Tag Archives: ford thunderbird

Car Spot: Buick Riviera

GM’s first entry into the personal luxury car market …

I remember 1963. I was in fourth grade living in Madison, Wis. Yup, remember the day when we were told that JFK was assassinated. I remember it more because it was also the year that my dad was hired by American Motors, and we moved to Milwaukee. I was a car guy before, but this made my addiction to everything automotive even bigger.

1965 and 1967 Buick Rivieras
It’s not often that you see these cars, but I found these 65 and 67s for sale.

But beyond the AMC stuff, I remember what a big deal it was for the automakers to introduce their new cars. Take for example this week’s spot, or actually spots, the Buick Riviera. Advertised as “Buick’s bid for a great new international classic,” the Riviera was a hit when it was introduced at the Paris Auto Salon in October 1962. The hardtop coupe won praise from three of the world’s most respected designers, Sergio Pininfarina, Raymond Loewy, and Sir William Lyons. It was a ground-up design on a new GM E platform and the automotive press loved it.

1965 Buick Riviera with hideaway headlights
This 65 came from California. I love the headlights.

Giving the Ford Thunderbird its first real competition it came with one of two monster V8 engines either 401 cu in or 425 cu in and needed everything those bad boys could put out since it weighed just over 4,000 pounds. Motor Trend tested one of the luxury personal coupes equipped with the 425 cubic inch, four-barrel engine. Time from 0–60 mph was clocked at about 8 seconds while running the standing quarter mile in about 16 seconds.

1965 Buick Riviera hood
There are a lot of ponies under that big hood.

It came loaded. Standard features included “power steering, two-speed wipers with washers, back-up lights, glare-proof inside mirror, parking brake signal light, safety buzzer, Riviera wheel covers, electric clock, foam padded seat cushions, center console (covered in a black veneer material) heater and defroster and frameless side windows. Customers could order either fabric or leather seats.

Buick Riviera interior
This interior was spotless.
1967 Buick Riviera
The 67 also had hideaway headlights but instead of a door, they are tucked up above the grill.

The second generation debuted in 1966, retaining its cruciform X-frame on a platform shared with the Oldsmobile Toronado and later, the Cadillac Eldorado, but its redesigned body was longer, wider, and 200 pounds heavier. Along with the new styling came an entirely new 430 cu in V8 putting out 360 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque which improved performance. America liked it and sales for 1966 rebounded to 45,308, a new record. A total of 1,127,261 Rivieras were produced when the last one, the eighth generation, rolled off the assembly line in Orion Township, Michigan on Nov. 25, 1998. Less than 2,000 models sold in its final year.

67 Buick Riviera rear shot with my Hayabusa in the background.
Both these Rivs were in great shape. That’s my Hayabusa in the background.

So what will one of these cars set you back? Not a lot. A 67 in Concours condition according to Hagerty is $45,000 while the 69 is slightly less. These were both priced in the mid-30s. That’s not a lot of dough for this much power and luxury to drive a landmark car from the 60s.

67 Riviera front with the 65 behind it
A bright sunny day and these Rivs were glistening in the sun.

Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to check out my other spots and Mark’s reviews of new cars. Make sure to come back next Friday when I’ll have another one of my spots with some of the history behind it. Have a great weekend.


Die-cast: BoS-Models’ Chevrolet Corvette Corvair Concept

Corvette Corvair Concept sharp car at low costDSCF0143

Early Corvettes were stylish sports cars, not the big fire-breathing muscle rods they became by the 1970s and that they continue as today.

So a fastback model in 1954 would have been cooler than even Ford’s Thunderbird and shows General Motors had the right idea, if only in concept form. Funny too, they named it the Corvette Corvair, joining two names that Chevrolet would ultimately use.

Now BoS-Models has created a high-value 1:43 of this unusual concept as it first appeared in a bright Ruby Red paint scheme. And while I don’t usually dwell on price here, I’ve got to mention it’s just $38.95 and looks fabulous in its acrylic case.

The History

First, an explanation of the concept car that made its debut at the 1954 GM Motorama, a show in New York City. Chevrolet used the front-end of its new Corvette, but made it into a fastback coupe by grafting a sloping roof onto the sporty Vette. The tail here reflects the popular aircraft styling of the mid- to late-1950s. Continue reading Die-cast: BoS-Models’ Chevrolet Corvette Corvair Concept

A T’bird, a Bel Air, and a Studebaker Avanti show up in the same parking lot…

This is no joke as I saw recently at a car show I attended. Check out the vid.

savageonwheels.com, chasing classic cars, cool cars, classics

Promo model: 1960 Ford Thunderbird

1960 Ford Thunderbird, 1960 ford thunderbird promotional model, promotional model review.Here’s a quick question and I bet only the T’bird geeks will get it. Geeks in a good way. The T’bird might not have happened at all. Henry Ford II came up with a 2-seat concept and it was called the Vega! Wonder what Chevy would have had to come up with a name for their Vega? Henry’s had meager power, European looks, and cost, so it never proceeded to production. The Thunderbird was similar in concept, but would be more American in style, more luxurious, and less sport-oriented and it became an instant hit. Although the Thunderbird had been considered a rousing success, Ford executives felt that the car’s position as a two-seater restricted its sales potential. The car was redesigned as a four-seater for 1958. Though retaining a design as a two-door hardtop coupe/convertible, the new Thunderbird was considerably larger than the previous generation, with a longer 113.0 inches (2,870 mm) wheelbase to accommodate the new back seat. Continue reading Promo model: 1960 Ford Thunderbird