Buick Riviera

Well, the name is sure to make you want to take a vacation to a warm sunny beach. But, if you cannot get away, at least a drive in this car will give you a moment to relax and enjoy the luxuries of life. The Buick Riviera was produced by Buick in the United States from the 1963 to 1999. Throughout this time span an impressive 1,127,261 units were produced. The Riviera was a full-size coupe or personal luxury car, which earned high praise by automotive journalists and writers. The Riviera came to fruition in the late 1950s as General Motors was feeling the crunch for a personal luxury car that could compete with the Ford Thunderbird, which had been highly successful. A Cadillac model was eventually modified to become the first Riviera. It is reported that its styling was inspired by Bill Mitchell's, a General Motor designer, visit to London. He allegedly was struck by the sight of an elegant, custom-bodied Rolls Royce. Stylist Ned Nickles later penned the final design. Sadly, in 1999, the Riviera model was dropped from production. It seems that the vision that was had nearly fifty years prior, was no longer viable and competitive in the marketplace. For those looking to retain a piece of history, you may want to hunt down one of the final 200 cars that were produced. They had special silver paint and trim and were denoted "Silver Arrow" models. This designation originated from several Silver Arrow show cars that had been built off Riviera bodies by Bill Mitchell. Certainly, the Riviera had a long and impressive run, and no one can discount the popularity that it held for many, many years. It is hard to say if Buick will ever reuse the Riviera name on any future cars, but die hards can hold out for a commemorative model that may or may not ever be released.