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Please educate me


Restorer32

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I believe it was first used in 1949, on the Roadmaster, but quickly spread to the other models as well.  The Riviera designation was given to post-less hardtops, with no pillar behind the front door and no frame around the door window.  The idea is that with the windows down it is like a convertible with the top up, with an unobstructed panoramic view out the side.  So much like a convertible, in fact, that our '56 Riv is a model 46R, and a convertible would have been a 46C. 

 

1955 saw the introduction of the 4-door Rivieras on the small bodied Special and Century, '56 for the Super & Roadmaster. 

 

1957 saw the introduction of the Riviera wagons.  Specials were available with posts and as hardtop Rivieras, where Centurys were all Rivieras, known as Caballeros.

 

Then, of course, Riviera became its own model in 1963 - but the Electra 225 Riviera was also still available that year.

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Yes, 1949, Dad was a dealer, I heard him talk about one coming for the showroom.  It was GRAY with BLACK top, the first one he received did NOT have the sweep spear. I was in love!

 

I was never pleased they extended the name, to much of a good thing ISN'T always best, IMO.

 

Kind of like our local TV News, they beat us to death with more and more info on the weather that serves no useful purpose.  Who in the world is going to care if one town nearby is 45, the next one 44, and then they name 8-10 other towns that are all within a couple degrees.  During the 30 minute news, WEATHER is talked about 6-8 times, News has been cut way back, sports now has 2-3 minutes.  Then at 27 minutes after the hour they go to ADS for 3 minutes.

 

Sorry to RANT, but my point is, " A GOOD SALESMAN KNOWS WHEN TO STOP SELLING".   Car manufactures have a history of carrying a good thing to far, IMO.

 

This is my PREACHING/SERMON for the day, hehe. 

 

Dale in Indy

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22 minutes ago, smithbrother said:

I was never pleased they extended the name, to much of a good thing ISN'T always best, IMO.

 

I think it was with the new nameplates of '59 when they backed off on the name and it became a designation for an upper trim level, and the body style just became known as a 'pillarless hardtop' so I think someone in the home office agreed with you. 

 

15 minutes ago, Restorer32 said:

Thank you. I assume at some point "Riviera" appeared as an emblem on the cars? Any idea when that was?

 

I know of no model that ever wore a Riviera badge until the 1963 model came along.

 

Sedanette and Jetback were also marketing names for the fastback body styles of the late 40s - early 50s, and I don't think there were specific emblems for those names, either.

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just to add to the confusion however, in addition to the 2 door Rivieras in 1950-53,  Super and Roadmaster 4 door sedans were also called Rivieras. In 1954 in addition to the 2 door Rivis, only the Roadmaster 4 door was called a Riviera (the Super being called simply a 4 door Sedan) In 1955 it did all change as Matt describes, there were 2 and 4 door Rivieras (no post hard tops) and the 4 door posts were back to being called Tourback Sedans and simply Sedans.

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49 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

Hell, I know how to muddy it up more. Buick used the name Riviera the way Oldsmobile used "Holiday".

Bernie

 

TRUTH!  I wasn't going to go there, but while we are at it...

 

The Bel Air name that Chevy used was also a designation of 2 door hardtops in '50-'52, then became a trim package, too!

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In 1946 the post WWII world got the exotic Cannes Film Festival and there was quite a bright spot in style, fashion, and entertainment on the French Riviera. A style leader a couple of years later couldn't have a better name than Riviera. The river was the Rhone, but Riviera is the experience.

Bernie

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19 hours ago, MrEarl said:

just to add to the confusion however, in addition to the 2 door Rivieras in 1950-53,  Super and Roadmaster 4 door sedans were also called Rivieras. In 1954 in addition to the 2 door Rivis, only the Roadmaster 4 door was called a Riviera (the Super being called simply a 4 door Sedan) In 1955 it did all change as Matt describes, there were 2 and 4 door Rivieras (no post hard tops) and the 4 door posts were back to being called Tourback Sedans and simply Sedans.

