The luxurious Buick Riviera was an immediate hit when it arrived for the 1963 model year as GM’s response to the four-seater Ford Thunderbird, with evocative Euro-styling that’s still highly appealing today.
GM’s design chief Bill Mitchell wanted to recapture that magic with the dramatic ’71 model, created by Jerry Hirschberg (later Nissan’s head of design), who accentuated the stretched-out body style with a boldly tapering roofline that extended to a near-point at the middle of the back bumper, with an almost-horizontal rear window.
Naturally, it was nicknamed the Boattail, a retro reference harking back to sporty pre-war cars, exemplified by the iconic Auburn Boattail Speedster. The Riviera’s front was kind of pointy, too, while chrome trim along its flanks outlined the curvaceous styling.
Riviera’s new look continued only through 1973. Although the boattail styling appears intriguing today, it was not a big success at the time, with Mitchell opining that perhaps it was too extreme for the buying public.
The Pick of the Day is a 1973 Buick Riviera described as an all-original preserved survivor with just over 35,000 miles on its odometer and in “excellent condition inside and out.”
“This Riviera Boat Tail is stunning and original!” according to the West Babylon, New York, dealer advertising the Buick on ClassicCars.com. “So clean and runs like a dream.”
As if the Riviera wasn’t audaciously sprawling enough, the previous owner lowered the suspension to make it even wilder looking, the seller says: “Lowered on lowering springs, could easily be brought back to stock height, but why? It looks great!”
The Burnt Coral Irid paint is in fine condition, and the white interior is in beautiful shape, the seller adds, with full power features and the original radio with a working 8-track tape player, although a custom sound system with Bluetooth has been added. The car sits on Coker classic whitewall tires fitted to factory Buick rally wheels.
Power is provided by the original 455cid big-block V8 and automatic transmission. Despite the massive size of the Riviera, it should still move out nicely with that torque monster under its hood.
One of the most stylish cars of its day, the Riviera is priced at $24,900 for this well-kept survivor.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.