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Dynaflash8

The 1970 Buick Riviera

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I've always liked the 1971 Buick Riviera since the first one I saw.  I followed Classic cars from the time I was 14 years old.  Hence,  I ready many articles and looked at a lot of 1935-1936 Auburn speedsters over the years.  So, when I saw that first 71 Riviera I thought that by this time it would have become a ragingly sought after car worth very high dollars.  I can't quite figure out why that never happened.

 

As a teenager in the 1950s I came to love skirts......I always preferred cars with skirts.  So, my second favorite Riviera is the 1970.  It was offered three ways; with no skirts, with half skirts and with full skirts.  I like the full skirt model, but it also has to have that big sweep spear to suit me.  I don't see many of those cars ever come up for sale or be sought after....full skirts and sweep spear.  It was a one year car, so I guess, as has been the case for me so often, I'm out of step with the masses of Buick collectors. 

 

Just thought this was an interest thought for conversation.  As a pre-War collector for the most part I love the 1939 Buick 40-60 models the most of any pre-War Buick.  That also puts me out of step with those Buick collectors.  I can't account for tast. 😀

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Hi, as a 64 Riviera owner forever and living during the 69, 70, 71 introductions, I can say when the 70 arrived I was less than enthusiastic, compared to the 69 it was fat and bombastic. The 71 changed all that again. Bringing unique styling back to the marque. If I was not alone, it could be why few remain as less were sold. 

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They are a step away from the normal and you either love them or hate them.  There were only two options for fenders skirts in 1970 - full or shorty. If you see a 70 without skirts, the skirts have just been removed.  The stainless molding doesn't go over the wheel arch, it just goes across the skirt and ties into the body moldings. I once tried to buy a triple black1970, but I was a day late and a dollar short.006.jpg.98bb55601ea68db69a32f6aba14f1732.jpg

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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22 minutes ago, Dynaflash8 said:

I've always liked the 1971 Buick Riviera since the first one I saw.  I followed Classic cars from the time I was 14 years old.  Hence,  I ready many articles and looked at a lot of 1935-1936 Auburn speedsters over the years.  So, when I saw that first 71 Riviera I thought that by this time it would have become a ragingly sought after car worth very high dollars.  I can't quite figure out why that never happened.

 

As a teenager in the 1950s I came to love skirts......I always preferred cars with skirts.  So, my second favorite Riviera is the 1970.  It was offered three ways; with no skirts, with half skirts and with full skirts.  I like the full skirt model, but it also has to have that big sweep spear to suit me.  I don't see many of those cars ever come up for sale or be sought after....full skirts and sweep spear.  It was a one year car, so I guess, as has been the case for me so often, I'm out of step with the masses of Buick collectors. 

 

Just thought this was an interest thought for conversation.  As a pre-War collector for the most part I love the 1939 Buick 40-60 models the most of any pre-War Buick.  That also puts me out of step with those Buick collectors.  I can't account for tast. 😀

There was a Riviera only brochure in 1970 which displayed the Riv in 3 versions. The full skirt version displayed did not have the sweepspear, the 2 other versions were short skirts with and without the sweepspear. I would guess most folks ordering one would have followed those examples. But there are also factory press photos, postcards, etc which display the combination of full skirts with the sweepspear so they are out there. I have only owned 1 `70 model and that car had the full skirts, sweepspear, beige with brown vinyl top and dark brown cloth interior, just like the car in the "Light My Fire" full page ad from 1970.. It was a very, very nice original car and very elegant in appearance. Great road car with a very powerful engine but didnt "feel" like a large car when driving, unlike my `73 boattail....reminded me of my first impression of the first gen cars.

Tom Mooney

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The 70 was a stop gap effort as the 71 was well under development.  Bill Mitchell’s attention was on the 71 and he told the stylists in the studio who were working on the 70 to make the car “look more French.”

It really is a cleverly disguised 68-69, enough so that the 70 looks like a totally new, one year offering.

 

The sweepspear was optional and I think the car looks plain without it.  I always liked the 70 and had an opportunity to buy a triple white one but like Ed, I was a day late and a dollar short.

 

The 70 has the distinction of being the only year for fender skirts and it was also the most powerful year with 370 gross horsepower.

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Definitely a fan of the '70 Riv. Only one I have ever owned and it's the one that got me into the sport of Rivving!

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I have been a fan of the ‘70, I just wasn’t really looking for one, however, the ’70 I recently acquired has full skirts and the sweepspear.

 

IMG_4173.thumb.JPG.33a92e870679c4795ddfc0f861f2c235.JPG

 

We had one join us at the park today that had NO skirts, aftermarket trim added around the wheel well, and it had the sweepspear too. I did let the owner know that it was not an option to buy one that way, someone had removed the skirts before he got it and added the trim around the wheel well. It does look good, but different without them for sure.

 

IMG_4492.thumb.JPG.67cc22fe660f5693c3bb09607dd35f87.JPG

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That 70 looks a whole lot more like a 2nd generation Riviera with no skirts.  I'm curious if the shape of the rear wheel opening is the same as another 2nd generation Riv and if the wheel arch moldings on his car just came off another Riv. If so, what would a 68 or 69 look like with skirts.

