The 1971 Buick Riviera redesign was a dramatic one. It had many of the same design cues as the 1963 Corvette Stingray but on a 122-inch wheelbase. The concept car which foreshadowed it was the Silver Arrow III, which was even more radical. Under the hood the Rivera’s 455 cid V-8 developed either 315 or 330 horsepower in Gran Sport form. The horsepower drop was caused by compression reduction to 8.5:1, in preparation for unleaded gas. The interior was luxurious, with leather and vinyl upholstery and a wraparound dash with full instruments, console and floor-shift Turbo-Hydramatic transmission. As might be expected from the radical design, buyers were polarized. Only 33,810 bought the new model, 5,000 less than the 1970 offering. As is often the case, though, fortune favors the bold. The boat tail quickly became a crowd favorite, and good examples still draw crowds. This is coming out of a high end collector's estate, and there are several others to choose from. Extra parts are available.
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