William Oliver continues to impress with his Cohort contributions. In this series of photographs, taken in Toronto, he’s captured two of the most beautiful GM products of the 1960s: first-generation editions of the Buick Riviera and Cadillac Eldorado.
The Eldo is technically a
1970 1969 but that was the last year of the first series, first introduced in 1967. This ’69 looks as though it’s wearing pince-nez, appropriately classy for Cadillac’s fanciest coupe.
Personally, I think the first Eldo looks best as a ’67-68 model with the hidden headlights. Paint it black like this one and it looks devastatingly elegant yet menacing, like a lean and muscular assassin in a well-fitting suit.
This ’69 looks more like the assassin swapped his tux for a suit with a wider lapel and put on some loafers. When you’ve got a sexy body and a handsome, square-jawed face, however, you can pull off pretty much anything.
Then there’s the Bill Mitchell-designed Riviera, a little leaner and more European in appearance. In a reverse of the Eldorado’s situation, the Riv gained hidden headlights a few years into its run. I think it looks stunning either way.
That includes the gorgeous interior.
Again, I wouldn’t say this is the perfect color for the Riviera. It looks best in silver, a color that shows off that gracefully curved beltline and the bladed fenders. This is a design that was praised by automotive figures as varied as Sir William Lyons, Sergio Pininfarina and Raymond Loewy. There’s not a bad line on this Buick. Nor is there a bad line on its companion in the snow.