 

Randall, how long will your 70 retain those Firestone Firehawk tires?  I find it amazing how much the tire / wheel combo can change the look of a car.  Are you about to build another garage or just add lifts to the one's you have?

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17 minutes ago, RivNut said:

That 70 looks a whole lot more like a 2nd generation Riviera with no skirts.  I'm curious if the shape of the rear wheel opening is the same as another 2nd generation Riv and if the wheel arch moldings on his car just came off another Riv. If so, what would a 68 or 69 look like with skirts.

 

Here is a picture of a '66 and a '68, the wheel wells are no where near the same shape as the '70 above …

 

IMG_4466.thumb.JPG.7b31e88ed1b50963d502adb481d87364.JPG

 

The way the chrome was peeling off the plastic molding on that '70 it was definitely not a factory piece of trim.

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24 minutes ago, RivNut said:

Randall, how long will your 70 retain those Firestone Firehawk tires?  I find it amazing how much the tire / wheel combo can change the look of a car.  Are you about to build another garage or just add lifts to the one's you have?

 

They still hold air so I can move it around as needed, no plans for tires until I decide exactly what I'm going to do with it.

 

No more garages and I already have one lift, but I still need to figure something out for sure.

 

Possibly another 12 X 28 building to store "something", AND get rid of a few cars too! 

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14 hours ago, Rivman said:

I have been a fan of the ‘70, I just wasn’t really looking for one, however, the ’70 I recently acquired has full skirts and the sweepspear.

 

IMG_4173.thumb.JPG.33a92e870679c4795ddfc0f861f2c235.JPG

 

We had one join us at the park today that had NO skirts, aftermarket trim added around the wheel well, and it had the sweepspear too. I did let the owner know that it was not an option to buy one that way, someone had removed the skirts before he got it and added the trim around the wheel well. It does look good, but different without them for sure.

 

IMG_4492.thumb.JPG.67cc22fe660f5693c3bb09607dd35f87.JPG

I like that look. Never saw anyone do that......but I do like it. 

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On ‎10‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 9:07 PM, RivNut said:

That 70 looks a whole lot more like a 2nd generation Riviera with no skirts.  I'm curious if the shape of the rear wheel opening is the same as another 2nd generation Riv and if the wheel arch moldings on his car just came off another Riv. If so, what would a 68 or 69 look like with skirts ?

. . . not even close Ed !

 The '70 rear wheel well openings are different.

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2 minutes ago, 68RIVGS said:

. . . not even close Ed !

 The '70 rear wheel well openings are different.

Yeah I saw that. Randall posted some comparison pictures or me.  I guess I didn't realize the 2nd generation rear wheel openings showed so much of the wheel.  The rear wheel arch on th  70 with no skirts actally looks closer to a 1st generation opening.

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I thought you could’t just pull the skirts on a 70 and have a clean opening. I thought there was a pinch weld or something else the skirts were there to hide? That is why there were short or long skirts, but no skirts was not an option.

And I never understood the 70 grille. The vertical bars would have looked so much better turned horizontal. Made it looked wider. The vertical bars seem to contradict everything about the design of this car. I like the silver 70, but would still have to modify the grille.

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There is a recessed area for the top of the skirt to fit into and a big bracket that hangs down to latch too.  I've seen people do rust repair and rebuild the wheel opening without all of that and a conventional lip but it's not a simple add chrome trim job.

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12 hours ago, steelman said:

I thought you could’t just pull the skirts on a 70 and have a clean opening. I thought there was a pinch weld or something else the skirts were there to hide? That is why there were short or long skirts, but no skirts was not an option.

And I never understood the 70 grille. The vertical bars would have looked so much better turned horizontal. Made it looked wider. The vertical bars seem to contradict everything about the design of this car. I like the silver 70, but would still have to modify the grille.

I like the styling of the ‘70, especially the rear half. But that grill just doesn’t work for me.  They were probably trying for the traditional waterfall look but ended up with just a trickle.

22645654-9D92-487B-B124-B36301FE7567.jpeg

7692B12D-20D0-4064-8D78-92D42946DDAA.jpeg

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I was there for the release of the 1963 Riviera and had been following them closely through the years. In 1970 I had just returned to the States and was in the market for a new car. Although I liked the sweepspear, the car had become bloated from the original and lost appeal to me. The new Chevy Monte Carlo in that factory metallic gray pulled my attention away. And I was more interested in a clean, used '65.

 

Always a Buick follower, I found the 1977 Riviera to be a refreshing return to the first generation proportions. They are a little LeSabre-ish, but I still like those '77-'78's.

 

For me the '70 showed too many concessions to the production line.

This was tough competition.

image.png.9598725bb4fb445e8c9f83da3b4bec91.png

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Seems like the 70 model never got the love and respect of other years. Tell you what...  ahigh school friend of mine inherited his Grandfathers 70 Riv and that car would smoke the tires off the line like a nitro methane dragster. PRL
 

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You know those lame Buick ads on TV:

 

"I'm in the Buick in the parking lot."

"I can't see a Buick in the parking lot. There's smoke all over the place.

buicksmoke.JPG.f214fa3198b4c50829c32206c6d155eb.JPG

 

"OH! You mean your Grandfather's Buick."

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