The 1974 Buick Riviera is a classic car that has lasted for over 40 years. It was GM’s first major success, and it is one of the most successful models in its class. This article discusses its history and features. If you’re interested in learning more about this legendary car, continue reading!
GM’s first big failure
The Riviera was a big failure for GM. Its initial design was for a smaller, A/G platform car, but GM decided to make the Riviera a full-sized car. This resulted in controversial looks. GM made some changes to the front fascia, including replacing the forward-jutting front bumper with a thicker front bumper guard and changing the grille to horizontal slats.
Buick was having a bad time, so General Motors had to do something about it. They tried to fix the car, but it didn’t work. Buick was losing market share. GM needed a big, bold design. So, they hired the design firm McCann-Erickson, which specialized in sports cars.
The Riviera was completely redesigned for the 1971 model year. The car now had dramatic “boat-tail” styling. Its designers were Bill Mitchell and Jerry Hirshberg, the future head of Nissan’s design department. They used a two-piece vee-butted rear window.
The Buick Riviera was designed to be an American performance car. It was meant to rival the Ford Thunderbird in handling and performance. It was a big V8 sports car that blended comfort, handling and style. It was one of the most impressive automobiles in the 1960s, and was admired in popular culture.
But despite this disastrous beginning, the company’s sales continued to climb. In fact, the company had its best year ever in 1984, with more than one million Buicks sold worldwide. But the ill-fated Riviera is still the company’s biggest failure. In fact, it was one of the most popular Buicks ever made.
The new Riviera was designed to replace the old E-body. It used the new B platform, a platform that GM had developed for their new E-bodies. This meant that Buick no longer used its front-wheel-drive E-body platform, and instead used rear-wheel-drive B-bodies with a cruciform frame. The resulting generation of the Riviera was short-lived, and the model was discontinued.
Buick was a part of GM for 90 years. Many of its executives influenced the development of the modern American car. Its engineers included Eugene Richard and Walter Marr, who developed the valve-in-head engine. Buick also helped build General Motors.
GM’s first big success
The 1974 Buick Riviera was a success in a variety of ways. The first version was a modest 208-inch sedan, but soon had boat-tail styling and a turbocharged 3.8 V6. In addition to its sexy looks, the Riviera also had a number of important innovations. The headlights retracted above the grille when not in use, and the roof gained fastback styling. The hood also became longer than before. The Riviera was also discontinued from the two-carb GS model, and the 401 engine was replaced with a 425 cid 340-bhp V8. Despite these challenges, the restyled Riviera was a smashing success and sold 45,348 units.
The Riviera’s style remained fairly similar to the previous model, but a few changes were made. It had a vinyl top, which did not integrate into the overall Riviera design, and an AM/FM radio, which was new at the time. Another change to the Riviera was the addition of a Max Trac device that was designed to regulate wheelspin for better traction. This device stopped the engine if the rear wheels were turning faster than the front.
The Riviera’s first-generation supercharged engine pushed output to 240 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. It was built on the same platform as the Cadillac Eldorado, Buick Tornado, and Oldsmobile Eldorado, and shared sheetmetal with both. The first supercharged Rivieras were produced in 1977 and 1978, and sales doubled to 40,000 units in 1978 and 48,621 the following year.
The Riviera’s body design was based on the GM A platform. Its body was expanded by 3 inches in 1971, increasing its overall length by 120 pounds. The Riviera’s boattail styling was developed by Bill Mitchell, the new styling chief at General Motors. The original intent of the Riviera was to produce a smaller car based on the A-body platform. The restyled Riviera also featured a new sweepspear on the side molding. Furthermore, the beltline was more faithful to the 1950s Buick design.
After the Great Depression, Buick suffered a greater decline than many of its rivals. By 1933, Buick’s production had dropped to 40,000 units. In response, GM hired Harlow H. Curtice, a 39-year-old president of the AC Spark Plug company to revive Buick’s fortunes. Curtice was an experienced super-seller, and he brought Buick back to its former glory. The company was able to bring back the power and speed of its legendary models. By 1934, the Series 40 had been introduced and production had topped 78,000 units.