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AJ's Car of the Day '65 Buick Riviera Gran Sport

Car: Buick Riviera Gran Sport

Year: 1965

What makes it special: Introduced in October 1962 as a 1963 model, the production Riviera shared its bodyshell with no other model, which was unusual for a GM product. 1965 brought the introduction of the Gran Sport option. On the outside, the headlamps were concealed behind clamshell doors in the leading edges of each fender, as in the original design. Further back, the non-functional side scoops between the doors and rear wheel arches were removed, and the taillights were moved from the body into the rear bumper

What made it famous:  The Gran Sport option included the 360 hp Super Wildcat 425 V8, topped with dual Carter AFB 4-barrel carburetors, a higher 3.42 rear axle ratio, and stiffer, heavy-duty suspension. Also, a vinyl covered roof became available as an option, offered only in black  that year, and the tilt steering wheel optional of the previous years was now standard equipment.

Why I would want one: The first-generation Riviera is considered a styling landmark, and is very collectible today. It's the proverbial "Gentleman's Hot Rod", with creature comforts and styling class...but can also haul ass with the mashing of the gas pedal. The best of both worlds.

Fun fact: A common misconception is that all Riviera's produced after the 1965 model are front wheel drive cars, but that's only true only of the 1979 through 1999 models.

 

( 1965 Buick Riviera Gran Sport photo from velocityjournal.com )

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