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Most desirable year


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Every time I tell people I have a Riv, they say... "The one with the funny back window?"...Seems the 65 is the most sought after. Best looking first gen I think. 65 67 71 are my favs!

I agree 100%.

1st Place - 1965

2nd Place - 1967

3rd Place - 1971

Mike

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OK, I am too opinionated to not weigh in on this, too. I would have to go with a hybrid. 63/64 with a 65 front clip. I like the 63/64 tail lights and I like the horseshoe mouldings on the rear quarters. I always thought the headlights in the 63/64 looked like just what they were, an afterthought. Stuck too far out of the grille and interupted the overall flow of the entire car. Don't like the Ferrari grill in a Ferrari, much less in a Riviera. Again, it just didn't match the flow of the design. I have to agree with Jason on the 401K analagy, but my Riviera preference goes in year order. 63, 64, 65, 66, and then 67. I have to agree with Ed about the 68s and 69s, but I would add a nice 71 to the collection.

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As Bleach said 63 v. 64 would mean

std. 401(silver) v. std 425 (buick green),

dynaflow v. ST400,

A/C controls above the radio v. controls on the console.

Smaller details-

Trunk: Block B U I C K across trunk v. Riviera script.

Hood: red/wht/blue tri-shield button v. Riviera "R" emblem

Tail lights: Buick tri-shield v. Riviera "R"

Wheel cover emblems" Buick Tri-shield v. Riviera "R"

Console material: Black vinyl v. woodgrain (64 std. interior also has black vinyl)

Seat panels are different

63 engine is timed at 12* BTDC, 64 engine is timed at 2-1/2* BTDC

The best way to tell is to come to an ROA meet and look at one of each side by side.

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I like John`s comments comparing the first gen interiors to the second gen. The whole "integrating the console/dash and rear bucket seat airplane cockpit concept" that was done so well in the T-bird is in full force as compared to the second gen interior. Taken section by section the second gen interior is well done, nice side panel treatment, great bucket seat design, but the lack of an integrated dash/console design and what appears to be a "disconnected" dashboard breaks up any "theme" and lacks the visual appeal the first gen design has.

Having said that I am a huge fan of the Strato-bench seat design. The look of buckets along with the utility of a bench with an armrest is a winner for me.

One of my first nice cars was a `69 Chevelle SS 396, 375 H.P. 4 speed BENCH seat with a 3:73 gear. I vividly remember cruising with my wife-to-be, my arm wrapped around her while she shifted thru the gears. Couldn`t have accomplished that if the car had buckets...great memories.

Tom Mooney

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I have to agree that the interior on the 66-67 leaves a lot to be desired. But, I also have to agree that the exterior is extremely sharp!

The DASH leaves a lot to be desired BUT I think the door panels, seats, and console are superior to a 1st gen.

Console was much more a styled item from 66 to 73. I'm not saying it was an afterthought from 63 to 65.

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OK Tom: I didn't have a girl friend until I had bucket seat cars in the early 70's. Ocasionally we would drive in a bench seat car and she would sit right next to me but buckets were the norm from then on in. Today my wife sits next to the passenger door when we take out my 60 Buick. (Maybe I need to make some personal adjustments? lol). Mitch

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In '65, I had a Foxcraft shifter in a '55 Chevy with a three speed stick. To get my shifter knob in the most desireable spot, I took some all-thread and shaped it so the knob was on the bench right between her thighs. That only lasted until I took the car out of reverse and put it in low the first time. She sat by the window the rest of that date and I put the shifter handle that came with the kit back on the next day.

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In '65, I had a Foxcraft shifter in a '55 Chevy with a three speed stick. To get my shifter knob in the most desireable spot, I took some all-thread and shaped it so the knob was on the bench right between her thighs. That only lasted until I took the car out of reverse and put it in low the first time. She sat by the window the rest of that date and I put the shifter handle that came with the kit back on the next day.

Hahahaha! I just had a flashback to my '66 Impala bench seat 4 speed. I totally forgot about 2nd and 4th gears laying the shifter on the seat. My girlfriend liked that car. That girlfriend is my wife now of 29 years, so I guess worked out well... :D

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I agree with most of this except I actually like the dash. I grew up in a 66 and later that car was my first car. Maybe Im a little biased about the 66. Inside and out its one of my favorites. Especially with the console and buckets.

The DASH leaves a lot to be desired BUT I think the door panels, seats, and console are superior to a 1st gen.

Console was much more a styled item from 66 to 73. I'm not saying it was an afterthought from 63 to 65.

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I've never owned one, but one of my favorite cars is a silver on silver '63. There's nothing about that car I don't like, other than the fact that they started going up in price just as I could start reasonably looking for one.

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About the discussion on number of units sold; if you would check your economic history you will find that the country was in a recession at the end of 1964 which might explain the weaker sales numbers.

