Lot 017: 1963 BUICK RIVIERA
Introduced on October 4th 1962, the Buick Riviera was intended to compete with the Ford Thunderbird in the burgeoning 'personal luxury car' market (though, intriguingly the design had been first mooted as a potential Cadillac model). The work of Ned Nickles and Bill Mitchell, its distinctive silhouette was reputedly influenced by various contemporary Rolls-Royce and Ferrari styling motifs. Based around a shortened and narrowed version of Buick's perimeter frame chassis, the two-door fixed head coupe was equipped with independent double-wishbone front suspension, a well-located 'live' rear axle, power steering and four-wheel 'Al-fin' drum brakes. Powered by a choice of 'Wildcat 445' (401ci, 6.6litre) or far scarcer 'Wildcat 465' (425ci, 7.0litre) pushrod V8 engines allied to 'Twin Turbine' automatic transmission, the newcomer was a strong performer (Motor Trend magazine finding one capable of 0-60mph in 8.0 seconds and 125mph). Boldly wrought, its four-seater cabin boasted a dramatic centre console, individual bucket seats, two-speed windscreen wipers and door-to-door carpeting (while leather upholstery, power seats, power windows, cruise control and air conditioning could all be had as extras). With production limited to 40,000 units for its first year and a base price tag of $4,333, the Riviera enjoyed a carefully cultivated air of exclusivity. Although, according to the Riviera Owners Association less than one in fourteen buyers specified the 'Wildcat 465' powerplant during 1963 (the larger unit accounting for just 2,601 sales). Finished in green with white leather upholstery, this particular left-hand drive example is variously described by the vendor as being in "A1" (electrical equipment, interior trim, chassis, wheels / tyres) or "A1+" (engine, automatic transmission, bodywork, paintwork) condition. Fitted with the desirable 'Wildcat 465' engine or so the sticker on its air filter would imply, 'WPV 889A' further benefits from a tilt steering wheel, remote trunk release, electric windows, power seats, air conditioning, tinted glass, alloy ribbed rocker covers and period radio (complete with rear speakers). Starting readily upon inspection, it is believed to have covered just 66,407 miles from new. Wonderfully evocative, this super-cool Riviera is offered for sale with MOT certificate and historic class (free) road tax valid until June 2007. PLEASE NOTE: This vehicle now comes with an MOT certificate until July 2007.
H&H Sales Limited, The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||-|
|Engine capacity (cc)||6965|
|Engine - cylinders|
|Number of doors|