 

  Well, I will either muddy some more or clear it up  some. The '50 ='53 the four doors called  Rivieras were "Riviera Sedan" and were/are longer wheel base than the regular sedan.   The Super is a Model 52 versus Model 51. Roadmaster is 72 Versus 71.

 

  Ben

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On ‎4‎/‎11‎/‎2016 at 11:05 AM, 60FlatTop said:

Hell, I know how to muddy it up more. Buick used the name Riviera the way Oldsmobile used "Holiday".

Bernie

 

And Chrysler used "Newport" to similarly designate hardtop sedan/coupe body styles, until about the 1962 model year when Newport became "The entry level Chrysler".

 

NTX5467

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The first Buick to display the name Riviera on any kind of emblem was the '63 model 4700.  It still had a tri-shield on the hood and wheel covers, and the word Buick across the trunk.  The front fender scripts, interior door panels, and glove box door had the word Riviera on it.  In '64, the hood emblem and wheel covers got the big silver R, the trunk lid got "Riviera" on, but the interior door panels got the big silver R.  A few years back there was a good article on the differences between the '63 and '64.  There are other differences besides what I mentioned but back to the basic question, it was in '63 when an actual emblem that said Riviera was attached to any sheet metal.

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  • 1 month later...
On April 13, 2016 at 8:58 PM, RivNut said:

The first Buick to display the name Riviera on any kind of emblem was the '63 model 4700.  It still had a tri-shield on the hood and wheel covers, and the word Buick across the trunk.  The front fender scripts, interior door panels, and glove box door had the word Riviera on it.  

 

Pictures or it didn't happen:D

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Wow, that is some detail work there and no definitely not more than I want to know but probably more than I'll ever remember. THANKS Ed!!!

 

So in short the first Riviera emblem to appear in '63 was

post-114012-0-68618100-1450220906.jpg

 

and

 

dooor.jpg

 

 

and was there one on the front fender?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When I click on the link in the post, a separate tab appears in the lower left hand corner of my monitor.  I have to click on that tab to open the document.

 

Yes, there was a fender script.  I didn't post a picture because there was no difference between the '63 and the '64.

 

Ed

1963 Riviera fender emblem.jpg

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6 minutes ago, MrEarl said:

 

Wow, that is some detail work there and no definitely not more than I want to know but probably more than I'll ever remember. THANKS Ed!!!

 

So in short the first Riviera emblem to appear in '63 was

post-114012-0-68618100-1450220906.jpg

 

and

 

dooor.jpg

 

 

and was there one on the front fender?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lower left corner of the glove box door is typical.  The latch doesn't spring the door open far enough to get into it so you have to pick at the corner to get it open.  The ribbed aluminum veneer is takes the abuse.   I've seen some owners take a knob, like on the radio, and attach it to the lower center of the door to assist in getting it open.  In this picture you can also see that with the custom interior, there was a door handle for the rear seat passengers. 

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1 hour ago, MrEarl said:

would this be a correct picture for a 63 and 64 or are the wheels 64 only?

 

06.jpg

 

It's a '64 Riviera, you can see the stand up hood ornament.  No, the wheels are not correct.  Buicks Formual Five (rally) wheel were introduced in 1964 but only on the Wildcat.  The first year for the rally wheel as an option on the Riviera was in 1965.  IF the owner has done nothing to the wheels except clean them up, then this would be a late (67-1/2 to 70) wheel - the webs are painted black.  Earlier wheels had a dark grey paint in the web.  The center cap is off something other than a Riviera.  The tri-shield was used in '63 but it was three silver shields on a black background.  Only the '63 Riviera hood emblem was red/white/blue in '63.

 

Good looking car.

 

Ed

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Whoa.... rivi info overload.  :D

 

OK then could it be said that this picture would be correct for '63 front fender emblem.

 

front fender crpd.jpg

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On 4/11/2016 at 0:30 PM, Restorer32 said:

I'm almost sorry I asked!

