BUICK Riviera

Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures


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BUICK Riviera
BUICK Riviera   1986 1993
1986 1993

The seventh generation of the Buick Riviera Coupe started its journey in 1986 and featured advanced amenities and smaller engines for better fuel-efficiency.
The Riviera Coupe started its career in 1963 and it was a luxurious, potent, car. It was a true Grand Touring vehicle, with up to seven-liter engines and over 5.5-meter long. After the oil crisis, its dimensions started to shrink. The downsize affected also the engines and, in 1986, no V8 engines were available anymore.

Buick hoped that what it will be lost from the drivetrain will be gained from the technology inside. But the 4.7 meter (187.8”) long car was not a GT anymore. The design was in time with the era it was launched, but while all the other predecessors had enough rear room for passengers, the seventh generation had only the rear seats and almost no legroom. Due to the transverse front-engine layout, the front overhang was big.

Inside, the Buick Riviera featured a high-tech dashboard, with CRT display on the center console and touch-screen! And that was in 1986. The instrument cluster featured a digital display as well. It wasn’t enough to convince buyers.

The small V6-only engine was upgraded up to 170 hp in the last years of production, but that was shy when compared with its predecessors. Moreover, the base engine from 1986 offered a mere 140 hp from the 3.8-liter unit. The sales were slow and in December 1992, the seventh generation of the Riviera was axed.

Full Description and Technical Specifications
BUICK Riviera
BUICK Riviera   1963 1965
1963 1965

The first generation of the Buick Riviera Coupe was launched in 1962 as a direct competitor for the Ford Thunderbird, which was already at its second generation.
The personal luxury car was a new concept, and the Ford Thunderbird was ahead of the game. General Motors didn’t have anything to compete against it. A concept car, named Cadillac “LaSalle” was shown but it didn’t get the necessary attention. In 1960, the project was open for other GM brands and Bill Mitchel, the GM styling chief, was “struck by the sight of a custom-built Rolls-Royce”, as he declared later on. The final touches were drawn by the stylist Ned Nickles.

A long body with concealed headlights behind the grille, a “Coca-Cola bottleneck” quarter panels, and a huge chromed grille were the main ingredients of the 1963 Buick Riviera Coupe. To keep the costs low, it used an existing Buick platform, but shorter and narrower. Even if it was shortened, it was still longer than the Thunderbird.

Inside, there was a luxurious vehicle that featured a three-speed automatic transmission, air-conditioning, and bucket seats front and rear. The leather and wood interior confirmed the status of a personal luxury car, meaning that the vehicle was meant to be driven by the owner, but still enjoy the comfort. As a last detail, Mitchell placed a hook on the front right side of the dashboard. It was there for ladies to hang their purse.

Under the hood, there were two engine options: a 6.6- and a 7.0-liter V8 with plenty of torque and enough power to sprint the car to 60 mph (97 kph) in under 10 seconds, which was a very fast time for the era.

Full Description and Technical Specifications

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