(first posted 2/10/2016) This image does a lot for me. It’s the ideal combination of vantage point and subject matter. We’ve covered the Riviera quite a bit here, but CCommenter ‘jim’ has taken a superb shot worth sharing. I just love how those metallic planes capture the light, and how this angle really emphasises the mastery of the shape.
I’m taking the bar in the grille and italicised ‘GS’ fender badge as indication that this is a 1967 model. It marks a definite line in the sand for me; this body was introduced in 1966 but the 68-70 versions suffer from too much heavy-handed restyling for the sake of appearing updated. Something that was mostly avoided with the 1963-65 series, which had an admittedly shorter lifespan.
It’s pretty hard to find a bad angle on the 1966/67 Buick Riviera, and here’s another great one. That faceting on the rear surface plane is just… well, perfect. Maybe it’s time for a cold shower. Thanks jim.
1963-65 Riviera Appreciation by Aaron65
1964 Riviera CC by Paul Niedermeyer
1966 Riviera CC by Paul Niedermeyer
1968 Riviera CC by Perry Shoar
1969 Riviera In Motion by Joseph Dennis
1970 Riviera Sawzall Special photographed by CJCars
1972 Riviera CC by Paul Niedermeyer
A stunning design indeed. The only thing just a bit “wrong” with this particular car is the lack of white sidewalls. I’m not a whitewall fan, but if I try to rekindle 50 year old memories, I feel like all the Rivs on the road had whitewalls. Though the combination of color, the wheel covers and the blackwalls does look elegant.
The chrome Buick road wheels would certainly help too!
Best standard road wheel ever.
One of the best looking Buick Rivieras I’ve seen since the 1963 and 1964 model years.
This takes me back to the late 1960s,moved from a small country town in the flat barren treeless plains in the Midlands of Tasmania to our freshly built 44 square house in the Northern city of Launceston above and overlooking the motel where I met the world champion racing car driver Jim Clark,as a young boy.I looked down onto the motel and parked there was a silver 1967 Buick Riviera with New South Wales number plates so just like Jim and me I climbed down the high retaining wall to the motel to admire the Riviera,a rare sight in Tasmania.The very civilised owners came out of their motel unit and talked with me re their Buick and I told them my dad only has a 1965 Buick Skylark sedan.I was in my early teenage years then and their daughter,a beautiful short,thin and long blackhaired girl emerged from the unit.Eventually I asked the parents and her if I could take her out that hot summer day and night.They agreed so we went to see a great Australian band,Greg Quill and Country Radio,the song “Gypsy Queen” is on Youtube.She and her parents were such nice people,her dad showed me every aspect of the Riviera including opening the headlights for me.Thank you for bringing back such a great memory.
What a great memory. And I know the song – perfect.
Roderick; I’ve been doing some straw polling amongst my literature and I stand corrected. For all the examples of contemporaneous writing I could find, Mr. Clark is referred to as ‘Jim’ and not ‘Jimmy’. I wonder if the Jimmy name was a US thing after his win at Indy.
Always Jim Clark over here.
If he’s not in your top 3 Grand Prix drivers, then ………..
Love the car, love the shots. Gold suits this car’s flowing lines perfectly.
+1 Says it all.
Most folks seem to fall all over themselves in admiration of the 63-65 Riviera. Yes, it’s a good car and a classic design but the 66-67, to me anyway, takes the basic design a step further and manages to modernize the design without making it look a bit silly. Probably one of the best examples of an update improving on the original….and YES, I said improving.
Whitewall tires are very hard to find nowadays, at least in my experience, unless you go with “no name”/ off-brands so the owner of this car shouldn’t be faulted for that slip-up.
Shouldn’t a GS have those absolutely gorgeous aluminum(?) spoked wheels from a Wildcat?
The first-generation Riviera didn’t NEED an update yet, but these were the years when GM led the pack instead of trying to keep up with it. This new Riviera aimed ahead, and hit the target.
Beautiful pictures, and a wonderfully appropriate setting for this Riviera.
I’m assuming this is an Australian-spec car. Just curious if you know how the rear license plate fits. My recollection is that the license plate mount is sized at 12″ for US-spec plates, but Australian plates are wider — yet this car’s plate appears to fit well. A small item, I know, but one that I can’t quite figure out.
They usually either bend the ends or cut an inch or so off each end to make it fit. You can do this without losing any characters. Here’s a shot of my old Mazda so you can see the plate size.