 

On 4/12/2016 at 9:43 PM, Joseph P. Indusi said:

Basta!  Enough!

Joe

 

and here I am bring it back to the top....:blink::lol:

 

Just can never get enough of Rivieras, whether 49 or 95.....

 

One thing I have noticed while cruisin the internet looking for these pictures is that there are a lot of customized Riviera's. While I am usually a fan of customs, I think it is hard to customize a Rivi in good taste, especially the first gens. I mean why try and improve perfection...it came from the factory "customized", much like the 49's, 53's and 54's especially the Skylarks. Or maybe I'm biased there a bit.

Anyways, thanks for putting that attachment together today Ed, I am sure you enjoyed doing it. You're my Rivi hero.  

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58 minutes ago, MrEarl said:

Whoa.... rivi info overload.  :D

 

OK then could it be said that this picture would be correct for '63 front fender emblem.

 

front fender crpd.jpg

Yes.

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So in summary,  it appears we have established that the Riviera name first appeared in 1949 as the designation for the new two-door pillarless hardtop

  http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2533/4032888865_ef8b757aa5_z.jpg

 

and that the first year the name appeared on the car was 1963

 

1963 Riviera.jpg

 

Riviera, you've come a long way baby, isn't it about time you come back around.

 

Thank you for your question Restorer 32, it has been a most enjoyable thread.

 

 

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I thought of something earlier today and wondered if it was a reason or a coincidence.  The Riviera name was first used for the pillarless hardtop,  the rebirth of the name in '63 was used on the first hardtop that had rimless glass.  Both times it had to do with unique front door glass applications. ?????

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Sort of like my introduction to the '63 RIviera.  As a 15 year old in the fall of '62, I was with my dad at the Buick dealership at which he used to work.  He'd taken a 6 pack of malt beverages to his buddies on Sat. when they got off at noon.  I was roaming around in the back room and removed a tarp from a new '63 Riviera.  It was awaiting the "Grand reveal" that all of the dealerships in town had on the same night.  Spruce green with silver leather.  The passion still lives 57 years later.

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  • 11 months later...

restorer32, don't ever be sorry you asked a question.  Personally, I love it when guys get into a pissing contest, NOT.  Don't get me wrong but pictures don't impress me too much as proof of anything, i.e. the '64 Riviera with the Wildcat wheels...

 

The basic question you asked was, "When was "Riviera" first officially used by Buick? Did it describe a specific model or was it a general term to designate their top of the line cars? Inquiring minds want to know."

 

SpecialEducation pretty well answered it...

 

The attache photo is from a Buick publication.  The caption under the left photo refers to this car as the 2 door Special Riviera.  The caption on the other spills onto the facing page where it is also called a Riviera.  The last paragraph on this page talks about the 2 door and 4 door Special Rivieras.  While the car never wore a badge that said Riviera, I would say this magazine is sufficient evidence that the "entry level Special" was officially available as a Riviera.  I mean, model 46R.  The R designated it as a Riviera.

 

Enough said...

Buick Magazine - Watermarked_Page_12.jpg

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I posted earlier that The French Riviera was was a more familiar name to soldiers coming home from Europe close to 1948. And the car was a Bentley Continental knock off. Bill Mitchell said "Put a Ferrari grille on that Rolls coupe I saw in the fog."

 

The new issue of the Flying Lady, RROC monthly had a back cover advertisement for a 1923 Springfield Silver Ghost Riviera by Brewster. There are still a few Riviera Brewster's out there built during the 20 years before Buick used the name.  I wouldn't put it past them to snag the name along with the design.

 

Ever since those two Roadmasters made their way into the royal court in the mid-'30's Buick has been chasing that image, quite blatantly if you look at the newer flying B logo.

 

I also rode my bicycle to see the new 1963 Riviera and have been following it quite close. Some of the little subtleties are not so subtle after a while.

 

There is a knock off Rolex in the console of my Riviera should the conversation head that way.

Bernie

  

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