With an experienced team and a lot of data.
Protect your 1964 Buick Riviera from the unexpected.
Not one to mess with what they viewed as a new industry standard, Bill Mitchell left the Buick Rivera alone for 1964, with very few changes. One good one, however, was the substitution of the new Super Turbine transmission with three forward gears instead of two. Beyond that the Riviera now had a standup hood ornament and Riviera script on the front fenders and trunk, and the letter R on the hubcaps.
The standard 1964 Buick Riviera engine was now the 340 bhp, 425 cid Buick V-8. Buyers could get 10.5:1 high compression heads for another $50, or pay another $190 for twin 4-barrel carburetors for an extra $190. The driveline on the Rivera was simplified too, as the console meant that a constant velocity joint wasn’t necessary.
Mechanix Illustrated road tester Tom McCahill (who standardized the 0-60 mph measurement) called the Riviera “the greatest forward strike Buick’s ever made” and called it a “truly fine-handling car, as good as any made in the country today.” He also liked the finned power brake drums, which were impressively fade-resistant. Motor Trend commented on the craftsmanship that “all panels were perfectly fit and on the inside where the detailing is top-notch.”