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May 13, 2023

Beautiful Photos of 1971 Buick Riviera

The Riviera was radically redesigned under Bill Mitchells’s direction for the 1971 model year with flowing and dramatic “boat-tail” styling. Bill Mitchell was GM’s chief styling during that time. It was penned by Jerry Hirshberg, future head of design for Nissan, mating the two-piece vee-butted 792 fastback rear window, inspired by the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray split window coupe, to the Riviera’s platform.

The Riviera’s controversial styling which irked the automotive writers were the boat-tail rear and the muscular rear flanks. The fastback roof line and massive rear window ‘tho were overlooked because of the spaciousness of the coupe which could comfortably seat five people.

GM’s mightiest engine, the 455 powered the car although EPA mandates made GM reduced the power to 255 hp with 265 hp in the Gran Sport by lowering compression ratio. But higher options could increase the massive V8 power to 330 and even retain the car’s quiet and smooth ride.

The 1971 Riviera also features GM’s “Full-Flo” ventilation system and two large deck lid louvers. Soft-Ray tinted glass, all-vinyl bench seats with custom trim or front buckets (which made them a little plasticky) and tilt steering came as standard. Thrusting, pointed grille, a 122 in wheelbase (longer than previous Rivieras), muscular rear flanks that flow into boat-tail rear are daring lines that distinguish the ’71 Rivieras.

Despite these features, Riviera sales for 1971 dropped to 33,810, the lowest to date. Here below is a set of beautiful photos of 1971 Buick Riviera.


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