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AJ's Car of the Day '65 Buick Riviera
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Car: Buick Riviera

Year: 1965

What makes it special: General Motors decided to introduce a Ford Thunderbird-fighter, with chief stylist Bill Mitchell thinking it should look like a Rolls-Royce with the flavor of a Ferrari. The result was the Buick Riviera, considered by many to be a styling milestone. Even now, Riviera is one most coveted cars of the 1960's.

What made it famous: The 1963-1965 Buick Riviera is remembered primarily for its superb styling, a masterful blend of curves and razor-edge lines that was quickly recognized as an architectural landmark for the U.S. industry. It was GM's first mass-produced car with frameless side glass. Changes for 1965 included the introduction of the "Gran Sport" option, which included the dual-quad Super Wildcat 425 V8, a numerically higher 3.42 axle ratio, and stiffer, heavy-duty suspension. There was no question about its performance. Typical 0-60 mph acceleration was 8.5 seconds, with 16.5 seconds for the standing quarter-mile, faster than almost anything else on the road except for certain high-power sports cars.

Why I would want one: It's a "Gentleman's Hot Rod." You have unlimited style as well as performance in the Riviera.

Fun fact: Buick's first personal-luxury car was prompted by the phenomenal success of Ford's four-seat Thunderbird.

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