1972 Buick Riviera: Elegant classic

1972 Buick Riviera: Elegant classic

Engine V 8 Horsepower 250 BHP (184 KW)Engine Location FrontDrive Type RWDWeight 4250 lbs | 1927.768 kg Transmission3-step automatic Turbo Hydramatic 400, 3-step manual Dynaflow

In the 1960s and early 1970s, muscle cars flourished in the US. However, during this very period, a car of a completely different class, the Buick Riviera, was especially popular. This was a luxurious hardtop coupe with a powerful engine. Riviera, like the Cadillac Eldorado, was one of the benchmarks in its class.

Source: Mecum Auctions

Until 1963, the name “Riviera” denoted the most luxurious equipment in the brand’s line of luxury automobiles. In the late 50s, GM management was in dire need of a new model – the personal luxury coupe, which would become the main competitor of the Ford Thunderbird. It didn’t work out with the Corvette – a sports vehicle – small, tough, and extremely fast. In 1963, Buick showed the world the first generation of “land yacht”. It was precisely such associations that the car’s name evoked. French-born American industrial designer Raymond Loewy named it “the most beautiful American automobile after his Studebaker”. His opinion was shared by Italian automobile designer Sergio Pininfarina. After such reviews, the vehicle was doomed to success – over 100 thousand cars were sold in the first three years. The second generation became even larger and more luxurious – based on the Cadillac Eldorado platform. However, the apotheosis of the “land yacht” was the third generation, presented in 1971.

The origins

Source: DUB Magazine

The first automobile appeared in 1949, but its name was used rather as a designation for a specific body – namely, a hardtop rather than a separate model.  In this sense, it was used until 1963, when the automobile became a separate line. Its appearance had nothing in common with other Buick models of that era, although the frame used for it as a standard Buick, was only shortened and narrowed. The model was produced exclusively with a coupe body, thereby becoming one of the founders of the “personal luxury coupe” class of cars that was emerging in the US. In 1968, the vehicle received completely new front and rear parts. It looked almost the same in 1969. In 1970, the model again underwent serious restyling. 1971 was the year of another redesign. The model went back to its roots in a way, again getting the reverse sloped front end always associated with the shark’s nose, but the back end was in the “boattail” style popular in the early 1930s…no longer accepted by all.

The 1972 model year

Source: Wallpaper Flare

The third-generation model radically changed the design of the body. It was developed by Bill Mitchell and Jerry Hirshberg. As a result, the vehicle lost its sporty character. And the main advantage of the new generation was the appearance of Max Trac. This was a special traction control system that did not allow slipping during a trip on a slippery road. The new cars received a dynamically narrowed stern section and smooth lines. The future head of the design department of the Nissan Corporation took part in the development of the interior. During the development process, the car received a wheelbase increased by 76 millimeters, became heavier by 55 kilograms, and acquired an upgraded power unit, the power of which reached 255 hp. From standstill to hundreds, the automobile accelerated in 8.1 seconds. Remarkably, the new look was so unusual that the car was either loved or hated. The exterior received an unusual design with a pointed tail in the style of “boattail” (stern of the boat) and a huge rear window. “Ultra trendy” styling gave the vehicle a personality but scared away the general public. The average American buyer was not ready to perceive such a catchy appearance. As a result, sales fell below 35 thousand cars annually, even though in 1969, almost 53 thousand cars, not the most successful sample, managed to be sold. In 1972, a 250-horsepower engine began to be installed on a car in the Gran Sport modification.

Did you know?

Source: Drive2

Dark green Riviera of 1972 release was featured in the popular 90s TV series about the brave Canadian policemen “Due South”.

Contact us if you have this or another classic car to sell.

1972 Buick Riviera: Elegant classic

Engine V 8 Horsepower 250 BHP (184 KW)Engine Location FrontDrive Type RWDWeight 4250 lbs | 1927.768 kg Transmission3-step automatic Turbo Hydramatic 400, 3-step manual Dynaflow

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