Monday, January 10, 2011

Musclecar Monday - 64 Buick Riviera - a fist in a velvet glove

One big car - how big? 2 (two) tons, and every luxury you could ever desire.

The Buick Riviera was not a muscle car, per se, but it had a tremendous impact on the American automotive scene. The Riviera represented one of the most sucessful American attempts at capturing European styling and performance in a large automobile. Positioned at the top of Buick's coupe line up, the Riviera always represented GM's cutting edge styling, and sometimes performance.

In it's first year the 'Riv was a huge sucess, selling 40,000 copies. It sported a dramatic design that broke away from the Detroit mold and into a new era of styling. The front fenders had leading edges that were actually vertical grilles, the rear contours angled to razor edges, and the doors featured frameless windows, a new concept. The standard engine was a 401 cid V8 with 325bhp. For just $50 more, the buyer got a 425 cid V8 with 340bhp. Positioned as a luxury coupe, the Riviera came with every conceivable luxury option and would soon become the flagship of the Buick line.

Leonard Nimoy dug his.