YOUR GLOBAL SOURCE FOR FIRST GENERATION BUICK RIVIERA PARTS
1965 Buick Riviera rocker panel trim. There are a total of 8 pieces for this set. Two long pieces around the doors, two medium length pieces on the doors and four short pieces on the quarter panels and fender. I have seen these painted gloss, semi-gloss and flat (Flat looks unimpressive next to a nice paint job.) There is some debate about how these panels were painted for 1965, but we think semi-gloss looks the best. One thing there is no denying, these sets have gotten expensive, with decent full sets selling for more than $700. So if you can save your pair by putting in a few hours into a restoration, it will be worth it.
1. Remove the panels from the car. There are held on by machine screws. Some of them can be really hard to remove because lots of water and rust accumulates behind the panels. Take your time and use rust release penetrant. WD-40 makes a good product.
2. Once the panels are off, inspect them for dings and dents. You will find the passenger side gets hit the most. Here is an example of a curb dent that will need to be professionally repaired.
3. Take a course steel wool pad (#0) and go over the entire piece to remove any debris on the piece. In particular, you will want to remove dirt and over spray on the ribs. After you have gone over them with the #0, then take a very find #0000 to remove any lingering dirt or paint. It's ok to leave some paint on the spaces between the ribs; the new paint actually adheres better to a painted surface, but the surface should be clean.
4. Buy some 1/8" pinstripe tape on Amazon.com or from your favorite auto paint shop. It just happens to be the exact size of the ribs on these panels! Mask off each rib as shown here:
5. Buy your favorite brand of semi-gloss exterior paint. Take wide sweeping motions from side to side, letting the paint dry between coats. I suggest no more than three coats.
6. Check out the before and after!