4 June 2006
1973 BUICK RIVIERA TWO DOOR SPORTS COUPE
Chassis No. 4Y87U3H511579
Cream with maroon interior
Engine: V8, 455ci, 250bhp at 4,000rpm; Gearbox: three speed automatic; Suspension: front, independent with coil springs, rear, longitudinal arms with coil springs; Brakes: front disc and rear drum. Left hand drive.
Following WWII, the executives at Buick were quick to realize that the American market was ready to spend its money in more outlandish ways, hungry for automobiles that exhibited style and flair in their designs. The 1950s were Buick's heydey and innovative designs quickly turned concepts into reality with some wonderfully unusual designs. By the 1960s styles had changed and Buick opted for a lighter and cleaner visual approach. For the 1963 model year, the first Riviera was launched to much critical acclaim: it was a sport coupe with seating for four and offered a fine balance of pace and grace. The Riviera became a mainstay of the company's lineup and evolved its style throughout the 1960s in accordance with the marque which was catering for a variety of key market sectors, including the revered 'Muscle Cars' segment, and thanks to this the Riviera was blessed with a suitable aura of performance. The 1971 year model had the Riviera's styling go out on a limb, adopting a dynamic, tapered-deck boattail approach to the rear-end styling which remained a feature through to the 1973 year model. Sadly though, thanks to the oil crisis and ever-increasingly strict emission regulations, power output started to dwindle and the end of an era was nigh.
This example on offer by Christie's is suitably attractive in cream with an inviting maroon interior. Condition is best rated as being akin to that of a good, solid 'driver' and with a mere 82,000 miles recorded on the odometer, it is fair to say that overall condition is commensurate to that of a well-cared for example of its vintage.
In keeping with Buick's earlier (and much praised) styling feats, it could be argued that the 1971-73 Riviera was the last true execution that suited and complimented a bold era in style and did so with a tasteful level of dare. Ideal for a fun trip down memory lane, so buckle up and put on those platform shoes!
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