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Pontivera


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Here's the real McCoy.  It was at the ROA event in St. Charles, IL in 2015.  If Pontiac would have won the rights to the XP-715 project, I would imagine that this would be very close to what a production car would have looked like.  This particular car had the Pontiac 421 with the three deuces.  The one thing that stood out most to me was that this car had the 4 speed manual transmission in it.  Very well conceived and executed. Very good attention to detail.  The purist didn't think much of it, but for the real "car guys" it was a standout. It wasn't labeled as a GTO but rather a "421 2+2". no label as to a particular style (or Bonneville, Parisienne,  Tempest, Catalina, etc. Pontivera or Rivtiac just a Pontiac - 421 2+2)  As far as I could tell, there was nothing Buick Riviera about this other than the body shape.  Door panels, embossed seats, dash, you name it, was taken from a Pontiac and fit to the Riviera shell.

IMG_2591.JPG

 

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I think I saw an indoor show pic of this car somewhere in the past.    It takes me back almost 50 years as I had a '65 Pont Grand Prix, that was the same body as the Catalina which had the 2+2 option. My car was Fontaine Blue optioned with the base 2+2 421 with Carter AFB rather than the GP base 389. With 2.73 gears that car beat up a bit on my dad's '67 Wildcat 3.07 geared 430.  Unfortunately my wife tried to take down a telephone pole with that car.

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Google couldn't find any more info about it. How has this not been in several major magazines? Incredible.

 

This isn't a slight against Buick, but honestly this car makes more sense as a Pontiac. It totally fits into their lineup, as a sister car to the Catalina.

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16 minutes ago, jsgun said:

Google couldn't find any more info about it. How has this not been in several major magazines? Incredible.

 

This isn't a slight against Buick, but honestly this car makes more sense as a Pontiac. It totally fits into their lineup, as a sister car to the Catalina.

I'll agree with you somewhat.  If it's the performance of the car then I think it would probably be a good fit for Pontiac, for the luxury aspect, I think it's fine where it is as a Buick.  Buick was a little more top-of-the-line car than Pontiac so I think it fits better there.  Pontiac already had its performance cars and I doubt if sticking their performance stuff into a Sport Luxury coupe would have done much for them.  

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Yes, that hybrid '65 Rivi-Pontiac is well done!

 

It must have been quite a bit of work to fit a 4-speed, and a 421 Poncho motor into the Buick chassis.  

 

No disrespect to the creator of this car, but there's a discordant feel about the car, with its tacked-on GTO hood scoop, hood tach, and rear quarter trim and exhaust tips and jacked up rear, as befits the street-racer look.

 

But no doubt a fine effort and example of what might have been if the XP-715 had fallen into Pontiac's hands back in '63.

 

I prefer the understated elegance of the original Riviera.  Truly the 'banker's hot rod'.  Bill Mitchell's team knew what they were doing and hit the mark with the '63-'65 Rivs.

 

 

 

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That stuff is what makes it a Pontiac.  If I remember correctly, when I saw the car, it sat level, not jacked up in the rear.  I've seen Pontiacs other than GTO's that have the hood mounted tach.  Emtree - confirm some of this for us.  Haven't heard from you in a while, where have you been hiding?

 

Ed

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  • 6 months later...

This car really seems like a GM factory custom.  The side 2+2 spears, hood scoop, Pontiac emblems, steering wheel, 8 lugs can (relatively) easily be grafted into the Riv body but that grill?  It doesn’t look like any GM grill I’ve ever seen?  Not to mention the Michigan plates?  I wonder if it’s documented in the GM archives somewhere?  

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IMG_0599.thumb.JPG.7e10736372e61fdc8f9e5f3a79378ba8.JPG.5364bfbf62cee0fd2480809e0225051f.JPG

 

In this picture, the dash, except for the plaque on the glove box, is all Riviera.  The door panels and arm rests are Riviera.  The steering wheel and seat covers are Pontiac.  I imagine the shifter and transmission are probably Pontiac as well.

 

 

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3 hours ago, 1965rivgs said:

Switches under the dash pad overhang are Pontiac....or full size `66 and later Buick...or early to mid `60`s Olds...

Tom Mooney

The picture I see doesn't show detail well enough for me to see.  ?

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Yes, hard to be sure, but they do look like the antenna and speaker switches above the gauge pod on my GP.  Definitely a another Pontiac touch.

 

image.thumb.png.7ae7b0bee6052d853efc55b2

 

As I'm writing this it occurs to me all of the foregoing discussion regarding Buick vs. Pontiac styling queues underscores the brand identity that GM cars had until the 'corporate homogenization project' took hold in the mid 70's...  :(

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8 minutes ago, Pat Curran said:

nobody did dashboards better than Pontiac in the 60's

 

Thanks, Pat - I couldn't agree more; but my opinion is not without bias...  Actually the dashes in both my GP and my '67 Riviera (specifically the instrument cluster) are one of my favorite styling touches on each car.  ;)

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