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Thread: Buick Riviera (2nd gen) 1966-1970

  1. #1
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    The Buick Riviera is a personal luxury car that was marketed by Buick from 1963 to 1999, with the exception of the 1994 model year.

    As General Motors' first entry into the personal luxury car market segment, the Riviera was highly praised by automotive journalists upon its high-profile debut. The ground-up design that debuted for 1963 was also Buick's first unique Riviera model, and it pioneered the GM E platform.

    Unlike its subsequent GM E platform stablemates, the Oldsmobile Toronado and Cadillac Eldorado, the Riviera was initially a standard front engine/rear-wheel drive platform, only switching to front-wheel drive starting for 1979.

    While the early models stayed close to their original form, eight subsequent generations varied substantially in size and styling. A total of 1,127,261 Rivieras were produced.

    The Riviera name was resurrected for two concept cars that were displayed at auto shows in 2007 and in 2013.

    Second generation (1966–1970)
    The Riviera was redesigned for the 1966 model year. It retained its cruciform X-frame, powertrain, and brakes, but its curvaceous new body was longer, wider, and 200 pounds (91 kg) heavier. Vent windows, a feature GM had introduced in the 1930s, were absent. Headlamps remained concealed, but now pivoted behind the grille when not in use, and they were once again horizontally arranged. The car's added bulk slowed acceleration with the unchanged 425 engine. The Gran Sport package remained available as an option. Rear seat belts and AM/FM radio were optional.

    The new front-wheel drive Oldsmobile Toronado shared the Riviera platform, and, a year later, the also front-wheel drive Cadillac Eldorado; however, the Riviera itself retained the rear-wheel drive layout.

    Inside, the four-place cabin with front and rear bucket seats and center console were replaced by a choice of bucket seats or conventional bench seats as standard equipment, making the Riviera a full six-passenger car for the first time. Optionally available was a Strato-bench seat with armrest or Strato bucket seats with either a short consolette or a full-length operating console with a "horseshoe" shaped floor shifter and storage compartment. Both the buckets and Strato-bench seat were available with a reclining seat option for the passenger's side. Sales for 1966 rebounded to 45,308, a new record.

    The most significant change for 1967 was Buick's replacement of its venerable 425 "Nailhead" with an entirely new 430 cu in (7.0 L) V8. Its 360 horsepower (270 kW) and 475 lb⋅ft (644 N⋅m) of torque were a performance improvement. Gasoline mileage improved slightly, but remained low. Powerful disc brakes with Bendix four-piston calipers became optional for the front wheels but most Riviera continued to be ordered with Buick's highly capable ribbed aluminum brake drums. Cosmetically, changes were few and were limited to the addition of a wide, full-width, center-mounted horizontal chrome grille bar that stretched over the headlight doors and outboard parking lights. Sales eased to 42,799 for the 1967 model year. The Riviera had full instrumentation.

    1967 saw the introduction of U.S. mandated safety equipment to improve occupant protection during a crash, including an energy-absorbing steering column, non-protruding control knobs, 4-way hazard flasher, soft interior surfaces, locking seat backs (on 2-door models), a dual-circuit hydraulic braking system (with warning light), and shoulder belt anchors. The Rivieras complied on all counts and featured the full range of safety features.

    1968 models had reshaped loop-type bumpers that surrounded both the vehicle's recessed crosshatch front grille and tail lamps. Hidden wiper arms made their debut. Federally mandated side marker lights appeared, as inverted trapezoids on the lower leading edges of the front fenders, and circular in the rear. The interior was restyled and for the first time shared its instrument panel with the other full-size Buick models. Shoulder belts for front outboard occupants were made standard on all cars built from January 1, 1968. Mechanically, the transmission lost its variable pitch torque converter. A tilt steering wheel was standard. Sales set another new record in 1968, as 49,284 units were sold.

    Minor styling changes took place again in 1969, with grilles gaining a pattern of finely spaced, slim vertical bars overlaid by two wider horizontal bars, which jutted forward at their inboard edges. Front marker lights became far shorter and square. Inside, front outboard passengers received new headrests. The ignition switch was moved from the instrument panel to the steering column and locked the steering wheel and selector lever when the key was removed (a security feature that became mandatory for the 1970 model year). Chrome side trim was revised, as well. At the rear, the reverse lights moved from the rear bumper to new three-section tail-light lenses. Sales for 1969 improved again, to 52,872.

    The 1970 Riviera was restyled. Exposed quad headlamps were nearly flush-mounted, while the new front bumper wrapped around and over the new vertical bar grille, set between the headlamp pods. A newly optional side trim feature accented the large coupe's flowing lines. Skirted rear wheels became standard, with exposed wheels an option. At the rear, a new rear bumper/taillight motif was seen. The engine was upgraded to 455 cu in (7.46 L), the largest engine Buick offered to date, rated at 370 horsepower (280 kW) gross, 245 hp (183 kW) net, and over 500 lb⋅ft (680 N⋅m) of torque. Despite the fact that 1970 sales dropped to 37,366, the second-generation Riviera proved more successful than the first, with 227,669 units sold over five the years.

    Source: Wikipedia
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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 02-18-2021 at 10:49 PM.

  2. #2
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    now, it's just me, or the car looks like an Olds Toronado?
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    They were based on the same platform, though originally this was RWD and the Olds was FWD.
    The 1966(the 'Nado's 1st year) styling also brought it closer to Toronado. THe 70-73 "boattail" styling gave it some individuality again, but then after '73 both models descended into the 1970's styling malaise. Eventually the Riv became FWD, and they were just badge engineered cars. (though the Toronado got axed 7 years before the Riv, in 1992)
    So, no, it's not just you.
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  4. #4
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    first few generations of the Reviera are nice. but they turned it into a grandpa-mobile coupe later on, such as the '90's.
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    Buick Riviera (2nd gen) #2
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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 02-18-2021 at 10:50 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonOfTheDead View Post
    now, it's just me, or the car looks like an Olds Toronado?
    I know this question has already been answered, but I found another cool visual aid. This is a period clay mockup with a second-gen Riviera on the near side and a first-gen Toronado on the far.
    "Kimi, can you improve on your [race] finish?"
    "No. My Finnish is fine; I am from Finland. Do you have any water?"

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    Buick Riviera (2nd gen) #4
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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 02-18-2021 at 10:50 PM.
    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
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    Buick Riviera (2nd gen) #5
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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 02-18-2021 at 10:51 PM.
    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
    Visca Catalunya!

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    Buick Riviera (2nd gen) #6
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    Buick Riviera (2nd gen) #7
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    Buick Riviera (2nd gen) #8
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    Buick Riviera (2nd gen) #9
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    Buick Riviera (2nd gen) #10
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    Buick Riviera (2nd gen) #11
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