I am partial to the 1966 Riviera. I bought one when I got out of the Army in 73 and I really liked enjoyed the car.:)

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Perhaps the country was coming out of a recession, but you need to look at the total Buick picture for both years.

in 1963, when Buick sold every Riviera they planned on building, Buicks total sales were 458,606 units.

In '64, when they sold only 37,658 Rivieras, their total sales were 511,666 units.

You might say "well, they sold more of the Specials in '64" That's a non factor, they sold only 58,665 Electra 225's in '63 but sold they 68,912 Electras in '64. Every '64 model, except the Riviera, outsold the comparable '63 model.

It looks like the recession was hitting harder in '63, but Buick sold everyone of the limited production 40,000 Rivieras that they planned on selling. In '64, they fell 2,342 units short of their projected limited number.

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Perhaps the country was coming out of a recession, but you need to look at the total Buick picture for both years.

in 1963, when Buick sold every Riviera they planned on building, Buicks total sales were 458,606 units.

In '64, when they sold only 37,658 Rivieras, their total sales were 511,666 units.

You might say "well, they sold more of the Specials in '64" That's a non factor, they sold only 58,665 Electra 225's in '63 but sold they 68,912 Electras in '64. Every '64 model, except the Riviera, outsold the comparable '63 model.

It looks like the recession was hitting harder in '63, but Buick sold everyone of the limited production 40,000 Rivieras that they planned on selling. In '64, they fell 2,342 units short of their projected limited number.

RivNut, I know that the Special was cheaper than the Electra and Riviera but was the Electra more expensive than the Riviera? Which was the Flagship model in the 60's?

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I'd have to say that the Electra was the flagship. It, or the Roadmaster, had been at the top of the Buick line for many years. Each year, in both '63 and '64, there were six models of the Electra. I have no idea what the base price of an Electra 4-door hardtop, 2-door "sport coupe," or convertible may have been, but one of those could be decked out with tons of options and probably command a pretty steep price. Perhaps a BCA guy might have access to this information.

Ed

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  • 2 weeks later...
I would like to know which is generally the most desirable year of the 60's Buick Rivieras. I know that there is no right or wrong answer, I am just looking to hear opinions.

Although I own a 65, the 63 Riviera would be my choice and I would like to own one.

Silver on silver looks outstanding though any color tends to show off the incredible lines of the first generation.

I love the Twin Turbine Transmission (Dynaflow) because of its phenomenal smoothness.

The 63 is the first and the last...............first Riviera and last of the Dynaflow.

Marty

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I had a '63 but I've always liked the looks of the '65 because it looked so much like the Silver Arrow and was more like what Bill Mitchell wanted the car to look like.

Flame suit on now:

I never cared for the headlight arrangement on the 63 & 64's but they eventually grew on me.

It's too bad the '65 wasn't carried over for at least one more year. It had some really obvious differences and looked a lot cleaner that the previous two years. I do like the interior of the '63 the best and the fact it was available in leather. Vinyl in the seating areas do not belong in a personal luxury car. It cheapens things.

I loved the Twin-Turbine in my '63. I have never driven a car before or after with as smooth a transmission as this one had.

I sorely miss my '63.:(

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Were there really any Rivieras built before '63 or after '65?;)

My thoughts exactly. Got to love the first gen. Rivs.

I agree, them first gen Rivs were awesome. ;) That low french curve roof line laying so elegantly on that low slab body with full rear wheel cut outs over spoke wires. :) In my eyes, the sexy design of the '54 Roadmaster just shouted "Riviera".

To get back on topic, I have to agree, it's a tough decision between 64 and 65 for me. Love the rear of the 64 but the front of the 65. If you held a gun to my head and made me say, I guess I'd have to say the 65 though.

But Bleach, wouldn't you really rather have a '54? ;)

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My personal favorite out of two 63's and two 65's that I owned was my first Riv, a '63 silver with silver leather interior and the silver engine of course. I never had any complaints with the Dynafow out of the several Buicks that I had.

:) kaycee

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I agree, them first gen Rivs were awesome. ;) That low french curve roof line laying so elegantly on that low slab body with full rear wheel cut outs over spoke wires. :) In my eyes, the sexy design of the '54 Roadmaster just shouted "Riviera".

To get back on topic, I have to agree, it's a tough decision between 64 and 65 for me. Love the rear of the 64 but the front of the 65. If you held a gun to my head and made me say, I guess I'd have to say the 65 though.

But Bleach, wouldn't you really rather have a '54? ;)

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That is one SWEET 54, Mr Earl....

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  • 4 months later...

In my humble opinion...the 1963 was or should be the most desirable because it was the first one produced--and the marque has been declared a 'collectible'...and I own a '63....disregard all the production numbers of later cars-the '63 was the Lewis & Clark of the brand--it set the trail for others to follow...and the exclusitivity of the limited special order production sales made Bill Mitchell very happy -so the green light to produce the '64 & '65 models....but like someone else said--the one you own now is the best--just drive and enjoy them!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hmm... As a '63 owners, I've debated the merits of first three years. My thoughts:

1. '63 boasts the unique slider HVAC controls, which went to a more conventional (e.g. "boring") design for '64 and '65.

