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While no other line up such as the classic Rivieras (64-73) deserve a title of "Vintage Super Car" more, the 1971 Gran Sport is ultimately the paramount expression of a vehicle that might literally be driven by a Super-Hero. If I had to pin the tail on a donkey of which year Riviera deserves the champion title, I would have to deliver a crown square under the hood of the 71 GS. Certainly the first cyborg in the line up with max-trac computer chip on board, variable quick steering, beefed up carb, enhanced transmission/engine/cams; forget that this moving piece of art is simply THE boldest design ever in the history of automobiles (Raven beak upfront and tug boat in the rear plus hideaway windshield wipers anyone?!)...It is literally a luxury sports tank with the handling and power enough to make batman blush!

 

So sure, I love the Darth Vader first generation sculptures with nailhead wildness, the medieval 65 clam shell hidden headlight, and the retro-spaceship 66-67 perfection, or sophisticated tough guy elegance found in the 68-69 overall design, even the brute malice force of the first 455 megalodon powered toothed-grilled skirt wearing 1970: they ALL take a back seat to an apexing "something to believe in," 1971 Buick Riviera!

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Edited by Chimera (see edit history)

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

I really liked your post, but certainly disagree with hideaway windshield wipers being a plus!

 

We have cursed those *&^%$#@ things AND especially their inventor since they were first introduced and will avoid buying any vehicle that has them! At any price!

 

Afternoon sleet storm and......."Hello Dear, will be an hour late getting home tonight while the *&^%$#@ windshield wipers thaw".

 

(Opinion) POSSIBLY the dumbest option that has ever been installed on a car!

 

Of course, others will have differing opinions.

 

Jon.

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Ha, I am sure there could have been a fix to that problem, yet I never have seen it being here in California. I appreciate the feedback, because I was ignorant to that element. I think these wipers are great because of design of form. Once I saw a Riviera with hidden windshield wipers for example, every time after I look at my 66/67, the wipers look really clunky and overburden to the beauty of the vehicle. Look, countless women have worn high heels and all sorts of contraptions simply for beauty and man's titillating enjoyment. I think the least you could do is put up with some hidden wipers! B)

 

The hidden headlights, hidden gas tank, hidden wipers, are some of the key style aspects that drew in James Bond buyers and shows the designers were often unwilling to compromise on a pure form...

 

The very reason Rivieras are cemented in our lexicon as the gentleman's muscle car? Hideaway Windshield Wipers!!!

Edited by Chimera (see edit history)

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Thanks. I do love hidden wipers. At least the killer Sun is off them.

I often forget I have a full size spare back there. And how better it is compared to say, a '67 Chevelle. Yet an SS version commands more $??

I'll keep the Riv, thanks :P    To the Bat Trunk, Robin!

 

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Edited by PWB (see edit history)

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I'm actually surprised Buick put hidden wipers on in 71 considering the problems Chevrolet had with them three years earlier in 68 on the corvette. I guess they thought they could do it better.

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2 hours ago, Chimera said:

Ha, I am sure there could have been a fix to that problem, yet I never have seen it being here in California. I appreciate the feedback, because I was ignorant to that element. I think these wipers are great because of design of form. Once I saw a Riviera with hidden windshield wipers for example, every time after I look at my 66/67, the wipers look really clunky and overburden to the beauty of the vehicle. Look, countless women have worn high heels and all sorts of contraptions simply for beauty and man's titillating enjoyment. I think the least you could do is put up with some hidden wipers! B)

 

The hidden headlights, hidden gas tank, hidden wipers, are some of the key style aspects that drew in James Bond buyers and shows the designers were often unwilling to compromise on a pure form...

 

The very reason Rivieras are cemented in our lexicon as the gentleman's muscle car? Hideaway Windshield Wipers!!!

 

I don't remember the exact year, but Dad bought a Buick for Mother in 1971 or 1972. Nicest car we had ever had.....until winter. Had that car the shortest time of any car he ever owned. Traded it for a Mercury that had functional windshield wipers. The hidden ones are NOT functional in winter. Just was just not safe to drive in the winter.

