Two weeks later, John was startled by the sound of a flatbed tow truck pulling up in front of his house. He looked out the window, and sure enough, the Buick Riviera from the birthday party was sitting on top of the bed of the tow truck. Before he could react, John's son Tony came up to him and said "Pops, here's your new project, I bought the car from Willie." Scratching his head in amazement, John was now torn between the gratitude he felt from his son's touching gesture, and the disbelief he felt while envisioning the magnitude of the project that now lay before him. He worried about what his wife Rose was going to think, and about what was he going to do with a car in that condition. All of his doubts and concerns lasted about five minutes, before John quickly sprung into action. The car was off-loaded into the garage, and John and his two sons, Tony and Jay, were well on their way to resurrecting the Buick. In about an hour, the engine was out of the car, the moldings and glass were removed, and the Buick was beginning to take shape.
"Disco" Ray Gonzalez was enlisted to perform the body restoration. He took his time, and about a year and a half later, the body was straight and ready for paint. The car was now as straight as an arrow, and upon Ray's advice and the advice of his own son, John decided to paint the car black. The next step in the rebirth of the Riviera was to find the parts it was missing, a feat often easier said than done. The car was modified into an old 70's Lowrider, with square headlights that were welded in, leaving the grill missing. John wanted to put the original grill back on the car, and include the hideaway style headlights that were a trademark of this model year. After about a year of hunting on the Internet, John found one in New York, and installed it, he even got the hideaway lights to work. With the exterior finished, it was time to take a look at the engine. The engine had been rebuilt in 1985, but was never fired up, thus John saw no need to open it up. After the car got back from paint, John installed the engine and it purred like a kitten on the first key-turn. The engine is currently in stock condition, but there are plans to possibly accent it with chrome and paint. The next step in completing the Buick's rebuild would be to work on the suspension and rolling stock. John had Ray Gonzalez at "Laid Out Customs" install a two-pump air bag system in the car, deciding to preserve the original look of this American classic. Ray wired the air bag controls to the window switches in the driver's side door panel. At the flick of a switch, John can raise the car up for those steep driveways, or lay it on the frame for car shows. The car originally had Tru-Spokes, but John sold them, opting instead for the more stylish 100 spoke wires.