2. '64 added available wood; my car has wood trim, obviously added aftermarket by a previous owner, and I think it looks better than the pebbled black plastic.

3. '64 also upgraded the transmission from 2sp to 3sp

4. Love the look of the '65 front end, except fit/reliability issues surrounding the clamshells is a bit intimidating. Also, the '63/'64 look pretty slick with just the parking lights on.

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Hmm... As a '63 owners, I've debated the merits of first three years. My thoughts:

1. '63 boasts the unique slider HVAC controls, which went to a more conventional (e.g. "boring") design for '64 and '65.

2. '64 added available wood; my car has wood trim, obviously added aftermarket by a previous owner, and I think it looks better than the pebbled black plastic.

3. '64 also upgraded the transmission from 2sp to 3sp

4. Love the look of the '65 front end, except fit/reliability issues surrounding the clamshells is a bit intimidating. Also, the '63/'64 look pretty slick with just the parking lights on.

That is one of the things that I like about the 63-64 models.

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I have owned my '64 since 1978. I have also owned a 1966, 1968, and a 1995. All of the cars were in good shape, no projects.

I liked the little extra elbow room in the '66 a lot.

Today, a '64 with four exposed round headlights is a lot more dramatic than hidden headlights; even Honda's had them.

Bernie

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Quote:

"2. '64 added available wood on the console; the doors on custom interior equipped 63's had wood inserts; my car has wood trim, obviously added aftermarket by a previous owner, and I think it looks better than the pebbled black plastic.

3. '64 also upgraded the transmission from 2sp (actually a one (1) speed similar to today's constant velocity transmissions) to 3sp. Even thought there's a L on the quardrant, the '63 chassis manual states that L is to be used only for purposes of getting out of sand or snow; not for driving. You'll never feel a dynaflow shift!)"

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  • 8 years later...

1st Gen.

1965 exterior almost flawless from any angle. Interior, dash of 64 this better.

Clam Shell detail is as Bill Mitchell wanted it.

Bill's magnificent anti-Thunderbird, originally intended for Cadillac.

Landmark design, Buckets & console appeal with performance.

One of the outstanding American designs of the 60's

Tom K

 

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The Riviera that we all know was 1st. offered to Cadillac.  They had more than they could handle at the time. Would have been called a LaSalle.  Then ALSO offered to Pontiac. They ALSO had more than they could handle. I believe they had ONE prototype which has been posted on this forum previously.

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Will, I have been reading all this since it started and cannot understand how or why this got started and was not going participate.  But here I am.

 

My thought are that of any of the Riviera, the 65 is just a beautifully designed automobile.  The front is beautiful with the clamshell closed and equally beautiful.  I don't know if any other Riviera can say that.  The 65 is what Mitchell wanted in 63.  He wanted a four seater luxury car with a sport car flair.  The 65 GS is just that (IMO🙂)  After 65 is what happens to a lot of GM models, they get bigger and bigger and lose their direction.

 

I don't have a 65, wish I did, but at the time the 65 were priced more that what my wife would let me spend.  I have a yellow 64, with the 425 Super Wildcat engine, deluxe interior and so on.  But the 64 is still pretty unique, because it is (I believe) the only one that does not have the Buick name or the Tri_Shield on it.  It was the first year with the Riviera R.   It does have Buick one place and that is on the radio.  So the 64 is true RIVIERA.  My vote is with the 1965 Riviera.

 

Art

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Artist rendition of the XP-715 as a Cadillac LaSalle.  The grills over the turn signals were representative of the grill on the prewar LaSalle.

 

1961 Cadillac La Salle XP-715 - Concepts

1938 LaSalle grill.

Image 1 - Original-1938-CADILLAC-LASALLE-GRILLE-OEM-1424431-w-One-Emblem-FREE-SHIPPING

 

Here's a post from by-gone era (about a year ago) that shows the SP-715 concept as Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Cadillac LaSalle, and Buick Centurion. Scroll down a bit for some pictures once you open the link.

 

I do like the double nerf bar rear bumper in the one design.  

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6 hours ago, telriv said:

The Riviera that we all know was 1st. offered to Cadillac.  They had more than they could handle at the time. Would have been called a LaSalle.  Then ALSO offered to Pontiac. They ALSO had more than they could handle. I believe they had ONE prototype which has been posted on this forum previously.

Good day.

 

Always found it interesting how the big makers picked and chose their specific models. In the end, I'm glad it was Buick that got the Riviera...

 

For what it's worth, and naturally very biased, but first gen pick is the '64. Refined a few things from '63 and the rear styling of the '65 looks off to me, but more so it's too bad that the '65 didn't do some form of hide-away headlight into the grille. When the clams are open, it takes away from the striking design of the feature cornering lamps.

 

But at this point in time, any Riv is a great Riv.

 

for kicks and giggles...what if...

 

https://blog.consumerguide.com/1963-buick-riviera-designs/

 

Later,

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