It looks like an Australian sized plate to me. These days Aussies can get
American sized plates,so the days of bending or cutting are over.
They are truely American sized too, as the frames I bought in Pueblo, Co fitted perfectly to my Australian made ‘American’ plates. One more piece of triva,
we call them ‘number plates’. I confused the clerk at Pueblo, until I remembered to translate to American.
In NZ we can get euro style plates to fit European cars oddly enough regular plates fit my Citroen but regular plates are bigger than the Hillman had originallyI had to beat the ends in to fit the classic plate frames.
Eric703,correct,my grandfather and father owned many Buicks and when our new 1965 Skylark arrived from the USA the space for Australian/Tasmanian numberplates was too narrow,so my father had to cut both ends of the plates to fit,looked a bit odd and was not legal.
The late Australian billionaire media proprietor,Kerry Packer,who owned a Mercedes Benz 600,also owned a 1968 or 9 Buick Riviera.You had to have money to own a Buick in OZ then.
Very nice shots, and your comments nail this car’s vibe, Don.
It is funny that I remember the original Riv well as a kid, and the boattail version too. These were kind of invisible to me back when they were plentiful. Maybe it is because this fastback shape was so common on the 2 door B bodies, and because my tastes were moving to Ford and Chrysler cars in those years. But I have to agree, the 66-67 Riv is a beautiful car with nary a bad angle.
Nice, it’s hard to imagine Buick having a reputation for making cars for the blue rinse set when they came up with this beauty.Thanks Don.
Top photo looks like it could have come right out of a Buick ad or sales brochure.
Love the RWL blackwalls!
One of my all time favorites, practically all of the 1967 Buick lineup does it for me. Nice pictures.
I have one just like it.
Former ’65 Riviera owner here. To be honest, the ’66-’70 never did much for me, until literally today.
The gold ’67 in the post and your car have given me a new appreciation. Yours has an outstanding color combination.
And you can sort of see where the ’71 came from too. I never saw the thematic connection until today.
Beautiful car. The basic lines of this car are great, but the white wall tires and Buick road wheels are the final touch.
My car originally had GoodYear Speedway redline tires, the spare is still the original. Unfortunately this size (H70-15) has not been reproduced and I won’t spend on the radial redline tires which don’t look correct anyway!
Those classic Buick road wheels are perfect for that car too.
And unlike most 1967 Rivieras, this one has the 1968-style wheels (which were introduced in mid-1967 for cars equipped with disc brakes). The regular 1967 road wheels with the charcoal-painted webs didn’t fit over the 4 piston calipers at the front.
The 1967 Riviera GS also had the unique “dual snorkel” air cleaner that was shared with that year’s GS 400, a standard 3.42 posi rear axle, 15:1 fast-ratio steering wheel.
Note those hidden headlights. Very unusual and different.
Whereas other cars had covers that hid the headlights or popped up, the Riveria’s swung up and down in front of the grille as shown in the picture. When I was a kid back then, I couldn’t find those “covers”.
Did the Riveria’s headlights suffer similar problems that other cars with covers had such that the covers didn’t always open or close?
On the 1966-67, they were still electrically operated with a single motor and two flexible cables. The 1967 system was improved as one of the two relays had been relocated to a better spot and the headlights could now be manually turned down just by slacking two screws with the tire wrench if there was a problem with the system.
On my 1967, I had to replace one of the two relays but that was an easy and inexpensive repair. The relay is N.L.A. so you either have to find an expensive NOS, replace it with an incorrect-looking generic relay or to reuse the metal cover/mounting bracket assembly from your original relay on a similar relay that’s still available (that’s what I did).
In 1968-69, they switched to the vacuum-actuated system which is more prone to complicated failures.
Phil- I have to say what a beautiful car and that colour combination suits it so very well.You are indeed a fortunate man to possess such an exquisite work of art.Back in the early 1980s my father came to visit and I told him there was a used 1969 Riviera,white,for sale in Hobart.We took it for a test drive,a very long and wide car for the narrow roads and streets in Tasmania.But my dad had an emotional attachment to the 1965 Skylark sedan which he kept until 1996,with 60,000 miles,always garaged,and then gave it to my elder brother.He didn’t buy another Buick after that one.He was 81yo then and even the Skylark was too large for him to manage in the city.
Thanks for your comment. I really enjoy that car. I got it 16 years ago and I hope to keep it for a long time.
