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1973 Not A Boattail?


J3Studio
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My Hemmings Classic Car came yesterday. In the Recaps column is a short letter from John Houlihan:
 

    "I need to point out to Hemmings the following correction: Only two years are considered the true "boattail" Rivieras: 1971 and '72. The '73 Riviera's rear end was truncated by direct order of the Buick Division Manager. I am a member of the team that designed this car, so I speak from direct experience.
    Accordingly, please do not refer to '73 Rivieras as "boattails.""

 

Thoughts? John was part of the team that designed the third-generation Rivieras.

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Well, more of a Jon Boat than a Cutter, but a 'boat tail' nonetheless.  Aside from bobbing the tail as a concession to Government regulation, the rest of the roofline, rear glass and profile remained.

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Technically, what made the car a boat tail was the pointed extension of the tail end that looked

like the bow of a boat. The 73 model has the Corvette like back window, but not the boat tail extension

at the rear bumper, so John is technically correct.

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It doesn't matter much. To the enlightened it is known as they accept them. The rest don't know. I have owned my '64 Riviera since the Spring of 1978. Every time I have mentioned it when I wasn't standing next to it the reply has been "Oh, is that the one with the boat tail?" People don't know.

 

I would be more interested in talking to the marketing guy who came up with the title for the Hemmings magazine.

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1 hour ago, 60FlatTop said:

I would be more interested in talking to the marketing guy who came up with the title for the Hemmings magazine.

 

Agreed, though I do enjoy reading it. They must have tested a bunch of titles, right? Maybe Hemmings Collector Car or Hemmings Interesting Car didn't scan?

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Did Buick ever advertise the 71 or 72 as a boat tail in any literature from the Buick Division, or is it a name that was bestowed on it by the public; like the name for the "nailhead?"  I vote Boat tail. 

 

https://www.motorcities.org/story-of-the-week/2020/the-1971-73-buick-rivieras-offered-great-boattail-designs

 

 

Rolls Royce is calling one of their new models a boattail.  

 

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail Revives The Art Of Coachbuilding

 

Point of discussion:  When looking up "boattail / boat tail" on the internet, I find it spelled both ways. Which is correct?  Two words or one word?

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It is official...NOT A BOAT TAIL! Hehehehe.

 

Still either way, people will call it a boat tail, while technically it is the rear of a car with sudo-boat inspired body lines. 

 

Although, it sure does look a lot like what someone might call a Boat-tail!

 

 

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Edited by Chimera (see edit history)
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Any  Buick members that have  never owned or read,--70years of Buick by George H Dammann--

its a wonderful book, so i have included a few photos of  George's book,---yes im with others

here---its a boat tail--. and a reminder this was written  when boat tail was released.

Also page 347 George listed the 73  with   rear boat tail design.

P1100186.JPG

P1100185.JPG

P1100189.JPG

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A photo of my wife in  our 1973  boattail   at lake Tahoe  about 1993 ,i  ,when we lived in Sacramento,

was a wonderful car,, --then just after this photo was taken,i got a phone call from transport manager

of Dream works movie company, wanting to purchase our car for the movie,  Forces of nature

Sandra Bullock--Ben Affleck ,-.  so i  went  and purchased a 65 Riviera.

 

 

 

P1100190.JPG

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2 hours ago, RivNut said:

Point of discussion:  When looking up "boattail / boat tail" on the internet, I find it spelled both ways. Which is correct?  Two words or one word?

 

Boat tail wins the Google search results competition. I must confess that I used boattail because Houlihan used that construct.

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On 7/20/2021 at 8:24 AM, J3Studio said:

John was part of the team that designed the third-generation Rivieras.

A management level source quoted after 50 years would not be considered a reliable source by some. If the design studio had a push button security lock the access code was probably 1, 2, 3, 4 or it would be written on the edge of the door frame.

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Hmmmm. Saying a 73 is not a boattail is like saying the world is flat......whether it be from a scientific point of view or merely what has been widely accepted for decades. The boattail nickname is used loosely to begin with as the term refers to tapering of the rear on the stern of boat. This term even applies accurately to "boattail" type bullets used for reloading ammo. The rear of bullet is tapered slightly. 

Since the whole rear of the 71-73s are NOT tapered, we can speculate the term boattail may be in reference to the center section/hump of trunk that is tapered wide to narrow which the 73 maintained, though a little less pronounced. Just my personal opinion. 

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19 hours ago, Wayne R said:

Any  Buick members that have  never owned or read,--70years of Buick by George H Dammann--

its a wonderful book, so i have included a few photos of  George's book,---yes im with others

here---its a boat tail--. and a reminder this was written  when boat tail was released.

Also page 347 George listed the 73  with   rear boat tail design.

P1100186.JPG

P1100185.JPG

P1100189.JPG

I have a complete collection of George Dammann's books.  Collectors have posted wanted adds for his books in some publications the last few years.  I'm keeping mine.

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2022 proposed Boat tail revival. The old GM GEO Prizm studio at the mouth of the former Colorado River.

VIRTUAL COACH: How to Transport Your Canoe - YouTube "We've turned it around five times and it still looks like a canoe tail. Once more!" "The Boss said it's a boat, so it's a boat."

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 7/20/2021 at 5:56 PM, RivNut said:

Did Buick ever advertise the 71 or 72 as a boat tail in any literature from the Buick Division, or is it a name that was bestowed on it by the public; like the name for the "nailhead?"

 

I haven't seen anything from Buick. The automotive press was using boattail/boat-tail to describe the third-generation Riviera by late 1970.

Edited by J3Studio (see edit history)
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"I need to point out to Hemmings the following correction...

Please do not refer to '73 Rivieras as 'boattails' " 

says ONE member of the design team.

 

It's merely one man's opinion.  It's not a fact that

can be stated to be right or wrong or need a correction.

 

Personally, I like the 1973's rear symmetry better, 

because the license plate is centered.  I have a '73 boat-tail myself.

 

DSCF5093.JPG

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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9 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

"I need to point out to Hemmings the following correction...

Please do not refer to '73 Rivieras as 'boattails' " 

says ONE member of the design team.

 

It's merely one man's opinion.  It's not a fact that

can be stated to be right or wrong or need a correction.

 

Personally, I like the 1973's rear symmetry better, 

because the license plate is centered.  I have a '73 boat-tail myself.

 

DSCF5093.JPG

I agree that I like the centering of the license plate in the 73 design and the pointed tail is a bit bodacious, yet there is just something about the 71 with the louvers vented that makes it look like a jet engine powered vehicle.  

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