporter with a Riviera interior installed, and not by Riviera Motors. Still cool and very solid but that's a PO creation.
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borninabus wrote:
a measurement of your rod would be extremely useful.

notchboy wrote:
my dad wasnt a belittling cock when he tought me how to wrench on cars.

EverettB wrote:
One photo = good for reference.
10 photos = douchebaggery
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BoyWonder
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow VDubTech, how do you know that?
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78riviera
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thats a very nice bus boy wonder. Im also doing a "buget" restore on my 78 riviera. Im currently in the process of moving to snohomish/machias area to live with my mom(im 15). So maybe we can meet up sometime. I dont have any veedub friends in western. Your bus is way nicer than mine
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Kirk
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say he knew it because of the vinyl door panels and headliner.
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MalibuLX3
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kirk wrote:
I'd say he knew it because of the vinyl door panels and headliner.


And the grab handles in the rear.
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Daverham
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed on the vinyl and handles.

Agreed it's very cool.

Welcome to the Seattle scene!
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BoyWonder
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always assumed it was original because of the fact that everything matched so well. The front sets have the same fabric as the jump seat and bed, the carpet above the engine compartment matches the carpet on the main floor and so on. I wonder if he somehow got a complete kit from them, the address on the old registration is from southern WA so he would have been very close to Riviera. What kind of panels and headliners did the Riveras come with?
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j.gray
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All of the Rivis came as some version of a transporter, and then were taken to Rivi for the conversion. They swapped out all the panels in the back in that process(at least the ones I have seen). So the fact that your original panels are still behind the front seat/closet is a good sign to the fact that someone pieced this together. I'm sure there were different configurations and options, but I didn't think Riviera did "weekender" type conversions, nor did I think they did non-Pop up conversions. Anyone know for sure?
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VDubTech
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Riviera never made a hardtop camper. The vinyl headliner, the grab handles in the ceiling, the panels on the walls of the Bus all point to it not being a Riviera converted camper. Not to mention the lack of the Identification plate Riviera rivets to the RF fender of every Bus the y converted. Someone put that in. Nice job and a hell of a solid Bus, but like I said before, that didn't come from Riviera like that.
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First Trip in the RustyBus:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=279077&highlight=
borninabus wrote:
a measurement of your rod would be extremely useful.

notchboy wrote:
my dad wasnt a belittling cock when he tought me how to wrench on cars.

EverettB wrote:
One photo = good for reference.
10 photos = douchebaggery
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BoyWonder
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well now I know… Thanks for all the good info guys. I guess this will make “keeping things stock” a little easier since stock would be 2 new bench seats Razz . This bus has been my pride and joy for so many years I will still try to keep it as close to how it is now as I can, seems like fabric will be the hardest to duplicate. I got a quote from a local paint shop yesterday and he had a 78 bus in there with the same panama brown on top and they said the paint match was dead on, I am hoping to see it when it is done.

Speaking of, anyone have an upholstery guy in the greater Seattle area?
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wyomingriviera
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This brochure sez that all Riviera Poptops were optional equipment: http://www.rivieraregistry.com/lit/mid-70%27s/riv-p3.jpg

and again here: http://www.rivieraregistry.com/lit/mid-70%27s/riv-p5.jpg

My two cents says it was converted at ASI...
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VDubTech
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wyomingriviera wrote:
My two cents says it was converted at ASI...


But unfortunately you are wrong. For all of the reasons I listed, that was NOT converted by Riviera Motors.
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First Trip in the RustyBus:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=279077&highlight=
borninabus wrote:
a measurement of your rod would be extremely useful.

notchboy wrote:
my dad wasnt a belittling cock when he tought me how to wrench on cars.

EverettB wrote:
One photo = good for reference.
10 photos = douchebaggery
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busdaddy
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm....
It's possible a PO found a bent Riv in the wrecking yard and swapped the stuff in himself, or Riviera did it, who knows?

Riv converted anything that rolled through the shop and pop tops weren't mandatory as part of the package, sure they preferred new Kombi's and panels but when the orders are piling up and the dealer is willing to bend on a volume purchase why not use a stationwagon? (Calebmelvin had a 78 poptop based on a SW with the full headliner and side panels as well as the grab handles IIRC). And/or if things were slow I'm sure if a customer rolled in with his used bus and whipped out his checkbook I'm betting they'd say "park it over there and lets go to the office to decide what you want in your bus!"

Either way nice bus Boywonder.
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Westfabulous
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting debate, and lots of really good points here. I am kinda with VDubTech on this one, for the reasons stated above, and in particular the absence of a Riviera ID plate. For all intents and purposes, even if this was converted by Riv at the request of a private owner, it must still be considered a PO conversion in the absence of any documentation or proof that it was done by the pros. Either way, it is a great bus, and you can restore to suit your needs, whether stock or camper converted.
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wyomingriviera
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VDubTech wrote:
But unfortunately you are wrong.


nice.
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BoyWonder
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, more questions...

I have been looking all over the place and can't find anyone that has replacement panels for the 2 that I have over the engine compartment. I then noticed that they are screwed in and not "snapped" in like the rest of the panels. I am afraid someone is going to tell me that that they are Riviera parts. Same goes for the screens that go on the side sliding windows (one on each side), anyone have a set of them or are they Rivi also. Thanks in advance!

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BoyWonder
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I just found the "luggage compartment" panals in my new Bentley so I guess they are not Rivi. Anyone know who sales them?
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoyWonder wrote:
Ok, I just found the "luggage compartment" panals in my new Bentley so I guess they are not Rivi. Anyone know who sales them?


Get them here in a long lasting ABS.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=861538

Good looking bus.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those screens are Rivi screens. What's wrong with yours?
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