It’s equipped with many options including the GS package, Custom interior trim with an operating console, power disc brakes (which were available for the 1st time on this model in 1967 and fairly rare as just 6% of 1967 Rivieras were equipped with disc brakes). It also has vacuum-operated power door locks and trunk, 4 way power seat, cruise control, AM-FM stereo with a power antenna, a rear window defogger, manual a/c and a few more options. It’s also one of the rare GM cars that offered complete instrumentation as standard equipment in 1967 and a standard tilt steering wheel. I added the tach which came from a 1963 Buick Wildcat.
Very nice. And what a great colour.
Hi Phil, I absolutely love your 67 Riviera. Will you sell it?
Gorgeous car, and a great angle on it!
Was just over on “Carscoops” looking at new metal then hopped over here…amazing how absolutely (and ridiculously) HUGE the Riv looks compared to the newest vehicles…YET it is a flawless example of automotive art…every line and contour is done for art sake rather than engineering or economic constriction.
THIS is the Venus de Milo of automobiles.
It is worth noting that each of the cars designed around the GM E-Body in 1966-67 — 1966-67 Riviera, 1966-67 Toronado, 1967 Eldorado — is justifiably regarded as among the most beautiful creations of all time of its GM division. Regardless of whether it used front wheel drive or rear wheel drive, and of the divisional styling language that it had to follow. It is a testament to the basic rightness of the proportions, as well as Bill Mitchell being at his height.
Very true Robert. Peak Mitchell.
WOW, I would love to have worked in THAT room! Interesting that the 66 Riv clay is also half 66 Toronado or at least highly reminiscent of one. I love what I do as a coastal engineer, but that right there would have been a dream job for me—during the height of the great GM styling years!
yes – has to be one of the best pictures posted on this site
Take a look at the dress code in the picture.
White starched shirt, black skinny tie, dark colored pants, and black rimmed glasses….
So early 60’s mind set!!! Yet, some of the best styling ever in the auto industry….
Same “nerd” look as in the engineering offices of the aerospace companies in California at the time.
Great shots of a beautiful car, and the air cleaner on Phil’s car is a work of art.
I certainly agree with all the comments – a superb sophomore effort that rivals the goodness of the original. And the first pic is striking.
Buick lost me with the heavy side sculpturing on most of its models in ’68 – thought it made the cars look really ungainly.
It grew on me. I was after a Cutlass/Chevelle/Tempest when I found my ’69 Skylark. Now I can’t imagine it without the sweepspear.
I was never crazy about that side sculting, either. Yet it was used all the way up through the 90s. I think the last car to use it, and to suffer for that use was the “compact” Buick Skylark.
Turns out, the reason why that odd-looking side sculpting kept re-appearing is that it was considered to be a styling “hallmark” of Buicks dating from the 40s or 50s. And every time “the powers that be” wanted to make sure that buyers knew the Buick from it’s “sister” makes….that weird slash got added to the side.
Wholeheartedly agree – I remember I was offered a rental upgrade from a Cavalier once to a 93-98 vintage Skylark – I turned it down because it was so unattractive I was embarrassed to be seen in it – and given how much I hated Cavaliers, that says a lot…….
A jaw-dropping voluptuous follow-up to the initial sterling design. Never again would the Riviera wear styling as beautifully developed and clean as the ’66-’67 models. Loved them new, still do!
The top pictures are in the same gold as my dad’s ’66 Tornado, not my favorite color. Personally, I much prefer dark colors for the Riv. However, I always like blue, and the ice blue one looks good.
CC-in-scale has a ’66, though not in gold. Lovely shape, the way the light falls on it. A really elegant update of the ’63-5 styling themes.
The ’67 Riv is a nice looking vehicle, but I still much prefer the ’65 to this version. The restyling was the Longer, Lower, Wider (and heavier) mindset that way so prevalent during this period.
Of the mid-to-late sixties ‘peak Mitchell’ PLCs (Riviera, Eldorado, Toronado), my choice would be the Buick. While the Cadillac has the most beautiful rear end, taken as a whole, it’s the Riviera for me.
CC effect: After reading the comments about Aussie licenses, the next website I visited was vintage.es. Their top feature today is pics of Papuans proudly posing with their Aussie cars and Toyota trucks. The long licenses are immediately obvious.
It’s a”stunner” .
That first shot really shows off the ‘W’ front and back, which was the defining Buick feature of the mid-60s, like Old’s barrel-end fronts and Pontiac’s split grille. GM really had the skills and, admittedly the money to truly differentiate their brands’ styling off common bodies, and throughout their lines. Something neither Ford, nor Chrysler could understandably do.