3rd generation Buick Riviera – Boattail

Krzysztof’s car – film and article


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Article about Buick Riviera will begin unusually. We will look first to the third generation, then the second and finally first. Why so? Because many people say that the 3rd generation of Riviera is the most distinctive and recognizable one. After some research for the car I’ve found 1972 Riviera. At the beginning of the article, I would like to thank Riviera’s owner, Krzysztof, for the presentation of car and his support during the whole project.

Krzysztof udostępnił prezentowaną w artykule Rivierę do artykułu z Agnieszką Szulim w lipcowym (31.07.2014) numerze magazynu Viva.

Krzysztof’s Rivera was presented in the article with Agnieszka Szulim in July (07.31.2014) copy of the Viva magazine .

Buick has produced 1 127 261 Rivieras over the years 1963-1999. Filmm presents representative of the third generation of the Riviera: 49400 series 0 volume of production of 33728 units for 1,972 years. The third generation of the Riviera was produced between 1971-1973. It has distinctive body known as a boat-tail: fastback, hardtop, coupe, designed by Bill Mitchell. Click below to expand the technical details:

> Click here to expand the technical data: Buick Riviera 1972 Boattail <

Length – 5,545 mm
Width – 2032 mm
Height – 1372 mm

Engine – a GM V8 positioned at the front longitudinally.
One spark plug per cylinder.
Displacement 455 in3 ( 7458 cm3 )
Power 250 hp (186.4 kW) at 4000 rev / min,
Maximum torque of 508 Nm at 2800 r / min.
Compression ratio 8.5: 1.
The drive system – driven rear wheels.

Power gasoline – Rochester carburetor. Electric start. Liquid cooling, a closed system.
Control valve – timing OHV valves in the cylinder head, camshaft in the engine block (OHV), chain-driven, two valves per cylinder (16-valve engine).

Gearbox: automatic Hydra-matic 400
Number of gears: 3.
Rear axle ratio: 2.93: 1

Braking system – front disc brakes and rear drum brakes, power-assisted
progressive. Emergency brake mechanical (foot).

Body frame – type two-door fastback, hardtop coupe. 2040 kg

Two individual front seats, rear seat single (piece), upholstery – vinyl cover.

Front – independent suspension, coil springs, wishbone, anti-roll bar.
Back – a rigid axle, is driven, the coil springs.

Profile tires 255/70 / R15. Radial tires.

This car belongs to the category of Personal Luxury Car and should not be combined with Muscle Car category, but V8 under the hood also beautifully V8 purrs – You can listen to the sound of the car here:

Krzysztof’s Riviera is a rare version of this generation with the center console and preserved original state. Riding as a passenger, I had the opportunity to see that the car makes a great impression and raises curiosity of other drivers. For questions regarding the use of the Riviera, driveability of the car, costs and details about the maintenance of the car – they will be answered by cars owner:

Questions to Krzysztof - click on the question to see the answer:
What made you bought the Riviera? What do you like most in this car?

In Poland, I had no opportunity to see such car – the first time I saw Riviera with my own eyes was when IT came to me from the United States after purchase. Before that I’ve seen the Riviera only on the Internet. Of course, initially I fell in love with what distinguishes the car – I mean the rear known as “boattail”.

What captivated me in Riviera is its uniqueness and uncompromising attitude which the car shows and which can be seen in every detail. I like it for the fact that it is an open rejection of the ideas of savings, rational and practical, being an expression of approach – go for it 🙂

I also like the fact that it takes a lot of space on the road 🙂

Riviera was in fact intended as a “personal luxury car” – it is large, it has a flair for sports but above all it is a limousine. However limousine with a chauffeur, so he carried out alone – the driver has to be the center of attention, so his place was located roughly in the middle of the car.

Car combines features usually found separately – it is dignified, yet dynamic, powerful, yet subtle. The shape of the bumpers and fenders, the concept of rimless side windows or even the gearshift looking like a plane. Seat belts also have something to do with the airplane – are made from four separate lanes. Although the car has more than 40 years is fully equipped –  full electrics. The doors are frameless – after leaving the window remains only solid door.

Rear, left side windows together with the seal form a unlimited space for traveling in the front and the back. It all makes the Buick has been its very silhouette, is the concept. This is one of the few cars that enjoys both when it is in motion and when it’s just standing on the parking.
What work has been done on the car since purchase?

Riviera after being taken to the Poland required some metal work and paint. Sheet metal work consisted of repairs (minor fire rust) door, the rear flange and the front end. The vehicle has undergone roadworthiness, the exchange of fluids and filters. Changed: suspension bushings, gaskets, valve covers the engine, the brake of the rear axle, seals the side rear windows. Cleaning and maintenance has been subjected to the fuel tank. Fixed air conditioning. In addition, the renovation and repair have been subjected to the elements of the dashboard, including the instrument panel, odometer and speedometer and an electric analog clock. The vehicle does not have structural changes.

