Auction Pick of the Week: 1967 Buick Riviera Sports Coupe
Yes, of course, there were luxurious Cadillacs in the General Motors stable in 1963, and plenty of luxurious Oldsmobiles and Buicks—even luxurious Pontiacs and Chevrolets.
But there was a segment of the premium market singularly absent at GM: A genuine two-door personal luxury car.
This 1967 Buick Riviera, offered on Hagerty Marketplace with no reserve, is representative of the car that handily fits that bill.
Ford had a personal luxury car—the four-passenger Thunderbird—and GM was intent on creating something similar. Hence the distinctive, and distinctively collectible, Buick Riviera, which debuted as a 1963 model, supplying design cues that lasted through 1970. The sweeping styling made the car look like it was underway while standing still, but perhaps the most notable design characteristic was the concealed horizontal headlights, which lasted through 1969.
The first generation of the Riviera ran from 1963 to 1965, replaced by an arguably more aggressively stylized five-year generation that began in 1966. That same year, it was joined by the front-wheel-drive Oldsmobile Toronado, giving GM another personal luxury car (while the Olds and the Buick shared a basic platform, the Riviera remained rear-wheel-drive until 1979.)
Longer and wider than the previous iteration, that second-gen Riviera built on that personal luxury design language that had Ford scrambling to keep the Thunderbird relevant.
Sales were modest given Buick’s massive market footprint, but that lower volume was in part intentional: Sales were capped at 40,000 in 1963 to maintain the car’s unique flavor, and that philosophy of exclusivity carried forward. It wasn’t until 1969 when Riviera sales finally topped 50,000.
The model shown here is, as mentioned, a 1967 model, which was similar to the 1966 car, with one major improvement: The old “Nailhead” V-8 was replaced with a brand-new engine, a more powerful 430-cubic-inch (7.0 liter) V-8 with a muscular 360 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is a proven TH-400 three-speed automatic.
The 1967 cars were also fitted with a raft of new safety features, including a collapsible steering column, four-way flashers, dual-channel brakes, locking seatbacks, and soft interior surfaces. Full instrumentation was new for ’67 as well.
This particular car has a front-wheel disc-brake conversion (front discs were offered in 1967, but few Rivieras had them), “Electro-Cruise” cruise control, a town car-style vinyl roof, power windows, air conditioning, and a tilt steering wheel.
It appears to be exceptionally well-maintained, and multiple spare parts are included in the sale, along with an owner’s manual and service paperwork. The five-digit odometer currently shows just over 37,338 miles at the time of listing, and that mileage is thought to be original; however, the true figure is unknown.
Bidding ends on this 1967 Buick Riviera Sports Coupe on Friday, October 6, at 3:50 p.m.