 

Asking one to "put up with hidden wipers" in a locale that has ice and snow is like asking a Californian to "put up" with a car with no brakes! ;) Or maybe asking NASCAR to drive in the rain!

 

And didn't James Bond have a manual transmission???

 

Jon

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Now your taking a shot at Rivieras for having automatic transmission!? How dare you sir! I love my automatic feature, cruise control even. Just like I don't want to manually role up the windows or have to crank the air conditioning fan by hand, why would we want to have to have one hand busy and not two hand on the wheel for safety alone? I know, I know, manual transmissions have benefits also, I doubt it ranks up there with James Bond's top spy gear however. 

 

Certainly Im not saying you should be driving in the rain without wipers, yet are you saying there is absolutely no fix to this problem? So 68-73 classic Rivieras are all useless if it happens to rain, snow, or be cold? Forget Max Trac on snow, we just want the wipers to work! Well, maybe we found the silver bullet of this historic car brand??? 

 

I am curious to know more about the reliability of these wipers. What are the mechanical failures exactly? Do people have more stories and experiences? Of course I understand the practicality of windshield wipers needing to work (like having your Dad buy the Mercury instead), but at this point in time it would seem excessive to avoid such great VINTAGE SUPER CARS OF WONDERFULNESS, because of this feature??? 

 

Thanks again for your comments Jon :D

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12 minutes ago, Chimera said:

Now your taking a shot at Rivieras for having automatic transmission!?

There are a lot of us who'd give our left nut for a Riviera with a manual transmission.  There was a '65 at St. Charles, IL that had been modified to resemble what an SP-715 would have looked like if Pontiac would have won to the bid for the car rather than Buick.  It was fitted with a 421 SD, three deuces, the big 8 bolt Pontiac aluminum drums and wheels, and all of the trim from a Pontiac. And a 4 speed manual transmission.  Really well executed.  There were a number of very envious Riviera owners who were envious of the 4 speed. :blink:

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I guess most of you know Batman is a dark super hero.

 

I have told people I am Batman's older good brother.

 

This picture WAS taken at the 2005 BATavia Nationals

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58e2e2ca1d6fb_whitebatman.thumb.jpg.784f7e2995b0763c769f83f3b61d37b8.jpg

 

 

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1 minute ago, 60FlatTop said:

I guess most of you know Batman is a dark super hero.

 

I have told people I am Batman's older good brother.

 

This picture WAS taken at the 2005 BATavia Nationals

 

 

Bernie, you lost some weight! ;)

My daughter goes to those ComicCons often. I'll bet they tripped over your Buick!

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Yeah, I get the manual transmission preference, and of course my sentiment is only slightly exaggerated, but Ed...your left nut?!

 

Those comic conventions are outrageous. Nice getup, except the guy in the picture got caught txting on the job! Put a white cover on it and throw it on the bat belt for Robin's sake!

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2 hours ago, RivNut said:

There are a lot of us who'd give our left nut for a Riviera with a manual transmission.  There was a '65 at St. Charles, IL that had been modified to resemble what an SP-715 would have looked like if Pontiac would have won to the bid for the car rather than Buick.  It was fitted with a 421 SD, three deuces, the big 8 bolt Pontiac aluminum drums and wheels, and all of the trim from a Pontiac. And a 4 speed manual transmission.  Really well executed.  There were a number of very envious Riviera owners who were envious of the 4 speed. :blink:

Here it is, Ed...

 

BTW, I never had any trouble with my hide-away wipers in my Riviera or my Corvette. Of course I don't use them in snow and ice

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13 hours ago, Chimera said:

Now your taking a shot at Rivieras for having automatic transmission!? How dare you sir! I love my automatic feature, cruise control even. Just like I don't want to manually role up the windows or have to crank the air conditioning fan by hand, why would we want to have to have one hand busy and not two hand on the wheel for safety alone? I know, I know, manual transmissions have benefits also, I doubt it ranks up there with James Bond's top spy gear however. 

 

Certainly Im not saying you should be driving in the rain without wipers, yet are you saying there is absolutely no fix to this problem? So 68-73 classic Rivieras are all useless if it happens to rain, snow, or be cold? Forget Max Trac on snow, we just want the wipers to work! Well, maybe we found the silver bullet of this historic car brand??? 