Does Riviera requires specialized service?

Riviera does not require American cars superspecialist and generally it can be fixed wherever we can find a mechanic who understands the car with a carburetor and can adjust it.

What could you say about the availability of spare parts?

Some Riviera spare parts are easily available in Poland. In addition, in most cases, at a similar price to the price of parts for today cars. Of course, body parts or lamps are only available in special shops or require import from the US.

The car is relatively easy to repair, since there is no complicated electronics. Extensive arrangement of individual elements also helps us to access parts – the typical American way of building the car of those years.

What's the fuel consumption?

With this question I meet so frequently that I expected it [laughs here]. It is a annoying question if it comes up as the only – no one who decides to buy a two-ton “acm-car”, numbering five and a half meters in length – certainly does not pay attention to fuel consumption. So now and in the years when the Riviera was produced. It was a beautiful time of the American automotive industry, the apogee of the period when cars were built bigger and stronger. 1972 was one of the the last year when not particularly attention was paid to fuel consumption. The oil crisis of consecutive years caused the price of a barrel of oil rise more than 15 times and nothing was the same, the car size dropped, and so it is today.

Rivieras V8 engine with a capacity of 7.5L is powered by carburetor. The advantage of the power unit is the power, huge torque and a free, unique sound. The natural consequence is the fuel consumption. But it certainly was not very important for the buyer of Riviera which GM offered as “America’s No.1 Personal Luxury Car”. This luxury was valued at almost USD 6500 and Riviera was closing the Buick offer, which began with Skylark model at a price less than $ 3,000 in times when Opel can be purchased for $ 2,000.

Startup and leaving the garage requires more than a liter of petrol. In the winter I do not use the car, but I start it regularly. Usually after winter thus diminished several liters of petrol.

A huge impact on the fuel consumption has a driving style and road conditions. In the city during a ride avoiding traffic jams Riviera burns 20-30L per 100km. Minimum fuel consumption in a quiet ride at a speed of 90km / h is around 18L per 100km. The maximum is 48L per 100 km – the use of Buick’s luxury on a daily basis, in conditions of Warsaw traffic jams does not mean “reduced fare

What about standard maintenance costs?

The main cost of car maintenance is really the fuel. I refuel gasoline 95, which is the most similar to that predicted for the engine designers in the ’70s.

Many depends on the technical condition of the car and of course the annual car mileage. I was able to purchase a copy in good condition, the previous owner has made significant investments, replacing many components.

Maintaining Riviera used in accordance with its historic character does not involve large expenditures. For 2016 so far the cost of repairs  for the last 6 years is just … around 30 USD dollars, not counting operational costs, which pertain to oil changes. Brake discs or drums at a low annual mileage, not exceeding 1000 km are still in good condition. It is only an oil change, as in any car.

Riviera is at the time of writing already 44 years old and it was registered as a historic vehicle in Poland. In addition to the distinctive, yellow number plate it carries with it various relief. In addition, third party insurance, due to the additional discounts for this type of car, closes the amount below 60 USD per year, much lower than in the case today, even small motor cars.

How would you rate the comfort of the ride?

Rivera interior is surprisingly spacious for a two-door car. The suspension is extremely soft and comfortable, and the high profile of the tire provides extra cushioning. Compared to normal car traveling companions impression of softness and insulation from the ground – it can be compared to driving a sofa on four wheels cushioned. The softness of the suspension is felt cornering, the car reacts to sudden acceleration of the front elevation of the car, which during heavy braking clearly “dives” which in my assessment of an additional charm relating to his conduct. Moving the first time, and not being aware of the specifics of the car and how strongly reacts to pressing the gas pedal – the first meters passed the “frog” trying to tame the monster 🙂

Riviera despite its more than 2 tons of weight is a very agile car, eager to accelerate and is carried out very easily thanks to the progressive power steering and sensitive and effective brakes. In general, do not feel the large mass of the car, which can be felt on the other hand, when you need to push it – it requires a lot of strength and twisting with the engine switched off, that is, without the help of the hydraulics is extremely limited. The impact on this is certainly fairly large tire width (more than 25cm).

Unquestionable, big advantage is the V8 sound Recognizable hum of the engine during acceleration dominates whereas when driving at constant speed auto is surprisingly quiet for a 7.5-liter engine. At speeds above approx. 60 miles / h (approx. 100 km / h) there are already the sounds of air flowing over the car.

How would you describe the drivability?

