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History of the 1971-1973 Buick Riviera
Nearly four decades after their introduction, the swoopy 1971-'73 boat tail Rivieras are riding a rising tide of collector popularity. Their striking fastback silhouette guarantees these big Buicks will always be standouts on the road or show field.
Stunningly large and classically retro, the boattail Rivieras were built on a 122-inch wheelbase version of GM's new-for-1971 full-size “B-Body” chassis.
Even as the Riviera grew in size and weight for 1971, the horsepower rating of its newly regular-fuel 455-cid V-8 dropped to 315. Added emissions equipment would drop the output even further for 1972-73. The Riviera GS handling package was continued and the GS Stage 1 455 engine offered an additional power upgrade.
For 1972, Riviera ditched the deck-lid louvers on the inaugural 1971 version of GM’s Full-Flo ventilation system. The ’73 came with a heavy, impact-absorbing bumper slung across its front-end and a newly centered license plate at the rear.
The boat tail-deck treatment disappeared after 1973 as a rehashed big Riviera, with new notchback roofline and more conventional rear styling, was offered during 1974-76.
1972 Buick Riviera GS Info
2dr Sport Coupe
8-cyl. 455cid/260hp 4bbl
Curb Weight: 4399 lbs.
Length: 218.3 in.
Wheel Base: 122 in.
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