 

I am curious to know more about the reliability of these wipers. What are the mechanical failures exactly? Do people have more stories and experiences? Of course I understand the practicality of windshield wipers needing to work (like having your Dad buy the Mercury instead), but at this point in time it would seem excessive to avoid such great VINTAGE SUPER CARS OF WONDERFULNESS, because of this feature??? 

 

Thanks again for your comments Jon :D

 

Actually the manual transmission comment was a friendly shot at your exuberance with your James Bond reference ;) 

 

Certainly transmission type is a matter of choice, although I can give you many positives for the manual transmission including safety on slick roads and fuel economy, but that would be another story.

 

Growing up/living virtually my entire life in the midwest gave me a sense of practicality when it came to automobiles. When you have to drive 30~50 miles each way to work daily, and can afford one vehicle/driver, the vehicle needs to be able to be driven in all types of weather. Now, I open the back door of the home and walk into the front door of my shop, plus my wife and I now have more vehicles than drivers; so the safety aspects of a given collector car are much less important than in the past.

 

All joking aside, I DO like the styling of the Rivieras, and always have. And the Buick my Dad had (until winter) was the finest vehicle we had then ever owned.

 

But I still DON'T like hidden windshield wipers and never will. And I understand it certainly would not be an issue in a locale without ice/snow.

 

Jon.

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Jon and all, 

I totally agree on the superhero car allure of the boattail Riv. Grandest swellest design in ages. Here my spaceship struggling to enter my discreet batcave, though...

Cheers and keep on trucking ! (from France)

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Up in snow country concealed wipers are not a problem for people who can clear enough crap out of their garage to park two inside during the winter.

 

How does this happen? It's not like one day a truck just dumped it all.

 

Is it denial to watch Hoaders and say "Boy, if I got THAT bad I'd sure do something about it."

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Bernie

 

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3 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

Up in snow country concealed wipers are not a problem for people who can clear enough crap out of their garage to park two inside during the winter.

 

How does this happen? It's not like one day a truck just dumped it all.

 

Is it denial to watch Hoaders and say "Boy, if I got THAT bad I'd sure do something about it."

Bernie

 

True that. My family didn't have garages when I grew up in NY.

We filled a bucket with cold water and dumped it on the windshield. Worked like a champ. (2 buckets on really bad days)

 

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As I recall, those trunk lid louvers were notorious leakers -- on all '71 GM cars.  They were gone in '72...

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37 minutes ago, EmTee said:

As I recall, those trunk lid louvers were notorious leakers -- on all '71 GM cars.  They were gone in '72...

Had them on my '71 Delta 88, but I didn't have any leaks.  I didn't drive it in the rain or snow, though.....That's what my pickups are for :)

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8 hours ago, EmTee said:

As I recall, those trunk lid louvers were notorious leakers -- on all '71 GM cars.  They were gone in '72...

I read somewhere that they let the exhaust fumes back into the habitacle. My 71 has them and smells of various unburnt fuels but I ain't sure where it all comes from. So far, it is only two months and still fairly endearing, "old vintage American iron" smell...

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4 hours ago, marcball said:

So far, it is only two months and still fairly endearing, "old vintage American iron" smell...

 

Anyone can walk into a new car dealer, sign a stack of papers and drive off with 'new car smell'.  It takes a good 20 to 30 years, however, to achieve that 'old car smell'!  B)

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On 4/7/2017 at 9:31 PM, EmTee said:

 

Anyone can walk into a new car dealer, sign a stack of papers and drive off with 'new car smell'.  It takes a good 20 to 30 years, however, to achieve that 'old car smell'!  B)

 

"Restraint is my least recognized attribute."

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8 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

 

"Restraint is my least recognized attribute."

"The only thing the world will never have too much of, is exageration" Salvador Dali

Edited by marcball
typo (see edit history)

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On 4/3/2017 at 7:48 PM, Rivdrivn said:

Here it is, Ed...

 

BTW, I never had any trouble with my hide-away wipers in my Riviera or my Corvette. Of course I don't use them in snow and ice

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Do you have any additional info or pictures on that car ? Nicely done, except for that shifter. 

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