Cohort Pic(k) Of The Day: 1977-78 Buick Riviera – Living In Oblivion

Photos from the Cohort by nifticus392.

Here’s a Riviera that lives neither in glory nor in infamy. Rather, a forgotten one amidst far more memorable versions. The legendary first gen., the ’79-’85 rebirth, the controversial boattail, and the infamous ’86-’87; all form part of the collective automotive imaginary. And this one? A blip in the radar one has to work hard to recall.

The story of the ’77-’78 Riviera has been told at CC before. The two-year model was a placeholder due to some production reshuffling under GM’s 1970s downsizing program. It was solely put together to buy some time, while a proper new FWD Riviera was developed to appear along the new E-bodies of 1979.

Using the ’77 LeSabre as its basis, the resulting ’77-’78 Riviera was somewhat generic and vaguely evoked former glories. On the other hand, one can see cues of the future ’79-’85 appearing. So, an OK rehearsal?

Sales numbers were not great throughout its run, with 26K units sold in ’77 and 20K in ’78. That said, it’s now a scarce model, from a long-gone RWD age. It’s probably rarer and more interesting now than at any other point in its existence.


Further reading:

Curbside Classic: 1977-78 Buick Riviera – The Placeholder

Curbside Classic: 1977-78 Buick Riviera – A Short Life In Hard Times