Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 3
Perceived as a type of American Bentley Continental, the Riviera was Buick's answer to the top-selling Ford Thunderbird.
Blessed with some of the finest styling to come out of Detroit it was restrained yet swoopy and exuded presence where cars like the Cadillac and Imperial were seen as merely big. Inevitably it housed a V8 motor (initially a 6.5 litre, and later 7.0 litre) with anything up to 365 bhp.
And despite its two-speed automatic
gearbox, this large five-seater could still manage 209 km/h although the brakes
did not seem to cope that well. The interior contained such accessories as power windows, power steering
and a very tasteful dashboard.
But ironically, Buick
altered the classic styling of the Riviera with the most memorable change being the clamshell covered lights. This resulted in the car losing some of its personality as it also shared underpinnings and structure with the Cadillac Eldorado.
It redeemed itself in the early 1970's with its "boat tail" version but lost a lot of credibility from 1973
onwards as Detroit's big cars, at that time, seemed to lose their way.