HomeCar CultureCosmopolitan 1964 Riviera an International Star

Cosmopolitan 1964 Riviera an International Star

Export Buick brought elegance overseas


When Buick introduced the Riviera in the fall of 1962, it gave the Ford Thunderbird its first true competitor. While the 1961-63 Thunderbird perfectly exploited remnants of the 1950s, the 1963 Riviera brought pure 1960s style — with a heap of British influence — to the American public.

This 1964 Riviera caught the eye of a Standard Oil executive, who ordered it for his wife. They were living in Venezuela at the time, so this Riv is an actual export car. The lack of radio is curious until you learn that the executive’s wife had no interest in listening to Spanish programming. And underneath the hood was the new Super Wildcat, which meant this car was powered by a 360-horsepower 425cid “Nailhead” V8 with dual quads. Out of 37,658 Rivieras built in 1964, only 2,122 featured this engine

Join Muscle Car Campy as he takes us for a ride in this very interesting Riviera with 465 ft-lb of torque.

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in the Southwest.


  1. I bought a 64 in 1976 in Miami because of the styling of the car. Drove it all over south Florida for years. I found a dual quad manifold at a junk yard in Fort Lauderdale and put it on, found chrome valve covers in Daytona speed shop and would make jaws drop at gas stations when they asked to check the oil.

  2. This is a great example of GM getting it right. Only Rivvy I like better are the early ’70s “boat tails”; add the GS package and some mild mods and these are wicked quick, Euro fast, and you drop jaws everywhere.

  3. Wicked fast, the best of all the Nail Heads. Mine was miss taken care of and I had the engine rebuilt at 110,000 miles and it was running strong and tight after another 150, 000 miles. I did not need to rebuild the high pressure oil pump, nor rework the valves (just cleaned them), it did not need new pistons, the main bearings were standard and the rod bearings were replaced with .001’s I always drove it between 85 & 100. It’s only fault was it needed 98 or higher octane, ran great on 101. Sadly kids broke into it and totally trashed it, leaving nothing un-smashed. mine just had one 4-barrell. I cried that day.

  4. The Buick division at General Motors designed some of the finest automobiles in our countrys history !They were always considered a luxury car and priced higher than most other U.S. makes or models . I recall some old Buick ad slogans : The great American road belongs to Buick . ” Wouldn’t you really rather have a Buick ?” They are now the oldest U S. Automaker in America , and for good reason !!

    • Buick was an upper middle-class car, with Cadillac holding court in the luxury class. Chrysler and, sometimes, Mercury competed with Buick. Ditto LaSalle and Packard’s Clipper.


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