Curbside Cadaver: 1989 Buick Riviera – Another CC Down For the Count

Here’s another in my series of curbside cadavers. As much as I’m not exactly a fan of these, it’s always a bit sad to see another old car take a KO hit to the chin.


Here’s the damage: it may not have full-on Renaultitis, and may well have drive here, but it has no future. One less E Body, and there’s not exactly very many left of them.


This Riviera’s stubbier 1986 predecessor was the subject of my very first GM Deadly Sin. Those have become genuine endangered species. The question this ’89 version with its extended front and rear ends, and more distinctive C pillar is: why wasn’t it like this in the first place, in 1986? The same question of course applies to the equally stubby ’85 Cadillac FWD sedans too. Those extensions didn’t exactly weigh huge amounts, and undoubtedly improved their aerodynamics, so fuel savings would have been minuscule to zilch. This would have been significantly better received in 1986.


The outside might have been improved some, but the interior was still unattractive,  at least to my eyes. These GM cars had interior styling that was so out of tune with the trends of the mid-late 80s, when everything was becoming more rounded and organic and Euro-inspired. Their boxy and fussy design really turns me off, that steering wheel most especially so. When I briefly had a Seville of this vintage at my disposal, getting into it from my 300E was a huge contrats and let down, in both style and quality of materials.

Still looks healthy from this angle. Bye, bye, Riviera!