After getting in the car we probably turn attention to the robustness of the car. Opening the door or hood, we feel that the body parts are made of solid steel thus have a mass to which we are accustomed. I met with the question at one of the car servicet – “Is something going on with the mask? You can not open it.”  When driving it we get a bit of a feeling of driving a light armored vehicle. This impression is largely due to the noise associated with moving car.

Starting the engine promises that this time the adventure begins different than usual. The size of the engine makes whole car tilt in the opposite direction to the direction of rotation of the crankshaft.

In some situations, the Rivera driver must plan maneuvers before they are executed more than if you are driving a “normal” car on the same route. At the sharp turn the car does not fit on your lane. Due to the length of the vehicle and the length of the mask  there is limited visibility to the sides so in tight places we drive it a bit like a bus – to be able to look to the left and to the right. Other drivers are not accustomed to the necessity of such a maneuver in the event of a passenger car

Due to the high torque you can easily lose grip of the rear wheels. Not only when starting off. When driving on wet roads we should avoid sudden acceleration. As an optional extra equipment offered was the prototype of the modern ASR systems, limiting wheel spin axis driving auto – detect the difference in speed front and rear wheels – limited engine power.

When talking about parking there is no problem with it if chosen sufficiently large parking space. At rallies any, places are, but at the shopping mall, in the garage or in the block under the Market parking needs to address two places. On the standard place – we do not open the door. Riviera is longer by about 1.5 meters from the standard car so you should take to fix it, to look for places that car protruded too much outside the designated place, at least not on the road.

Do you drive Riviera everyday?

Riviera is most often used on the historic automotive fan meetings but every occasion is good to enjoy this car – a trip to the family, or even just shopping.

Do you drive Riviera in the winter?

Rivera was brought from the wild west 🙂 and more specifically from Idaho, northern United States. It is equipped with M + S tires [Mud and Snow] . The car is regularly protected against corrosion – the chassis and hollow sections, however I avoid driving during the winter months because of the salt used in this period on Polish roads.

Buick Riviera Boattail (8)

Krzysztof’s Riviera FanPage:

Special thanks go to Krzysztof for providing his Riviera, driving and sending
an extensive car documentation thanks to which this article has been made. MJ


3rd generation Buick Riviera – Boattail

Mariusz’s car – 360 video
Before playback read the How-To-Watch below:
[English] You’re now watching a special 360° spherical video. You can look in any direction during playback.
1. Tablet and Smartphone: Just tap on the video and drag to look around or simply move/tilt your mobile device. You have to use the official YouTube app for Android/iOS to watch 360° degree video, otherwise you will not be able to rotate the sphere.
2. Computer: Click on the video and while holding down the left mouse button move the mouse to look around. You can also use W-A-S-D and arrow keys.
3. If the image is blurred then you have to manually select higher-quality by clicking on the gear/dots in the right corner of the video and selecting 1080S or 2160p. Smooth playback of high-quality video requires powerful computer.
4. The best way to watch VR footage is by using special VR goggles. Run YouTube app, click the goggles icon in the lower right corner of the screen and put smartphone into the goggles.
5. I have two YouTube channels. My main YouTube channel contains non-360° films. My second YouTube channel contains only 360° films. The main goal of my 360° videos is to show the experience of being in filmed vehicle / location. The main goal of creating these films isn’t: maximizing the resolution; working in post-production for removing camera lines, vibration or any other imperfections. Overall video quality is important for me but I’m not a perfectionist – everything depends on your point of view and your goal. I do not publish any information about cameras.

Mariusz, what do you like most in Riviera?

Mariusz: Riviera was my dream since I was 8-10 years old. I saw the car for the first time on television. Due South. I did not know then how this car was called. My dream fulfilled a dozen years later when I became the happy owner of such a wonderful and original car. They say that people love or hate this car – with me it is the first choice 🙂

Special thanks go to Mariusz for providing the car for 360video. MJ

Mariusz’s Riviera is available for rental in Poland – Warszawa, Siedlce
Mariusz phone number: (0048) 530 707 377

Buick Riviera 2 generation ( 1966-1970 )

This model is a 1968 Buick Riviera.

1. The first things we could notice are unusually opened lamps.

2. Interestingly, the 2-generation Riviera has more power than the 3rd generation of the same car.

The newer, third generation has nearly 1/3 less power than the second generation. Thats because of the EPA emission standards which lowered the compression ratio in the engine 455 which resulted in the reduction of engine power by almost one hundred horsepower – that is up to 255 hp (190 kW) or 265 hp (198 kW) in the Gran Sport.

3. By the time of the recording this Riviera was not registered to drive on public roads, so the video shows only a short ride instead of the full material. We decided to show a maximum in terms of sound and record some nice to ear acceleration sound – Magnaflow exhaust.

Riviera 1st generation – soon