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Thread: Buick Riviera

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by f6fhellcat13 View Post
    The '63-'65 (and specifically; '65) Rivs are some of my favorite Detroit Iron of all time.
    Likewise and a great feature of the '65s is that 'switch the pitch' torque converter I mentioned previous.

    As its name suggests, this gizmo alters the pitch of the vanes in the converter when the throttle is depressed about 2/3rds (ie it is either a low or high-stall converter - in one!) and effectively gives you an extra 'half gear' in any gear - including reverse!

    I never had a tacho fitted but at a guess it seemed to be worth about 1,200 rpm - like a 'mini kickdown' if you will. You can have great fun by playing just-so with the throttle openings and SP engagement during an upshift, turning the nominally prompt & crisp THM 400 upshifts into this gigantic extended sluuuuurrrr - eg like the original extremely slow-shifting Hydramatics if you remember them.

    Among automatic transmissions in the 1960s era I've always been a big fan of the Chrysler 727 Torque Flite, prefering it over GM's Turbo Hydramatic 400 or Ford C6, but imho the Super Turbine is about the best there is. Sadly this XLNT trans was only built 1965 through 67.

    May as well throw in this photo of my Riv (taken not long before I sold it) if only to also share this great set of tits.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #17
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    Beautiful car there, nota.
    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
    Visca Catalunya!

  3. #18
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    Thank you old friend

  4. #19
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    I officially hate you, Nota.

    Hate...and envy.
    <cough> www.charginmahlazer.tumblr.com </cough>

  5. #20
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    Rereading your original post, you mention that the '65 could be had with a 4-speed manual. Was this a benefit of the (factory?) RHD conversion? I am pretty sure all American Rivs only came with autos.
    "Kimi, can you improve on your [race] finish?"
    "No. My Finnish is fine; I am from Finland. Do you have any water?"

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by f6fhellcat13 View Post
    Rereading your original post, you mention that the '65 could be had with a 4-speed manual. Was this a benefit of the (factory?) RHD conversion? I am pretty sure all American Rivs only came with autos.
    No, early Rivieras definitely were offered ex-factory in America with a 4-speed manual gearbox and I used to have original US magazine road-tests of same, plus heaps of articles etc - they all went with the car when I sold it.

    Some 1960s era Buicks were factory converted by Holden to RHD, but not the Riv which was exceedingly rare here when new. Mine was 'dealer' converted from new, albeit by a third-party specialist who did a superb 'mirror' conversion, the brake master cyl remained LHS.

  7. #22
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    What does "ex-factory" mean?
    Also, do you remember which transmission was used?
    "Kimi, can you improve on your [race] finish?"
    "No. My Finnish is fine; I am from Finland. Do you have any water?"

  8. #23
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    Ex-factory = as it was from the factory, as in 'out the door'

    Warner T-10, as per this video
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMFeLvlzBwc&feature=related"]YouTube - Driving a 1964 4-speed Wildcat[/ame]

    Early Rivieras were luxury-personal but the performance aspect also came in for praise, and contemporary road tests questioned whether it was just a luxury car or could also be considered a 'muscle' car. At least one manual Riviera competed in Oz Touring Car races in the early to mid sixties (towards the rear-of-field) and iirc their may have been another. Btw at least one of the original road tests I had of the 4-speed also made mention of the clunky shifter. From vague memory the manual trans Riviera might have been a 1964-intro?

    I briefly owned a 1962 Electra 225 Riviera sedan (pillarless hardtop with additional, pivoting, rear-side window) in RHD, a rare thing and Buick's most expensive car that year.
    Last edited by nota; 09-18-2009 at 06:53 PM.

  9. #24
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    I had 3 '65s Rivis so far. Never heard of a 4 Speed either, which doesn't mean there was no. Would be the greatest to have a black '65 GS with a 4 speed. Wow.

    The youtube is a Wildcat 4 Speed. Love the gear whine!. They made Wildcat 4 speeds up to '65. Now I have 2 '65 Wildcats. Coupe and Ragtop but sadly no 4 Speedos. They are very rare. Hope to find one someday.

  10. #25
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    This is a great thread. Moreso by the great write-up by Nota, you sure know how to instil envy in a man!



    I am very much intrigued and captivated by US performance cars of the 60's and admittedly don't know a great deal about Rivieras - I've always considered them T-Bird rivals, but after an insight into the mechanical package (the visuals speak for themselves!), they sound like proper, upmarket muscle!

    Does anyone have any idea of what a concours '65 Riv would fetch these days on the market?

  11. #26
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    Eight-and-a-half years on, I still haven't been able to find any evidence of a manually-shifted Riviera. Does anyone else share nota's recollection?
    "Kimi, can you improve on your [race] finish?"
    "No. My Finnish is fine; I am from Finland. Do you have any water?"

  12. #27
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    No... it's a figment of his imagination.
    '62 356S Notchback Hotrod
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  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by csl177 View Post
    No... it's a figment of his imagination.
    welcome back....
    "I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting, but it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously." Douglas Adams

  14. #29
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    I've noticed that Rivieras seem to attract the attention even of folks who aren't into classic cars, or big American iron.
    An it harm none, do as ye will

    Approximately 79% of statistics are made up.

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